#Airflotilla2 – Lydd & Worldwide Airports – Photography

April 15 2012

An impression of  the disproportional barring and banning, arrests of humanitarian activists. In photos. More photo’s can be found in the live updates of the activists on the ground, in the live blog mentioned below this blogpost. (Continuous updating new photos)

French Muslims feel stigmatised in vote debate

A Muslim woman walks through the Empalot district of Toulouse

A Muslim woman walks through the Empalot district of Toulouse March 27, 2012. Picture taken March 27, 2012.

When police kicked in Mohamed Asbol’s at dawn and hauled away his son on suspicion of being an Islamist radical, he saw it as further proof that he was not considered fully French.

The 64-year-old was born in Algeria but came to France as a teenager, took French nationality, worked for decades as a welder, paid his taxes and quietly brought up his family in the northern city of Roubaix.

But, he insisted, as a friend arrived to help him fix the door on his modest red-brick terraced house, he is still seen as an outsider and he believes the policies of President Nicolas Sarkozy are reinforcing that prejudice.

“They broke my dignity. I am disappointed with France. It’s obvious that he is stigmatising Muslims to get votes,” said Asbol, just a week before the first round of voting in France’s presidential election.

“Just because my son has a beard, wears a djellaba and goes to the mosque doesn’t mean he’s a terrorist!” he said, indignantly.

His 28-year-old son Said’s arrest came during a series of police raids on April 4 that netted 10 individuals in cities across France.

The dawn sweep was the second high profile wave of arrests of suspected Islamists in the wake of murders by a self-proclaimed Al-Qaeda member from Toulouse that shocked France.

The first wave netted deactivated assault rifles and other weapons and a number of people were kept in custody on terrorist-linked charges.

But the second round, conducted under the glare of deliberately invited television cameras, came to nothing. Said Arbol and the nine others were released without charge.

This led to claims that Sarkozy was using the raids to burnish his tough-guy anti-immigrant credentials and to poach votes from erstwhile supporters of the anti-immigrant National Front party.

Such criticism is particularly trenchant in Roubaix, a city of around 95,000 people on the Belgian border that has the biggest ethnic mix of any French city outside Paris and also happens to be France’s poorest town.

Many of the city’s residents are Muslim, and many feel particularly angry at Sarkozy, who bluntly announced last month in his first major campaign interview that there were “too many foreigners” in France.

Sarkozy has consistently trailed his Socialist rival Francois Hollande in the opinion polls.

“They have attacked us on all fronts – the burqa, halal meat, young people,” said 34-year-old Moussa Gacem as he stood behind the counter at the Roubaix snack bar where he worked.

Gacem, a French national born here of North African parents, was referring to a law Sarkozy passed banning the full-face veil that had been worn by a tiny minority of Muslim women in France.

Sarkozy has also sparked protests from both Jewish and Muslim leaders, who complained that their communities were being used as pawns in the election, after the president criticised the production of halal and kosher meat.

“If Islam can be used as a target then Sarkozy will do that,” said Gacem.

Salima Saa, a Roubaix local who is on Sarkozy’s campaign team and is herself a candidate for his UMP party in legislative elections due in June, agrees that many in Roubaix feel stigmatised by her party leader’s policies.

Saa, whose father was an Algerian who made a career in the French army, said that, while the police raids earlier this month were exploited for electoral purposes, there were radical Islamists in Roubaix who escaped arrest.

She also distanced herself from some of the UMP’s more outspoken members, such as one lawmaker who said that the only thing French about the Islamist killer in Toulouse, a Frenchman of Algerian descent, was his identity card.

That same comment could be applied to Saa or to the millions of other people of foreign origin in France, which is home to Western Europe’s largest Muslim minority, officially estimated at least four million.

France has been debating for years how far it is willing to go to accommodate Islam, the country’s second religion, and both Sarkozy and National Front leader Marine Le Pen have made the question a key campaign issue.

In Roubaix, which has one of the youngest populations of any city in France, that debate is heated, with many maintaining that being of immigrant stock or being Muslim means you face discrimination.

“A large part of the youth here is confronted with the glass ceiling of discrimination,” said Slimane Tir, a local official who is standing on a Green ticket in June’s legislative elections.

He notes that the city’s unemployment rate is around 30 percent, three times higher than the national average, and that youth unemployment is as high as 50 percent.

Young people in Roubaix are angry and they are right to be angry, said Tir.

“They have been thrown to the lions… to satisfy an electoral panic that comes from the highest level of the state,” he said.

