Thursday, 29 January 2009

IMPORTANT UPDATE

Statement on Leaving the Law Faculty

This is a statement from Cambridge Gaza Solidarity. We left the Law Faculty today at 11 a.m. with more than we came in with, but with considerably less than this cause deserves.

The threat of legal procedings and heavy-handed intimidation by the University authorities undermined what was a peaceful demonstration for an important humanitarian crisis.

When we occupied the Law Faculty we demanded that the University provide academic and humanitarian aid to help rebuild educational institutions in Gaza. We also demanded scholarships for Palestinian students. These reasonable demands have been rejected by Cambridge University despite their being granted by other UK universities. We note the willingness of these universities to engage in meaningful dialogue with their students, and we unreservedly condemn Cambridge University’s lack of moral courage!

Throughout the week we have been eager to enter into meaningful negotiations but have been continually frustrated by the intransigence of the university. Their offers (to be published soon) were inadequate considering the scale of the crisis we have attempted to aid. They have dragged the name of Cambridge University through the mud in their attempt to discredit a peaceful protest for a humanitarian cause.

We came here in solidarity with the people of Gaza who are still under occupation. Gaza is still the issue. This occupation was never an end in itself but the beginning of an active movement. Nationally these occupations have galvanized significant numbers of students and non-students who feel that their institutions have failed them – and failed the people of Gaza.

Thank you so much to all who have supported us. We invite everyone to a public meeting on Saturday to discuss how to take this campaign forward in Cambridge (time and place to be confirmed).

We did not fail. We were failed.

-Cambridge Gaza Solidarity

89 comments:

  1. The struggle continues, inside and outside the occupations, until the demands are met!

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  2. Solidarity. Hope you do not face repurcussions for your actions from the university.

    I think what this shows, along with other universities, is that it is essential for a committee to be elected by the occupation who are willing to defend the occupation, including making sure that security and police have no access to the occupation in order to take photos, cut off power and heating, etc. This would need to include significant numbers of the occupiers in order to face whatever force the university put against the occupiers. Self-defence is no offence.

    Your occupation was inspiring for its mass democracy - something not seen at some other occupations which just 'got down to business' as soon as the occupation started, leading at Oxford in my view to the security staff being able to lock the main entrance without any responce for the occupiers who had not discussed the essentiality of maintaining access at the beginning. Further your attempt to force the university to conduct negotiations in public was inspiring - private negotiations can often lead to the negotiators being conned by the university administrators using various tricks.

    We can not let this mood of direct action in the student movement die. Nor can we keep the situation now where it is largely confined to students. With the NUS dead as a political force (to any extent to was one in the first place, noting the funds it recieves indirectly from the government) and many of the major trade unions headed by highly paid bureaucrats who are tied completely to Labour, actions like this can, if we follow them up, lead towards a new rank and file political movement in this country. What is essential is we do not keep this confined to Palestine, but open it up to other issues - within the student movement fees, solidarity with semi-colonial countries, the kind of education we want, and linking up with working class struggles.

    See you all on 7th February where we can discuss this and more.

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  3. "We did not fail. We were failed by the university."

    Brilliant. You again "unreservedly condemn" the University for failing to endorse the political agenda your tiny group tried to force upon it. You now have two options:

    (1) Admit that trying to bully the University into taking a political stance was a bad move, and do some respectable campaigning by legal means.

    (2) Take the illegality to some awful new level, sustaining yourself with the delusion that eventually the University's face will be under your boot.

    I know which option Hamas would take!

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  4. "The threat of legal procedings and heavy-handed intimidation by the University authorities undermined what was a peaceful demonstration for an important humanitarian crisis. "

    But is wasn't just a demonstration for a humanitarian crisis was it! It was a massively political event, which sought to demonise and vilify Israel. The signs you put up made the political point that Israel was to blame.

    If it was just humanitarian you would have condemned the actions of Hamas, Egypt and Israel and sought Humanitarian aid for those affected by the conflict in Southern Israel.

    Instead you tried to fool people into believing they were helping a humanitarian cause, when rather in supporting you they were taking an extremely partisan stance on an issue whose complexity they didn't truly fathom.

    Your demands were so ridiculous that they undermined your cause. I won't go through them point by point but your scholarship example is an excellent one. Why 10? Why every year without a clause that says until the humanitarian crisis is over? Why not demand a scholarship fund be set up for those from any humanitarian disaster zone?

    Now its over, why don't you guys just come clean, come out and say, " this was massivey political"?

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  5. I am very tempted to say a lot more but I'll keep this short:

    "Cambridge University's lack of moral courage" ?!?!

    In demanding that "no student will face punishment or repercussions, legal or otherwise, for participating in this demonstration" you quite clearly demonstrated that absolutely none of you are prepared to take responsibility for the consequences of the actions.

    Not only does this show that you have absolutely no moral courage but it is also a damning indication of how little you actually care about the situation in Gaza and Israel.

    You have attempted to show that action can have infinitely more impact than rhetoric, but your own actions have demonstated the hypocrisy of your own rhetoric.

    You lost every last shred of respect I have for Cambridge Gaza Solidarity the moment you published this demand.

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  6. another way of seeing this situation could be to say that you lost.

    or indeed, you lost badly.

    or furthermore you got beaten.

    or better still, you got beaten like a cheap piñata.

    so having got beaten, and in the knowledge that you've lost, admit it, get over it and then call your parents and tell them you'll be home pretty soon.

    so there there you ignorant, ill-organised circle-jerking fuckers, don't cry,

    or perhaps, do.

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  7. and no Sean.

    They were not inspirational for democracy. They cannot go down as martyrs for a democracy that they quite frankly shat all over. They went well beyond the democratic sphere. They occupied a building and then said lets talk! The democratic way, should see the talking come first. They occupied a building and then put the motion to CUSU. They occupied a building and then gave DEMANDS. The very existence of DEMANDS suggests that there was nothing to discuss, it was a 'diktat'! The way they ran their movement may have been democratic, but if they really were democratic, they would have asked the student body to vote on whether they supported their actions. CUSU last night made it pretty clear that such support wasn't forthcoming. Calling this democracy is an abuse of the term.

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  9. It is certainly the beginning, and for that a hearty congratulations goes out to the entire solidarity movement.

    -you did not fail in reviving the dead student activisim of the present times

    -you did not fail in letting so many people come out of their slumber and take notice of the injustices that people are going under ( the volley of 'infuriated' comments seen in the past few days certainly indicates that some things have been disturbed, and for good!)

    - you did not fail in conducting yourselves in the best of manners in face of such intimidation and shameful actions by the University.

    -you did not fail acting when action was needed. And as you haven't given up, you haven't failed in recognising that more action is still needed.

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  10. I agree with Edward...

    What I think he is getting at is that basically, you got laid the fuck out.

