Manchester protests against Israeli Science Day

‘It was a load of bull. I came because I thought we would learn about biology.

But we just got a lecture. It was Israeli propaganda that’s all’, explained Northenden College student Osman who attended Israeli Science Day at Manchester’s Science Museum last week. A group of students sent to the event from Manchester College bought Palestine badges and took leaflets from our campaign stall and distributed them inside the Israeli ‘private talk’. “We got thrown out! We are barred from the building now!” they said, “but we got rid of all the leaflets”, said Joseph.

This was not the outcome intended when the Zionist Federation of Britain planned the Israeli Science Days last year around the same time that the Israeli cabinet were planning the attacks on Gaza. Protesters from Stop the War, Bricup, PSC, Viva Palestina, and MAB ensured Israeli Science Day did not go unchallenged. A letter signed by hundreds, including many academics, was published in the local paper, the MEN.

One who signed was scientist Alan Tyldesley, “I hold a science degree, and for the last 30 years have worked to use my science and engineering knowledge in the pursuit of safety at work. I am always dismayed when science is used to progress the design of weapons and military hard wear. After the Israelis used their hi-tech army against Gaza, anyone with any humanity can only recall in horror, and we should not publicise Israeli science in such a way in Manchester.”

‘Last year this museum organised a special exhibition of ‘1001 Islamic inventions’. Those inventions were for the benefit of everyone. Many Jewish scientists have contributed to science which has helped the whole of humanity.

Israeli Science only benefits one group, Israelis. It was Israeli Science which helped destroy Gaza. That is why we are here”, explained Mark Krantz, from Stop the War at the rally outside the Museum.

Bolton Council motion on Gaza and Palestine

On the 4th March Bolton Council in Greater Manchester passed the following motion in solidarity with the people of Gaza and Palestine. The motion was passes with just two abstentions

This Council is extremely concerned and saddened, as are many of the residents of Bolton, at the tragic loss of life in Gaza and Israel as a result of the military action. We condemn the violence on both sides and affirm the belief that all peoples, including the State of Israel and the Palestinian people, whether living in Gaza or elsewhere, have the right to a peaceful existence and self determination without the fear of violence. Council also affirms that any state has the right to defend itself with reasonable force if attacked, but considers that the recent Israeli actions in Gaza were greatly disproportionate.

“The Council firmly believes that this issue can only be resolved by political and diplomatic means rather than aggression and violence.

Bolton Council holds high ethical standards and believes in building greater community cohesion. In doing so we actively advocate religious and racial tolerance and condemn racism, anti-semitism and islamophobia. The Council therefore condemns the loss of civilian life and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, homes, schools and United Nations facilities in Gaza and also the rocket attacks by Hamas on Israeli settlements. Such acts will not bring peace to the region but will act as a tool for extremist groups in the UK and possibly even in Bolton.

The Council, together with the World Health Organisation and humanitarian organisations, recognises that Gaza has been under an economic blockade since June, 2007and that the recent offensive had led to a seriously deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.

This Council welcomes the Government”s call for a durable and lasting ceasefire and asks the Leader of the Council to write to the Prime Minister urging him to act urgently to support:

– an immediate end to the military offensives on both Gaza and Israel;

– an immediate end to the blockade and siege of Gaza;

– an immediate end to the isolation, impoverishment and virtual imprisonment of the people of Gaza;

– the lifting by the British Government and the European Union of all economic sanctions on the people of Gaza;

– full support to address the humanitarian disaster in Gaza; and

– suspension of European Union and Israel trade agreements

This Council recognises that Bolton is a fair trade town and in pursuit of this ideal the Council asks the Leader to call for the Government to permit local authorities to exercise moral, ethical, community cohesion and human rights considerations when dealing with the procurement, commissioning or otherwise sourcing of any products, goods or services from countries which persistently contravene international laws and UN resolutions.

This Council also calls for an immediate review of all arms exports to Israel and Palestine by the British Government and the EU. Furthermore, the Council calls for a cessation of sales where there is evidence of arms being used in civilian areas.”


Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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