- Created: Thursday, 22 February 2018 11:22
- Written by Scotland Branches
The Revolutionary Communist Group joined the ‘Stand for Ahed Tamimi’ protest organised by Strathclyde Students for Palestine and Glasgow University Palestine Society on 17 February in Glasgow. We stood with people all around the world raising their voices and fists for the four Tamimi family members (which includes 17 year old Ahed, her mother Nariman, and her two cousins Mohammad and Osama) who are currently being held by Israel and facing charges – including assaulting Israeli soldiers - which will lead to long prison sentences unless enough global pressure can be brought to bear on the racist colonial-settler state. The Tamimi family and the village to which they belong Nabi Saleh, in the occupied West Bank, is well known for its defiance and resistance. Through her committed activism and bravery Ahed has come to symbolise a spirit of defiance to injustice which inspires not only those in Palestine but people all around the world.
The solidarity movement must take inspiration from this spirit and demand freedom for the Tamimi’s and all Palestinian political prisoners. There is a total of nearly 6,200 Palestinian political prisoners currently in Israeli jails. Ahed is one of over 300 Palestinian children currently in Israeli military detention and she will stand trial before a Israeli military kangaroo court – which has an almost 100% conviction rate - on 11 March. Her mother Nariman and Ahed’s other cousin Nour will stand trial on 6 March. We must stand with these freedom fighters by openly confronting and exposing those in our own backyard who are defending the racist state of Israel under the guise of opposing anti-Semitism.
During the ‘Stand for Ahed Tamimi’ protest, we asked why the Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) campaign refuses to recognise that Zionism is a form of racism. Last year, at the annual Glasgow SUTR march, the Confederation of Friends of Israel (CFI) was allowed to join in with their banner and Israeli flags. See our letter in FRFI 256. As far as we can tell, they are being allowed to join the SUTR march again this year on 17 March. This is unacceptable for a march against racism. The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) is in the leadership of the SUTR campaign and stewards its marches. Why is the SWP as a pro-Palestinian organisation giving the Zionist oppressors an ‘anti-racist’ cover under which they can promote their occupation of Palestine? If SUTR allows CFI to march again, it will be a setback for the whole Palestine solidarity movement in Britain. We have sent SUTR an Open Letter (see below) demanding that CFI and all Zionist organisations are excluded from the 17 March demonstration.
The SUTR says it is concerned it would look anti-Semitic if the CFI were not allowed to participate. This is not fighting anti-Semitism. Indeed, it perpetuates a myth which promotes anti-Semitism by attributing the existence and actions of Israel to Judaism. In refusing to separate Judaism (a world religion) from Zionism (a racist colonial political ideology) the SUTR and SWP are conceding to anti-Semitism. The racist Israeli state would be proud of this spin as it forms part of their global campaign to smear and discredit Palestine campaigners and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
When we spoke from the ‘Stand for Ahed Tamimi’ platform (see footage), we asked protestors and members of the public who support Palestine to sign our open letter to SUTR demanding that CFI and any other Zionist organisation are excluded from the SUTR march. It is vital that we send a message to the Zionists: they are not welcome here. Readers can help by signing the online petition in support of our Open Letter to SUTR.
Free Palestine! Boycott Israel! Zionism is racism!
No to Zionists marching again on 17 March in Glasgow!
On 18 March 2017 the Confederation of Friends of Israel (COFI), a Zionist organisation which has the backing of the Israeli Government, joined the annual march organised by ‘Stand Up to Racism’ (SUTR) in Glasgow. They were one of the most prominent contingents on the march at the assembly point with a banner and many Israeli flags. SUTR stewards refused to ask or force the Zionist contingent to leave the march despite the protests of anti-racists at the time and throughout the march. SUTR have now refused to say whether COFI will be excluded from its march organised for this coming 17 March in Glasgow.
The issue at stake is quite clear. Zionism is a racist ideology. It is the ideological cloak of the racist colonial-settler state of Israel. SUTR or its Socialist Workers Party (SWP) backers cannot present this form of racism as something different from the racism they say they are challenging. To do so is to capitulate to the Israel-backed and reactionary campaign which presents anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism. If SUTR and the SWP do not challenge COFI and prevent it from marching with SUTR on 17 March, SUTR will be understood as saying that Zionism is an acceptable form of racism. This is completely unacceptable, and we the organisations listed below call on SUTR to state publicly that COFI or any other Zionist group are not welcome, and that they will be excluded from the march on 17 March if they attempt to join it.