Strathclyde Students Win Agreement

February 5, 2009 § 46 Comments

Students at the University of Strathclyde have just scored another victory for Palestine. After an overnight occupation of the Administration building (photos here) and following a rally earlier today the University has finally agreed to the following four demands:

  1. The university will no longer place any further orders with Eden Springs.
  2. Scholarships: The university will fund 1-3 students from Gaza.
  3. The DEC appeal will be posted all across the University and also on the University’s website.
  4. The University will issue a press release reiterating Strathclyde University’s longstanding relationship with the Islamic University of Gaza.
  5. The University denies that it has any links with BAE systems beyond the company funding one student to the sum of £5000 in the engineering department. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, and we shall investigate this further.

Here is a photo of the actual handwritten, signed agreement

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§ 46 Responses to Strathclyde Students Win Agreement

  • deanne says:

    Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome.
    Greetings from Australia and congratulations to everyone involved. You’re efforts and morals are to be applauded. Very uplifting result. :)

  • QMOccupation says:

    Greetings from QM

    Well done guys! You’ve ahieved a lot from your Occupation. don’t stop there

    Queen Mary

  • rtenne@googlemail.com says:

    These students did not go far enough. They must occupy all the Scottish hospitals and get rid of all the Israeli medical equipment there, especially the CAT scanners. Millions of pounds are paid for this equipment each year profiting the pockets of the Israeli oppressors. Let’s only buy medical equipment from China or Russia.

    ____
    Editor’s Note:
    Ruth Tenne has disavowed writing this comment and thinks someone is posting under false pretences using her name. The name is changed to the email address this person is using.

  • Strathclyde Employee says:

    Hang on – in response to Ruth Tenne – are you seriously suggesting that protestors invade Scottish hospitals (putting patients at risk) and insist that valuable, life saving medical equipment is dumped… just because it was purchased from an Israeli company, and purchased BEFORE the recent military action?!?!

    Maybe you should take a step back and gain some perspective… unless you place no value on the health and lives of Scottish people?

    I too am appauled by the civillian casualties in Gaza as a result of Israel’s recent (and disproportionate) military action, but I fail to see the link between medical equipment in Scottish hospitals and Israeli government policy.

  • sad professor says:

    In all honesty I’m a little disappointed in the uni with this.

    Before I get flamed, I’m pro-Palestine and like most other people I’m appalled by what’s happening over there. But protests like this…. given what some of the demands are… it’s just not that well thought out.

    The scholarships and the support for the DEC appeal, I don’t think anyone can really argue with those, not overly sensibly anyway. But cutting ties with BAE… and the water company thing? That’s… to be blunt, stupid. I can see where the protestors are coming from, but still…

    Cancelling the water contract at best is just going to put some local folk’s jobs at risk, it’s not going to influence the Israeli government policy. Not in even slightly. Remember this is a government that won’t listen to the EU or pretty much any other authority, all the protestors managed there was to mess up the supply of drinking water to folk working in the uni and cause an annoyance. Not to mention, it does come across a little anti-semetic going after a company for having Israeli ties… whether that’s intended or not, I know that’s how it sounded when I heard them protesting.

    You can’t replace one set of racist sentiment with another (implied or otherwise), its small minded.

    As to BAE… OK, they’re a defence company… ALL defence companies will have some degree of dealing with Israel and most likely Palestine too…even if its indirectly. Remember the vast majority of these companies aren’t JUST defence based. Cutting ties can seriously damage the research coming out of the University, for example: development of medical scanning equipment (CAT, MRI, whatever), alternative fuel development, better RADAR systems, drug development… that’s all funded to a large degree by companies like BAE, or through government based programs that directly benefit defence work.

    I’m all for the basic message here; Israel should be held to account for what its done.
    But this was done badly.

  • qunfuz says:

    above posters –

    1. Obviously it would be stupid, wrong and counterproductive to rush into a hospital and smash the Israeli equipment. But it would be quite right to organise a campaign of pressure on hospital administration to not buy equipment from Israel in future.

    2. There may well be a stupid minority of pro-Palestine protesters who are also anti-Semitic, but it is not anti-Semitic to oppose Israeli policy, Israel, or Zionism itself. Does that really need to argued on this website?

    3. “All defence companies will have some degree of dealing with Israel and most likely Palestine too.” A statement like this makes clear your inclination to balance is a product of ignorance. ‘Palestine’ is not a state to be doing business in the arms world. Collaborationist gangs are handed light weapons by their sponsors in Jordan and Egypt, on American orders, that’s true. The democratically elected government of the occupied Palestinians, meanwhile, is unable to import food and gasoline, let alone fighter planes.

    4. The problem did not begin at the time of the latest massacre. The dispossession and ethnic cleansing and repeated massacre of the Palestinian people has been continuing for more than sixty years. The Syrian Golan Heights is occupied. Israel regularly launches assaults against civilians in Lebanon, which it occupied brutally for 22 years (parts are still occupied).

    5. Divesting from one water provider won’t change the world. But it could just start something. A serious process of building sanctions against Israel could show Israel what it needs – for the sake of Israeli Jews as well as Palestinians – to see. It must change. This strategy worked against apartheid south africa.