    Which is a genunine shame for those in the movment that were there for purely humanitarian reasons. My advice to you guys would be to go about the humanitarian business in a far more suitable manner and you will find people are very generous.

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  11. Considering you will not be a member of this school much longer, you will have plenty of time to promote your cause in the real world. I wish you luck. Perhaps you should concentrate on the Arab League coming to a conclusion regarding their "brothers" before DEMANDING that an independent institution of learning get involved.

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  12. >> This is a statement from Cambridge Gaza Solidarity. We left the Law Faculty today at 11 a.m. with more than we came in with, but with considerably less than this cause deserves.

    It failed because your critics were not prepared to listen to *precisely* what you have to say, or because of spoiling tactics from the University, or because you weren't allowed your tuck-boxes.

    Oh, mammy, yes. And I'm the Queen of Sheba. It failed because your group was as much use as a condom machine in the Vatican. Judging by some of those who thought themselves worthy of making your case on this blog, you were riddled with Jew-obsessed creeps or common protection racketeers or loonies who'd wandered in off the street and whom your group had no tabs on.

    All it will have succeeded in doing is turning considerable numbers of other students against "the cause". But, to criticize you is to criticize "the cause", and that makes us supportive of killing Gazans, eh?

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  13. Your actions during the past days were an outstanding and inspiring example of courage, solidarity, democracy and idealism. Refusing to remain silent before the violation of Human Rights in Gaza you conducted a peaceful, rational, ordered, good-humoured action of civil disobedience in order to draw attention to your cause. Rest assure that in this you were absolutely successful. You make us proud of being Cambridge University students as much as the University authorities make us all ashamed (especially considering the actions of authorities in other British universities).
    Congratulations!!!

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  14. Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Sorry, that's unfair.

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  15. I know that we at LSE would have stayed until they physically dragged us out, in fact we welcomed it because of the potential media attention that would eventually shame the administration into doing something.

    Don't forget what you're fighting for - re-occupy!!

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  16. >> I know that we at LSE would have stayed until they physically dragged us out, in fact we welcomed it because of the potential media attention that would eventually shame the administration into doing something.

    And you can guarantee that the institutions at which protests are still in progress are looking to this outcome, and even Howard Davies et al. will now be wondering just how little they have to honour in any agreement they made.

    >> Don't forget what you're fighting for - re-occupy!!

    Come back, I'll bite your ankles off!

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  17. Well done for keeping the occupation going as long as you did. We all admire you for the courage it must have taken to stand up for what you believe in.
    Keep us posted on what you do next.

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  18. So sorry to hear this guys!
    remember
    at the end of the day - its about gaza
    keep doing all you can for the people of gaza as a unified body of students and activists

    power to the people
    dont underestimate the inspiration peace gives us...

    peace be unto you all

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  20. If anyone wants to do anything useful please write to the President of the UN Security Council to urge him to make the people who are responsible for war crimes, both in Israel, and in Palestine, to be brought to account for their actions.

    “The [Israeli] soldiers shelled the house and killed my mother, my father, my baby girl and 25 other members of my family. Why? We are not Hamas, we are not fighters. Why did they do this to us?” [Salah Sammouni, Gaza – January 2009]

    "My five-year old son always asks where the closest bomb shelter is. Little children shouldn't have such worries; they should worry about what to play next." [Geut Aragon, whose house in Sderot was hit by a Palestinian rocket – December 2008]

    The link to the Amnesty campaign is:
    http://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions_details.asp?ActionID=560

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  21. I am proud to be a member of Cambridge University this day.

    You were allowed, more or less to sit-in and disrupt the normal running of lectures, in an educational institution with no clear, direct links to the crisis. That the university even allowed you to do this, at the expense of some other teachers and students who had to sit on the floors in overcapacity rooms and cancel lectures, is frankly remarkable. Not to mention security and administrative staff who were mobilised to attend to your petulant demands.

    You compare Cambridge unfavourably only to other universities because it didn't bow down to your demands. Passing aside the question of why it should in the first place. In many countries I know, you would have been locked up and expelled from day 1.

    If you were heckled unfairly by university staff, that was unfortunate and regrettable but surely even you wou would admit you were trying the limits of everyone's patience. By and large, you were allowed to stay.

    I am proud that the university did not bow to a group which wanted it to make a partisan statement condemning murder by one country and not murder by the one. your excuse that you wanted to focus on israel at the moment is not acceptable.

    I am proud that it did not make a special case for the Palestinians just because they happen to be dying right now. because people are dying everywhere, especially civillians in Sri Lanka right now, not just the ones you happened to see on TV. That it continues to support many thousands of students through its various trust funds.

    You can attempt to salvage this situation by saying you didn't fail. how you are going to do that, i'm really not sure considering your aims and methods. but please do not lay the blame at Cambridge's door.

    i hope to see more of you doing what you should have done and start soliciting funds for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza in a non-disruptive manner. that might be one way of avoiding failure from this. you will have my full support.

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  22. Alec: Do you live in Cambridge? If so, would you meet for a cup of tea and half an hour of discussion? As a sociologic experiment (and I am not joking) I really wonder how would you support your points of view on face to face conversation rather than on an internet blog...

    Let me know if you are interested.

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  23. Capitan, no offence inferred from your comment, but I don't live in or anywhere near Cambridge.

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  24. I am truly proud to be a member of the University of Cambridge today. Apparently, according to the FAQ section of this blog, Cambridge is the only university in the country not to succumb to ANY of the occupiers' demands. WELL DONE CAMBRIDGE to not bowing to the bullying and extortion tactics of these misguided few.

    I, like many others who have disagreed with the occupation's tactics, deplore the killing of any innocent civilian around the globe. While I weep for the innocent in Gaza, it is no more than I weep for the innocent in Zimbabwe, the United States, Venezuela, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and Afghanistan, to name but a few.

    There are humanitarian crises occurring all over the world. I honestly hope that you will raise your voices in support of all the world's downtrodden.

    When you have a demonstration against Iran's persecution of Baha'i, or ethnic cleansing in Africa, I will be right there standing there in support. Sadly, I doubt either of these will ever happen.

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  25. "Throughout the week we have been eager to enter into meaningful negotiations"

    Surely in negotiations each side needs to have something to offer? How would that go?

    Either:

    Morons: "We demand you issue a statement condemning Israel!"
    Uni: "What will you give us in return?"
    Morons: "Nothing!"
    Uni: "No, then."

    Or:

    Morons: "We demand you issue a statement condemning Israel!"
    Uni: "What will you give us in return?"
    Morons: "We will leave the Law Faculty."
    Uni: "How about we use our legal right to throw you out of *our* building, prosecute you, and not give into any of your demands?"

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  26. nulaw99 (and also Benuel): one difference between the occupiers' cause and the examples you gave is the fact that Britain (and the United State and Europe) do not support "Iran's persecution of Baha'i" or "ethnic cleansing in Africa". They do not send Tony Blair off as special envoy to those troubles, nor do they subsidise the aggressor parties' militaries, or impose sanctions on the victims.

