Imad Barghouti, a Professor of Space Physics at Al Quds – a University under Occupation – is Imprisoned Without Trial for Expressing His Opinions on Facebook – Please Sign the Petition

Imad Barghouti, a Professor of Space Physics at Al Quds – a University under Occupation – is Imprisoned Without Trial for Expressing His Opinions on Facebook – Please Sign the Petition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

As I Predicted , the Zionist Attempt to Blacklist Expelled Members Backfires as McDonnell and Pidcock Defy the Board of Deputies McCarthyism Policy – Starmer Simply Ignored Them

Fourth Black Lives Matter Demonstration in Brighton  is Smallest Yet

1.         Zionist McCarthyism and McDonnell


A week ago I blogged that John McDonnell and Laura Pidcock had defied Zionist instructions to ‘Sir’ Keir Starmer that Labour members must not appear on the same platform as expelled members of the Labour Party.

Well the Zionists huffed and puffed. McDonnell, who scabbed on Chris Williamson whilst acting as Lansman’s cheerleader for the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign, protested that it was ‘ridiculous’ for him to know that Jackie Walker and me were in attendance.

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, an organisation funded and controlled by Israel’s Dirty Tricks Ministry of Strategic Affairs, huffed and puffed that it was McDonnell’s response that was ridiculous.  Jackie was a member of the Labour Representation Committee’s Executive. 

For once I have to agree with the CAA. How could McDonnell not know? I was as visible to him as he was to me, and since I had already spoken at the Conference shortly before him, how could he not know I was in attendance?

Of course the principled position to have taken would have been to say that this is not Israel and he is not going to accept any Apartheid banned list from a bunch of Zionists.

The problem is that McDonnell has no principles. This is a man who sat silently whilst Jewish anti-racists were expelled for ‘anti-Semitism’ and then spoke out against the expulsion of Alistair Campbell, the war criminal who was Blair’s spin doctor when he went to war with Iraq.

Laura Pidcock, another scab, has said nothing at all which just about sums her up – pretty vacant! Well vacant anyway.

Of course what McDonnell and Pidcock and before them, Diane Abbot and Bell Ribairo-Addy, could have done was to protest at the very idea of banning anti-Zionists and anti-racists. Unfortunately the Campaign Group of MPs has said nothing about Starmer taking his orders from the Board of Deputies and the Israeli Embassy.  Once you have embarked on a strategy of appeasement there are no limits to how far you will go to please the Right.

The Jewish News reported that the Board of Deputies called for the party to launch an investigation, though into what I am not sure.  The evidence is clear.  John and Laura were happy to share virtual company with Jackie and me! Just accept it.

I am also posting the appeal from Professor Barghouti, a space scientist at Al Quds University. He has been administratively detained by the Israeli army for having posted hostile comments on the Occupation on Facebook. Where are the voices of outrage from Israeli academics at this outrage?  This is why we should Boycott Israeli Universities.

Administrative Detention, which was introduced to Palestine by the British colonial authorities is better known in Ireland as internment without trial. It is by definition the action of a military/police state.

There is no pretence that Professor Barghouti is a ‘terrorist’. His only offence is that he has spoken against Israel’s occupation. Quite amazingly a Military Court ordered his release yet he has still been kept in custody demonstrating that justice in the Military Court  system is a complete fiction. Israel’s military courts have a 99.74% conviction rate.

The Zionist Times of Israel alleges that Professor Barghouti has spoken at Hamas rallies at Al Quds University.  So what?  Hamas is a legitimate Palestinian organisation which when elections were last held was the most popular Palestinian group. When genocidal Zionist groups like Yamina stand in Israeli elections without difficulty why is it that a conservative Islamic group is considered beyond the pale?

Of course Starmer, who has pledged to defend Israel right or wrong and the racist Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Israel, Peter Kyle MP, have said nothing at all. Like the 3 Wise Monkeys they see, say and hear nothing. Criticism of Israel is now an expulsion offence.

The following letter is being circulated by Scientists for Palestine. You can sign a petition demanding Prof. Barghouthi’s release here.

Dear colleagues,

I’m writing this letter as I await the Israeli military occupation court to review the Israeli military commander’s decision to put me under administrative detention for four months. This order overruled a court decision to release me on bail, while I await yet another trial for exercising my internationally protected right of expressing my opinion on my social media. And my next appearance before the military judge/court will be a closed session, showing that even Israeli authorities are ashamed of these proceedings. 


For those of you who don’t know about administrative detention, it has been a central practice of the Israeli occupation since the early days of the British mandate, over seventy years ago; administrative detention allows for a military commander to order your arrest based on secret reports and without trial. The administrative detention can last up to six months, but can be renewed indefinitely1. This practice systematically abuses Palestinian human rights and is designed to subjugate the Palestinian people and deny their freedom. 


In the Israeli military courts it doesn’t matter that I’m a professor of space physics, nor it matters that I’m 50 years old, father of five and grandfather of one lovely boy, nor that no Israeli professor would ever be convicted for expressing her/his public opinion on Facebook! The only thing that matters in front of their courts is that I’m a Palestinian and I’m thus labeled, dehumanized, and stripped of my basic human rights. And with no fear by the Israeli military apparatus of real persecution for what they are doing to me.