    6. You say Israel must be held to account for what it has done. But world powers are not holding Israel to account. They never have done. On the contrary they have helped. So how can Israel be held to account? How, if not by putting popular pressure on the politicians, media, money interests, to show that we care about this issue? This is how social change works. If we can’t even try to hold Israel to account by peaceful lobbying, demonstrating, occupying, boycotting, divesting, then how can we ask the Palestinians to refrain from violent resistance. (as I expect posters here who think Israel’s massacre was a ‘disproportionate response’ would like to.)

    It wasn’t a response. The people who’ve been uprooted and terrorised are responding.

  • sad professor says:

    Reply to qunfuz
    Please, you’re preaching and rather missing the point in the process.

    1. I agree that it’s an obvious point not to run about and smash equipment etc, but in all honesty, if an Israeli based company or university develops the best technology for a given application… that’s the technology I want our government to be buying. Especially if the application is medical and may influence the quality of life of patients. Where alternatives exist fair enough, but this is not always the case… and people come first.

    Politics and science don’t mix in quite the way such a boycott would imply and really it would be ineffectual if not a downright bad idea. If an Israeli scientist cures AIDS should we really ignore the treatment? Yes I know that’s an extreme example, but the point holds.

    2. No. It doesn’t need to be discussed. I was expressing an opinion based on how some of the protesting came across. It doesn’t have to be the intention of the protesters to put that view across, they should just be aware that such an interpretation is possible given the manner parts of their protest took. Maybe they’ll do better next time.

    3. I’m sorry but you rather missed the point. I agree with what you’re saying about proportionality of support, that just wasn’t the point I was making… Boycotting BAE is going to hurt the university, it won’t hurt BAE. Plus there are multiple other defence companies that collaborate with the university on a wide range of projects, not all defence related. Should all of those be boycotted too? The behaviour this protest appears to support really just reduces what is already a rapidly dwindling pool of resources available to keep actual RESEARCH happening… that’s just not a good idea. It does more harm than good. By all means go protest at BAE’s headquarters etc. Just appreciate that the issue is not black and white.

    4. No-one said the problem began with the invasion at the end of last year. Sorry but that comment’s not needed. No-one’s contesting the plight of the Palestinian people or the duration of the conflict with the Israelis.

    5. No, it won’t. Lets be honest, I don’t really expect this protest to make the slightest bit of difference outside of a lack of fresh water for a few days. The studentships and the DEC appeal support’s a good thing, well done there, but that’s it. Actually if that had been it I’d be quite chuffed for the protesters for doing something that seems like a good thing.

    The BAE thing and the boycott of Eden Springs messes that up though. By all means mimic that bloke at Cambridge and the guy in Iraq, go chuck shoes at Israeli political figures. Or similar actions, that at least would be aimed at the people who are responsible for what’s happening. BAE etc may be arms dealers but like it or not, they can’t sell weapons to folk who don’t want them, nor are weapons their only business interests. Fight the root of a problem not its symptoms. Go protest to the government.

    The protest reported here was a flawed exercise because it attacked the wrong people. At best it annoys some people that didn’t need it, at worst it costs some research staff and some local Eden Springs employees their jobs. How is that a good thing or in anyway useful in promoting the protesters point of view?

    Admittedly there’s probably less chance of you getting arrested for sitting in the McCance building over night than there is for chaining yourself to the MOD complex at Aldermaston, but if people really want to make a difference then its that sort of action you’re talking about. Go protest to the government. Don’t protest to academics that largely will be in agreement with you in the first place but know its’ not as simple an issue as what’s being put forward.

    6. I said should be, not must be. I know, bit semantic… but the difference is important. The UK and the US should really be held to account for Iraq. We won’t be, but we should be. See how that works? Politics is fun, is it not.

    You CANT ask the Palestinians to refrain from violent resistance either, at least not to any greater degree than you could have asked the IRA or UVF to put down their weapons back in the 80s. The only reason that violent resistance would have to stop is if the force its resisting was removed. That’s not going to happen any time soon if the protesting centres around punishing civilian Israeli’s for the actions of their government. Education of the public is better than subjugation if you like. And that goes for both sides. Some efforts to humanise the “enemy” on both fronts would do more than actions like that against Eden Springs.

  • qunfuz says:

    no time, bur briefly, if your general point is that what we boycott has to be weighed against other factors such as necessity of the item boycotted, yes I agree. If Israel produces a cure for AIDS of course I understand that people will buy that product. If a product is not essential, however, or if it can be sourced from somewhere else, I would boycott it. Even what happened at Strathclyde sends a message to the Israeli public, 94% of whom supported the massacre in Gaza, that people in the West, not just people they can write off as mad muslims, disapprove of what they do. If one company loses money and jobs, another company gains. Popular sanctions help to change wider public opinion and eventually to move government towards the sanctions which would – as you rightly say – really count. Would you not agree that this is what happened with apartheid south africa, and that the growth of first popular and then institutional sanctions against SA was an important contributing factor to white south africans realising that the time was up for the old system, that they looked like barbarians in the west which they imagined themselves to be a part of, that their economy would grind to a halt just at the same moment that the black populace was heading towards a state of permanent rebeliion.

