…by Stuart Littlewood, Britain
May 26, 2021
[ Editor’s note: The article is part 2 of an ongoing dialogue between Mr Littlewood and an elected representative in Britain. To read part 1, skim to the bottom of the page. Erica P. Wissinger ]
Here’s a response from my MP Alister Jack who is also a senior minister. He says:
⦁ I share your concern at the violent escalations we have witnessed recently. The UK Government is urging all parties to de-escalate. As the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have made clear, this cycle of violence must stop, and every effort must be made to avoid loss of life….
⦁ The UK is clear that evictions of Palestinians from their homes causes unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, calls into question Israel’s commitment to a viable two-state solution and, in all but the most exceptional of cases, are contrary to International Humanitarian Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. I join Ministers in calling for them to cease with immediate effect.
⦁ The UK regularly makes clear our concerns about the evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem to the Israeli authorities and the Municipality of Jerusalem, both bilaterally and in co-operation with like-minded diplomatic partners.
⦁ The UK Ambassador in Tel Aviv has raised this issue with the Israeli Authorities, as has the Minister of State, James Cleverly, with the Israeli Ambassador in London. The British Consul General to Jerusalem visited families at risk of eviction in Sheikh Jarrah on 3 May to reiterate the UK’s opposition to the practice.
⦁ The UK is clear that the violence against peaceful worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque was unacceptable. Attacks against peaceful worshippers of any faith must stop. The Status Quo in Jerusalem is important at all times, especially during religious festivals such as Ramadan. I encourage all parties to maintain calm, avoid provocation and uphold the Status Quo to ensure the safety and the security of the Al Haram Al Sharif / Temple Mount and all who worship there. I urge all sides to refrain from any kind of provocation so that calm is restored as quickly as possible. The restoration of peace and security is in everyone’s interests.
Mr. Littlewood: Let’s be clear. Israel’s crimes are not ‘first offences’ – they’ve been committing them for decades. And all Mr Jack and other Government figures offer is pro-forma standardised words of no substance penned by scribblers in the Foreign Office or Tel Aviv’s propaganda HQ or, quite possibly, by Mark Regev himself who has returned after a stint as Israel’s ambassador to the UK to resume his work as Netanyahu’s media adviser, disinformation peddler and dirty tricks specialist.
The stuff put out is pure garbage designed to be uttered by obedient politicians at all levels and especially those who adore the racist regime and the psychopaths who run it. Its purpose is invariably to demonise Iran and Hamas and smokescreen the obscenities perpetrated by Israel.
Under Regev’s watch in January 2017 a senior political officer at the embassy, Shai Masot, plotted with stooges among British MPs and other maggots in the rotting political woodwork to “take down” senior government figures including Boris Johnson’s deputy at the Foreign Office, Sir Alan Duncan. Masot was almost certainly a Mossad asset. His hostile activities were revealed not, as one would have hoped, by Britain’s own security services, but an Al Jazeera undercover news team.
Regev was replaced last year by Tzipi Hotovely, a religious-nationalist extremist committed to the ‘Greater Israel’ project. After her performance as Minister of Settlement Affairs in the Israeli government, many here will regard her as a war criminal. All Israeli settlements (let’s call them what they really are – ‘squats’) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and are considered illegal under international law.
Israel’s long-running squatter policy is a war crime for the reason that Article 8(2) of the Rome Statute defines “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory” as such.
Hotovely has criticised American Jews for not understanding the complexities of the region because “they never send their children to fight for their country, most of the Jews don’t have children serving as soldiers”.
She herself slid out of compulsory military service by becoming an educational guide in Jerusalem and an emissary of the Jewish Agency in the United States. She also wants to re-write New Israel’s sordid history:
“We need to delete the word ‘occupation’ and we need to redefine the term ‘refugee’….” Hotovely rejects Palestinians’ hopes for statehood and instead dreams of a Greater Israel swallowing up the Palestinian territories, saying “We need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country…. This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologise for that.”
She herself came from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic so what ancestral links does she have with the Holy Land? Has she had a DNA test? And what exactly gives her and her kind the right to lord it over the Palestinians who have been there all the time?
No justice, no peace. No sanctions, no change.
What we need to hear, after 73 years of obfuscation, is that there will be CONSEQUENCES for Israel if the regime doesn’t end its illegal occupation and in particlarly cease the cruel blockade of Gaza, remove its troops from East Jerusalem (including the Old City) and stop military incursions into the West Bank.