    As for why we condemn Israel, let me remind you again: 1400 dead Palestinians, tens of thousands of homes destroyed in Gaza: 13 dead Israelis. Europe's governments, the United States, Japan --- all class Hamas a "terrorist" organisation and issue regular condemnations of it. But apologists of Israel like yourself still want more: "you don't condemn Hamas as much as we would like!"

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  27. >> nulaw99 (and also Benuel): one difference between the occupiers' cause and the examples you gave is the fact that Britain (and the United State and Europe) do not support "Iran's persecution of Baha'i" or "ethnic cleansing in Africa".

    Gawd, he's like the energizer bunny.

    Morons - "We demand you issue a statement condemning Israel!"

    Uni - "Why?"

    Morons - "Because we prefer to endlessly criticize the only Jewish majority state, and cannot even be arsed to comment on Sri Lanka or Uganda or Iran."

    Uni - "Get to France."

    Here's basic moral philosophy for you, if you claim to be protesting against the worst case of human rights violations, you protest against the worst case of human rights violations. You do not offer yourself a get-out-clause because because named countries - only one of which you're likely to be a citizen of, and whose foreign policies you do not identify with - pursue undefined relations with a another named country.

    Here's some basic modern studies for you... Britain, the U.S.A. and Europe *do* have reciprocal agreements with Iran, and definitely supply the Sri Lankan military. Yet you cannot even muster a word of condemnation; instead repeating the above falsehoods and misrepresentations.

    >> As for why we condemn Israel, let me remind you again: 1400 dead Palestinians, tens of thousands of homes destroyed in Gaza: 13 dead Israelis. Europe's governments, the United States, Japan --- all class Hamas a "terrorist" organisation and issue regular condemnations of it. But apologists of Israel like yourself still want more: "you don't condemn Hamas as much as we would like!"

    A prophesy coming true.

    http://cambridgegazasolidarity.blogspot.com/2009/01/dear-vice-chancellor-i-am-writing-as.html?showComment=1233259380000#c5013681153704850397

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  28. Greetings from a sussex university occupier, it is shameful that the management of your university refused to do what is clearly the right thing and open meaningful dialogue with you.
    Do not be disheartened, this is bigger than anyone in your management can comprehend and as a national movement, only the beginning. Victory was won for the people of Gaza the moment you took the decision to occupy because even if it takes a little while to become clear, the lack of moral courage shown by your VC will give you the publicity required to take this further and get even more than you had originally intended. Stay strong, continue meeting and keep building pressure.

    Max (sussex)

    To the detractors, you must realize, this is not an anti-Israeli campaign and we are not anti-Semitic. At most, we are anti-Zionists. Nor is it a pro-Hamas campaign, for we are not blind. This is a campaign for the rights of people in the Palestinian territories (right now, Palestine does not exist) to live without fear of intimidation and ethnic cleansing. This is a campaign for the rights we enjoy - education, free enterprise and the ability to live on the land of our fathers and our fathers fathers. This is about humanity, so please, do not reduce it to politics.

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  29. >> To the detractors, you must realize, this is not an anti-Israeli campaign and we are not anti-Semitic.

    And following this argument, Mafiosi are not criminals, just honest businessmen. Wait a minute, it's up to others to judge their actions.

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  31. Why is anyone who condems Israel labelled as an anti-Semitic? Israel has committed serious war crimes over the last months, (I am not saying that the actions by Hamas were right as I totally disagree with them) and the situation and the suffering they have crated in Gaza is outrageous. The actions taken by Israel cannot be justified at all. This has nothing to do with the fact that Israel is a Jewish State, if a Christian, or Muslim, or a secular state did the same it would still get the same level of condemnation

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  32. >> Why is anyone who condems Israel labelled as an anti-Semitic?

    This retort is so old that it has a book in the Bible named after it. Not everyone is, but as soon as it's declared that endless criticism of Israel can *never* be antisemitic, it is reasonable to ask if the speaker would recognize it if it bit him on the bottom.

    And, it does become rather tiresome to hear this retort when, time after time, anti-Zionists turn out to be dallying with full-blown antisemitism.

    http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/article.php?id=1856

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  33. nulaw99: "WELL DONE CAMBRIDGE to not bowing to the bullying and extortion tactics of these misguided few ... When you have a demonstration against Iran's persecution of Baha'i, or ethnic cleansing in Africa, I will be right there standing there in support."

    Your implication appears to be that you would support demonstrations over any cause other than that of the Gazans.

    A point relevant to most detractors on here: Yes, there are people suffering all over the world (no doubt many more so than those in Gaza); and yes, there are people suffering in southern Israel... So why not stand up and be counted in support of these people instead of ranting on an internet messageboard against the legitimate protests of others?

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  34. Alec, I'm not sure where you get the idea from that our demands were not met. We are already starting meetings in how to flesh out the university's commitment. LSE students tried to get the university to move first with year-long campaigns, several student union motions, letters.. the occupation was a last resort, and the only way that we could have gotten what we did. Of course it would have been better if we got, say, 5 scholarships created there and then for Palestinians rather than application fees waived and a termly forum set up to encourage more applications (the university has already said that it will give as much need-based funding as will be needed),plus a Palestine country page informing Palestinians what help they are entitled to. But without our occupation, none of this would have been achieved.

    We keep hearing from students who say that they also deplore the killing in Gaza but don't think such a strongly worded motion, or such an activist approach, was needed. But when have these students ever put out an alternative motion, ever gone through other channels, ever done anything?

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  35. >> Alec, I'm not sure where you get the idea from that our demands were not met.

    And, I'm not sure where you get the idea that I said they didn't receive nominal approval. What I did say was that this complete and utter folding of the Cambridge protest will have galvinized other institutions as well as, just maybe, encouraged Howard Davies et al. to give you the absolute minimum.

    >> But when have these students ever put out an alternative motion, ever gone through other channels, ever done anything?

    Because they are not obliged to listen to a single word a group of controlling self-styled vanguards have to say. Especially those who, when they don't get whatever they "demand", occupy college facilities and disrupt the vast majority of students there to learn in efforts to divert finances and equipment to their pet projects.

    Just a thought, like.

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  36. Why do people keep saying war crimes?? As far as I and Colonel Richard Kemp (senior army advisor) can tell, Israel has been 'poked' continuously and finally reacted, legitimately, to the best of their ability. And all this nonsense about disproportion... What are you suggesting? That Israel can respond to rockets being sent into their country, but can only kill 13 people? Then have to wait for more Israelis to die before continuing? Considering the miniscule size of Gaza, and the density of the population of its 1.5 million people, to have limited the death toll to 1,300 is a remarkable achievement.