    I absolutely agree that the US and the UK should be held to account for their many crimes, not only in Iraq. That’s why I am working in my own tiny and perhaps quite irrelevant way for a change in these societies, their media, and for their guilty politicians to be held accountable. I don’t see how that takes the pressure off Israel, unless it’s just the usual diversionary tactic. Indeed, the alliance with Israel and the influence of Zionist neo-cons in the US was a major factor in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

    Humanising the enemy has been difficult in recent weeks, as we’ve just observed a horrific massacre, yet another, one of the worst in the history of the conflict, and 94% of Israeli Jews supported it. However, of course I agree with your point. I never suggested otherwise. There is no benefit to dehumanising the other side. We have to try to understand why Israeli Jews are locked in one kind of selective ignorance and psychotic love of violence, and we have to try to address them. The 6% who can think a bit more critically are obviously our allies in this task.

    I must point out that I wasn’t part of the Strathclyde occupation. My concession that a minority of protestors may be anti-Semitic was only a concession for the sake of debate. I am not in a position to judge the protestors, except to say that I know someone who was involved, that he reported no anti-semitism to me, and that he abhors anti-semitism and would have told me if he’d seen any.

  • sad professor says:

    I’m sorry but you’re still missing the point…

    To myself and every other staff member or student that I’ve spoken to, what’s come across from this protest was a general sense of annoyance with the protesters. Not because any one of us disagrees with the basic stand their taking, but because the inclusion of demands like “cut all ties with BAE” “stop buying water from Eden Springs” ARE juvenile.

    The most common comment I heard was “yknow its just a bunch of wee idiot politics students that want something on their CV’s”. I don’t agree with that, but when pressed the reason that impression came across was generally because of the childishness of the above mentioned demands. No-one cared about the new studentships guaranteed because the reaction was so dominated by “why in the hell are they protesting about a water company??? Ach, its 18 year olds trying to be political again”. Again, I’m not saying that’s an accurate representation of the protesters themselves, just an accurate representation of how the protest was perceived. They should learn from it. consider it constructive criticism, albeit blunt.

    If there’s ANY pressure resultant from this at all, it will be on the university not to deal with companies in anyway associated with defence work. Remember the protest called for cutting ALL ties, not just though associated with defensive applications. Setting that sort of precedent risks the loss of a lot of very important research and with it the loss of some very talented research staff. Less funding = less staff = less research and less research students = a decrease in the ability of the university to do its job, i.e. Educate the next generation of supposed intelligentsia. If you want to go after BAE go after BAE, don’t hurt the university.

    If anything companies like BAE will be able to pick up some highly qualified, highly experienced staff once their contract aren’t renewed and will manage to save quite a bit of money by just paying them salaries rather than paying all the uni overheads funding incurs. That’s cynical, but unfortunately its accurate. The research doesn’t just move to another university, typically it’s absorbed back into the funding companies and dealt with internally away from any scrutiny from outside.

    I’m not going to get into a discussion on the pros and cons of the tactics used to end the SA apartheid, it’s not relevant. The argument I’m making is that the inclusion of a few of the protesters demands was ill thought-out and if anything hurts the point being made. The “occupation” if you like, isn’t in question as a tactic and neither is marching about that they did. JUST the thought process behind some of the demands.

    Again, remember racist intent isn’t NEEDED for an action to be perceived to BE racist either. Consider your own statement: “We have to try to understand why Israeli Jews are locked in one kind of selective ignorance and psychotic love of violence, and we have to try to address them.” I know what you’re meaning here… but I don’t agree that 94% of Israeli’s have a psychotic love of violence… is it less likely that most of them just know the Gazans are bombing fellow Israeli’s and the government and local media is telling them they’re being protected from their violent neighbours? It IS true. The Israeli’s ARE being bombed from Gaza. Of course Israel is a violent neighbour too and much more so, but that’s not the point. You’re talking about quite a large number of people, is it really responsible or accurate to say they’re all in some way psychotic? Indoctrinated certainly, ignorant through lack of exposure to outside opinion… of course. But psychotic? Being passionate about an issue is laudable, getting sucked into too much of a one sided view just leaves you open to misinterpretation. Or to misinterpreting what others are saying to you.

    And humanising an opposing force is always difficult. It’s normally made more difficult by the popular media. That means you try harder, you don’t complain that its hard to do or drop statistics such as the 94% – 6% divide between psychotic nutters and apparent free-thinkers… or at least don’t do it to others who share the same basic views as you and are really just (at least attempting to) point out that what was done in THIS SPECIFIC protest was done badly. Or naively.

    As you’re pointing out you weren’t part of the protest, I should probably also point out that when I saw it happening I was on the side of the protesters. Quite openly and happily. I was however working. I didn’t find out details of the demands until I saw this page. At which point my initial reaction was “you stupid… why’d you ruin it.”

    Hopefully that makes a little more sense in terms of stand point. It’s a bit sharper toned than I intend but it’s been a long day.
    By all means congratulate the protesters for the good points that they accomplished, I do. Just don’t excuse the less intelligent ones.

  • [...] 7, 2009 by js3262 Weiss: A student occupation at Strathclyde University in Scotland produced an agreement by Strathclyde to bring in 1-3 Palestinian students and not to renew a contract with an Israeli water company that supplies water to the school. An [...]

