‘Killing Kelly’ A review of George Galloway’s latest documentary

‘Killing Kelly’ A review of George Galloway’s latest documentary

By Fra Hughes Belfast

The strange death of Dr. David Kelly was exposed on celluloid at the premiere of the Killing Kelly documentary screened at the everyman theatre Muswell Hill North London on Saturday, July 17 2021 at 9 pm.

I was invited to attend

This is the second in what could well turn out to be a series of documentaries as collaborative works between Mr. Galloway and film documentary director Mr. Sean Murray from Belfast.

Mr. Murray has won some very impressive accolades for his investigative documentary film screenings to include Unquiet Graves where he investigates the role played by the British government’s involvement in the murder of 120 civilians in counties Armagh and Tyrone in the North of Ireland between July 1972 and 1978 involving the infamous Glenanne murder gang with ties to loyalist paramilitaries, British intelligence, locally recruited soldiers and police.

The role of British intelligence, its assets, and associated terror gangs has always been a part of the dirty war in Ireland, but what we see one day as commonplace in Ireland, the counter-revolutionary strategy by successive British governments has seen parallels all over the world and perhaps with the sudden unexpected death of David Kelly, we are witnessing that policy in action on the British mainland on its own people?

The film was a project initiated by Mr. George Galloway, a former Member of the British Parliament and now media presenter for a host of radio and television shows, to include the Mother of all Talk Shows on Sputnik Radio International and Kalima Horra on Lebanese Al Mayadeen television.

The film may have been inspired by the book, The Strange Death of David Kelly by Norman Baker. Mr. Baker, Mr. Galloway, and Mr. Murray all made themselves available for questions and answers after the documentary presentation.

The film was crowdfunded with sponsors and donors financing the costs of production through online donations.

Following the critically acclaimed ‘The Killings of Tony Blair’ released in July 2016 by Mr.Galloway, this sequel, dealing with the same topic, is a perfect and timely addition to the true story of how Britain came to be involved in an illegal, unsanctioned war against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. The infamous Weapons of Mass destruction ‘ sexed-up dossier was used by Blair to inform the British people and the British Parliament, that Iraq had the capability of targeting the United Kingdom with chemical weapons in just 45 minutes, and as such Iraq and Saddam Hussein could not be allowed to continue to both engineer and deploy these armaments, which were a direct threat to world peace. Blair was beating the drums of war.

Once the darling of America, the UK, Israel, and Nato, Saddam had outworn his usefulness. Even though he shed 800,000 Iraqi and Iranian lives in the Iraq -Iran conflict, a proxy war fought on behalf of the west following the successful Iranian revolution of 1979, it was time for Saddam to go.

Having committed no act of aggression against the west and following his humiliating retreat from Kuwait, a plan was hatched to destroy Iraq

It is claimed in the film that Tony Blair and George W Bush conspired to create the conditions for war and to influence the public narrative in preparation for such a war during Blair’s trip to meet President Bush in America. It was decided a pretext would be found to support military action.

The dossier became the smoking gun used to frighten the public into accepting yet another war in the region

This film documentary is a testament to vigilant investigative journalism.

It is a professional high-quality product that interviews some of the major players involved at the time. While the Kelly family, senior politicians, and military personnel declined to be interviewed the facts speak for themselves.

Mr. Kelly headed off on one of his many daily walks, chatting to a neighbor he met on his way.

His wife was at home having a nap.

He had arranged to meet his daughter later that evening.

A former head of Britain’s Porton Down chemical weapons research facility he was also one of UNSCOM’S chief weapons inspectors in Iraq from 1991 to 1998.

In an interview with Andrew Gilligan aired on BBC Rado 4, the claim that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction on the United Kingdom within 45 minutes was inserted into the dossier on Iraq weapons capability at the insistence of, Alaister Campbell, chief advisor to Tony Blair.

These allegations became part of an investigation by the Intelligence and Security Foreign Affairs Select committee. After giving evidence on July 15. Dr. David Kelly was found dead two days later.

David Kelly may have been the unwitting fall guy for the political spin doctors of Tony Blair. Whatever else he could have exposed was taken with him to the grave.

The official death certificate records ‘death by suicide’.

These facts remain outstanding.

When he was found, his knife was found beside him.

It was claimed he had severed the Ulnar artery.

A bottle of tablets was found beside the body.

The following timeline was in place.

As reported by the Guardian newspaper at 3 pm Dr.David Kelly received a phone call from the Ministry of Defense. He then left his home at 3.20 pm on July 17. Having not returned from his walk the Kelly family contacted the police at 11.40 pm

Within 15 minutes three officers had arrived at the family home.

A search operation started immediately, a Helicopter and search teams were called in.

The helicopter with body-sensing imaging equipment did not locate the body.

He was found by a volunteer search party the following morning.

Heis body lay undiscovered not far from his home for over 9 hours?

His home was searched not once but twice by police and other investigating officers during that night. They took away with them many items including by some reports the very wallpaper from off the walls?

The police were searching his home while he evidently was not there They made the family leave the home during these searches preventing them from knowing exactly what the police and others were doing inside the house and what they were taking.

At the scene where the body was found, there was very limited blood loss discounting the idea he bled to death?

The medication he had ingested found in his stomach was a total of two tablets.

The knife beside the body had no fingerprints nor had the bottle of tablets. Dr.Kelly was not wearing gloves

What happened in the time between Dr. David Kelly disappeared, two days after giving evidence to a Parliamentary Inquiry, and when his body was discovered may never be known.

The facts do not match the official theory that he committed suicide nor even that he died where his body was found?

It does however lead to the conclusion that state involvement in his death cannot be ruled out.

That no one may ever be held accountable for his death. Official papers remain a secret not to be discoed to the public for the next several decades. The parallels between the suspension of inquests, and prosecutions relating to British state involvement in murders in Northern Ireland, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan now under a statute of limitations proposed legislation process, proves one thing for certain. If the government wants to create the conditions for war such as the Iraqi dossier on Weapons of Mass destruction, then lead the country to war, possibly collude in the murder of one of its leading scientists and cover it up then indeed we the public who have elected these politicians to the government have indeed given them a license to kill.