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  37. http://www.bicom.org.uk/news/operation-cast-lead/videos/bbc-news--military-analysis

    In true BBC fashion, only shown at midday....

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  38. No murder of innocent civilians will be tolerated in the western world. We the students and the nation and the people will rise against injustice that has not been dealt with by the International community.

    Those who support racism should return to the lands that occupy and demolish homes. You are not welcome in the democratic western world where democracy says the first word, not you.

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  39. Well done, guys. I'm ashamed to be a member of this university right now, and I really, really admire everybody who stuck it out. Looking forward to Saturday's meeting!

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  40. You did great guys, hope you don't get disheartened. Well done from inside the Nottingham Occupation lecture theatre - think I'm the only one still awake!

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  41. Well I had hoped for a higher standard of response from Cambridge, and they delivered!

    The university and faculty played by the rules all the way along - showing remarkable patience and restraint - while masterfully exposing you as the whining schoolchildren you are.

    "Where's my food?"
    "Why won't you let us back in?"

    You would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh!

    NB I would be rather wary of Sean at comment #2.
    I think what this shows, along with other universities, is that it is essential for a committee to be elected by the occupation who are willing to defend the occupation, including making sure that security and police have no access to the occupation in order to take photos, cut off power and heating, etc. This would need to include significant numbers of the occupiers in order to face whatever force the university put against the occupiers. Self-defence is no offence.

    I don't know whether he is a member of the university (I doubt it) but you can be sure that he won't give a fig about any repercussions you would certainly face under those circumstances.

    Although I'm not hopeful when I say this, but don't be taken for fools.

    Now grow up.

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  42. ChrisC: you a member of this uni? and why so happy at the misfortune of others? Are you really gloating because you hate and despise Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, Socialists, Anarchists... because we were all present in the occupation.

    Or is it something superficial just that you didn't like the law fac being occupied?

    Or something deeper like you didn't like people noticing how many (400'000) Palestinians have been left without water?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7838618.stm

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  43. Yes - I am a graduate member of the university.

    Though as others have commented it would not matter one iota if I were not, since it is an important matter of principle that any institution, especially one of Cambridge's standing, should not submit to the demands of "occupiers" - even feeble ones such as yourselves.

    At the same time your failure to condemn the direct complicity of Hamas in the suffering of the people of Gaza hopelessly undermines your own case.

    I am afraid you have only succeeded as coming across as a bunch of self-righteous, ignorant schoolchildren.

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  44. Dear friends of freedom and justice,

    I am proud of the youth of Cambridge University, who have put aside their own needs for over a week, and demanded justice and human rights for the suffering people of Palestine. You have woken up to the injustices of 60 years...keep waking up those around you...keep us informed of your meetings so we can attend, and support you.

    Do you think you could continue your 'occupation' but make it outside a building? Transforming it into a 'public' vigil, rather like the vigil kept outside the South African embassy, during the apartheid period...I felt you were vulnerable tucked away inside the law f. as the eyes of Cambridge and more were not upon you, and the Univ. had, in that sense, the upper hand.

    News for you too...yesterday, in Gaza, others were protesting, outside the BBC offices, as shown on PressTV, satellite station and internet. They were composed of journalists and intellectuals, all asking for a boycott of the BBC, and the expelling of, I believe, three journalists, who were "misreporting" events from the ground.

    It's so important to connect up all the grass roots protests, all over the world, as it shows there is a strong surge of world opinion against the bias of media and the gazan war crimes.

    I notice that all those who try and trash your actions, use degrading language, and often see the Gazan situation from their own selfish, warped perspective...they are BLIND to the voices of Gazan CHILDREN who have lost mothers, fathers, siblings, all in front of their eyes...they are blind to the voices of human beings in Gaza who have no water or food or homes but have put blankets up in a defiant attempt to start from scratch, and keep sitting on the rubble of their homes, which they will rebuild.

    Israel is the very, very spoilt and greedy child of America, who has given it everything, at each tantrum, in order to dominate and humiliate its Semite brothers and sisters, the Palestinians, for 7 decades.

    The world is watching this time...students, and everyone who cares about other human beings and their suffering...we must continue to keep that spotlight on people who continue with that UNJUST status quo...keep protesting...keep insisting in a thousand different ways...and a hundred different languages...keep in contact....WELL DONE SO FAR....

    WE ARE WITH YOU ALL THE WAY.................

    In our thousands, in our millions, we are ALL Palestinians.

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  45. I'm proud of us. The argument that if we're going to take action on one cause, we should take action on them all, shows how little our critics know of the consistent hardwork going on behind the scenes by 'a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens'. The fact that the message we received at CUSU the other night was that it was not the place to discuss politics undermines the claim that student activism should go through CUSU. People who want things for themselves might be able to ask CUSU: people who want things for other people, as we already knew, are forced to try other channels.

    The claim that it was a giant slumber party with no actual concern for the people of Gaza is what makes me feel the most sickened. Much as sleeping on the floor, spending six days and nights inside one, highly institutionalised building, getting gradually more exhausted, constantly dealing with criticism, attending meetings, negotiating with intransigent beauracrats, and having the odd session of yoga or poetry readings to unwind is the most fun I possibly could have had over the last week, if it weren't for the suffering of the people of Gaza, I probably could have found other ways of spending it: possibly even avoiding falling behind on my degree. And exuberance at the return of student activism doesn't detract from the issue either: it means that, in line with our critics, we hope that from this movement, other issues can be addressed.

    Whatever our view of any other organisation or situation, it seems to me that Israel has been given some sort of blank cheque by the Western world. Bombing a tiny piece of land the innocent civilians of which are prevented by a blockade from leaving is simply unacceptable, end of story. Citizens of Israel are not forced to be there, although the active recruitment to the zionist cause by the Jewish agency could be seen as pressure. If the state of Israel is going to survive and provide its citizens with security, at some point it is going to have to start engaging with its neighbours properly. The taste I have had this week of the repressive efforts of zionism whenever the state of Israel is criticised have disillusioned me. I never would have thought it of my own people.

    I for one hope this will be the beginning of the student body getting active on all sorts of issues, and am disappointed in an insitution whose only committment seems to be to the privilige and excess of its own students, despite its prestigious reputation on a global level.

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  46. The taste I have had this week of the repressive efforts of zionism whenever the state of Israel is criticised have disillusioned me.

    This is truly pathetic.

    What exactly do you mean by "repressive efforts"?
    And in what sense were these efforts those of "zionism"?

    How is Cambridge committed to the "excess" of its own students - except in the obvious extent to which it has indulged your excessive self-righteousness with extraordinary patience and restraint?

    Are you capable of moving beyond your egotistical and naive sloganeering?

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  47. Oh, and if you really are so disappointed do feel free to drop out so that a more serious student can take your place.

    Not that disappointed?

    Thought not.