  • m.idrees says:

    I think a more appropriate handle for you would have been ‘Sorry professor’, but sorrier still are the students who must endure this type of hoary obtuse logic every day. The gist of your argument — that a protest should have no significance beyond the symbolic — is precisely what all right-minded people must reject. And increasingly, they have. These were just the kind of platitudes squealed by the apologists for Apartheid when the likes of the great Dennis Brutus (who incidentally was one of the first to send Strathclyde students his congratulations) and Breyten Breytenbach were calling for meaningful action; of the kind which eventually contributed to its demise. Thank god, good sense prevailed, otherwise we’d still be living with institutionalized racism.

    To myself and every other staff member or student that I’ve spoken to, what’s come across from this protest was a general sense of annoyance with the protesters. Not because any one of us disagrees with the basic stand their taking, but because the inclusion of demands like “cut all ties with BAE” “stop buying water from Eden Springs” ARE juvenile.

    Right. So a company that directly benefits from the illegal military occupation must not be challenged because it may have some Scottish employees? In other words, lets sacrifice the lives of distant others, so we can ensure employment for a handful of ‘ours’. Remind me again how this differs from the commonly accepted definition of racism?

    A man is known by the company he keeps. You clearly associate with idiots.

    If there’s ANY pressure resultant from this at all, it will be on the university not to deal with companies in anyway associated with defence work. Remember the protest called for cutting ALL ties, not just though associated with defensive applications. Setting that sort of precedent risks the loss of a lot of very important research and with it the loss of some very talented research staff. Less funding = less staff = less research and less research students = a decrease in the ability of the university to do its job, i.e. Educate the next generation of supposed intelligentsia. If you want to go after BAE go after BAE, don’t hurt the university.

    My, such perspicacity! Your use of the word ‘defence’ would have Orwell chortling in his grave. But the head-up-the-arse syllogism I’m afraid won’t amuse even a philosophy freshman. Who’d have know that BAE systems was a noble philanthropy underwriting the University of Strathclyde’s talented researchers in their determined efforts to quench their thirst for non-military knowledge — and hurting BAE was the same as hurting the University!

    I’m not going to get into a discussion on the pros and cons of the tactics used to end the SA apartheid, it’s not relevant.

    Nope: you won’t. Because if you did, you’d come up on the wrong side of that analogy.

    Again, remember racist intent isn’t NEEDED for an action to be perceived to BE racist either.

    By the apathetic and ignorant many who went on with their lives when crimes against humanity were being perpetrated? Who cares.

    But cutting ties with BAE… and the water company thing? That’s… to be blunt, stupid.

    No. But I think you are, for writing tripe such as this:

    Not to mention, it does come across a little anti-semetic going after a company for having Israeli ties

    Really? So protesting an Israeli company which violates international law by exploiting the resources of an illegally occupied land (where the natives have to ration their consumption) is ‘anti-semitic’?

    I am reminded of what Geoffrey Wheatcroft wrote a short while back when Michael Levy similarly cried ‘anti-semitism’ when he was interrogated by the police for purchasing honours for cash.

    “Some years ago, there was a cartoon in a Tel Aviv newspaper showing a mighty Israeli armoured column as it plunges deep into the desert of Araby. In the corner, a tiny old lady dressed in black is shaking her fist at the incursion. “You see?” one Israeli soldier in the leading armoured vehicle is saying to another: “Anti-Semitism even here.” It’s good to see Jewish humour and irony have survived in the Jewish state. It might not be a bad idea if Rabbi Schochet and David Rowan hung that cartoon in their offices.”

  • sad professor says:

    OK… I’m sure this is jut going to result in more flaming but…

    “The gist of your argument — that a protest should have no significance beyond the symbolic —”

    No… that’s not my point. Very much not my point. Protesting should have a meaningful result. I disagree that SOME of the results from this specific protest are sensible or well thought out. In the same vein, how is getting a few studentships and support for the DEC appeal purely symbolic? That was an actual practical and positive step.

    “Right. So a company that directly benefits from the illegal military occupation must not be challenged because it may have some Scottish employees? In other words, lets sacrifice the lives of distant others, so we can ensure employment for a handful of ‘ours’. Remind me again how this differs from the commonly accepted definition of racism?”

    No… this is missing the point. And somewhat twisted at the same time. If you cut ties with BAE, why not THALES? or DSTL? or the multitude of other companies that have ties to military (lets say “military” as it seems the term “defence” gets your blood up) applications. They do work that isn’t military based and all work associated with that, at the university, stops if the funding goes. And it generally doesn’t start back up again, it just dies. You hurt the uni, you don’t really hurt the company. I’m not arguing against protesting of exploitative companies, I’m saying that the protesting should’ve been better thought out.

    “Who’d have know that BAE systems was a noble philanthropy underwriting the University of Strathclyde’s talented researchers in their determined efforts to quench their thirst for non-military knowledge — and hurting BAE was the same as hurting the University!”

    Again, you’ve got this arse-for-elbow. Tie cutting hurts the uni first and foremost, not BAE. i.e. hurting the Uni is NOT the same as hurting BAE. No-ones saying they’re some noble philanthropic company, just that things aren’t black and white. As much as folk may want them to be. Also, no-one’s saying that all the work carried out in ANY university is wholly non-military. Again, it’s not black and white. Universities have always had a meaningful contribution to military advancement, not all of it offensive weaponry either.

    “”I’m not going to get into a discussion on the pros and cons of the tactics used to end the SA apartheid, it’s not relevant.

    Nope: you won’t. Because if you did, you’d come up on the wrong side of that analogy.”

