Author: Katherine Hearst

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a groundbreaking advisory opinion on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, condemning it as “unlawful” and breaching international laws on racial segregation and apartheid. ICJ President Nawaf Salam highlighted the need for Israel to make reparations to Palestinians and emphasized that all states should not recognize Israel’s occupation as legal. The court found that Israel violates fundamental international law principles by asserting permanent control over Palestinian territories. It also noted systematic discrimination against Palestinians and violations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Despite objections, the opinion carries significant legal and moral…

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Recently, masked settlers arrived at Tamir Abu Eisheh’s home in the West Bank with a notice of demolition, stripping his family of their phones and throwing their furniture out into the street, leaving them homeless in minutes. This abrupt demolition is a common practice by Israeli forces to displace Palestinian families, especially since the conflict in Gaza escalated. Under the leadership of Bezalel Smotrich, Israel’s far-right finance minister and a settler himself, the demolitions have intensified. Destroying over 1,000 structures and displacing around 2,250 people, the Israeli authorities have shown no mercy in their actions. The surge in demolitions is…

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Bangladeshi residents in Keir Starmer’s constituency of Holborn and St Pancras are expressing “absolute outrage” after the Labour leader made controversial comments about Bangladeshi migrants. This has sparked concerns within the community and raised doubts about continued support for the Labour party in an area traditionally aligned with it. Starmer’s remarks, made during an event with the Sun newspaper, suggested a policy of deporting migrants back to their countries of origin, including those from Bangladesh. These remarks were further echoed by shadow cabinet minister Jon Ashworth, adding to the community’s dismay and disappointment. The backlash from the Bangladeshi community in…

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— Activists and Grassroots Movements: The Unseen Efforts Behind UK Elections On the rainy polling day of 12 December 2019, activist Sonali Bhattacharyya was tirelessly knocking on doors, urging people to vote. After joining Labour post the 2015 election defeat, she found a new sense of purpose under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and Momentum’s formation, leading to increased involvement in local party operations. Her story resonates with Mona Bani, a community organiser, who highlighted the overwhelming response of volunteers during the election. However, the grassroots drive that mobilized activists during the 2017 and 2019 elections has significantly waned under Keir Starmer’s…

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Far-right British nationalists and Israel supporters clashed with pro-Palestine activists outside a cinema hosting a documentary about Hamas-led attacks in Israel. The vigil in North London attracted nearly 1,000 counter-protesters, escalating tensions and verbal abuse. Counter-protestors tried to provoke a reaction by shouting racial slurs, grabbing banners, and throwing eggs at the activists. The police attempted to separate the groups but struggled to contain the hostility. Recent counter-protests, including one at UCL, were organized by groups like Enough is Enough, attracting far-right activists like Tommy Robinson and Patriots of Britain. The counter-protestors, driven by civic nationalism, targeted pro-Palestine events with…

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In a historic move, an alliance of Palestinian organizations, Colombian trade unionists, and indigenous groups successfully pushed Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro to announce a halt to the country’s coal exports to Israel. The decree came after prolonged efforts by the Palestinian Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD) and the Global Energy Embargo coalition, urging Colombia’s largest coal miners union, Sintracarbon, to ban coal exports to Israel until it complies with the International Court of Justice’s order to stop the assault on Rafah. This victory signifies a crucial step in the global campaign for a “total energy embargo” against Israel, with Colombia…

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Amnesty International’s secretary general, Agnes Callamard, warned that Israel’s offensive on Gaza is threatening the post-World War Two international rules-based order, potentially leading to its collapse. Speaking at the Balfour Project annual conference in London, she criticized the US and UK for supporting Israel’s actions, which she deemed a mockery of international law. The conference aimed to address how “peace with justice” can be achieved in Palestine, yet highlighted the contradictory actions of Western governments. Both the Biden administration and the UK government have opposed rulings against Israel and continued arms sales, risking the acceleration of genocide in Gaza. Callamard…

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A group of seven Slough Labour councillors recently resigned to express their dissatisfaction with the party’s treatment of Faiza Shaheen, Diane Abbott, and its stance on Gaza. In an open letter to Keir Starmer, they highlighted examples of what they perceived as institutional racism within the party. The councillors pointed out the deselection of Shaheen and the treatment of Abbott as tipping points for their decision. They also raised concerns about threats of deselection for Slough Constituency Labour Party members who criticized Israel. In addition, they criticized the party’s suppression of free speech and highlighted previous resignations of Labour councillors…

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Labour MP Diane Abbott has reportedly been blocked from standing as a candidate in the next general election, with activists suggesting the move may be linked to her history of supporting Palestine. Abbott, the first black woman MP in Britain, faced backlash for comments on antisemitism and underwent an investigation, leading to her reinstatement in February. Despite Labour leader Keir Starmer denying her ban, campaigners believe it was motivated by Abbott’s pro-Palestine activism. She has consistently advocated for Palestinian rights, even in a constituency with a large Jewish population. Abbott’s vocal support for a UK arms sales halt to Israel…

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Mohammed set out from Cairo to Libya in May 2023 to reach Italy for financial support. Detained and then released in Tobruk, he boarded a fateful boat that later sank off Greece, leading to legal troubles. His wife, Rabia, now struggles as the breadwinner. Saeed, also seeking better prospects, met a similar fate. Surviving the wreck, he now faces a tough mental battle and a politically charged trial in Greece. Accused alongside others by the Greek authorities, their innocence hinges on fragile testimonies. Stay informed with MEE’s newsletters Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with…

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