(www.timeslive.co.za / 15.04.2012)

Israel and Air France racism overt

Israel and Air France racism come to light, this Sunday, in the joint operations of the Israeli intelligence service and the airline company in order to prevent people going to Palestine.

It has been proved that you must declare yourself a Jew and/or be the carrier of an Israeli passport in order to have the right to travel.

A young passenger who answered negatively to both questions was forced to leave the plane after she had already boarded.

The case, which will have judicial action where AirFrance will have to explain its collusion with the apartheid regime, happened in Nice airport, AirFrance flight number AF4384 to Tel Aviv at 14h45.

Like in other airports, about thirty passengers have been refused permission to fly with AirFrance on the grounds that the Israeli government has put their name on a list. Either actual participants to the W2P mission or people regarded arbitrarily as a part of it.

The young woman, Horia A., had been allowed to register normally, then board.

However, few minutes before the take off, a hostess came to the front of her seat and asked her to follow her. The hostess, having isolated the passenger in a quiet place, asked her a first question, embarrassed:

“Madam, have you got an Israeli passport?”

Horia “no”

The hostess, in her walkie-talkie, spoke with her management on the ground : “she said no”

“And now, is your religion Israel…euh…are you a Jew ?”

Horia : « No »

The hostess speaking in her walkie-talkie: “also no”

During the next minutes, Horia could observed discussions between the AirFrance staff, comings and goings, before the hostess confirmed that Horia was forbidden to fly, and mentioned “a very complicated situation”

Horia had the wisdom to obtain the report, signed by the AirFrance employee, who is an accomplice because of these twisted actions by management.

Here is the document (Horia and the employee name have been erased)

MISSION BIENVENUE PALESTINE FRANCE

See the copy below : here is the important paragraph of the report

client boarded and then was questioned, as demanded by the Israeli authority, then put out because she was refused entry to Israel.

(palestinejn.org / 15.04.2012)

Haniyeh meets Kuwaiti engineers in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh met a group of Kuwaiti engineers visiting the Gaza Strip on Sunday.

The civil engineers visited the coastal strip to assess damage from bombing campaigns, a press statement from Haniyeh’s office said.

Haniyeh discussed ways to increase bilateral relations between Palestine and Kuwait, it added.

The premier met Kuwaiti leaders in February as part of an international tour which included several Gulf states.

(www.maannews.net / 15.04.2012)

Deelnemers pro-Palestijnse acties opgepakt in Israël

 Het vliegveld van Tel Aviv

De Israëlische politie heeft vanmorgen op de luchthaven Ben Gurion bij Tel Aviv 40 buitenlandse activisten tegengehouden die wilden meedoen aan pro-Palestijnse acties.

De meesten zijn Fransen (33). Zes Israëliërs en een Fransman zijn gearresteerd, omdat zij ‘de rust op de luchthaven verstoorden’, liet de woordvoerster van de politie weten.

Op en rond de luchthaven werden zondag honderden politiemensen ingezet om te voorkomen dat activisten het land binnenkomen. Het is de bedoeling van de actievoerders om massaal naar de door Israël bezette Westelijke Jordaanoever te trekken. Organisatoren van de pro-Palestijnse acties verwachten 1500 deelnemers, van wie een derde uit Frankrijk.

Israëlische autoriteiten lieten eerder al weten daar een stokje voor te steken door te beletten dat de actievoerders naar Israël zouden reizen. Israël stuurde een lijst met 1200 namen aan luchtvaartmaatschappijen van mensen die het land niet in mogen. Daarbij werd duidelijk gemaakt dat de maatschappijen voor de retourvlucht van mensen zouden opdraaien.

Diverse Europese luchtvaartmaatschappijen hebben zaterdag en zondag activisten tegengehouden die op het vliegtuig naar Israël wilden stappen. Dat gebeurde onder meer in Londen, Parijs, Brussel en Genève. Vanaf Schiphol vliegen verscheidene maatschappijen al dan niet met een tussenstop naar Israël. De KLM, die een verbinding heeft met Tel Aviv, heeft in elk geval niemand tegengehouden, zei een woordvoerster zondag.

Onder meer Air France, Swiss Air, easyJet en Jet2.com volgden zaterdag en zondag wel het voorbeeld van de Duitse maatschappij Lufthansa om geen demonstranten naar Israël te vervoeren.
Alleen al op de luchthaven van Brussel werden zondagochtend ongeveer 100 activisten tegengehouden die naar Tel Aviv wilden gaan. ‘Israël heeft deze luchtvaartmaatschappijen duidelijk onder druk gezet en spijtig genoeg heeft de Belgische regering hieraan meegewerkt’, aldus een woordvoerder van de Belgische organisatie Palestina Solidariteit.