    This is exactly the kind of nonsense response I was hoping to avoid. Honestly, not going to go into it beyond that.

    “”Again, remember racist intent isn’t NEEDED for an action to be perceived to BE racist either.

    By the apathetic and ignorant many who went on with their lives when crimes against humanity were being perpetrated? Who cares. ”

    Actually.. YOU should care. You should care very very strongly. Because having a negative impact on those masses hurts your cause, it doesn’t gain you support, or change popular opinion and that’s EXACTLY the sort of response you don’t want. Also it says a lot that you’re lumping everyone who could take parts of this one protest in a different manner to you as being apathetic and ignorant. That’s very much the sort of childish attitude you’re going to have to drop if you want to really make a difference in anything.

    “Really? So protesting an Israeli company which violates international law by exploiting the resources of an illegally occupied land (where the natives have to ration their consumption) is ‘anti-semitic’… and the rest till the end”

    OK, first off, as far as I can see Eden Springs isn’t an Israeli company, though it looks like they do own one or two Israeli water companies. That may be wrong, but really the distinction isn’t that important. And I’ve argued often enough myself that being anti-Israel, or pro-Palestine, however you want to put it, is NOT the same as being anti-Jew. So cut the reactionary bit.

    I’m giving you an insight into how it was perceived from the outside. Is it really sensible to take that and say “you’re talking tripe etc.”? It was the common perception from the folk I spoke to and if anything the protesters should try harder NEXT TIME not to make the same mistake.

    The response to the Eden Spring boycott was essentially that all you’re doing is risking a couple of jobs here. No-one sensibly considered that it would save even one life in Gaza, because really it won’t. If it comes to it the simplest thing for Eden Springs to do would be to sell the Israeli water companies on, that doesn’t end any suffering in Gaza it just shifts the responsibility to places you can’t really protest. I know that’s a cold view, but that’s business and things like Eden Springs ARE just businesses.

    OK… that limits the impact of any given protest, so why bother? Well, you’re bothering for good reasons, so keep doing it. Just be a bit… more objective I guess may be the term. Maybe learn to take constructive criticism too.

  • m.idrees says:

    No… that’s not my point. Very much not my point. Protesting should have a meaningful result. I disagree that SOME of the results from this specific protest are sensible or well thought out. In the same vein, how is getting a few studentships and support for the DEC appeal purely symbolic? That was an actual practical and positive step.

    Yep, Israelis would also like Gaza to be treated as a humanitarian issue rather than a political issue. Palestinians are not suffering for the lack of charity, they are suffeirng for the lack of political action. If you had any political imagination, this would be self-evident; but the fact that I should have to explain this to you itself suggests that I am wasting my time.

    OK, first off, as far as I can see Eden Springs isn’t an Israeli company, though it looks like they do own one or two Israeli water companies.

    In other words you don’t know what you are talking about.

    This discussion has now ended.

  • sad professor says:

    nice use of editing and of avoiding the discussion. again. You are right though, there’s no point continuing it.

    Honestly, best of luck in what you’re doing. I am still disappointed in what was done at the uni, I think they could’ve done better. It’s a shame you’re trolling your own blog, but to each his own eh?

  • deanne says:

    To Mr Sad Professor,
    What did you and the other unimpressed university staff do whilst Gaza was being razed?

  • Lynsey M says:

    My Brother is the one with the curly hair and the fist :P

    WEll done to all of you guys especially ross and Benn !!!!!!

  • civillianslave says:

    Congratualtions comrades!!
    Wonderful and amazing actions, and you succeeded, the left arenot used to this are we?#;)Hope this momentum helps to build for bigger and better things for the movement in strathclyde.

    Oh, and the uni does have links with BAE, if wullie is reading this get ini touch with Ben as I think he found this investment or shares shit the uni has with BAE.

    Peace and Solidarity Comrades#:) (From Loutraki facing teh meditarian sea, be back soon)

  • Ruth Tenne says:

    I did NOT write the entry below which was posted on your website on the 5th February. In the past there were a number of false entries posted under my name on various websites so as to to undermine my peace activities . I am a member of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and of Jews for Justice for Palestinians . I do support boycott of Israeli Goods, but I would NOT go to an extreme as supporting invasion of hospitals , or any such unreasonable action. You could see my views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by reading my various articles on Palestine Chronicle’s website , or Media Monitors Network’s website . Just type my name on those websites box for Search and you would come across my various articles and book reviews
    RUTH TENNE

    FALSE POSTING UNDER MY NAME 5TH FEBRUARY 2009

    “These students did not go far enough. They must occupy all the Scottish hospitals and get rid of all the Israeli medical equipment there, especially the CAT scanners. Millions of pounds are paid for this equipment each year profiting the pockets of the Israeli oppressors. Let’s only buy medical equipment from China or Russia”.

    ___
    Editor: We’ve made a note by inserting your disclaimer in the comment you cite above.

  • Wullie says:

    Cheers “civillianslave” I am reading this and btw, my belated congratulations :-)

    Without wishing to delve too deeply into the argument between “m.idrees” and “sad professor”, I was involved throughout the planning for the demonstration that one way or another led to occupation, and yes the demands were hurriedly formulated, but of course that was precisely because of the urgency of the situation, to delay action would have been to write it off. “sad professor” perhaps does not realise how difficult it is to mobilise a few dozen students for any kind of extra-curricular activity.