International law and UN resolutions have ruled on this countless times and must now be implemented. There will be no peace without justice, and everyone except the Zionist tendency is waiting…. waiting for the major powers, notably Britain who carry the can for this shambles, and the rest of the international community with all their high-minded talk, to deliver.
Mr Jack ends by saying: “I note your suggestion about the imposition of sanctions. I do not, however, speculate on potential future designations as to do so could undermine their impact. I know that the FCDO [Foreign Office] keeps all relevant evidence under constant review.”
Mr. Littlewood: What impact? We haven’t seen any impact. Constant review by the Foreign Office hasn’t made a scrap of difference. Their policy is to carry on grovelling to the Israel lobby. Sanctions seem far from the Government’s thoughts, and Mr Jack certainly doesn’t offer to push for anything that might disturb Israel’s criminal elite.
As for Mr Cleverly, it’s difficult to image a man more out of touch. He recently admitted that “prior to my ministerial appointment I was a member of Conservative Friends of Israel”.
Jewish News reported not long ago under the headline ‘Former Tory chair James Cleverly appointed new Middle East minister – Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev congratulates politician who has close links with Conservative Friends of Israel’ that in 2015, only 4 months after being elected as an MP, Cleverly visited Israel as part of a Conservative Friends of Israel (CFoI) delegation. It was here that he first met Regev, who was Prime Minister Netanyahu’s spokesman at the time.
The delegation visited Sderot “to see the remains of Hamas rockets”. Speaking at the end of the trip, for a promotional CFoI video, he said: “It’s been a real eye opener. Israel is an amazing country, no doubt about that. It’s a liberal open democracy in a region where that is a real rarity.”
Sderot is a compulsory stop on propaganda tours for gullible politicians and journalists. Being only a mile from the Gaza Strip it has become known as ‘the bomb shelter capital of the world’. Residents have little time to take cover though very few have been killed by Gaza’s erratic garden-shed missiles.
What Cleverly doesn’t tell us is that Sderot is built on the lands of a Palestinian Arab village called Najd, which was ethnically cleansed by Jewish terrorists in May 1948 before Israel was declared a state and before any Arab armies entered Palestine. The 600+ villagers, all Muslim, were forced to flee. Britain, the mandated government, was on watch while this and many other atrocities were committed by rampaging Jewish militia.
Najd was one of 418 Palestinian villages and towns wiped off the map by Zionist Jews. Its inhabitants became refugees in Gaza and their families are probably still living in camps there. The irony is that some of them could be manning the rocket launchers….
When Barack Obama visited Sderot, he spouted the well-worn mantra backing Israel’s right to protect its citizens from rocket attacks. “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing.” Well said, Obama. But let’s hope you wouldn’t be so stupid or arrogant as to live on land you stole from your neighbour at gun-point.
And if Cleverly believes Israel is some kind of western-style democracy, he is sadly deluded. He should read its discriminatory Nation State laws which confirm and reinforce its status as a racist enterprise. Here are some other gems from our Minister of State for the Middle East:
“Israel does have a right to defend itself and we have made it clear that, in doing so, it must abide by international humanitarian law and make every effort to minimise civilian casualties…… There is no legitimacy and no justification for indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.”
He continually focuses on the rocket attacks from Gaza as being unacceptable without ever criticising Israel for its disproportionate bombardment by land, sea and air with state-of-the-art ordnance which they use in an indiscriminate way causing huge civilian casualties. He’s careful never to say that the Palestinians have a prior right to self-defence because they are under a never-ending, illegal and brutal military occupation. International law allows them to put up armed resistance.
“Ultimately, the two-state solution is, in our assessment, the best way of bringing about lasting peace for the people of the region, and that will continue to be a priority area for UK foreign policy in the region.”
The two-state solution has been doomed for the last 25 years. Israel has no intention of allowing such a thing to happen, and if Mr Cleverly doesn’t know this he hasn’t been paying attention. Or maybe he does know it and is playing along with the conspiracy to buy time for Israel to complete its annexation programme. The Zionists from the start have been determined to grab the lot and everyone by now knows the UK Government is stuffed with Zionists and Zionist sympathisers.
Instead of making silly remarks, Cleverly and others like him ought to stop and consider what kind of people they are, posing as friends and admirers of a criminal regime that is contemptuous of all norms of human decency.
“The military wing of Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation, and we have a policy of no contact with Hamas in its entirety.”