(www.trouw.nl / 15.04.2012)

Israeli police await ‘Welcome to Palestine’ internationals at Ben Guriion airport

We are waiting to hear what happened to two US peace activists en route to Israel to join the “Welcome to Palestine” humanitarian mission to Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine

Two US peace activists boarded planes yesterday, 4/14/12, to join the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ mission.

Palestinian and Israeli peace activists have reported that 650 police are waiting to arrest the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ activists in Ben Gurion airport. Israeli activist MK Michael Ben Ari is keeping them company.

Airport authorities prevent activists from boarding in Geneva, Milhouse, Paris, and Manchester. Protests are ongoing at international airports in France and Britain and others.

In Paris and Brussels, reports on police violence against activists. There’s a photo circulating, not clear from which one of these airports in arrives.

Report from Welcome to Palestine media coordinators in Palestine and Israel:
“At about 6 am, in Europe, a half-dozen passengers, duly provided with their boarding passes and already in the waiting room, however, have been arrested by customs at the airport and placed in a room retention.

This example illustrates the hysteria and hype that seize European airlines and airport authorities, panicked at the thought of not obeying effective enough in the eyes of their principals, the Israeli secret service.

We learned much indeed in the last 24 hours of the procedure of the Israeli Ministry of Interior, regarding the drawing up list of what he calls “pro-Palestinian extremists.”

Thus, there is evidence that management of Easyjet operates in real time with Israel: when a ticket is purchased to Tel Aviv, the customer’s identity is provided to Israel, which is quick, without having any way of verifing whether or not it’s a participant to the mission BienvenuePalestine, and put him on his list. And in one hour, Easyjet, obedient, note down the passenger as off flying!

At last report, a number of participants should, however, be able to board.”

(publish.indymedia.org / 15.04.2012)

Activisten mondiaal tegengehouden

Over de gehele wereld zouden enkele duizenden vreedzame activisten tussen vrijdag 13 en zondag 15 april naar Palestina vliegen om daar mee te werken aan vreedzame activiteiten, zoals aanwezig zijn bij de feestelijke opening van een internationale school . Vanuit Frankrijk, Zwitserland, België, Canada,  Engeland en nog enkele landen zouden de mensen naar Tel Aviv vliegen om door te reizen naar Palestina om op zondag 15 april de internationale bijeenkomst “Welcome  to Palestine” bij te wonen.

Echter voor vele activisten die via Lufthansa, Jet2.com, Brussels Airlines of EasyJet wilden vliegen, werd de toegang tot het vliegtuig geweigerd, niet op Israëlisch grondgebied, maar gewoon hier in Europa of in Canada. Het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken van Israël heeft een lijst opgesteld van mensen die de bezette gebieden van Palestina niet mogen binnenkomen, waarna de lijst doorgespeeld is naar de verschillende luchtvaartmaatschappijen.

Opvallend is dat al de genoemde luchtvaartmaatschappijen zich hebben laten ringeloren door de Israëlische regering , waarbij het op de veiligheid gegooid wordt. Luchtvaartmaatschappijen hebben zich druk te maken over de veiligheid van haar klanten, op het vliegveld, tijdens de vlucht en bij het landen en uitstappen. Daarna houdt de verantwoordelijkheid van de maatschappij op. Doordat de maatschappijen de actie van Israël nu hebben doorgevoerd, hebben ze zich voor het karretje laten spannen van de Israëlische regering en steunen ze openlijk de apartheidspolitiek.

Ondertussen hebben de activisten memo’s uitgedeeld gekregen waarin wordt aangegeven dat men beter had kunnen demonstreren tegen de Syrische regering die dagelijks haar eigen mensen vermoord, of tegen Iran dat internationaal terrorisme sponsort of tegen Hamas dat criminele activiteiten uitvoert om raketten af te schieten richting Israël. Waar niet over gesproken mag worden, is wat de Israëlische bezettende macht op Palestijns grondgebied allemaal uitspookt. Tevens kijkt de westerse media, waaronder ook de Nederlandse media, een andere kant uit.

Volgens Palestijnse en Israëlische activisten aanwezig op Ben Gurion Airport, staat er een ontvangstcomité klaar van 650 geüniformeerde veiligheidsbeambten en nog vele undercover agenten om de mensen voor “Welcome to Palestine” te arresteren. Bij het ontvangstcomité was ook het radicale lid van de Knesset, Michael Ben Ari.  Op zondag was er een melding dat er minimaal negen activisten waren gearresteerd.