    As a socialist I agree only very broadly with “sad professor”s sentiments that boycotts of Israeli goods are detrimental to ‘influencing public opinion’ and I think Lenin was right to say ‘you are not strong when you have the sympathy of society; you get the sympathy of society when you are strong’. (We won the occupation because our position was ‘strong’ relative to the university’s, I doubt it had much to do with us convincing the university of the sense of our demands)

    What this must mean for socialists and revolutionists is that boycotts in support of anti-imperialist struggles ought to be specific, tactical, powerful (a weak campaign is a pointless, even dangerous campaign), preferably temporary (long-term boycotts yield fewer results in any case), and employed with their effect on the class-consciousness of the Israeli working class (and to a lesser degree the British working class) in mind.

    The Israeli WC are important not for any moralistic reason but because their state is a nuclear power capable of the complete destruction of most of the peoples of the middle east. Even the withdrawal of US funding to Israel will not change that, neither will any boycott.

    A Zionist Israel must be undermined from within, this is a question of necessity and therefore principle, the problem of the difficulties this principle entails is a DIFFERENT QUESTION and a question of strategy. Boycotts may be tactically good or bad at different times, depending on the ability of the Zionists to utilise anti-Israeli sentiment to their advantage in ‘unifying’ Israelis of all classes.

    So boycotts should be specific to what makes Israel uniquely terrible as a state and infringes on its legitimacy in the eyes of the working class in Israel and internationally, i.e. its military killing machine, its blockade of Gaza and its occupation of that and other territories. Like “sad professor” most sensible people will remain unsympathetic to the idea of boycotting or smashing up superior quality medical equipment, because it is costly, inefficient and foolish.

    The demands of the occupation were ENTIRELY CONSISTENT with this view and could not be construed as anti-Semitic (or daft) by the genuinely interested observer, even in the way in which a boycott of Israeli hospital equipment might be. This is all to say nothing of the general mood of Strathclyde students which was and continues to be less revulsion at perceived oppression of Israelis but rage and indignation at the mass slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza at the hands of the Israeli state.

  • You guys are awesome. I used to work at Strathclyde uni, and it’s great to see some real student power! Keep it up – another world is possible.

  • [...] Rochester occupation in NY has both started and ended in victory, as has Strathclyde. [...]

  • Rosie Davies says:

    I’m a journalism postgraduate at Strathclyde currently writing a feature about the protest/anti-protest debate.

    “Sad professor” – if you’re willing to comment and answer a few questions, could you email me at rosiepop@googlemail.com?

    Anyone else reading this who feels they can give him a good (and genuine,researched,intelligent) run for his money, I’d love to hear from you at the above address too.

    It may mean your comments getting heard in the wider world.

    Cheers!

    Rosie Davies

  • b.singh says:

    re ruth tenne comment Feb. 10 supporting a boycott of Israeli goods but getting the shakes when it comes to banning Zionist medical equipment, will she either put up or shut up?

  • daniel machover says:

    The first Ruth Tenne comment was right on, even if she is disguised. for it is appalling to me that the real ruth tenne would suddenly turn frigid and desist from overthrowing the Zionist war criminal regime in Tel Aviv. “Sad Professor” may be right that Strathclyde U students are “juvenile” in their actions but they are trailblazing the way for us seasoned activists to take a more revolutionary stance. My father, Prof. Moshe Machover, a refugee from the criminal zionist israeli entity, has had several heart murmurs and blockages. Nonetheless, he specifies to his medical attendants that he would rather die than be treated with the Israeli imported drug copaxone or their camera pills. That is the true stance of an anti-zionist. Shame on ruth tenne for undermining the boycott against Israeli goods and for refusing to put her life on the line as we sincere activists do year in and year out.

  • deborah fink says:

    Agree with D. Machover. Ruth Tenne was a founder of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods and so was I. Now she is going wobbly. dear lady — these courageous Strathclyde students have risked their careers by occupying university premises and you cringe at boycotting Israeli medical products? The Palestinian resistance to the Zionist massacres in Gaza showed the world they do not fear death. We- in imperialist Britain – can do no less. I personally would rather have my breasts radiated than utilize the new radiation-free Israeli detection device now used in many hospitals for breast cancer diagnosis. Put your tits on the line for the cause Ruthie, otherwise you don’t belong in the struggle to defeat the Zionist scourge. and, to put a finer point on it, our brothers and sisters in the Gaza war occupied hospitals to thwart the Israeli aggression. We here in England and Scotland must do the same. The next time you are in a hospital, demand that patients be taken off the Israeli drug treatments they’re on and that Israeli cancer and heart equipment be disconnected and replaced with alternate devices from Switzerland, India and Russia. By the way, hundreds of millions of pounds worth of these drugs and devices are purchased by our hospitals each year. We must put a halt to this tainted trade!

  • joe kane says:

    Daft Debbie strikes again!!! Ms. Fink is notorious for her hyperbole. I suggest we Scotsmen distance ourselves from this shrieking banshee and stick to our students winning tangible concessions from uni.

  • mike napier says:

    What a great idea to overthrow the Israeli biotech industry. Daft Debbie is not so daft after all. Joe Kane can take a walk in the park…the struggle for Palestine is never-ending. We in Scotland must start demanding that our infirmaries and hospitals and physician offices replace their so-called israeli miracle drugs with equivalent ones from France and Switzerland. If we want to boycott, let’s do it in a big way.