Dear colleagues, I ask you to take a few minutes of your time to act in support of Palestinians and against the illegal procedure of administrative detention with a post demanding the abolition of this practice, or a discussion with your students and colleagues on the fact that in today’s 21st century world, Palestinians professors are being held without trial. 


I know justice will never be served as long as Palestinians remain under occupation, but I take courage and inspiration from the words of Desmond Tutu, “in a situation of injustice, if you remain neutral then you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.


With respect, 



Prof. Imad Ahmad Barghouthi 
Department of Physics, AQU
Occupied Palestine
Currently in the Ofer Israeli prison camp

Notes

1. There are cases of Palestinians who spent over 5 years in continuous administrative detention, and some who have experienced over 20 years of on and off administrative detention in Israeli military occupation prisons.

Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Network reported that:

On Thursday, 16 July, Palestinian astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi was once again seized by Israeli occupation forces when he was stopped at a checkpoint in occupied Anata. The repeated arrests and targeting of Barghouthi, a scientist with a strong international reputation, has sparked outrage by international academics and researchers. He is expected to be brought before an Israeli military court on Thursday, 23 July. Samidoun demands the immediate release of Imad Barghouthi and all detained Palestinian scientists, academics, researchers and students!

professor of physics at Al-Quds University, Barghouthi is a former NASA employee (who earned his Ph.D. at Utah State University) who has been targeted for multiple occasions for imprisonment. Palestinian students, researchers and academics continue to face harsh repression from the Israeli occupation, including researchers like Ubai Aboudi and the hundreds of Palestinian students currently jailed by Israel.

In many cases, detained academics and researchers are jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention orders, which are indefinitely renewable – Palestinians spend years at a time jailed without ever being charged or tried. If they are instead brought before an Israeli military court, they face a 99.74% conviction rate, “evidence” obtained through torturous interrogations and bogus charges for things like posting on Facebook or attending public events organized by student organizations.

The detention of Imad Barghouthi and his fellow Palestinian scholars and students reflects the ongoing and fundamental denials of of Palestinian rights to education and academic freedom, underlining the necessity of the international academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Such institutions are deeply complicit in the structures of occupation that deny Palestinian human rights at all levels.

We urge supporters of justice in Palestine and the right to science everywhere to stand with Imad Barghouthi and join the call for his freedom.

**We are recirculating the following statement, released today by Scientists for Palestine, about the case of Imad Barghouthi, as well as further resources on the case.

Freedom for Imad Barghouthi

A violation of the right to science anywhere is an attack to scientists everywhere.

On Thursday, July 16th 2020, renowned Palestinian scientist Imad Barghouthi was detained by Israeli military forces during a routine stop at a military checkpoint outside of Anata. A military court hearing is scheduled for Thursday July 23rd to discuss the case of professor Barghouthi, an astrophysicist at the university of Al-Quds in East Jerusalem. No charges have been brought against him and his lawyer fears that he will be put under administrative detention, an illegal measure commonly used by the Israeli military forces to put Palestinians in arbitrary detention without any charges or trials.

This is not the first time that the Israeli military forces have arrested professor Barghouti, one of Palestine’s most prominent scientists. In 2014 he was placed under administrative detention for two months, and in 2016 he was again detained for six months. In both cases his arrest triggered a significant indignation of the international Scientific community.

Scientists for Palestine condemns the continuous and arbitrary harassment of Professor Barghouthi in the strongest possible terms and calls on all members of the International Scientific community to demand the immediate release of our colleague. The right to science is protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 27), as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (article 15). The violation of the right to science anywhere is an attack to scientists everywhere.

Black Lives Matter Demonstration in Brighton is the Smallest Yet But Still Determined

I don’t know what has happened in other areas of the country but Brighton has had monthly Black Lives Matter demonstrations since the murder of George Floyd in June. The first demonstration was the largest ever seen in Brighton, over 20,000. Successive demonstrations have been smaller, about 10,000 and 3,000.  Today’s was again down – about 1,000.

No more demonstrations will be held in the winter because of the danger of COVID-19. However the decline in numbers suggests that the steam is running out of the campaign, despite the energy of the demonstrators.

The demands included White Supremacy is the Enemy, Silence is Compliance, Refugees are Welcome, Sussex Police are also Racist and calls for Justice for Jay Abatan, a Brighton resident who was murdered in 1999 and whose murder Brighton Police didn’t bother to investigate.  Indeed Brighton Police were socialising with his killers on the night when he was attacked with his brother. Basic things like taking photographs of the crime scene and securing it weren’t undertaken.

I marched with a Palestinian flag. Once again Brighton & Hove PSC  had a banner welcome at the Clocktower. It is unfortunate though that BLM, at least in Brighton, did not seem to have any awareness of the links between imperialism and racism as slogans about the oppression of Black people in other countries was conspicuous by its absence.

I took a number of photos and a couple of videos which I’ve stitched together.

Tony Greenstein

 

 

 

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