A license they have used in Ireland, Iraq, and Afghanistan while their pawns in the intelligence community and the cannon fodder on the ground the soldiers’ airmen and naval personnel can now murder with impunity.

Unusually after Davids’s body was found Tony Blair initiated a public Inquiry under Lord Hutton. A full Coroners inquest as would be normal under the circumstances would quite possibly have elicited more information?

Oh oh oh what a lovely war!

My only question is, Who is next? 

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Poot in the Boot in.Edwin Poots leadership of the Democratic Unionist Party 21 days in 2021

‘Poot in the Boot in’ The rise and fall of Edwin Poots Democratic Unionist Party Leader 21 days in 2021

By Fra Hughes Belfast.

The Democratic Unionist Party was founded by Dr. Ian Paisley. He was an enigmatic figure in northern Irish politics. His politics were a heady mixture of fundamentalist Christian values, unionist rhetoric, and the cult of personality. 

A maverick who was from the start an outsider. A non-establishment figure whose appeal was a combination of biblical scripture and unionist intransigence. His rallying cry, some may even call his war cry was, ‘For God and Ulster’ and ‘No Surrender.

By no surrender, many believe he meant ‘No Surrender’ to Papish Catholicism. No Surrender of the British identity which Ulster Protestants so vehemently cherish and No Surrender of British sovereignty over Northern Ireland.

A more accurate description of this No Surrender mantra could be summed up as NO Compromise.

No compromise with Irish nationalism.No compromise with Irish republicanism and no compromise with the Catholic church, the Irish Republican Army, the Irish government, and the indigenous Irish people.

For God and Ulster read a Protestant Ulster for the continuation of the pro-British colonial settler state of Northern Ireland.

Paisley undoubtedly represented a section of the fundamentalist Christian Protestant right and its political voice became the Democratic Unionist Party.
A party he began and a party he led for 35 years. Never elected but he was the self-appointed supreme leader.

The man who ultimately came in from the cold to lead the Northern Ireland Assembly as First Minister. The man who cried No Surrender to the IRA,then-No Surrender to Sinn Fein the party seen by many as the political voice of the IRA. He eventually joined a power-sharing government with those very same people when Sinn Fein became the largest Nationalist party.
Towards the end of his political career, he was unceremoniously pushed to the side having lost the confidence of the party he established.
His son Ian Paisley junior was very bitter about what he saw as a betrayal of his father and his legacy.

The baton passed onto Peter Robinson, Ian Paisley’s protege, then Arlene Foster, and most recently to Edwin Poots.

Robinson served for 8 years as party leader and Foster for 5 years.

Foster’s demise came about as a direct result of Britain’s exit from the European Union. Britains exit known as Brexit was endorsed by the Democratic Unionist Party which has elected Members in the British Parliament.

Brexit has resulted in the Northern Ireland Protocol which was agreed between the Conservative British Government and the European Union. The Northern Ireland Protocol agreed to a border between Northern Ireland and Britain for customs checks.Northern Ireland remains within the European customs market making a border between Britain and Northern Ireland inevitable.

Sections of Unionism, loyalism, and the Democratic Unionist Party view this border as a dilution of their Britishness.

The party fed on a diet of No Surrender of their British identity at any price has again circled the wagons. 

When Foster was seen to be incapable of overturning this Northern Ireland Protocol she was viewed as being weak and selling Ulster out.

Ian Paisley Junior is a Member of the British Parliament and the DUP who continues to represent his father’s old constituency in North Antrim may have been the driving force in the coup that ousted Foster as leader.

In its first democratic election for the position of party leader, another right-wing fundamentalist creationist following in the footsteps and shadow of Ian Paisley was selected. By the narrowest of margins.

Edwin Poots was chosen by the ‘NO Surrender’ brigade of the DUP. Not to surrender to the British government and to continue the unwinnable fight over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Like King Canute, he stood against time and tide. 

In order for him to nominate a new Joint First Minister to the Northern Ireland Assembly after Foster’s resignation, he needed to have the agreement of  Sinn Fein the other party in government.

The political price, asked by Sinn Fein, to jointly nominate leaders and thus prevent the structures of government from collapsing was the implementation of the Irish Language Act. An act that was agreed upon by the DUP but never implemented.
Poots, the fundamentalist Christians, and the loyalists aligned to the party will have no truck with the advancement of the indigenous language.

They want no interaction with anything Irish.
They are the settler-colonial descendants who fight tooth and nail against the advancement of indigenous rights.

In order to find a workaround to the Irish Language Act Poots and his designated Assembly team leader deferred the power to implement the act to the British Parliament.
Poots and his designate Girvan both signed an agreement along with Sinn Fein and the British government giving Westminster the power and a mandate to approve the Irish Language Act, in some form.

Poots and Girvan probably thought this would suffice to appease its base voters.

It was the British government forwarding the required legislation, not the DUP?

Instead, it created a mass revolt in the Democratic Unionist Party elected political leadership and those who lost the party leadership election to Poots rallied to have him resign.
Once again the No Surrender, No Compromise brigade within the party has triumphed.
Foster couldn’t renegotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol, a loyalist unionist red line, and had to go.

Poots sold out Unionism by allowing the Irish Language Act a red line for the fundamentalists, to be invoked.

By agreeing to the ILA and nominating Paul Girvan as First Minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly without his party’s approval he signed his own political death warrant.
In the year that sees the centenary of the establishment of Northern Ireland by Britain, when Ireland was partitioned in 1921, we now see the leaders of Unionism in disarray.
21 days in 2021 may well see the demise of the Democratic Unionist Party as the leaders of the Unionist voice of Northern Ireland.

With the party fundamentally split in more ways than one, we may have witnessed the wrath of a scorned political legacy.
Those who felt the party had betrayed its founder’s message of ‘No Surrender’ and No Compromise recaptured the party leadership briefly only to surrender it again. They may have destroyed the party going forward. Ian Paisley junior may have destroyed the party his father created.

Hell hath no fury as a political family scorned

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Egypt to rebuild Gaza is the headline but who will really benefit?

By Fra Hughes Belfast

Egypt to rebuild Gaza is the headline but who will benefit? 

