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July 3, 2010

UK: Intruders acquitted for ‘preventing war crimes in Gaza’


Israeli ambassador furious after court clears five residents who caused £180,000 damage to Brighton arms factory, ruling they committed offense to prevent more serious crime

Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom Ron Prosor has harshly criticized a British judge who displayed a blatant anti-Semitic stand, after a jury acquitted five residents who broke into an arms factory and caused heavy damage. The five defendants said they were seeking to prevent war crimes in Gaza.
Judge George Bathurst-Norman suggested to the jury, “You may well think that hell on earth would not be an understatement of what the Gazans suffered in that time,” the Guardian newspaper reported.

Prosor responded to the remark on Thursday night, saying that “after reading the judge’s statement, there is no doubt that this is not a great era of the British justice system. I assume that Sderot’s children, who have lived under thousands of missiles, for years, will be able to enlighten the judge as to the meaning of ‘hell on earth.’
“I am convinced,” the ambassador added, “that his honor would have ruled differently had he been sitting in the Sderot youth cultural center, rather than on Brighton’s sunny shores.”
According to the report which angered the Israeli ambassador, the five were acquitted despite causing £180,000 (about $270,000) damage to the arms factory shortly after Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
The five admitted they had broken in and sabotaged the factory on the outskirts of Brighton, but argued they were legally justified in doing so.
They said they believed that EDO MBM, the firm that owns the factory, was breaking export regulations by manufacturing and selling to the Israelis military equipment which would be used by the Israeli army against in the territories. They added that they wanted to slow down the manufacture of these components, and impede what they believed were war crimes being committed by Israel against the Palestinians.
‘Proud of what I’ve done’

One of the defendants, Robert Nicholls, told the Guardian after being acquitted: “I’m joyful really, at being a free man. The action was impulsive really, we just wanted to do something that would make a real difference to the people of Palestine.”
Another, Ornella Saibene, said: “I’ve felt very peaceful all the way through the trial because I’m proud of what I’ve done. It was the right thing to do.”
According to the Guardian, the group used the “lawful excuse” defense – committing an offenSe to prevent a more serious crime – as a tactic in their campaigns. Four of the activists, aged 25 to 52, are from Bristol. The fifth lives in Brighton.

The British report mentions the Goldstone Report, which ruled that Israel had committed war crimes during the Gaza offensive.
Ambassador Prosor, who has been dealing with serious incidents of delegitimization – in universities, economic organizations and the British press – on a daily basis, has decided not to keep silent. Nonetheless, it appears his protest will not be enough to change the grim situation of Israeli PR in the UK.

A Tale of two prisonners


Working together on an ancient craft

AlJazeeraEnglish | 3 juillet 2010

In the Occupied West Bank, women are using a traditional skill while helping to put food on the table.

And it’s a homegrown co-operative venture, which benefits all of its members.

To mark the United Nations’ International Day of Co-operatives, Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from Hebron.

Bloggers unite for Gaza

July 09, 2010

On 9 July, we are urging bloggers to make a simple promise: “Gaza, We Will Not Forget You”.

Humanitarian aid cannot address the hardship faced by Gaza’s 1.5 million people. The only sustainable solution is to lift the closure. The blockade imposed on Gaza is about to enter its fourth year, thwarting any real chance of economic development. As Gazans endure unemployment, poverty and warfare, the quality of their health care has reached an all-time low.

Israel’s raid on the Gaza aid flotilla brought the issue to international attention. We must act now to put an end to the humanitarian crisis once and for all.

On 9 July 2004, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion condemning Israel’s infringement of the Palestinian right to self-determination and violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The ICJ explicitly affirmed the international community that the burden also falls on them not to recognise or assist the illegal situation.

This year, on 9 July 2010, remind your own government of its own obligations not to recognise or assist Israel’s violations of international law. Urge that there must be an independent and international inquiry into the attacks on the Gaza aid flotilla. And make a simple promise: “Gaza, We Will Not Forget You.”

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