College lecturers vote to condemn proscription of Hamas!

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Marchers in London show their support for Hamas as Israel bombed Gaza in May last year

COLLEGE lecturers at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (Conel) on Thursday 10th March voted to condemn the Tory government’s proscription of the Palestinian Hamas government in Gaza as a terrorist organisation.

The terrorist designation of Hamas’s political wing by Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel criminalises any person, trade union or organisation in Britain that shows any support whatsoever for the democratically-elected government of Gaza and threatens them with 14 years imprisonment.
The UCU (University and College Union) branch voted 5-0 for the following motion calling for a one-day UCU and TUC national strike and demonstration to parliament demanding that the anti-Hamas legislation, pushed through parliament by diktat, be rescinded and that the UK government recognise the Palestinian state.
The resolution reads:
‘This Branch defends the Palestinian Hamas government of Gaza from the UK Tory government attacks and condemns and opposes the new law designating Hamas’s political wing as a “terrorist organisation”.
‘Now, anyone convicted of meeting any Hamas official, wearing clothing or badges supporting Hamas or in any way indicating support for the organisation faces a prison sentence of 14 years.
‘This reactionary legislation was pushed undemocratically and totally unopposed through parliament by the Tory Home Secretary, Priti Patel, and became law in just three days without a single Labour MP opposing it, without any debate and without a vote.
‘Under this law all the trade unions and the TUC, pro-Palestinian groups and individuals who have for decades supported the struggle of the Palestinian people and the right of Hamas to defend the people of Gaza, are now criminalised and threatened with imprisonment.
‘This includes the 250,000 workers and youth who demonstrated through the streets of London last May to condemn the murderous military attacks by Israel on Gaza.
‘The Tory attack on Hamas is an attack on all Palestinians and an attack on the British trade unions and the millions of workers who support their struggle for Palestinian national liberation.
‘This reactionary legislation against Hamas sets a dangerous new precedent which, together with the anti-trade union laws and the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, makes it so much easier to legally ban the trade unions and the right to strike in defence of jobs, wages and working conditions by government diktat.
‘Trade unions and the working class will be dealt with in the same way as Hamas.
‘The trade unions and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) must organise a one-day general strike and demonstration to demand the Tory government rescinds all the laws criminalising support for Hamas.
‘This branch therefore resolves to call on the UCU executive Committee to organise a one-day general strike and a national UCU demonstration to parliament to demand that the Tory government rescinds this anti-Hamas law and recognises the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and that the UK should seek the arrest of the Zionist Israeli cabinet as war criminals to stop the mass killing of Palestinians by Israeli settlers and soldiers.
‘Further, that the UCU calls on the TUC to support this proposal with a national General Strike and national demonstration with the UCU in support of Palestine to realise these demands.’
• The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has condemned the Israeli approval of the law preventing the reunification of Palestinian families.
Last Thursday, the Israeli Knesset (parliament) re-authorised a law banning Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip who marry Palestinians in Israel from receiving residency in Israel.
The law, known as the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, was passed on racist grounds to prevent Palestinians from becoming Israeli citizens in order to maintain a Jewish majority in Israel.
The law also prohibits the entry of Arabs from countries ‘hostile’ to Israel, such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran, for family reunification purposes.
‘Approving this law reveals the real face of the Israeli occupation, which is to break up Palestinian families,’ Hamas spokesman Jihad Taha asserted.
‘This is a racist law aimed at emptying the occupied lands of historical Palestine of its original residents, mainly from Jerusalem.’
Taha said that the approval of this law is a violation of international treaties and conventions, and appealed to international bodies to stand against Israel’s violations.

  • Palestinian factions in Gaza have announced plans to resume protests and other activities along the besieged Strip’s eastern border, to express outrage over Israel’s ongoing Israeli violations against Palestinians.

They will resume popular marches and activities along the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip by March 30th.
On Saturday, various Gaza-based factions formed a new ‘National Commission to Defend and Support the Palestinians of the Israeli-occupied lands of 1948.’
This includes national and Islamic factions, as well as civil and social institutions.
The new Commission is an extension of the Commission of the 18-month Great Return March which was launched in 2018 to demand Israel allow Palestinians to return to the original homes they were expelled from during Israel’s creation in 1948.
Referred to as the Nakba or ‘catastrophe’ by Palestinians, at least 700,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their villages by Israeli forces during the 1948 war.
Many of the Palestinians took refuge in nearby countries or other Palestinian territories, among which was Gaza. Some Palestinians were able to remain, and today carry Israeli citizenship.
Khalid al-Batsh, a senior official of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), said that the new Commission was formed ‘to express our solidarity with our Palestinian brothers in the lands of 1948.
‘We will not allow the Israelis to Judaise, annexe and confiscate our Palestinian lands by displacing our people once again.’
Mohsen Abu Ramadan, the head of the Commission, said: ‘At a time when all eyes of the world are directed towards the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Israel continues its violations against our people and does its best to divide us geographically.
‘Our new Commission aims to emphasise the unity of the Palestinian people in all their political, national and geographical locations from now.
‘All the Palestinians, in the West Bank, Jerusalem, lands of 1948 and the Gaza Strip will be participating in the popular activities to prevent Israel from completing its colonial project,’ Abu Ramadan said.
While the final plan regarding the types of activities has yet to be approved, an official within the Commission, reported that on March 30, the factions are expected to launch popular demonstrations along the eastern border separating the coastal enclave from the Israeli cities.
‘This means that we may allow the youthful crowd to launch incendiary and explosive balloons as in the past,’ he said, adding: ‘We have the right to express our anger against Israel over its violations against our people.’
Other activities are also planned to be held in the cities of the coastal enclave, as well as in front of the headquarters of international organisations in the Gaza Strip.
Mohammed al-Batniji, a Gaza-based resident, said he was excited to be taking part in the upcoming events.
The 38-year-old father of four said that he had previously joined the March to Return in 2018 and demonstrated for months.
‘For more than 10 years, Israel has discriminated against us as Palestinians and followed the principle of divide-and-rule so as to implement all its colonial and settlement plans… but during the last Israeli war in May 2021, our brothers in the lands of 1948 supported us though organising protests against the Israeli army,’ he said.
Last May, Israel launched an 11-day military campaign against the Gaza Strip, following a barrage of rockets that had been fired from Gaza in response to Israel’s encroachment on the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site for Muslims.
During the wave of fierce fighting, Israeli warplanes carried out hundreds of air raids on the Gaza Strip, home to nearly two million people, killing over 250 and wounding up to 2,000.
At the same time, Palestinian armed factions in Gaza fired thousands of rockets at Israel, killing more than 10.
Since then, a fragile cease-fire has held, despite Israel’s ongoing violations.