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  49. Aye, Chris. During my studies at a lesser university, I fell ill and was treated like an incontinent sheep dog which the farmer dispatches with both barrels. So, when I see these silly little, self-aggrandizing children be accommodated and, baring one or two cases, be certain to continue studying at Cambridge despite their risk-free publicity stunt, I, well, get annoyed.

    >> I'm proud of us.

    >> It is certainly the beginning, and for that a hearty congratulations goes out to the entire solidarity movement.

    >> Your actions during the past days were an outstanding and inspiring example of courage, solidarity, democracy and idealism.

    >> Well done for keeping the occupation going as long as you did.

    >> Well done, guys.

    No, it failed and failed miserably. In addition to DA GROUP's complete inability and refusal to accept any responsibility for its actions - we demand that no student face repercussions - it would now appear that failure is celebrated.

    As well as revealing your own low personal morals, it is small wonder, then, that ewes identify with the most vociferously anti-Israel aspects of Palestinian nationalism which, over the past six decades, has proved to be a thoroughly malign force in the region and to have squandered repeated opportunities for peace settlements (see the relative status of Israeli Arabs).

    Quite disgraceful.

    LSE OCCUPATIONS >> I know that we at LSE would have stayed until they physically dragged us out, in fact we welcomed it because of the potential media attention that would eventually shame the administration into doing something.

    What, like Prof. Feldman would have done? Tell that to the Marines! Ewes would have folded and started begging to be allowed to remain in the university ewes had just attempted to blackmail!

    JACK >> No murder of innocent civilians will be tolerated in the western world. [...] You are not welcome in the democratic western world where democracy says the first word, not you.

    British military personnel who've bombed civilian targets have received medals. Here we have you dividing the world up into "civilized" and "outwith the human family". No doubt you don't *hate* Jews, just want them to be well-behaved. And it is for you to contemptuously decide what this good behaviour is.

    So, peace and love to Israelis and Palestinians, and whatever the Zionists are, and seig heil to you!

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  50. freegaza: my point exactly. the fact that the west does not unaminously condemn israel is not some elaborate conspiracy. it's because the conflict is more than that.
    in any case, many EU nations condemned the Gaza raid as disproportionate. it was the US under Bush which abstained

    go to the people of sderot, as Barack Obama did, and please tell them they deserve to die under rocket fire from Hamas because they have a stronger army and because the West supports them. then tell them Palestinians are dying across the border, and they'll tell you they honestly don't care because their children live in fear too. Where does it end? it ends only when you can tell them BOTH to stop. Israel is not going to stop because a bunch of students or even governments, excluding the US, tell it to. It's going to stop when they get guarantees that Hamas won't use the interim to plot its destruction as well. When is Hamas going to stop? when it can peacefully take part in politics in a democratic government with a good chance of statehood free from Israeli repression and settlers out of W. Bank. If you do not see this, Gaza will never be free and neither will Israel. It is highly ironic that you perpetuate the misery of Gaza by doing so.

    thank god most of the world's leaders aren't as shortsighted as a bunch of cambridge students. that they recognise this bilateral need. you could get a person like Bush who is.

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  51. Yes, Benuel, it's always a telling failure in empathy where the speaker doesn't just not comment on the suffering of one side but actively denies any requirement to.

    Funny how often it goes hand-in-hand with the near psychotic levels of self-righteousness of certain subsets of "anti-racists".

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  52. >> As well as revealing your own low personal morals, it is small wonder, then, that ewes identify with the most vociferously anti-Israel aspects of Palestinian nationalism which, over the past six decades, has proved to be a thoroughly malign force in the region and to have squandered repeated opportunities for peace settlements (see the relative status of Israeli Arabs).

    Before some clever clogs accuses me of referring to Palestinian nationalism in toto, I am referring to those anti-Israel aspects. I should have used have, not has.

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  53. Circulation of the following amongst Jewish and Israeli students was blocked by their representative societies. It is our commentary on the suffering of Israelis. At the end of the day, if you don't like what we did, explain to us what we should actually have done as a concrete proposal, or what we should be doing now, rather than simply bleating on about the shortcomings of what we did do. You're free to act to try to correct those shortcomings, and we won't be there ruthlessly criticising if you do. I for one am supportive of anything that is an attempt to take humanitarian political action. And I'm not going to leave Cambridge or renounce my citizenship of Israel: instead, I am going to continue to exercise my right as part of both to demand more of them.

    Cambridge Gaza Solidarity have, understandably, been approached by various members of the Jewish and Israeli community, with concerns about the nature and aims of our actions. We would like to thank, warmly, the Israeli students who came inside and actively engaged with us on these issues. We are deeply sorry that the delegation sent by Cambridge University Jewish Society, despite being a bigger group and having the support of an official university society behind them, did not feel comfortable doing the same, and stayed out in the cold. We have taken their expression of a sense of intimidation very seriously. Jewish individuals who are part of our occupation, and indeed members of Cambridge University Jewish and Israel Societies, are particularly sorry to find themselves thus divided from a university society that apparently represents them, and their fellow Jewish students. We hope that we can begin to bridge this divide by engaging with the concerns
    that have been raised to us.

    Firstly, the Jsoc delegation seemed to have taken it personally and interpreted it as a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise them, that our occupation began on a Friday night, when practicing Jews would be otherwise engaged. Had it been planned or the reaction of J-Soc anticipated, this would be a valid criticism. In the circumstances, it is unfortunate that the screening of the film 'Palestine is Still the Issue', by John Pilger, happened to take place on a Friday night, and be the point at which a large group of students, who had been engaging with the humanitarian crisis in Gaza for weeks, decided to take action. This group included Jewish and Israeli students, who did not personally feel that in doing so they would be in anyway choosing to align themselves against the Jewish or Israeli community of Cambridge. The group that voted spontaneously to occupy was a diverse community engaging with the issues as human beings, not in a partisan way.

    This leads into the second, and very pressing, concern raised. Our occupation and its demands seems only to be engaging with suffering and killing on the Palestinian side, and ignoring the plight of people living in the far North and South of Israel, and soldiers, such as Gilad Shalit, who have been kidnapped by nationalist militants. We all think, unanimously, that a situation in which innocent civilians are being targeted and conscripted soldiers are being kidnapped, is intolerable. We have been debating, considering and attempting to comprehend how such a situation can have arisen. By showing our solidarity with suffering Palestinians, we are showing our solidarity with civilians and conscripted soldiers in Israel; they are the victims of the same international situation. The primary focus of our protest must be on suffering in Gaza, as it is the Gazans who are being subjected to a particularly disproportionate level of force. We reiterate that we are
    in solidarity with the people of Israel and with peace movements internationally. We are working continuously to ensure that this is clear to those outside our occupation and to visitors to the Law Faculty.