The story ‘Egypt planning to retake control of the Gaza strip’ has appeared in many of the Zionist Israeli newspapers over the last few days.

This headline has many rejoicing. New homes, infrastructure and shelter for some of the 2 million Gazans living under Israeli occupation and siege.

Remember Israel controls the land border, six of the seven entry points with Gaza, the seas around Gaza and its airspace. Under international obligation it is seen as occupying Gaza. Israel also retains the right to militarily re-enter Gaza at any time.

Israel has occupied Gaza since the six-day war in 1967. They withdrew their military forces and their illegal settlements in September 2006 under the premiership of Ariel Sharon. He was held responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacres carried out by the Christian Phalange in Beirut in 1982 between 18.00 on 16 September and 08.00 on 18 September. An estimated 460 to 3500 unarmed civilians were brutally massacred. The camps were surrounded by the Israeli defence forces who gave cover for the attack.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation had agreed to leave Beirut and once they had gone many of their family and neighbours, mostly the very young and the very old were cruelly, sadistically and systematically killed by the Zionist allies.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi has pledged 500 million dollars to help rebuild Gaza.

Construction material, contractors and equipment are flooding into Gaza.

This sounds like the answer to all our prayers.

A neighbouring Arab country coming to the aid of the besieged and defenceless Palestinian people. Many of those living in Gaza to include the recent 60,000 displaced and homeless due to Israel’s latest murderous onslaught are refugees from 1948 and 1967 from previous Zionist murderous campaigns.

Gaza was under Egyptian protection until the six-day war in 1967 when Israel attacked Syria, Egypt and Jordan so it could occupy East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

Under President Mubarak, Gaza had several lifelines to the outside world. The tunnels that ran between Rafah and Egypt allowed consumer goods to flow in and out of the strip. It also allowed limited access for Gazans to Egypt to buy gifts and taste life without occupation for a short time.

Mubarak was a dictator, he was replaced by President Morsi in June 2012 as Egypt’s first democratically elected leader.

Neither America nor Israel respected the fact Egyptians had elected Mohamed Morsi as their leader. The man who headed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and whose sister party had been elected as the government of Gaza Hamas in 2007 was unacceptable to them.

As President Morsi began to lessen the hardships endured by Gazans he was ousted by a military coup and Sisi was brought to power.

Many believe this coup was instigated with Israeli and American foreknowledge and support.

The siege on Gaza can only be complete with Egyptian connivance.

The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza allows only people to transit. All goods and vehicles must go through the Israeli border checkpoint.

The tunnels were flooded and Gaza abandoned to its fate.

The relationship between Gaza, Hamas, Egypt and Sisi was fragmented.

After Israel’s murderous campaign in 2014, no efforts were made to rebuild Gaza.

The infrastructure was devastated, the siege enhanced and the human suffering exacerbated.

Why now. Why Egypt. Why the sudden concern?

let me propose a hypothesis.

Israel cannot control Gaza internally. Israel cannot defeat the legal resistance offered by Gaza to Israel’s continued occupation exploitation and annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Israel can lay siege to Gaza. It can bomb Gaza. It can destroy Gaza but it cannot destroy the resilience of the Palestinian people nor the resistance the occupation creates.

How can Israel prevent the resistance in Gaza from firing rockets into historic Palestine, some call Israel?

It cannot reoccupy Gaza, the cost in soldiers lives is a price Israeli families are not willing to bear. They are happy enough to face down children, old men, women and unarmed Palestinians as they steal the homes, land and resources from the occupied people. They are cowards when it comes to facing real resistance from Gaza.

Gaza is now a wasteland from the latest zIonst campaign.

Sewage is now discharged into the sea, the only real haven for many Gazans as treatment works are now non-functional.

The electricity only works for a few hours a day and life-saving medicine is restricted as is gas oil fuel food and many basic necessities.

How will Israel prevent resistance from Gaza to its continued attacks on Al Aqsa on East Jerusalem and in the occupied West Bank?

It will get Egypt to do it.

First, we heard calls for a military buffer force.This would be used to monitor and or enforce any Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine operations against Israel.

This has been replaced with Egypt offering to rebuild Gaza.

I feel sure part of this offer to help will be conditional on resistance holding to the ceasefire with Israel.

The Israeli destruction of Gaza was unprecedented in the latest attacks and perhaps this was the goal of Zionism.

Bomb Gaza back to the stone age and make them desperate for any and all aid . Make that aid conditional.

What Israel has failed to achieve by siege, by military incursions and by the inhuman mass bombing of the civilian infrastructure is trying to succeed via Egypt.

Who is really funding this rebuilding programme?

Is it Israel in the background or America footing the bill as Biden promised to help rebuild Gaza? 

Are we witnessing true humanitarian concern from the man who flooded the tunnels, who tightened the screw on Gaza who gave no material aid after 2014? 

Can we say in truth this is the latest political manoeuvre to emasculate the resistance in Gaza? To weaken and make it less effective? 

Will Israel win again?

Israel daily annexes Palestine house by house, field by field, dunum by dunam, water well by water well, road by road.?

Israel wants to do this with as little Palestinian resistance as possible.

Israel can deal with stone-throwing teenagers, peacefully protesting adults, women with children in prams.

It can raid homes in the dead of night, arrest people from 12 years and upwards, fill their courts and their prisons with those who dare resist the illegal occupation.

It will assimilate all it can as cheaply as it can.

The people in Gaza might finally get some of their infrastructure rebuilt. Some of their homes, Some of the factories but at what price? 

I am happy to see the people supported. I hope they can live in peace free from Zionist aggression.

Gaza has been bombed, attacked and invaded four times by Israel in the last 15 years under Netanyahu. He has murdered Gazans and destroyed their homes, lives and livelihoods in order to get himself re-elected.

Gaza might be rebuilt.

Israel can destroy Gaza at any time with its arms supplier America footing the bill.

This may only be a temporary reprieve for Gaza so Israel can, unchallenged and unaccountably complete its physical assimilation of Palestine

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Say Hello to Naftali Bennett Israels proposed new leader

Say Hello to Naftali Bennett Israels proposed new leader

By Fra Hughes Belfast

With Benjamin Netanyahu’s reign as Israeli leader under further threat and the country and the opposition not wanting to go for another election, a collection of opposition parties and individuals have come together to form a national coalition unity government.