Groep actievoerders geweigerd op vlucht naar Israël

zo 15/04/2012 – 08:42Op de luchthaven van Zaventem hebben zo’n 150 mensen betoogd omdat een groep activisten niet op een vlucht naar Israël mocht. De groep wilde via Tel Aviv naar de Palestijnse gebieden doorreizen om daar aan een internationale solidariteitsmeeting deel te nemen, maar stond op een lijst van Israël van mensen die het land niet binnen mogen.

Een groep van zo’n zestig Belgen wilde vandaag naar Tel Alviv vliegen om vandaar uit door te reizen naar de Palestijnse gebieden. Daar vindt de internationale bijeenkomst “Welcome to Palestine” plaats. Maar nog voor de vlucht vandaag kreeg een twintigtal mensen al van de luchtvaartmaatschappij Brussels Airlines te horen dat ze niet aan boord mochten.

Israël beschikt namelijk over lijsten met mensen die het land niet binnen mogen. De luchtvaartmaatschappijen passen die migratiewet toe, luidt het bij Brussels Airlines. Als een land zegt dat bepaalde mensen niet op zijn territorium mogen, dan mogen wij ze ook niet toelaten op de vlucht, is het argument.

De beslissing lokte heel wat protest uit op de luchthaven. De geweigerde groep had een heleboel sympathisanten opgetrommeld. Op een bepaald moment hield een groepje actievoerders een sit-in voor de balie. Zij werden weggehaald door de politie.

Daarop verzamelden zo’n 150 mensen in de vertrekhal, waar ze opnieuw een sit-in hielden, muziek speelden en slogans uitriepen. De politie liet hen hier begaan, maar was wel in grote getale aanwezig.

Intussen zijn al heel wat betogers weer vertrokken, maar enkele tientallen mensen blijven in de vertrekhal zitten. Zij eisen dat de politie drie betogers vrijlaat en willen dat Brussels Airlines hun tickets onmiddellijk terugbetaalt. De luchtvaartmaatschappij liet eerder al verstaan dat ze dat in de loop van de week zal doen.

(www.deredactie.be / 15.04.2012)

Grounded: EasyJet refuses Palestinian campaigners | #Airflotilla2

 

 

EasyJet is refusing to fly Palestinian campaigners to Tel Aviv, after Israeli authorities sent a list of named suspected activists to airlines.

Around a dozen members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign travelled to Manchester to board flights to Tel Aviv today, as part of a 1,500-strong international effort to highlight Israeli controls over Palestinian infrastructure.

Palestinians do not have their own airports, so all visitors to the area must pass through Israel.

“EasyJet, along with all other airlines which operate flights to Israel, has been advised by the Israeli Border Authority that a number of passengers due to travel over the weekend will not be allowed to enter Israel,” a spokesperson for the airline said.

“EasyJet is compliant with all legislation where it operates and, as part of our legal obligation, must refuse carriage of any passenger at the request of the relevant authorities.

“Where possible, we will be proactively contacting any affected passengers to inform them in advance of their flight that we are not able to carry them to Israel at this particular time. It is the Israeli authorities’ decision to refuse these passengers.”

The Scottish contingent is intending to help Palestinian communities build schools.

Mick Napier, chairman of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, who was one of the campaigners denied boarding, said he would still go to the airport.

“This is outrageous, but people are really upbeat,” he said.

“Nothing that’s happened has been a surprise. We anticipated this, and we still hope to get to Israel as planned.”

(airflotilla2.wordpress.com / 15.04.2012)

Israeli police arrest four pro-Palestinian activists at airport | #Airflotilla2

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli police arrested four pro-Palestinian foreign activists at the Ben Gurion airport for participating in the “Welcome to Palestine” event.

A police spokesman said that the four arrived from Paris aboard El Al flight as part of the “Welcome to Palestine” fly-in protest.

He said that they would be questioned then deported back to their countries.

Around 1500 activists are expected to share in the fly-in protest on the third year of its launching including 500 to 600 French nationals who would be travelling to Bethlehem to attend the inauguration of an international school.

International pro-Palestinian groups have announced on websites that they would fly to the Ben Gurion airport then to the West Bank as of mid-April as a show of solidarity with the Palestinians and to protest Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian land.

Hundreds of Israeli policemen were deployed in the airport in anticipation of the arrival of those activists, the Israeli radio said, adding that the activists would be arrested and deported.

(airflotilla2.wordpress.com / 15.04.2012)