11 January 2003
SOME 400 delegates gathered in Ramallah on 27 December for the World Social Forum on Palestine. Encircled by Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints, Ramallah feels distant from Bethlehem and Jerusalem, let alone the world beyond the West Bank.
04 January 2003
TWO IMPORTANT social forums took place at the end of last month. Activists met at the Palestine Social Forum in Ramallah, which is under Israeli occupation. It called for support for the international day of action against the war on Iraq on 15 February.
14 December 2002
NEARLY 200 people took part in a debate at Edinburgh University last week on the prospects for peace in the Middle East. It was organised by the student society People & Planet. John Chalcraft, an Edinburgh politics lecturer, and Chris Doyle, from CAABU (Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding), explained why Palestinians had rejected the "peace offers".
07 December 2002
AROUND 500 protesters marched in Oxford last Saturday against war on Iraq and for justice for the Palestinians. People of all religions, political orientations and ages united in a display of resistance and solidarity, led by a brilliant band of student musicians. At the rally afterwards there was a determination to build for the European day of action on 15 February. Mike Cotgrave
30 November 2002
IMAGINE IF an unarmed United Nations official was shot by Iraqi troops while he was inside a UN compound in Baghdad. Imagine if the Iraqi army then delayed an ambulance taking the official to hospital and the man died as a result.
16 November 2002
End silence on new apartheid
ALONG WITH five other members of my trade union, the rail workers' TSSA, I have just returned from a fact-finding visit to the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip. We witnessed a frightening expansion of settlements and "Jewish only" roads linking these settlements.
09 November 2002
A WEEK in Palestine is a new documentary about the daily degradation and misery inflicted on the Palestinian people. Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza describe their lives under Israeli occupation to a solidarity delegation of trade unionists and students from Britain.
02 November 2002
GILAD ATZMON is a writer and jazz musician. His first novel, A Guide to the Perplexed, is out now. It is a satirical novel about Gunther Wuntz who, like Gilad, is an Israeli Jew who comes to reject Israel. It is set in 2052, 40 years after the Israeli state has ceased to exist. Matthew Cookson spoke to Gilad.
02 November 2002
AROUND 700 people braved appalling weather to take part an inspiring protest last Saturday in Glasgow. Former Israeli army chief Shaul Mofaz, who led the repression of the second intifada, was blockaded inside a Glasgow hotel.
19 October 2002
Guarantee on NHS is a con
TONY BLAIR'S speech at the Labour Party conference was hailed by the media as brilliant. The best description would be "a bunch of lies" – and not just about Iraq or Palestine. As someone who works in cancer care, I was outraged when Blair used the government's "achievements" in this area to show how well the NHS is doing. Blair told the Labour delegates, "Listen to this story of a woman who has breast cancer who saw a consultant within two weeks. Saw him because now every urgent patient suspected of cancer has to be seen within two weeks. Treated within four weeks because that is now the maximum time for breast cancer treatment. Five years
19 October 2002
OVER 450 people crammed into a Globalise Resistance and Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign hosted meeting on "Do we need a global intifada?" in Glasgow on Thursday of last week. The reception for Haidi Giuliani, the mother of Carlo Giuliani who was murdered by the police during the G8 protests in Genoa last year, was electric.
12 October 2002
AS YOUNG people who live in the north of England in a small town called Burnley, it seems near impossible to get our voices heard on anything in the world. Feelings of helplessness and uselessness are always associated with our concern for Palestinians, or any other oppressed people. But the "Don't attack Iraq" demonstration gave us a voice we've never had before and helped us to conquer these feelings of helplessness.
05 October 2002
US AND Israeli politicians and commentators always blame the current violence in the Middle East on Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians. They claim that the Palestinians were getting the best deal possible in the peace process and they rejected it. The new edition of The End of the Peace Process, a collection of essays by the Palestinian writer Edward Said, exposes these claims for the lies they are. It shows that under the peace agreements the areas under Palestinian control would be small, cut off from one another and remain dominated by Israeli troops and settlers.
05 October 2002
HUNDREDS OF thousands of people took over central London last Saturday to march against war on Iraq and for freedom for Palestine. The size of the demonstration stunned many people. Marchers waited around four hours to leave Embankment, while speakers at the end rally were already addressing demonstrators as they poured into Hyde Park. Thousands more joined splinter demonstrations that spilled out into other parts of central London, including a march up Oxford Street.
28 September 2002
AROUND 350 people crowded into the friendship centre in Burnley on Thursday of last week to protest against an attack on Iraq and for freedom for Palestine. They heard George Galloway MP, Dr Siddiqui from the Muslim Parliament, John Rees from the Stop the War Coalition, Norma Wilson from CND, and Asad Rehman from the Newham Monitoring Project.
14 September 2002
PALESTINE IS Still The Issue, the new film by the journalist John Pilger, is a rarity on TV. It is a painfully honest documentary that refuses to toe the established political line.
14 September 2002
OVER 600 people gave a magnificent kick-off to the campaign against Israeli sporting and cultural tours on Wednesday of last week. They protested against the football "game of shame" between Scotland and Israel under-21s in Hamilton. The Scotsman reported that "300 police and 90 stewards were on duty in and around the ground, more than were used at the Champions League final."
07 September 2002
SOME 150 people from across the area around Halifax turned out to a public meeting of Calderdale Against the War on Wednesday of last week. They heard Alice Mahon MP, John Rees of the Stop the War Coalition, and local Labour councillor Mohammed Najib declare their opposition to war on Iraq and their support for Palestine.
24 August 2002
OVER 200 people gathered outside Scotland's national football stadium, Hampden Park, in Glasgow on Friday of last week to protest at next month's under-21 football match between Scotland and Israel.
10 August 2002
REPORTS OF war crimes began circulating within days of Israeli tanks rolling into the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin in April this year. There were dozens of eyewitness accounts of people buried alive as their homes were bulldozed, and of women and children shot dead in the streets. The friends and families of the victims had to wait for four months until the UN produced a report on events in Jenin. The report has serious weaknesses.