That’s a pretty dumb position to take when the non-military wing of Hamas has been the democratically elected government in Gaza since the last election in 2006. I’d say refusal to talk with the Gaza people’s elected government is disrespectful to the British and Palestinian people and to the principles of diplomacy. In the meantime Westminster happily talks to the Israeli regime whose conduct perfectly fits the definition of state terrorism.
The above quotes by Cleverly are taken from Parliamentary Questions on Violence in Israel and Palestine, 12 May. It’s quite an achievement to pack so much nonsense into such a short space of time.
I commend to James Cleverly and anyone else with his mindset this statement by Bradford West MP, Naz Shah, in the Commons last week:
“We sit here in the mother of Parliaments, the House of Commons, living under the rule of law, upholding fundamental freedoms for all who live in our green and pleasant land without any fear and without having our rightful connection to it denied. Palestinians do not live in the same security; rather, they live in constant fear of being forcibly dispossessed from their ancestral homes by the Israeli army. They have been abandoned by the international community, and they have been abandoned by us.
“This weekend was the 73rd anniversary of what the Palestinians call the Nakba—the catastrophe; the day that marked the beginning of their dispossession in 1948. That dispossession continues—by bombs, by mob lynching, by expulsions, all against innocent Palestinian civilians. These crimes are the root cause of the tragic violence we are seeing across the Holy Land today. When this Government urge the restoration of calm in Palestine, they must remember that Palestinians have been robbed of their calm for 73 years, with the occupation’s checkpoints, the siege in Gaza and the various types of discrimination against Palestinians across the Holy Land.
“Israeli human rights groups such as B’Tselem, international groups such as Human Rights Watch, and others have concluded from painstaking analysis that the Israeli Government stand guilty of the internationally defined crime of apartheid. I ask: how should that affect our relationship with Israel? This is not a conflict with two equal opposing sides; rather, one people dominates the other through illegal occupation, siege, dispossession and discrimination.
“If we claim that there are two equal sides, why is it that we recognise only one while we have yet to recognise Palestine? Israel is the occupier of the Palestinian Territories, not the other way round. Israel has placed Gaza under siege, not the other way round. Israel is dispossessing Palestinians with illegal settlements, not the other way round. Israel applies policies of apartheid, not the other way round.
“The just and peaceful solution we all seek will not be possible until the UK and its allies recognise this imbalance and take effective action to address it. The violence will not end until impunity does. The Government’s support for a ceasefire in Gaza is welcome and vital to preventing further needless loss of life, but there will be no sustainable and just peace in Palestine and Israel until all are equal and accountable before the law.
“The Government must therefore urgently support the following actions:
an independent investigation by the International Criminal Court into the situation in Palestine;
a special session of the Human Rights Council looking into potential war crimes and accountability based on human rights;
a review, in line with our own laws, of all licences issued for arms and equipment used by the Israeli security forces that may be used, directly or indirectly, to commit acts of internal repression, external aggression, including de facto annexation, or violations of international humanitarian law; and
an end the empty words of a two-state solution while recognising only one state; and,
finally, recognition of the state of Palestine.”
20 May 2021
Background article by our author:
Stuart Littlewood’s earlier article:
This is a message for our MPs at Westminster. It’s much the same as the letter I sent my constituency MP yesterday 15 May, the anniversary of the ‘Nakba’ (catastophe) recalling the expulsion in 1948 of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to make way for Israel’s declaration of independence. Many were massacred, the others sent into exile to languish forever in refugee camps.
‘Nakba 73’ reminds us that, while Jews from all over the world and with no ancestral links to the Holy Land are encouraged to flood into Palestine, the indigenous Palestinians (Muslim and Christian) who were dispossessed and ejected are still prevented by the illegal occupier (Israel) from returning to their homes.
For several days the world has watched in horror and disgust the wanton violence meted out by Israel to Palestinians protesting about their never-ending torment and hopelessness.
Yet leaders at Westminster haven’t uttered a word. How would they, living peacefully in England’s leafy suburbs, enjoy being targeted by Zionist thugs and removed at gunpoint from their homes and lands, never to return?
The Board of Deputies, which claims to be “the voice of the UK Jewish community”, responds to the outrages committed by the Jewish state by condemning the “unremittent rocket fire against Israeli civilians by Hamas” and saying nothing about Israel’s disproportionate bombardment of Gaza civilians by land, sea and air, or its unlawful racist policies that have terrorised and suffocated Palestinians for more than 70 years.
