On Wednesday morning (8 Feb 2017), comrades from CPGB-ML and Red Youth joined the protest outside the Council House in Victoria Square opposing the visit of Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador to the UK and war criminal. The protest, called at relatively short notice by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, mobilised a number of people and with a spread of banners and constant chants over the megaphone the protest had a strong presence. However, the numbers were small in opposition to the presence of one of Israel’s best spin-doctors, who relentlessly defends, justifies and encourages the massacring of Palestinians.
The protest had the effect, nonetheless, of ensuring that Regev did not show his face at the front of the Council House, instead having to be snuck in through a back door somewhere. We’re very sure when inside the building he heard the chants being shouted against him and Israel!
Regev’s meeting with the councillors was supposedly about dealing with “anti-Semitism”. This sort of lobbying was discussed in an article in the latest edition of the Proletarian:
“Currently (and extremely ironically), the imperialist backers in the US and Europe of the little racist outpost that is Israel are seeking to criminalise as ‘hate speech’ any support for the human rights and just demands of the Palestinian people by lobbying for laws that will equate criticism of Israel with ‘anti-semitism’. From Ken Livingstone to the president of the National Union of Students (NUS), various prominent supporters of justice for the Palestinians have been branded as racist antisemites because they criticised Israel, the concept of zionism or the idea that jewish people have the right to a ‘homeland’ on Palestinian territory, or because they have mentioned the crimes being committed by the Israeli state on a daily basis against the Palestinian people.
It is essential to defend the principle that if decent-minded people were duty-bound to denounce the crimes committed by the Nazi regime against the jewish people – and, indeed, all other manifestations of anti-jewish prejudice – then they likewise have a duty to denounce the crimes being committed by the Israeli fascists against the Palestinian people – crimes that are only tolerated by the jewish Israeli population because they are fed a diet of racist anti-Arabism by the zionist media.”
It is crucial for all those who honestly wish to end the victimisation of the Palestinian people to redouble their efforts on the streets, in their workplaces, schools and colleges, and in their trade unions to call for the organisation of a truly mass movement of non-cooperation with Israeli war crimes. Not only do the media need to be held to account for the lies they spread on behalf of Israel, and those firms that profit from the war and occupation need to be singled out and boycotted, but all parts of the war machine need to be actively stopped from functioning.