  • mirian walton says:

    …pretty good show by Strathclyde students.. they,ve paved the way for us seniors to get more closely involved in occupation and boycotts against the zionist menace. Agree that health care quipment and pharmaceticals from Israel into the UK are far more valuable than smaller trade in food products, therefore suggest that coalition be formed between students and us older folks to stage a demonstration occupation of a Scottish hospital in near future. Am not advocating destroying any Israeli heart or scanner machines in hospital wards and labs but am suggesting we force hospital administrators to replace these machines from Israel with euipment from a moral neutral country. We could then proceed to petition NHS to blacklist Israeli-made drugs e.g. copaxone for MS and buy the stuff from Taiwan. Will be speaking to strathclyde students union about this anon.

  • Tony Greenstein says:

    I’m having difficulty with knowing who is and who is not posting under their own name and who is masquerading as someone else.

    Boycott is a TACTIC not a principle. Therefore you apply it with a certain level of sophistication. It is one thing to campaign, if you really think it is a campaign that is worth having, saying that the NHS should not buy from Israel, it is another to talk about invading hospitals or boycotting medicines or treatment coming from Israel. Killing yourself is hardly going to be of great advantage to the Palestinians.

    I find it difficult to believe that the Daniel Machover posting above is actually Daniel Machover.

    Congratulations to Strathclyde students on their magnificent victory.

  • gilad atzmon says:

    Tony Greenstein reveals his true colours as an unmitigated Zionist hiding behind a phony Marxist costume. Of course boycott is a tactic – but the Boycott Israel heroes and heroines long ago decided to pull no punches and to boycott Israel all the way, without exception. That includes boycotting the Israeli war criminal pills, drugs and medical devices. If that is too hard a pill to swallow for Greenstein, I suggest he stop worshipping the Marxist gods and their paraphernalic idolatrous ideology and move to the closest synagogue to commune with the Divine.

  • donny gluckstein says:

    Don’t care much for Greenstein whom I have always suspected of being a Mossad agent.

  • Deborah Fink says:

    I did not leave the above comment and neither did Daniel Machover. I also doubt that Joe Kane, Miriam Walton and Mike Napier, (it’s Mick, so he’s got the name wrong for a start) posted these comments. Funny how most of these activists post to the Just Peace UK list which the Canadian hoaxer monitors. His hoax press release ‘from’ J-BIG, sent from his guise of Baldev Singh, was recently exposed in the Jewish Chronicle, along with his masquerading as Rev. Charles Edgbaston, Batsheva Waley-Mouktabil, Clyde Strobopolous and Hilton Anderson.

  • joe90 kane says:

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,
    but never accept anything less than the real thing.

    This joker who calls themselves ‘joe kane’ isn’t to be confused with my good self.

    Special thanks to Deborah Fink for pointing out this agent of hasbara.

    It’s always a good sign that solidarity with Palestinians is actually working, when all that is left to the supporters of Israeli-state sponsored racism and violence is to indulge in such transparant idiocy.

    It merely makes the case for justice for Palestinians more compelling and solidarity an obviously worthwhile activity.

    all the best pulse!

  • shamir says:

    You people should be ashamed of yourselves. Strathclyde Uni students risked their careers by occupying the school rooms and halls for the Palestinian cause. All you folks do is backtrack from your boycott Israel commitments and falsely claim someone is hoaxing you! What tommyrot!… The Gazan resistance used suicide bombers to lay their lives on the line. Sophist Greenstein thinks martyring yourself for the Gazan cause is stupid but obviously the Palestinians think otherwise. Let D. Fink and J. Kane and Greenstein travel to Gaza and stand before the resistance fighters to tell them not to kill themselves. I’m sure these phony British activists for the Palestinian cause would be spat upon in spades!

  • Mick Napier says:

    i just read the mischevous and silly posting – a Zionist in the name of ‘Mike Napier’. SPSC are currently focussed on getting contracts cancelled with human rights violator Eden Springs, and pressurising Lloyds TSB to stop choking off aid to Gaza

  • Israeli student says:

    U hate-mongers are such hypocrites! Better to boycott fascist Hamas jihadists than to pick on tiny Israel. All of Britain considers u old fools. My advice to Napier: start pressurizing NHS to stop buying 300 million pounds of zionist medicines every year.

  • diana neslen says:

    The real hoaxers in these postings are the Finks and Napiers of this world. They pretend to lead a boycott of Israel products but in reality carry on with ridiculous street antics, play-acting as real revolutionaries. When they are called upon by Palestinian civil society to boycott so-called zionist wonder cures, they turn tail and hide. Instead, to salve their consciences, they spray-paint Israeli figs from the West Bank at Tesco or interrupt zionist musicians at concerts. Big deal! They are publicity-hounds, no more. I say it’s high time to purge these fraudsters from our boycott movement. All Strathclyde students should occupy the premises of the Jews for Boycotting Israel Goods organization and the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign to let them know in no uncertain terms how treacherous their actions are. I am fed up with these stupid anarchists desecrating our holy revolutionary cause.