This coalition comprises the far right Yamina party headed by Bennett and what calls itself the centrist party of Yesh Atid led by Yair Lapid.

Bennett is a former aid to Netanyahu and describes himself as politically further to the right of his former boss.

He supped at the teat of ultra-nationalism and advocates as a voice for the increased annexation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the West Bank. A profound adherent of the illegal settler movement and its objectives.

He is a former defence minister in Netanyahu’s government, like all Israelis he is an ex soldier. He served in Lebanon in 1996 when an artillery strike was called to support his units retreat, which murdered 102 people taking shelter in a United Nations facility, as reported in the Washington Post.

He has been lambasted many times for his ultra-violent comments to include ‘I’ve Killed Lots Of Arabs In My Life And There’s No Problem With That’

He also reportedly claimed in comments regarding  Palestinian prisoners that ,“Terrorist should be killed not released” 

This is the proposed new leader of Zionist Israel.

A country described by Human Rights Watch as being guilty of ‘practising Apartheid’.

Another right-wing led Zionist coalition has been cobbled together not to oust an alleged corrupt Prime Minister, currently under police investigation.

Not to oust the man who in the last 13 years has launched four wars on the people  of Gaza causing death pain and destruction on the civilian population not witnessed outside of armed conflict between states.

Not to oust a man who continues to illegally annex and occupy land that was agreed under the Oslo Agreement would be the foundations of a Palestinian State, to peacefully co-exist with Israel as a partner in bringing peace to the region.

No, the reason is always the same. Ego and ambition.The promotion of a political career masquerading as a political ideology.

Bennett wants to become the Prime Minister of Israel.He wants to further promote the illegal settlements and the theft of land, lives and resources belonging to the Palestinian people.

He is aided in this by Zionist centrists who want a hand on the levers of power and by the head of, wait for it,  the Ra’am Islamist party led by Mansour Abbas

We have a proposed Zionist government with a leader to the right of Netanyahu. A centrist Zionist leader and a conservative Islamist all coming together to form this coalition of the right?

No other Palestinian representative in the Knesset would legitimize or validate a government in Israel that proclaims to the world ‘prisoners should be killed not released’ or that they have ‘no problem killing Arabs’? 

In a speech recently Bennett referred to ‘Greater Israel’ and how it belongs to the Jewish people.

For some Greater, Israel implies the complete annexation and occupation of British Mandated Palestine.

For others  including many Zionists ,when they refer to Greater Israel, they are proposing the Biblical Israel.

In the Bible, the land of Israel incorporated the following areas, which many settler organisations and mainstream political parties like Likud and others endorse, Greater Israel includes  Palestine, Southern Lebanon, Jordan, Golan Heights and portions of Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

Will we witness in decades to come the continued balkanisation of the middle east/west Asia so Israel can expand at the expense of peace, security and stability in the region. Israel already illegally occupies the Golan Heights in Syria and the Shebaa Farms in Lebanon.

As Israeli politics shifts, ever further to the right and the settler influence on Israeli politics grows ,when will these occupations stop.

When will the violence stop.

When will the murders stop.

When will Israel stop or more importantly where will Israel stop.

Israel is among the only nations in the world not to quantify or establish its borders.

Is this because Israel has not yet reached what it considers to be its final borders?

Should this thought be keeping you awake at night.

You can be sure it haunts the nightmares of many living and many dying in west Asia.

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Belfast City Council calls for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassadors to Britain and Ireland

Belfast City Council calls for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassadors to Britain and Ireland.

by Fra Hughes Belfast

In a historic move, Belfast City Councillors have voted to call on the Irish and British governments to expel the Israeli Ambassadors.

The motion was passed by 31 votes to 28 votes on 01/06/2021, showing a seismic shift from previous votes and debates on the Israel Palestine conflict.

Previous debates and deflections have implied the conflict is complicated and complex.

That there are two sides to the conflict and both have been wrong. Perhaps the people of Belfast should not get politically involved in matters that are occurring halfway around the world or indeed that ‘God gave the Land to the Jews’ as in the biblical testaments

We can now clearly see that the sands of history have shifted. That the councillors representing the people of Belfast are indeed reflecting the desire and wishes of the majority of the residents in Belfast to have the Israeli Ambassadors to Britain and Ireland expelled.

There are not two sides to this story. It is simply a matter of right and wrong.

Israel in its apartheid policies and land grabs in Palestine is wrong and the Palestinians who have the legal right to resist an illegal military occupation by any means necessary are right.

I stand by all 31 Belfast City Councilors who voted to remove the Israeli Ambassadors

I stand by all the people of Palestine who live inside and outside of historic Palestine, East Jerusalem, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Gaza, Lebanon and where ever the displaced, the refugees and the diaspora live.

I stand by the resistance movement that challenges the illegal occupation by any means necessary.

Thank you Belfast Proud to be from here.

Below is the motion brought before council .

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DUP Leader, Poots in Boots, But whose footsteps is he walking in?

DUP Leader, Poots in Boots, But whose footsteps is he walking in?

By Fra Hughes Belfast

Edwin Poots is now the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland.

A party formed by Ian Paisley in September 1971. The ultimate outsider, a radical firebrand loyalist preacher who would later be brought in from the cold.

Ian Paisley led the counter-demonstrations to the Civil Rights marches in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s.

He was a fundamentalist protestant preacher who formed his own ministry with the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster in 1951. He preached at the Martyrs Memorial Church on the Ravenhill Road Belfast. 

His influence was wide-ranging and his fiery orations from both the pulpit and the street gave him a mandate at the polls when he formed the Democratic Unionist party in 1971 to rival the Ulster Unionist party which had governed Northern Ireland much like a one-party state for nearly 50 years.

He was very much an outsider.

He was not a member of the established order nor was he a member of the elite.

He was however elected to the House of Commons as a member of Parliament and also as a Member of the European Parliament 

He found his niche in voicing and then representing the more conservative and hardline unionist voters, comprising many fundamentalists, anti-catholic, protestant reform brethren, in unison with loyalist extremists and paramilitaries aligned with the Orange Order.

