1936-1947: British Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine

Al-Nakba: the Palestinian Catastrophe Part 2 (1936-1947)

Al Jazeera (2013)

Film Review

The Palestinian “revolt” of 1936 took (see Palestine’s 200 Year History of Ethnic Cleansing) took three years of British brutality to crush. Declaring martial law in 1937, Britain forced five members of the Arab High Committee (which ruled Palestine) to the Seychelles. The other four fled to Lebanon, fearing arrest or imprisonment or worse. Many Palestinian civilians were arrested without charge and held in concentration camps. Britain also armed Jewish paramilitary groups to perform night time raids on Palestinian families with the assistance of British volunteers.

In all 5,000 Palestinians were killed between 1936-39 and 14,000 wounded. Hundreds of Palestinian homes were demolished as collective punishment. By 1940, one-tenth of the male population of Palestine was dead or in prison or exile – leaving the Palestinian resistance movement virtually leaderless.

During World War II, Palestinian Jews were allowed to enlist in the British military, providing hundreds of them training in strategy and advanced weaponry that they would later use to form the Israeli Defense Force. The British military also allowed Palestine’s Jewish minority to form a secret intelligence unit to scope out every Palestinian village to ascertain its ease of access and desirability for occupation.

During the 1940s, Britain suddenly reversed themselves and banned any further Jewish immigration to Palestine. This decision would lead to the rise of three Jewish terrorist groups Haganah, Irgun and the Stern Gang. All three carried out a slate of deadly bombing campaigns directed against British troops and Palestinian civilians

In 1946, the newly formed Arab League, a regional coalition of Arab states, held their first summit in Egypt to discuss the growing crisis in Israel.

In 1947, the crisis came to a head when Jewish militants led by future Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin* kidnapped and murdered three British soldiers, to punish Britain for executing three Jewish terrorists for their bombing campaigns.

This so-called Soldiers Affair – as well as British public opposition to the loss of British troops in Palestine – would lead the UK to announce (in February 1947) their plan to withdraw from Palestine and turn governance of the country over to the newly formed United Nations.


*In 1978 Begin would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, for their role in negotiating the Oslo Peace Accord.

 

 

Informants: FBI-Style Entrapment and Terrorism Stings

Informants

Al Jazeera (2014)

Film Review

Informants is an Al Jazeera documentary about the FBI use of informants to entrap vulnerable African and immigrant men and convict them on phony terrorism charges.

Their investigation focuses on three specific informants in Miami, Los Angeles and Toledo. In one Miami sting operation, an informant paid poor African American men and Muslim immigrants to take photos of federal buildings and got them to recite a pledge swearing allegiance to Osama bin Laden. This, in turn, would be the principal evidence against them at trial. There was no evidence whatsoever that any of them planned or engaged in acts of violence – nor had contact with any terrorist groups other than the FBI.

One African American convicted in this operation received a seven year sentence and spent two years in solitary confinement.

In Toledo, the FBI paid a mentally unstable victim’s rent as well as funding a trip to Jordan to visit his relatives. The informant also paid him to procure some secondhand laptops to smuggle into Iraq from Jordan. The victim received a 20 year sentence for his role in smuggling laptops to Al Qaeda and making the statement “I wish I could kill some American soldiers” in an on-line chat room.

 

French Activists Real Target of State of Emergency

Paris State of Emergency

Medialien (2016)

Film Review

Paris State of Emergency is a short documentary revealing how French police are using the state of emergency declared in November 2015 to target social justice activists rather than Islamic terrorists.

This has resulted in numerous warrantless house searches by armed SWAT teams, as well as arbitrary arrest and heavy police violence against squatters and peaceful protesters.

French activists find themselves in a similar position as US activists after 9-11 and the passage of the Patriot Act. The latter has targeted vastly more activists than terrorists for surveillance, home invasion and arrest.

The French activists interviewed also complain of heavy infiltration of their organizations by police informants – which explains how French authorities could immediately target key organizers once they declared the state of emergency.