    We have explicitly condemned particular actions of the Israeli government because we feel that they are inflaming an already desperate situation. We do not support military action on either side. However, we feel that the IDF is much more powerful than any Palestinian military organisation, and that until Israel takes the lead in ending the violence and oppression and engaging in an equal, inclusive and open peace process, no advances can be made on the humanitarian situation in any part of Israel or Palestine. It is for this reason that we are in particular solidarity with peace movements in Israel, as we feel that they are the appropriate and productive response to violence against Israelis, not disproportionate use of violence by Israel.

    We hope that this will make all Jewish and Israeli students feel more comfortable visiting the Law Faculty, and less alienated by our occupation and its participants. We realize that part of J-soc's objection is the nature of the action itself, and not just its focus. The 'legitimate' democratic channels available to Cambridge University students had all been exhausted by the time the decision to occupy was made. Occupying a university building, and then issuing demands to the university authorities, has two major benefits. Firstly, it gives us leverage with which to negotiate with the university, rather than repeatedly being rebuffed and silenced by them because they have all the power. Secondly, it creates a space in which true democratic processes can be carried out, and students are free to engage with the issue of Israel-Palestine in the way that recent events have made so many of them anxious to. We would love to be joined in that activity, and
    move forward with it once our occupation has ended, by the full spectrum of Jewish and Israeli opinion. Beccy Talmy, former secretary of Cambridge University Israel Society, had already been in contact with the current president about arranging a dialogue event, to try to get to the heart of the complexities of the issues together. At her invitation, J-soc have now expressed an interest in participating in such an event, and we hope to liase with them further.

    Any Jewish or Israeli students are more than welcome in the occupied Law Faculty, and if any of them would not feel comfortable with engaging with Cambridge Gaza Solidarity in that environment, we would love to have the opportunity to send a delegation along to Culanu, or any other J-soc space.

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  54. Firstly, it gives us leverage with which to negotiate with the university, rather than repeatedly being rebuffed and silenced by them because they have all the power.

    Oh dear; it seems it didn't.

    Secondly, it creates a space in which true democratic processes can be carried out, and students are free to engage with the issue of Israel-Palestine in the way that recent events have made so many of them anxious to.

    Meaningless twaddle. How exactly is an occupied faculty the only "space" in which such engagement is possible?

    Are you really a Cambridge undergraduate?
    Standards really have fallen.

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  55. OK.

    could reps from the other occupations please contact me at samwade@hotmail.co.uk

    to all those supporting the occupation:
    thanks for all the support but it'd be great if you just left messages of support or constructive critism and not 'feed the trolls'

    those who have a serious problem with the occupation please feel free to say what you like on this blog and it will be read by all.

    the best course of action here is to show the critics just what it's like to try and talk to the university. Just don't respond. if they say something that's not true let them say it, I don't think the blog best represents the veiws of the uni and certainly not of the town.

    just as a quick question: all you students so concerned with the distruption of your education, where do you find the time to post reptedly on these blogs?

    cheers

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  56. >> It is our commentary on the suffering of Israelis.

    Actually, it's not. It's a self-regarding epistle which endlessly justifies your monumental error of judgement and doesn't, once, mention Israeli suffering except in the context of Palestinian misfortune which you semantically link to explicitly cited Israeli misdeeds.

    "By showing our solidarity with suffering Palestinians, we are showing our solidarity with civilians and conscripted soldiers in Israel"? Yeah, right.

    >> We are deeply sorry that the delegation sent by Cambridge University Jewish Society, despite being a bigger group and having the support of an official university society behind them, did not feel comfortable doing the same, and stayed out in the cold.

    Ah, of course. Staying out in the cold implies being unwelcome (or feeling one would be unwelcome) and ostracism. Now, why do you think Jewish and/or Israeli socs may view you with suspicion?

    Either they are not intelligent and insightful enough to appreciate your wisdom [1] and therefore consign themselves to a life outwith the human family, or (and I, personally, think this far more likely) the refusal to so-much as criticize Hamas in your statements and sentiments displayed concerning the Holocaust evidenced on this blog have repulsed them.


    >> Firstly, the Jsoc delegation seemed to have taken it personally and interpreted it as a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise them, that our occupation began on a Friday night, when practicing Jews would be otherwise engaged. Had it been planned or the reaction of J-Soc anticipated, this would be a valid criticism.

    So, it was only insensitivity? Here's a gaggle which not only, by its selected name, excludes non-Jews from its membership, but also conducted their first meeting in a church on a Friday (when one of its number started fighting with Jewish audience member).

    http://www.ijsn.net/

    >> In the circumstances, it is unfortunate that the screening of the film 'Palestine is Still the Issue', by John Pilger, happened to take place on a Friday night, and be the point at which a large group of students, who had been engaging with the humanitarian crisis in Gaza for weeks, decided to take action.

    Unfortunate!!! This is more or less an admission that you did not react rationally or with forethought but, on seeing a propaganda film (which Pilger has long since segued into), DA GROUP was overcome by emotional and rushed out onto the street.

    I've said this before, but will say it again, as Goring almost said of von Rippentrop, you deserve to be sent down if only for your stupidity.

    >> At the end of the day, if you don't like what we did, explain to us what we should actually have done as a concrete proposal, or what we should be doing now, rather than simply bleating on about the shortcomings of what we did do.

    Oh, grow up. You lost, and you lost badly. Now, like children who've eaten too much cake, you're crying because your stomachs hurt.

    P.S. Why if this is unrelated to Jews did you feel the need to approach Jewish socs?


    [1] The beer glass syndrome, where it's never one's own fault. If I joggle someone's arm in the pub, it was a mistake. If someone joggles mine, it was carelessness.

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  57. and i notice that you only talk about demands 1 and 6 can we have some reactionary comment on the others please, just for balance

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  58. To all wannabe occupiers - please be very careful about getting involved with people from outside the university.

    They have nothing to lose, and don't care if you do.

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  59. Sam, neither you nor these smurfs [1] are in any position to make requests, let alone demands. Sixty years ago, after the Arab League lost in their attempt to efface the nascent Israel, their pleas of "please give us our land back" was tragedy. Now, you're a farce.

    [1] At least you, Sam, are not going to suffer any ill effects.

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  60. J-Soc and Israel Soc both approached US, and then refused to engage with our genuine response, which seems repressive to me, whatever the shortcomings of our response: we could have been informed of those far better if they hadn't simply ignored us.

    I'm pretty sick of being told what I do and don't think about my own people, plus I have a degree to get on with now, so I'm going to heed Sam's advice and leave you to get on with it.

    The town has been amazingly supportive, and I see no reason to distinguish between students and town residents beyond the fact that it suits the university to. The university is in the town, not vice-versa, but they seem to forget that.

    So yes, this is my final message of love and support to ALL the amazing people taking action on the suffering of innocent people in Israel-Palestine right now, whatever their background and whichever of the various means they're choosing to use (excluding disproportionate, indiscriminate violence, terrorism and useless online griping).

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  61. Rainbow - "repressive"?