Paisley himself was a member of the Orange Order, the Apprentice Boys and addressed rallies of the Independent Orange Order.

He was very much a man of his time. Many accuse him of inciting violence and prolonging the conflict.

He eventually gained the prize he treasured most when he became the joint First Minister of Northern Ireland in the regionally devolved assembly at Stormont.

From maverick to minister, with many deaths in between.

With the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 David Trimble, Ulster Unionist Party and Seamus Mallon, Social Democratic Labour Party, entered Stormont as joint First Ministers. They were ultimately replaced by Paisleys DUP and Gerry Adams Sinn Fein the following decade.  The ultimate prize in politics locally of being First Minister of Northern Ireland led Ian Paisley and his DUP into government with SF. He was First Minister between 2007 and 2008 alongside Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein.

He was ousted and some felt he was betrayed by the party when he was forced to stand down as party leader and Peter Robinson, one of his closest allies, took over the reins in 2008 as party leader and First Minister.

This coronation ended when Peter Robinson lost the support of the party and Arlene Foster became the first female leader of the DUP in 2015 becoming First Minister in 2016.

There have always been two factions within the DUP. Most parties have a left and a right.

The DUP could be described as having a right-wing and even farther right-wing.

There is a fundamentalist, pro creationist orthodoxy, never on a Sunday, anti-catholic, anti-Irish, element within the party and then there is the ever so slightly more pragmatic, slightly more progressive element.

Arlene Foster was deposed as a leader recently when a letter was circulated saying she had lost the support of the party over the Northern Ireland Protocol and accordingly she stepped aside.

Her replacement is Edwin Poots. A member of the farming community who has been described as a fundamental creationist.

His leadership position was ratified at a recent meeting of the officers and elected members of the DUP.

However, his candidacy has come at a huge price.

He only narrowly defeated his rival in the Leadership election Jeffrey Donaldson, an ex- Ulster Unionist party stalwart now DUP, MP for Lagan Valley, by the narrowest of margins.

He won by 19 votes to 17 votes. Chosen by the elected MP’s and regional MLA’s.

At the meeting called to ratify his appointment, there was a walkout by those opposed to his elevation to the position of party leader, including his main protagonist Jeffrey Donaldson, alongside others closely aligned to Arlene Foster the outgoing party leader.

This fracture could well see the voting base for the DUP disintegrate.

As hardline traditionalist fundamentalists and creationists together with more sinister elements of loyalist paramilitaries rally around Mr Poots, those who are uncomfortable with this heady cocktail mix of a bible in one hand and the threat of loyalist paramilitary violence in the other may very well move towards the more progressive and comfortable unionism offered by the Alliance party.

Some senior members of the DUP have claimed they were intimidated by elements of the proscribed Ulster Defense Association, loyalist paramilitaries, during the recent leadership contest and police investigations are ongoing.

Where do we find ourselves now?

To many, this might seem to be choppy unchartered waters.

Believe me, we have been here before.

The symbiotic relationship between unionism and loyalist paramilitarism and indeed many of the state structures is nothing new.

It has been the case since the partition of Ireland and the inception of the state in 1921.

Has Ian Paisley reached out from beyond the grave to replace his imprimatur on the party he founded?

As the party was slowly, very slowly, becoming slightly more progressive under Foster. Was this coup was masterminded by Ian Paisley junior?

Is he the hand behind the throne?

What we have witnessed may very well lead to the fracturing of the DUP into yet another Unionist breakaway party, propelling both Sinn Fein and the Alliance party into the two top government positions of Joint First Ministers with Sinn Fein taking the lead role in the 2022 elections.

As the DUP hardliners circle the wagons for their inevitable defeat over the Northern Ireland Protocol and as loyalists threaten a summer of violence if the Protocol is not removed, we could be witnessing the final rattle of the partitionist unionist snake.

As the song says, ‘there may be trouble ahead, but let’s face the music and dance’.

Better days lay ahead, once the toxic boil of unionism is lanced by their own electorate

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Cliftonville FC Now is the time to give Puma the boot!

Cliftonville FC  Now is the time to give Puma the boot!

By Fra Hughes Belfast

On Saturday May 29, 2021 the game between Cliftonville FC and Linfield FC  was interrupted by a small group of protestors. Carrying a Palestine flag and a banner that proclaimed to the world ‘Boycott Puma’.

This interruption was to highlight the ongoing commercial relationship between Cliftonville Football Club and Puma, a major global corporate sports brand.

How did a small club in the Irish Football Association become involved in a worldwide boycott movement? 

Puma is an official sponsor of the Israel Football Team.

Israel has been described as an Apartheid state.

Humans Rights Watch states, April 27,2021

 ‘On the basis of its research, Human Rights Watch concludes that the Israeli government has demonstrated an intent to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians across Israel and the OPT. In the OPT, including East Jerusalem, that intent has been coupled with systematic oppression of Palestinians and inhumane acts committed against them. When these three elements occur together, they amount to the crime of apartheid’.

For Cliftonville football club as a promoter and champion of the slogan ‘Give Racism The Boot’ it seems hypocritical to call for an end to racism in football here while accepting sponsorship from a global company that stands accused of supporting an Apartheid regime Israel.

A change of kit sponsor will not materially affect Cliftonville FC.

Unless the Board of Clitonville FC put the money they receive above the lives of Palestinian children it would be unconscionable and immoral for them to continue with this sponsorship deal.

Now is the time for the Board to unequivocally and publicly state they will cease from accepting monies from companies which support Apartheid states .

Cliftonville must stand on the right of history.

BDS global action and the Palestinian and Cultural Boycott of Israel statement,

‘Puma is the only international sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes teams in illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Puma’s endorsement gives legitimacy to Israel’s illegal settlements pushing Palestinian families off their land and its attacks on Palestinian sports. Israeli snipers ended the careers of dozens of Palestinian athletes in Gaza in 2018 alone.

Palestinian teams and athletes are calling for a boycott of Puma until it ends its sponsorship of the IFA’.

There is a long and proud history globally against injustice and apartheid states.

During the 1969 -1970 South African rugby tour of Great Britain and Ireland thousands protested in the streets and on the pitch disrupting games demanding an end to Apartheid in South Africa.