“Israel has the right to defend its citizens and it is the responsibility of Hamas to immediately halt all rocket fire from Gaza,” they say, forgetting that people under illegal military occupation have a perfect right in international law to mount an armed resistance.
Yet most Westminster’s MPs and ministers repeatedly take their lead from BoD propaganda and say “Oh, but Israel has a right to defend herself”. So nothing is done about the Holy Land’s horror show, which has become Britain’s permanent legacy in the Middle East.
Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, a Zionist convert, in 1917 penned a letter to the most senior Jew in England, Lord Rothschild, pledging the Government’s “best endeavours” to facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. Balfour also wrote: “We do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.”
It was a gross betrayal of our Arab allies in WW1. Many in Parliament objected, including Lord Sydenham who remarked: “What we have done, by concessions not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, is to start a running sore in the East, and no-one can tell how far that sore will extend.” Those words ought to be stamped indelibly on the rump of every politician in our Parliament.
Balfour inserted into his ‘declaration’ that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing and non-Jewish communities….” on the insistence of the only Jew in the British Cabinet, Lord Montague, who opposed the deal. But this safeguard was jettisoned as soon as Britain lost control of events. Montague was anti-Zionist to the point of writing: “I would willingly disfranchise every Zionist. I would be almost tempted to proscribe the Zionist organisation as illegal and against the national interest.”
He went on to say: “I feel that the Government are asked to be the instrument for carrying out the wishes of a Zionist organisation largely run, as my information goes, at any rate in the past, by men of enemy descent or birth…. I would say to Lord Rothschild that the Government will be prepared to do everything in their power to obtain for Jews in Palestine complete liberty of settlement and life on an equality with the inhabitants of that country who profess other religious beliefs. I would ask that the Government should go no further.”
Not content with the territory allocated to them under the 1947 UN Partition Plan the Zionists declared statehood ignoring all boundaries. Their ‘Plan Dalet’ offensive, begun beforehand, had already seized swathes of Arab-designated land aand townships at gunpoint. Jewish militia – the Irgun, Haganah, Palmach and Lehi – raided towns and villages forcing inhabitants to flee.
Numerous attrocities were committed including the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem (headquarters of the British administration) in 1946 murdering 91, and the massacres at Deir Yassin and Lydda (Lod) in 1948.
Those crimes are a nasty stain on the flags of the United Nations and especially of Britain, which hadn’t the backbone to take action then and still shirks that responsibility today.
The eventual admission of the new state of Israel to the UN in 1949 was conditional upon honouring the terms of the UN Charter and complying with UN General Assembly Resolutions 181 (the Partition Plan) and 194 (concerning, among other things, the status of Jerusalem and the return of Palestinian refugees). But Israel had no intention of ever fulfilling its obligations and to this day repeatedly violates those provisions and the principles of the Charter.
Article 11 of 194 states that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.” This was based on recommendations by the UN Mediator for Palestine, Count Folke Bernadotte, who was afterwards murdered by Jewish para-militaries for upsetting their plans for domination.
Israel also fails to comply with the provisions of the EU-Israel Association Agreement of 1995 which requires adherence to the principles of the UN Charter and “respect for human rights and democratic principle [which] constitute an essential element of this agreement” in return for trading privileges. It gets the privileges without delivering on its pledges. It is continually rewarded – especially by the British government – for breaching those principles and disrespecting the terms of the agreement.
In 2004 the International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled that construction of what’s often referred to as the Apartheid Wall breaches international law and Israel must dismantle it and make reparation. But Israel continues building its hideous barrier with American tax dollars.
The ICJ also ruled that “all States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction”. It seems Westminster wasn’t paying attention and in any case couldn’t care less about the rule of law when it comes to Israel-Palestine.
No peace without justice, so when will justice be done?
As things now stand Israel has all but succeeded in fulfilling Zionist ambitions and making its illegal Occupation permanent by establishing irreversible ‘facts on the ground’. The international community has allowed this to happen and there’s no chance of the regime willingly handing back enough land and relinquishing enough control for a truly viable Palestinian state.
Netanyahu and others have stated as much. So annexation of ‘Greater Jerusalem’ continues unabated as does squatter settlement. The ‘Apartheid’ Wall still bites deep into Palestinian territory separating the Palestinians from their precious farmlands and other resources.
Israel clearly intends to keep control of the entire country while shunting the Palestinians into an ever more whittled-down, fragmented, impoverished, semi-sovereign, non-viable, non-militarised mini-state denied free access to the outside world. So talk of peace is futile. It is simply a ploy by Israel’s ‘friends’ to buy the apartheid regime more time to complete its evil plan.