    Poor baby. Heaven forfend you ever come across any genuine repression!

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  62. rainbow,

    your statements excluded the israeli people.
    this is a simple and obvious fact.

    don't tell me you support the israeli people by not mentioning them. i don't think even you yourself buy that garbage.

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  63. It ain't even faux repression, Chris. Repression is the application of power by the state - or a reasonable analogue - to halt and/or frustrate the daily routines of a certain population group or political class. This is a fairly basic concept for anyone claiming to be involved with left-wing or internationalist activism, I would have thought.

    The Dreamer et al. here were not halted by the Jewish and Israeli socs' reluctance to join in. Freedom of speech does not include either the obligation for others to participate or guarantee of venue (just as no-one was starved out of the Faculty when they had alternative accommodation provided by the University or, for some maybe, soon-to-be their parents again; or, even, their own non-University abodes as with the gallant Sam). In fact, if anyone's indulging in totalitarian control of the debate, it's the C.G.S.O. and, specifically, the Dreamer who demand conformity from others.

    >> I'm pretty sick of being told what I do and don't think about my own people,

    Perhaps if you'd develop some emotional intelligence and desist consigning anyone who disagrees with you to "the cold", you'd be treated as with the respect you believe is your due.

    Anthony Julius has coined the term "self-regarding" as opposed to "self-hating", and you definitely incline to this. You display an overweening belief that your status as a "half Israeli" makes you the final arbiter on the discussion, to the extent that Israelis or Zionist Jews or anyone else who disagrees is to remain out in "the cold".

    >> plus I have a degree to get on with now,

    Coward. You have neither been overly bothered during the past week nor concerned about the disruption your group's vainglorious and self-serving actions were causing other students. All while you thought you were going to win. Now, as soon as you loose even more hilariously than McCain/Palin, you start bleating about propriety.

    >> so I'm going to heed Sam's advice and leave you to get on with it.

    Go on, run back to your gated Facebook group or carefully selected talking shops. Wa-wa, nasty power is hurting us, wa-wa, nasty men not agreeing with us.

    >> So yes, this is my final message [...] online griping.

    Spare us the passive aggression. If you genuinely wished to draw a line you'd have replied with only something along the lines of "this conversation is over" and not touched on my individuals points. Likewise, if you were genuinely opposed to "online griping" you would never have started posting to a blog.

    As it stands, you have attempted to deny me the right of reply whilst portraying yourself as magnanimously bowing-out. This is the very worst form of totalitarianism and a significant reason why I, Chris and others are taking great satisfaction in highlighting your and DA GROUP's double-standards.

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  64. Is there anything I can actually say that you won't criticise in a really horrible way? Because I'm happy to forego study time for constructive activity or debate, but not just to be subjected to patronising insults.

    I think I've got as much right to speak about how my people feel as the co-presidents of Cambridge University Jewish society, who aren't, so far as I know, Israeli at all, half or otherwise. Check out http://www.jfjfp.org/. For every Jewish voice that feels threatened by criticism of the Israeli government, there is another one willing to speak out against them: it's certainly not just me. And speaking out against the Israeli government isn't automatically synonymous with speaking out in favour of Hamas.

    Also, at what point did any member of Cambridge Gaza Solidarity try to pretend they'd had a hard time of it compared to, say, the people of Gaza or the South of Israel? It was a stressful week for all of us, and we were disappointed with the unwillingness of the university authorities to engage with our demands, and the limit of J-Soc and Israel Soc's engagement to one-way criticism, but we know how priviliged we are: that's what motivates us to try to help others. And none of us ever claimed to be experts on anything, or get it right all the time: just people exercising our right to ask an institution full of experts to put their expertise to good use.

    Now, if you're willing to talk to me as an adult and engage with my views and actions without just relentlessly and narrow-mindedly insulting me, I'm up for carrying this on. Otherwise, I have better things to do with my time, as I and my fellow occupiers have shown this week.

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  65. >> Is there anything I can actually say that you won't criticise in a really horrible way?

    You and the gentler elements (not necessarily separate) in the group have have been spoken to with respect, understanding and accommodation by posters on this blog and, as far as I can see, the University. It's the Thatcherite tantrums - I'll do what I want, what do you do for me - which elicit critical responses. And your complete sense of disconnect at the active Holocaust Denial on other threads whilst taking umbrage at personally critical comments, and self-regarding association of the latter with support for the wanton killing of Gazans.

    My advice, really, is to complete your degree, which you have a good chance of being permitted to do. And direct your efforts towards legal and non-disruptive fund-raising and cause awareness.

    >> I think I've got as much right to speak about how my people feel as the co-presidents of Cambridge University Jewish society,

    Yet more totalitarian control of debate. I did not say you didn't. You, however, have said anyone who disagreed with C.G.S.O. was to remain out in "the cold". This is the self-regard.

    >> who aren't, so far as I know, Israeli at all, half or otherwise.

    Does this parochial attitude extend to disenfranchising members of your group who're neither Israeli nor Palestinian?

    >> Now, if you're willing to talk to me as an adult

    Have you behaved like one?

    >> and engage with my views and actions without just relentlessly and narrow-mindedly insulting me, I'm up for carrying this on.

    Grow up.

    >> Otherwise, I have better things to do with my time, as I and my fellow occupiers have shown this week.

    You lost!!! It has associated Gaza with vainglorious attention seeking for a lot of people at the University!!!

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  66. They stayed out in the cold: we invited them in.

    The effects of our actions will become evident as time goes on.

    I'm not aware of any holocaust denial, and there certainly wasn't any element of that in our demands.

    I appreciate you taking the time to attack us, but I'm afraid I am going to be bowing out of this conversation now. My email address is rainbow_hope_dreamer@yahoo.com if you have anything further to say to me as an individual that you feel is really pressing. Other than that, I appreciate your advice, but the law is an amoral system, and raising funds when disaster strikes is cure rather than prevention. I have no intention either of sticking to rules for the sake of it or not finishing my degree.

    Just getting people thinking, introducing them to concensus decision making, getting what concessions from the university we have, and actively engaging with the troubles of the world beyond fundraising events and volunteering are enough for me. We've drawn attention to the issue, not ourselves.

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  67. There seem to be a couple of people on this blog who have nothi9ng better to do than sit watching their computers all day so they can get a kick out of criticising people.

    They obviously have little interest in what actually happens to the people of Gaza otherwise they would spend more time trying to do something instead.

    I suggest people stop replying to them and let them go and verbally masturbate elsewhere.

    This blog is for engaging in real debate and discussion. Hopefully, after the inevitable storm of self-enraged garbage that will follow this posting (including at least one post from alec, i would guess) we can get back to some real discussion.

    Solidarity.

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  68. They obviously have little interest in what actually happens to the people of Gaza otherwise they would spend more time trying to do something instead.