We are now revisiting history with the pitch invasion at Cliftonville’s ground ‘Solitude’ last Saturday.

Cliftonville FC, please from our own history, remember Belfast Celtic FC forced out of the Irish league and remember Derry FC now playing in the Football Association of Ireland league.

Most of all remember the 67 dead Palestinian children.Their mothers and fathers.

The displacement of up to 58.000 people (UN figures) now homeless refugees, alongside massive destruction to the infrastructure and health facilities, in and of itself should be enough to dissuade you from continuing your links to Puma.

Boycott Divestment and Sanction, BDS is a global movement. 

Boycott ‘withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest’

Boycott was popularized by Charles Stewart Parnell during the Irish land agitation of 1880 to protest high rents and land evictions.The term was coined after Irish tenants followed Parnell’s suggested code of conduct and effectively ostracized a British estate manager, Charles Cunningham Boycott, who collected exorbitant rents on behalf of absentee landlord Lord Erne.

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So what happens after the violence ends? Who won and who lost Israel v Palestinians?

So what happens after the violence ends? Who won and who lost Israel v Palestinians? 

By Fra Hughes Belfast

Self defence, blood lust,ethnic cleansing,disproportionate response,mowing the lawn, genocide, death from the sky.

Whatever way you wish to describe the unparalleled violence unleashed on Gaza is up to you. 

I describe it as shooting or in this case bombing Palestinians in a barrel.

Lets have a brief resume of what’s happened.

The district of Sheikh Jarrah is in East Jerusalem.This was the proposed capital of a Palestine state.The signing of the Oslo Agreement in 1993 saw further Israeli expansion into the West Bank and areas like Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah have been systematically targeted by the illegal Jewish Settler movement which uses Israeli courts to award Zionist Jews the homes and land currently occupied by Palestinians.

If you take nothing else from this article please remember the occupation is illegal, therefore  every decision taken by the occupation army, the illegal settlers and the apartheid Israeli judiciary, that routinely sends young children, young boys and men to prison on extracted false confessions, many made under duress, under physical threat and in some cases children are handed false confessions written in Hebrew which they cannot understand and they are told these are official release forms.

The kids sign them thinking they are going home but in reality they have signed a confession which will condemn them to jail.

Add to this ‘Administrative Detention’, Imprisonment with out trial and we have the flawed corrupt apartheid regimes conveyor belt to jail. All of this is illegal.

Many Human Rights organisations describe Israel as an apartheid state.

This is because Zionism, a political ideology is inherently apartheid.

Netanyahu is facing corruption charges. A former Israeli Knesset member during a a CNN interview accused him of inciting the current round of violence by continuing Israels expansionist, illegal land grabs in the occupied west bank and also through the attacks on people at prayer, men, women and children at the Al Aqsa mosque, towards the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Is it really conceivable that the leader of the 7th largest military force on earth would engineer the circumstances where by a state of conflict between Israel, a heavily armed modern state would be at war with a civilian population which has no army, no air force and no navy, to protect it. Just local militia composed of the fathers and sons, mothers and daughters of the local community?

Well, I guess if an Israeli Knesset member says exactly that, then it must carry some weight.

So, were are we now.

As the blood letting ends as it must. As the dead are buried and the destroyed building dust settles like a shroud on Gaza were do we go from here.

The reality is, everything will be the same and everything has utterly changed.

Who won and who lost?

I have always struggled when I heard claims following previous attacks on Gaza thatthe resistance has won.

I genuinely thought it was bravado for the masses. When we see the death toll, the numbers injured and the devastating damage to civilian homes, hospitals and the infrastructure, I have to ask how have they possibly won?

The loss of life alone is unimaginable in such a small environment. 25 miles by 6 miles, that is the size of the Ards Peninsula in Ireland, having the whole population of Northern Ireland 2 million people squeezed into it.

As of now the destruction in Gaza is of unbelievable proportion.

The targeting and killing of whole families is a war crime in itself.

The systematic destruction of all roads leading to the main hospitals in Gaza, preventing ambulances and victims from accessing acute services is another war crime.

The destruction of family homes, farms, places of worship and work are further war crimes.

The latest blitzkrieg on Gaza is just another Zionists war on civilians which will never be forgotten.

Israel claims its aims were to degrade the military capabilities of Hamas and other resistance groups in Gaza.

It sites rockets fired from Gaza as the pretext.

Under international law, as Israel illegally occupies the West Bank and controls the air, sea and land borders around Gaza, the Palestinians have the right to resist occupation, by any means necessary, including armed resistance. Then this Samson versus Goliath battle is one of the Palestinian Samson with rocks and rockets legally resisting an illegal Goliath occupation, that uses Gun boats, tanks, artillery shells, drones and F16 , F35 jets to bomb, flatten and murder Gazan’s at will and with out any recourse to the rules of war.

Israel will end the bloodshed when it has expended the armaments supplied to it by America France  Britain and the EU.

Israel has failed again in its stated objective to destroy the ability of the resistance in Gaza to challenge the occupation.It did not have the courage to commit ground troops as the cost in Israeli soldiers lives was deemed potentially to be too high.

The resistance groups retain both the ability and the will to continue to resist the illegal occupation and siege by any and all means necessary.

The attacks on Gaza are a proxy threat to other nations in the region. We will do the same ‘to you’ is the message. Indeed Israel routinely bombs Syria in another example of its illegal war crimes.

The resistance has won!

I know, its hard to believe.

Gaza is destroyed .The dead, the injured and the dying are Testament to the unfathomable loss of life.

Israeli military leaders have stated on numerous occasions that they will bomb Gaza back into the stone age.

Gaza is destroyed yet the spirit of resistance and the spirit of the people has survived. The spirit to continue to demand equality, peace, freedom and justice for Palestinians and Palestine survives not just in Gaza but in East Jerusalem, in Sheikh Jarrah, in the West Bank, in Al Aqsa and in historic Palestine, that Zionists call Israel.

Netanyahu has united Israelis in their demand for his prosecution for corruption and united Palestinians for the first time in a generation in their defence of Al Aqsa ,East Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah and Gaza. A new generation of resistance has been born .United and unified from the river to the sea.