  • betty hunter says:

    I lead the British Palestine Solidarity Campaign and am heavily involved in the boycott issue. The reason we are not succeeding after so many years of rallies and picketing is that there are certain elements in our movement that are holding us back from tackling the serious issues. I refer to the imports of Israeli capital equipment into our country. Machinery of all sorts–including data entry and sorting machines, calculators, computers, microchips, medical devices, imaging equipment, robotic aids, jewellery polishing equipment and so forth are flooding into this country from Israel in the amount of at least 195 million pounds yearly. I have personally sought to put a stop to this with the assistance of the Department of Trade but have been constantly thwarted by the machinations of the powers-that-be on our board of directors, many of whom are Socialist professors or trade union organizers who do not wish to rock the boat. Apparently, they feel that there would be a public backlash against them if the British economy were deprived of goods produced by Israeli companies profiting from the war crimes of the zionist regime in Tel Aviv. Now, I put it to you, how cowardly are we becoming? Isn’t it really a matter of divesting ourselves of the creature comforts provided by the high-tech Israeli economy? Can we not as a society diversify our imports to Japan and Korea, for Heaven’s sakes?

    I don’t wish to appear gloomy but I am afraid the boycott of Israeli goods has become a joke in many circles. Imbeciles picket Tesco and Marks and Spencer, spray-painting Israeli wine bottles and hummus, causing absolutely no dent in Israel’s massive billion pound trade with the UK in capital equipment, diamonds and pharmaceuticals. The symbolic importance of targeting minor trade items from Israel of little value is dubious at best, useless at worst. We have to stop making ourselves feel good over mutilating Israeli consumer products. One of my associates saw a music teacher from Wanstead tearing Israeli panty hose at Harrods. What utter pretentious stupidity! We have to get serious. A strategy needs to be developed to bring a halt to all Israeli imports into this country and all British exports to Israel which definitely aid their war economy. Only a multi-party colossal demonstration in the streets of London of hundreds of thousands of people will do the trick, accompanied by the shutdown of the Departments of Trade and Industry in this country which are deeply complicit in Israeli war trade.

    And we must purge our movement of the Socialists and Marxists who are holding us back. Thank you, Strathclyde students for awakening your elders in the boycott trenches to what can be accomplished on a heroic scale if only we put our minds and hearts to it.

  • Student says:

    “We have to get serious. A strategy needs to be developed to bring a halt to all Israeli imports into this country and all British exports to Israel which definitely aid their war economy. Only a multi-party colossal demonstration in the streets of London of hundreds of thousands of people will do the trick, accompanied by the shutdown of the Departments of Trade and Industry in this country which are deeply complicit in Israeli war trade.”

    Are you insane? This is meant to be a place of learning and research and not some pawn in your conflict with Israel.

  • m.idrees says:

    Clearely you haven’t learned much in your place of ‘learning’ if you think that the invasion, occupation, and oppression of a people enabled by your tax dollars is someone elses business. I’m sure the Nazis would have liked nothing more than for other people to go about learning and researching while they went about their merry task of extermination. Today the progeny of the Nazis beats its breast about a past over which it has no influece, while participating, whether actively or passively through silence, in the oppression of a people, the Palestinians, whose tragedy is a direct consequence of the deeds of their genocidal ancestors.

  • sofia m. says:

    As far as I’m concerned, we have a lot to learn from the street action in London during the G-20 summit. Strthclyde students involved in the boycott movement should now link up with the professional activists in the Palestinian and left movements and begin massive street occupations of government offices which allow Israel zionist goods to be sold in Scotland and the UK as a whole. agree with Mick Napier we ought to start occupying as well those pro-zionist and anti-Gaza banks and insurance companies like Lloyds to make a meaningful impact. All those counselling moderation and selective boycotting are, in my view, counter-revolutionaries and reactionaries.

  • Naomi Idrissi says:

    Sofia M. is out to lunch. If she thinks those fascist protestors in the City who killed 1 person and trashed the RBS building are fit to be emulated, then she has another thing coming to her. All boycott demonstrations have to be non-violent. All the Palestinians in Gaza must be non-violent. We must practice the tactics of Mahatma Ghandi who would lie down in the streets and let the British colonialists trample his people to death. In this manner, the British raj became so ashamed of themselves that they were forced to give up India. Please, people, open your hearts to the way of peace and let not your souls be corrupted by devilish and anarchic violence.

  • m.idrees says:

    How about leading by example Naomi? You do seem to know the value of spectacular sacrifice. I suggest you douse yourself in gasoline and set yourself alight in a public place, say some place like a shopping mall with plenty of CCTV cameras, so that even if the TV refuses to air it, the footage will ultimately find its way to YouTube. That surely will awaken Israel to its evil ways, and shame it into withdrawing from Palestinian land.

    We must practice the tactics of Mahatma Ghandi who would lie down in the streets and let the British colonialists trample his people to death.

    I think you are talking about Ben Kingsley. Gandhi did no such thing.

  • 99 says:

    He was killed by the police.

    And even the most massive nonviolent protests are things the power structure has learned to ignore, and make ignorable by the rest of the public. Gandhi said that if you cannot go smilingly into a hail of bullets when they have wronged you, then you better hit back, and hit back hard. Gandhi hated cowards the most, and he chose Satyagraha because it was the mode of resistance with FEWER casualties, not none.

  • 99 says:

    Lest there be any question, here’s the video.

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