A schoolboy has been questioned by anti-terrorism police because he wore a “Free Palestine” badge to school.
Rahmaan Mohammadi’s teachers at Challney High School for Boys in Luton referred him to police under Prevent – the >controversial government anti-radicalisation programme, which critics have claimed is heavy-handed, discriminatory >and ineffective.
As well as wearing pro-Palestine badges and wristbands, Mohammadi was in possession of a leaflet advocating >Palestinian rights by pressure group Friends of al-Aqsa. He had also asked for permission to fundraise for children >affected by the Israeli occupation.
Questioned by Police for trying to raise money to help save the lives of little children? Whilst the Police were following procedure having received a report under the Prevent scheme, this seems a gross overstep by the teachers and administrative staff at Challney High School for Boys.
Internal police statistics obtained via a Freedom of Information request suggest only 20% of people referred to >Prevent are assessed as at risk of radicalisation.
Action should be taken against the teachers to stop frivolous reporting in the future, but as the statistics above show the mentality of gather up everyone and hope for the best is the one that prevails under the Prevent Programme.
The broadcaster claims that allowing the lyric “free Palestine” would have comprised impartiality.
In a ruling on 31 January, the BBC Trust defended its decision to censor the word “Palestine” from a freestyle by rapper Mic Righteous on 1xtra in February last year. In the performance (above), he rapped:
“I still have the same beliefs
I can scream Free Palestine,
Die for my pride still pray for peace,
Still burn a fed for the brutality
They spread over the world.”
BBC production staff covered up the word “Palestine” with the sound of broken glass. The censored version was also aired in April. Responding to the original complaints, the BBC said that “Mic Righteous was expressing a political viewpoint which, if it had been aired in isolation, would have compromised impartiality.” Continue reading →
The United States Congress has blocked nearly $200m in aid for the Palestinians, threatening projects such as food aid, health care, and support for efforts to build a functioning state.
The decision to delay the payments runs counter to the wishes of the Obama administration and reflects Congressional anger at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s so far unrealised pursuit of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation and statehood recognition at the UN.
The freezing of the funds, which were to have been dispersed in the US fiscal year that ends today, is the most tangible sign yet of the seriousness of Congressional leaders’ threats of an even wider halt to funding in the coming year if Mr Abbas continues with his actions at the UN. It was strongly condemned yesterday by the Palestinian Authority.
There have been persistent demands in Congress to withhold up to $600m – the average amount given by the US in bilateral assistance to the West Bank and Gaza every year since 2008 – in the next financial year over the issue.
The administration remains, as does Congress, opposed to the Palestinians’ application for full UN membership, which Mr Abbas submitted last week. But it argues that assistance to the Palestinian people is what a US official described as “an essential part of the US commitment to a secure future and two-state solution for Palestinians”.
Former President Bill Clinton, among others, this month warned legislators to leave the issue of aid to the administration, adding: “Everybody knows the US Congress is the most pro-Israel parliamentary body in the world. They don’t have to demonstrate that.”
Below is a short YouTube video giving the highlights of the history of Palestine.
…The idea was to uproot as many Palestinians as possible. From March 1948 until the end of that year the plan was implemented despite the attempt by some Arab states to oppose it, which failed. Some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled, 531 villages were destroyed and 11 urban neighbourhoods demolished…