Did the prime minister of Israel help create the conditions that made this latest attack on Gaza inescapable?

Is the shedding of blood in Gaza simply an electioneering gambit.

He or she who kills the most Palestinians gets the most votes?

History certainly bears that perspective out to be true.

What Gaza needs is financial support, rebuilding materials, medicine, hope and solidarity in equal measures.

What it will get is 50,000 plus homeless refugees many of whom were already refugees from the Israeli murder and bombing campaigns of 2014/2009/1967/1948.

Further degradation of civil societies ability to respond to the damage to lives, homes infrastructure and the economy is the result.

Egypt is complicit in the siege. It will not help Gaza or Palestine.

The humanitarian catastrophe will continue apace 

Israel sells Gaza water,gas,oil and electricity .It makes profit from all of these utilities.The profits of occupation.

The resistance has prevailed once again.

The price of resisting the continued illegal Zionist Israel occupation of Palestine is the continued loss of liberty and life for Palestinians.

The continues loss of life, homes,farms,workplaces,mosques,schools,hospitals,clinics, the innocence of the young, their hopes for the future and their dreams of a life free from violent occupation, imprisonment, death from the skies and a psychological trauma that has no ending .

When the bombs stop flying in the east the people stop protesting in the West.

Will you stand with Palestine.Or simply melt away like snow on a ditch until the next murderous bombing raids occur.

Peace needs you now. Palestinians need you now. The future generations being born into captivity need you now.

What will you do to help end the madness of a rogue Apartheid state and bring peace to the people of the middle east and west Asia.

It really is in your hands.

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Egypt must open the borders with Gaza to let the aid in and the wounded out

By Fra Hughes Belfast

The total siege on Gaza by air sea and land can only work with the complicity of the Egyptian military regime.

Egypt, once the leader of the Arab world and defender of the Nasserite vision of a socialist middle east, has become a cruel caricature of those dreams.

Egypt was first occupied by the British in 1882. During the first world war, it was a British Protectorate and in 1922 following nationalist demonstrations, it placed a monarchy in nominal charge of Egypt, while Britain continued to control the Suez Canal, the political life of the country and train the army and police.

On 23 July 1952, a Nationalist coup, led by the Free Officers Movement saw the imposed monarchy deposed and a military President and government put in its place.

This coup advocated for the removal of British troops from Egypt and promoted a socialist secular government. It was led by Mohammed Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Thus the Nasserite movement was born, and a form of Arab socialist nationalism swept across the region.

Nasser helped Egypt become a Republic, free from western interference. He was forced to nationalise the Suez Canal to fund the building of the Aswan Dam, a project America had agreed to finance but then reneged. He defeated a joint British French and Israeli attempt to recapture the canal and became a hero to the Arab masses and the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.

His vision was one of a strong Egypt, with full industrialisation and employment, with a socialist government supporting the people with homes education and health, has failed to materialise.

After Nasser, we had President Muhammed Anwar al-Sadat. He served from 1970 until his assassination on 6 October 1981.

A contemporary of Nasser he served as vice president and signed the 1976 Camp David peace agreement with Menachem Begin of Israel.

He led Egypt away from Nasserism and towards American capitalism and was assassinated in a military coup.

Hosni Mubarak who was injured during the assassination of Sadat became the next President and he ruled from 1981 until February 2011 when a historic street led revolution forced his resignation. A temporary leader was installed until Egypt’s first democratically elected President, Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Morsi was sworn into office on 30 June 2012.

Under Morsi, ties were strengthened with Gaza where Hamas is seen as an offshoot organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While I am not a fan of the Brotherhood as a democrat I fully supported the choice of the Egyptian people.

With the siege on Gaza, instigated in 2007 by Israel after Hamas won the democratic vote to lead the Palestinian people politically,  America refused to recognise the mandate Hamas won in Gaza and the Westbank. Israel began the siege and Egypt joined them under pressure from both the US and Israel.

President Abbas in the West Bank refused to accept the outcome and as result, he has stayed in power without a mandate and is defacto a dictator refusing to hold fresh elections which he knows he must lose. He has lost the people as the PA Palestinian Authority continues to support the Israeli occupation in return for money position and power.

As conditions in Gaza began to improve as a result of Morsi being elected, plans were put in place to have him removed.

Many believe and I am one of them that Israel and America conspired to instigate the coup that brought Sisi to power.

Since then Egypt has played a full part in the misery heaped upon the people of Gaza by Israel and has even shot Gazan’s and flooded their lifeline to the outside world, their tunnels.

Israel yet again murders bombs and destroys Gaza with impunity along with the people their livelihoods and their infrastructure without restraint, all the while being encouraged by western politicians proclaiming’ Israels right to defend itself’ while ignoring the rights of Palestinians to self-defence from occupation. It is Egypt who holds the key to unlock Gaza and end the siege.

As long as Egypt enforces a blockade of Gaza by land sea and air they are just as complicit as Israel for the slow genocide and war crimes being perpetrated against Gaza.

While we remain silent on Israeli war crimes and Egypts connivance in them, then we too are guilty of complicity in war crimes.

It is not the words of your enemies you will remember but the silence of your friends.

The next time you condemn Israeli Actions please remember to condemn Egypt’s inactions.

Open the borders. Let the aid in and the wounded out.

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Sheikh Jarrah Al Quds and the Right of Resistance

Al Quds the Red Line

By Fra Hughes Belfast

Al Quds, Jerusalem is the red line for the Palestinian people the diaspora and the Arab collective.

It is the capital of Palestine and home to the third holiest shrine in Islam the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Muslims believe that Muhammad was transported from the Great Mosque in Mecca to Al Aqsa during the Night Journey. Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad led prayers towards this site for 16-17 months after his migration to Mecca. (Wikipedia)

So how did we get to this current impasse?

Jerusalem is in flames, Gaza is being bombed back to the stone age Israeli Zionists and illegal settlers are attacking Palestinian business, homes, people in the streets, at their residences and places of worship.

Palestinians are defending themselves by any means necessary.

I won’t give a historical lecture just some pertinent facts.