It’s worth remembering that the UN Partition Plan of 1947 intended Jerusalem to be a ‘corpus separatum’ under international administration, for the obvious reason that the Holy City cannot belong to any single religious persuasion. None has exclusive claim. So the quaint idea that Jerusalem’s final status could be “determined by negotiation” is plain silly.
Likewise that Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem should be allowed to continue. In the meantime, in case anyone’s in doubt, East Jerusalem (which includes the Old City) is internationally recognised as Palestinian territory.
There can be no peace without justice, and the world waits for justice to be done. But our politicians still woffle about a two-state solution and negotiations between the parties when one party has a gun to the other’s head…. and when international law has already settled these matters and waits to be enforced.
Israel and its supporters are fond of accusing anyone criticising Israel’s ‘squatter’ programme as ‘delegitimizing Israel’, in other words denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination and their right to exist. That’s rich when the Israelis have been de-legitimising the Palestinians by blocking their right to self-determination, flatly refusing them freedom of movement, and robbing them of their lands and resources.
UN resolution 2334, which condemned Israel’s continuing squats on Palestinian land as illegal and an obstacle to peace, has done nothing to disturb the cosy relationship between Her Majesty’s Government and the thieving Israelis.
On the contrary, the Government and the BoD are always telling us that Israel is our friend and ally, and our values are their values. That is sick. Israel has no friends outside the Westminster and Washington bubbles.
No decent person, knowing the truth, would ally themselves to such a racist and cruel regime. HMG’s alliance with Israel isn’t approved by the British people and only serves to give us a bad name throughout the Middle East.
And if the Johns Hopkins DNA study, published by Oxford University Press in 2012, is correct perhaps no more than 2% of Jews now in Israel have any biblical or ancestral links to the Israel of biblical times.
It seems the Palestinians are the true Semites, and the anti-Semites are the Israeli regime itself and its army of inquisitors and stooges. So the whole anti-Semitism argument falls down.
Key question: what possesses British parliamentarians to support a deeply unpleasant foreign military power like Israel and to call themselves “a passionate Zionist” – as Mr Johnson does – when Standards in Public Life make clear that they should not allow themselves to come under such inappropriate influence? And in debates they seldom if ever declare (as they should do) their links to the Zionist conspiracy.
Johnson also wrote in Ynet News that he’s “a passionate defender of Israel” and “a life-long friend, admirer and supporter of Israel… . Our commitment to Israel’s security will be unshakable while I am Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.” How dare he commit the British people to such a degenerate policy?
This when Israel was announcing it was about to help itself to even more Palestinian territory. It’s hard to think of a more despicable remark for a leader of our great nation.
He should reflect that being a Friend of Israel means embracing the terror on which the state of Israel was built, approving the dispossession of the innocent and the oppression of the powerless and applauding the discriminatory laws against non-Jews who resisted being ejected and inconveniently remain in their homeland.
It means aligning oneself with the vile mindset that abducts civilians — including children — and imprisons and tortures them without trial, imposes hundreds of military checkpoints, severely restricts the movement of people and goods, and interferes with Palestinian life at every level.
And it means the thumbs-up to Israeli gunboats shooting up Palestinian fishermen in their own territorial waters, the strangulation of the West Bank’s economy, the cruel 15-year blockade on Gaza and the bloodbaths inflicted on the tiny enclave’s packed population. And even the religious war that humiliates the Holy Land’s Muslims and Christians and prevents them visiting their holy places.
If, after all that, anyone is still Israel’s special friend, where is their self-respect?
Meanwhile, how safe is anyone under the threat of Israel’s 200 (or is it 400?) nukes? Israel is the only state in the region not to have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It hasn’t signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention either. It has signed but not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, similarly the Chemical Weapons Convention. It is a rogue state.
The worsening situation is nearing the point where world opinion will not stand for this any longer and civil society action will take over while the international diplomatic community continues its shameful paralysis. BDS is moving in where the cowardly UN has left a moral vacuum and will become much more robustly, so get used to it.
So what, if anything, are you going to do to resolve the Holy Land crisis which your predecessors created and your own administration helps to perpetuate?
For truth, justice and peace,
Stuart Littlewood, 16 May 2021
After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics, he served as a Cambridgeshire county councilor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. With a lifelong passion for photography, he has produced two photo-documentary books, one of which can be read online at www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk.