Tony Greenstein | 03 November 2023 | Post Views:

No Genocide – No Ethnic Cleansing- Unite Members Send A Message to Sharon Graham

A large picket called on short notice when war criminal Starmer explained to the assembled at Chatham House why the road to peace lies in  killing more children – a position Unite’s leadership full supports

As Israel was preparing to follow its achievement in killing 500 people in Al Ahli hospital by threatening the same at Al Quds Hospital, Unite’s Executive Committee held an emergency meeting last Thursday on Palestine. They might as well have saved their energy and stayed at home.

Factional disputes between Sharon Graham’s supporters, the SWP included, and the United Left group resulted in nothing being decided. Graham’s bright idea was to use the useless TUC Statement on Palestine as a template to be amended instead of issuing a call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the genocidal siege of Gaza by Israel.

It needs to be stressed that there was nothing preventing Sharon Graham issuing a statement from day one calling for a ceasefire

The emergency meeting was only held because of the growing outrage amongst members at the fact that Unite has done absolutely nothing about Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza.

Akiko Hart of Liberty on Newsnight Criticising Suella Braverman’s Description of the Palestinian Marches as ‘Hate marches’ – in the New World of Tory/Labour Doublethink Marches Against Genocide are being describe as hateful and anti-Semitic despite the presence of thousand of Jews, the wrong type of course, on them

The London and Eastern Region wrote a letter on 17 October to General Secretary, Sharon Graham asking why no Unite banner or speaker had attended the demonstration and why Unite had done nothing to advertise the demonstration on its web site. 

This is the reality of Israel for its Palestinian citizens – a pogrom-like atmosphere

Regional Secretary Peter Kavanagh asked that this be rectified immediately and that Graham should write to all branches urging that members attend the demonstration and that resources be made available to ensure that members could attend.

What was the response? Absolutely nothing. At the subsequent demonstration on October 21 there was only one Unite banner present, that of London and Eastern. At last week’s demonstration I was unable to spot any Unite banners. Nor were there were any Unite speakers at the end. There were however plenty of banners from UCU, Unison, the NEU and other union organisations.

Gaza Destruction from the Air

It is a disgrace that the Unite Executive refused to call for an immediate ceasefire and broke up in disarray agreeing to call a further meeting without even bothering to set a date.

Can anyone imagine previous General Secretaries such as Ron Todd or Len McLuskey sitting on their hands in a situation where genocide in Palestine is happening in real time?

Graham is happy to support NATO’s proxy war & Ukraine’s resistance but not the Palestinian resistance

Graham was happy to be photographed at TUC Conference in a clenched fist posture with a Ukrainian flag supporting NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine but when it comes to Palestine she and her puppet, Gail Cartmail, preferred to repeat Zionist talking points about ‘anti-Semitism’.

Last  Friday Gail Cartmail sent me an email stating that

The General Secretary has been actively promoting that the union should put out a statement calling for a ceasefire. She spoke about this at a national BAEM event this week, and in other meetings.  She is also clear that the Unite position must be that we do not stoke division through anti-semitism and anti-Muslim racism, and she was at the forefront of bringing the union movement together to agree the TUC statement.

Not a word about the previous night’s Executive Committee meeting. Instead she repeated the anti-Semitic trope that support for the Palestinians would ‘stoke division through anti-semitism’

Even the Zionist IHRA says that Jews should not be held responsible for what Israel does. Israel does not represent British Jews despite its claims. It follows that any decisions to support the Palestinians should be taken without regard to British Jews. They are irrelevant. This has nothing to do with British Jews.

If Graham or Cartmail had bothered to attend the demonstrations they would have seen how welcome Jewish people were made to be. There was no anti-Semitism whatsoever.

Brighton Vigil for Gaza 28 October 2023

Brighton Vigil for Gaza 28 October 2023

At the previous week’s demonstration I witnessed Muslim women chanting ‘Judaism Yes, Zionism No.’ Given the heavy involvement of Jewish members in the Palestine solidarity movement the backward, openly Zionist and anti-Semitic positions of Graham are intolerable.

The Big Lie pervading what is called a war between Israel and Hamas, which in fact is simply a slaughter of the innocents, is that Israel is intent on destroying Hamas.

Gaza School Year Cancelled as There’s No Children

If you want to know just how much of a sick, racist society Israel is and how far it is away from the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ nonsense of Starmer and the despicable Emily Thornberry then watch this video of Israelis in Tel Aviv in 2014, during the Israel’s last major attack on Gaza, Operation Protective EdgeThey chantedthere’s no school in Gaza, there’s no more kids left’.

A genocidal intent has already been there in Israel, today it is being given full effect with the blessing of Biden, Sunak, Starmer, Macron, Schultz and all the West’s ‘democratic’ leaders.

As the document leaked at the weekend from Israel’s Ministry of Intelligence revealed, not that it has ever been a secret, Israel’s plan is ethnic cleansing on a grand scale .

The document lays out a blueprint for ethnically cleansing Gaza of Palestinians and shoving them into the Sinai Desert. This is a Nazi plan. Ethnic cleansing of Jews from Germany was the first stage of the Final Solution. It was only when this became impossible owing to war that the next step was extermination.

Sisters Uncut Take Over Liverpool Street Station

If Israel’s purpose was to wipe out Hamas then bombing hospitals and murdering 4,000 children, to say nothing of the thousands buried under the rubble, is a strange way of achieving it.

The BBC and the mass media rely on peoples’ short memory and lack of understanding of the historical context to Israel’s previous bloody actions, so a few reminders are in order.

Brighton Vigil 28 October 2023

It will come as a surprise to many people that in the late 1980’s Israel helped to create Hamas as a counterweight to secular Palestinian nationalism. See HAMAS – When Israel & Netanyahu Sang from a Different Songsheet

Not content with mass murder at Al Ahli Israel followed up with a threat to bomb Al Quds hospital if it did not evacuate which it refused to do as it is impossible to evacuate all its patients. No doubt if another missile hits the hospital Israel will claim it was another misfired Palestinian rocket. Meanwhile their strategy is to bomb on the outskirts of the hospital in order to make conditions inside the hospital even more intolerable. Israel has also told Gaza’s main hospital Al Shifa to leave.

Sharon Graham and Unite’s Executive have difficulty understanding that despite Unite policy describing Israel as an apartheid state, that Israel is the oppressor and the Palestinians are an oppressed people who have been ethnically cleansed once and are in danger of suffering another Nakba. Their position is shameful.

I therefore organised at the weekend a letter, which 135 Unite members signed, to Graham demanding that they call for an immediate ceasefire. (see below)

Unite is led by a right-wing British nationalist as General Secretary. The sooner this racist is removed from office the better. She is unfit to lead a scout troupe. She calls herself apolitical but in practice she has been doing her best to cosy up to Keir Starmer as she donates up to £2 million a year to a party that is both reactionary and anti-working class.

The responsibility for this lamentable state of affairs belongs to Palestine Solidarity Campaign which throughout the anti-Semitism smear campaign against the left under Jeremy Corbyn did absolutely nothing to counter this poisonous narrative. PSC held that support for the Palestinians was enough. You didn’t need a fightback against the anti-Semitism smear campaign whose  purpose was to remove Labour’s first pro-Palestinian leader.

PSC allowed the political initiative on ‘anti-Semitism’ to take root and not surprisingly this narrative has now seeped into the unions as a means of undermining support for the Palestinians.

Unite members and branches should bombard Graham, regional organisations and Executive members with a demand that they call for an Immediate Ceasefire, No Ethnic Cleansing and an End to Genocide.

Tony Greenstein

 How Israel Helped Create Hamas

New York Times Reporter David Shipler cited the Israeli military governor of Gaza as boasting that Israel expressly financed the fundamentalists against the PLO:

“Politically speaking, Islamic fundamentalists were sometimes regarded as useful to Israel, because they had conflicts with the secular supporters of the PLO.  Violence between the two groups erupted occasionally on West Bank university campuses. Israeli military governor of the Gaza Strip, Brigadier General Yitzhak Segev, once told me how he had financed the Islamic movement as a counterweight to the PLO and the Communists.

‘The Israeli Government gave me a budget and the military government gives to the mosques,’ he said.”

Mr. Segev arranged for the cleric to be taken to Israel for hospital treatment. “We had no problems with him,” he says.

According to Robert Dreyfuss, author of Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam

“during the 1980s, the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza and the West Bank did not support resistance to the Israeli occupation.  Most of its energy went to fighting the PLO, especially its more left-wing factions, on university campuses.”

In Gaza between 1967 and 1987, when Hamas was founded, the number of mosques tripled from 200 to 600. Dreyfuss continued that

There’s plenty of evidence that the Israeli intelligence services, especially Shin Bet and the military occupation authorities, encouraged the growth of the Muslim Brotherhood and the founding of Hamas [in Palestinian territories].

According to former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Charles Freeman, Shin Bet—the Israeli counter-intelligence and internal security service—knowingly created Hamas: “Israel started Hamas. It was a project of Shin Bet, which had a feeling that they could use it to hem in the PLO.”

“Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” says retired Israeli official Avner Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, and muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals.

Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Yasser Arafat’s Fatah.

“When I look back at the chain of events I think we made a mistake,” said David Hacham, who worked in Gaza in the late 1980s and early ’90s as an Arab-affairs expert in the Israeli military. “But at the time nobody thought about the possible results.”

According to Zeev Sternell, a historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Israel thought that it was a smart ploy to push the Islamists against the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)”. The cleric and Israel had a shared enemy: secular Palestinian activists.

Roni Shaked, a former officer of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service and a military Arab affairs expert, remembers taking one of Hamas’s founders, Mahmoud Zahar, to meet Israel’s then defense minister, Yitzhak Rabin, as part of regular consultations between Israeli officials and Palestinians not linked to the PLO.  See Making Enemies How Israel helped to create Hamas by Brendan O’Neill

These are the lies on which Israel’s current genocidal offensive in  Gaza are based.

Tony Greenstein

Letter from 135 Members of Unite Condemning  Sharon Graham & Unite Executive’s Failure to Call for a Ceasefire in Gaza


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