The first Zionist Congress was held in 1897 in Basel Switzerland. It was decided then that European antisemitism needed to be challenged and that a new state for the Jewish people free from European antisemitism was to be created.

Several ideas were considered including Madagascar Uganda and some Latin American countries.

Finally, it was decided Palestine would become the new Israel.

From 1901 onwards the Jewish National Fund began buying land in Palestine. Palestine at that time was part of the Ottoman empire.

The land was bought from absentee Turkish landowners, the Palestinians put off the land and Jewish only migrants employed.

This continued up until the first world war. The British formed regiments of Palestinian and Arab troops promising them freedom from Ottoman occupation if they fought for Britain.

When the war ended the troops dispersed and Britain and France carved up the middle east as a prize for both their colonial empires.

All manifestations of violence today in the middle east stem from the Sykes-Picot agreement and the redrawing of the old Ottoman Empire into a new white European colonial construct. All those who fought for Britain and for the freedom of small nations were abandoned. They were simply Cannon fodder to save British lives by using expendable Arab lives.

The Jewish National fund continued to buy up land and displace the indigenous population.

As the 1920s progressed we witnessed clashes between the European colonists and the indigenous population with riots in Jerusalem during this decade.

With the outbreak of the second world war Zionist designs to fully colonise Palestine were in place.

After 1945 further ethnic clashes occurred. The Zionists were fully armed and trained and the Palestinians had no army, just collections of neighbours and villagers trying to defend their homes and families.

The Stern Gangs, The Hagana and the Irgun began a campaign to terrorise, murder and displace the indigenous population. They succeeded with the help of Britain and America at the UN and the state of Palestine under the British Mandate was partitioned and the new state of Israel born at the point of terrorist guns. 750,000 Palestinians were forced into exile into the surrounding Arab countries and the systematic erasure of the Palestine footprint in the new state began. Villages were destroyed so their inhabitants could not return. Businesses taken over by Jewish Zionist families, homes sequestered and the land stolen.

This happened again in 1967 during the six-day war with the occupation of the West Bank. This continued occupation and the siege on Gaza from 2007 are a continuation of the policy of the theft of homes, theft of land theft of resources and the displacement of the indigenous population.

From the wild west to the middle east, the European white colonial settlement of North America and Canada has become the blueprint for the Zionist colonisation of Palestine.

We can see the house evictions in Sheikh Jarrah East Jerusalem for what they really are. A continuation of the Zionist Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

It is a microcosm of everyday reality and life under occupation.

These house possessions by zionists are just the latest step in the long path to the total Judification of Palestine.

West Jerusalem is already nearly 100% Zionist.

The leader of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly facing criminal corruption charges and is hanging on to power as leader of an extremist zionist political party Likud by the skin of his teeth.

During the Holy Muslim Festival of Ramadan up to 100,000 Palestinians gather for prayer and worship daily at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem known in Arabic as Al Quds

Now if you remember, the Israeli military occupation is illegal under international law.

The zionist settlements are illegal under international law.

Every day Palestinians watch their homes land and businesses confiscated by the Israeli occupation.

These daily injustices lead to a growing sense of frustration, anger and discontent.

The Israeli illegal occupation forces then attacked the peaceful worshippers in the compound adjacent to the Al Aqsa mosque.

They attacked people through dispersal squads who use sound bombs, chemical canisters, arrests and assaults to clear any groups who might congregate.

This means family, friends, neighbours and communities cannot gather in conversation in the community and in peace at the end of the day attending or leaving prayer.

The scenes witnessed all over the Arab, Persian and Muslim world of peaceful worshippers many of them women being attacked inside the mosque at prayer, has led to the resistance groups in Gaza launching primitive rockets at Israel in retaliation for the Israeli state brutalisation of Palestinians at the mosque and under occupation.

Israel’s disproportionate response by launching military sorties from land, sea and air has destroyed buildings and killed scores of men, women and children.

While Israelis cower in their bomb shelters from the falling debris of Palestinian rockets with a payload similar to an enormous firework the Gazan’s have no bomb shelters, no air force, no navy and no land army.

They have a few rockets, machine guns, mortars and rifles to defend them against one the largest modern military machines in the world today.

While Biden yet another pro-Zionist American President phones Netanyahu to give his support to the ‘Israel must have the right to defend itself ‘mantra, all we will see and hear from western media propagandists are more Zionist cries of victimhood.

I have been to Gaza on a medical aid convoy in 2010. I have walked the streets the Zionists are returning to rubble.

They intend to bomb Gaza back to the stone age.

Electricity only runs for a few hours a day. Fresh drinking water is nearly unheard of and bottled water and fuel for generators is sold to Gaza by Israel

With a total land, sea and air blockade of Gaza, the population with huge unemployment rates, nearly 70% for the young Gazans watch each day as Israel destroys Gaza through its bombing campaign, of one building one house one business one apartment block one family at a time. The fear the people and especially the children must be living under is unimaginable..

What can we do?

Support the right of Palestinians as enshrined in International Law to free themselves from occupation by any means necessary.

Go on a protest.

Support BDS and boycott Israel goods and companies.

Demand your government to divest from the political and financial support of Israel.

Once the killings and bombings stop all the people you see protesting will go home and the Palestinians and the Yemenis and the Syrians will be forgotten.

Please remember it’s not just Palestine the Zionists want to destroy. They want total hegemonic control over the entire region.

That means destroying any country and its peoples that it cannot control. Look at Iraq and Libya, see Syria and Yemen watch them threaten Lebanon and Iran.

Israel is cancer in the body politics of the region. Like cancer, it must respond to treatment or the host and the body die.

There will soon be 1 million Zionist Jewish settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. They are all illegal. The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying force(Israel) from moving its civilian population(settlers) into the occupied territory.

UN Resolution 194 states that Palestinians exiled from their homes land and property have the Right of Return.

Israel has never let the Palestinians return.

It continues to usurp their rights and ethnically cleanse the west bank of its indigenous peoples through dispersal and dispossession.

In 1901 They had a dream of land free from hatred from discrimination from racial and religious prejudice.

Far from creating this land, they created a state based on hatred discrimination racial and religious prejudice.

For many outsiders, Israel and the settlers have become the very thing they set out to escape!

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