    Your solipsism, arrogance and lack of self-awareness is beyond belief.

    Just listen to yourself.

    Anyone who disagrees with your one-sided view of the conflict, or with occupation as a way of "doing something", must have "little interest" in the people of Gaza.

    Completely untrue.

    As for the "real discussion" I seem to have missed everything other than the self-indulgent sloganeering.

    We've drawn attention to the issue, not ourselves.

    Now that really is the funniest one yet.

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  69. Well said Benny, these characters frequently appear on blogs commenting on issues they do not really care about, and have no genuine interest in, one used be accosted by them in pubs, you know the kind of thing...you are having a sensible conversation with people about some important issue of the day, when some nutter starts butting into the conversation insulting you and waving there arms around. Ignoring them is definitely the best policy.

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  72. Yeah, Benny and Mhairi! We clearly have agenda! Criticizing ewes, how very dare we! I can tell how much that dotty old polemicist, John Pilger, influenced ewes.

    http://greatersurbiton.wordpress.com/2007/12/14/john-pilger-and-the-tasmanian-genocide/

    Incidentally, Mhairi, d'you realize you're contextually mispelling your own posting handle?

    BENNY >> I suggest people stop replying to them and let them go and verbally masturbate elsewhere.

    That's quite unpleasant. Does everything have a sexual connotation with you?

    >> They obviously have little interest in what actually happens to the people of Gaza otherwise they would spend more time trying to do something instead.

    I cannot believe (well, yes I can) that you have the brass-neck to say this in defence of a group which immediately *demanded* that they face no repercussions for their actions.

    RAINBOW DREAMER >> They stayed out in the cold: we invited them in.

    Jesus wept! Yes, they failed to see your wisdom and, thus, have only themselves to blame for being cast outwith the human family! This is the difference betwixt left- and right-wing racism.

    Right-wing racism is more 'honest' in that it simply states that an individual is of a different skin colour or religion (I know this is not race, but the hatred is no less pernicious); although, of course, antisemitism is in a category of its own, even without Jews' (along with Sikhs and Hindus) counting as a separate racial group under British race-relations legislation.

    Left-wing racism is much more stylish. Because of the supposed inclusiveness of the Gospel According to Marx (a heresy of Christianity, arguably), the 'honest' human desire to hate must be articulated in terms of what the target has *done* rather than what they *are*. Left-wing racists wish to hate individuals (or individual groups) and still be considered nice people. Sorry, you cannot: you can only be a racist and a hypocrite.

    The venom and hatred is no less horrible, but what style!

    Your saving grace, Dreamer, is that you're, what?, 19 or 20. Like my fellow tribesman, John Reid, I believed in a lot of stupid things when I was young(er); like Father Christmas.

    You have failed absolutely. Your critics on this blog have not been calling for carpet-bombing of Gaza. They... that is, we... have been critizing your tactics and your personal attitudes. Whereas we criticize the existential (i.e. your group) you criticize the universal (i.e. everyone who disagrees with you).

    >> I'm not aware of any holocaust denial, and there certainly wasn't any element of that in our demands.

    I never did say it was. I did say, however, that you have sailed serenely past those who were (e.g. Marcel Mouse and TJ) whilst collapsing in paroxysms of outrage when you personally were criticized and inferring attacks on Gazans.

    One poster claiming to be of your group (i.e. Infinity0) declared that the reason ewes did not volunteer for a charitable organization or worked part-time and donated your wages was that the University was a more lucrative source. This is an admission of extortion.

    Let's look at comments on this very thread, starting with the delectable Sean:

    >> I think what this shows, along with other universities, is that it is essential for a committee to be elected by the occupation who are willing to defend the occupation, including making sure that security and police have no access to the occupation in order to take photos, cut off power and heating, etc. This would need to include significant numbers of the occupiers in order to face whatever force the university put against the occupiers.

    As Chris has observed, this points to a significant level of street-thuggery and, in all likelihood, someone who doesn't have any personal investment in a Cambridge degree. I'll add that it also points to a weapons-grade numpty who believes the Police are still fighting the miners' strike.

    Basic patrol officers are tooled-up to a much greater degree. Specialist units are now only a couple of steps down from the Army. Who needs the S.A.S. to break a siege? A recent hostage situation in Edinburgh was on the verge of being broken by a Police helicopter raid.

    Follow this advice, you will be minced; both on the scene, and afterwards.

    Now, onto another shnorrer, Sam Wade. He definitely is not a Cambridge student and, my guess, is in his early 30s at least. Definitely the only way he can achieve any sense of achievement is by tagging along with teenagers and directing them to ridiculous displays of defiance.

    What lovely people are on your team!

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  73. previous post by Alec ignored and tagged under loony.

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  74. Yeah, Mhairi! You may not know the difference between the vocative and nominative cases of the Gaelic transliteration of Mary, but you certainly know how to respond to an Internet poster with only a deliberate de-personing of their good selves.

    I have seen it all before in much worse comments-pits than this.

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  75. >>Your saving grace, Dreamer, is that you're, what?, 19 or 20. Like my fellow tribesman, John Reid, I believed in a lot of stupid things when I was young(er); like Father Christmas.

    Hang on, you are not under 16? You are over 21? Holy cow, there has gone very wrong in the National Education System if someone being that old writes in that way! It is so unfair! This things should not happen, you are a real victim! I understand your anger! UK Education money should not be taken for Palestinian people. Nationals first! Hey, if you wish, I know a lawyer who could take your case to the court and make some profit from it. He makes group discounts, so maybe ChrisC wants to join the Cause, as well. He seems to be in your same situation... We will not set up a blog about it, nor occupy any building, we will do proper campaigning, because you seem to know how things should be done, don't you?

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  76. >> I understand your anger! UK Education money should not be taken for Palestinian people. Nationals first!

    No, try harder. Dreamer is, at worst, confused. I've seen students more Chomeskyized than she is emerge fully normal after just a few years.

    >> Hey, if you wish, I know a lawyer who could take your case to the court and make some profit from it.

    Better lawyers than the faculty at Cambridge? I like to see them try!

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  77. Previous post by Alec ignored and tagged under nonsense

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  79. Mhairi, you either respond to the individual points in my posts or desist commenting on my posts at all. You don't want to appear as a vindictive and sarcastic idiot who is capable of issuing only an argumentum ad personam, I assume.

    What are you, ten years old? I've sneezed bigger than you.

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  81. Previous post by Alec ignored and tagged under ageist.

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  82. >> Previous post by Alec ignored and tagged under ageist.

    Get back to school you stupid little child. I only hope you are still a student because if you are in a work-place you will not last five minutes if you behave as this.

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  83. Previous post by Alec ignored and tagged under deranged.

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  84. Hi,

    Firstly, I want to say that I'm in agreement that certain aspects of Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip have been pretty appalling.

    However, I'd also like to say that I'm pretty proud of the University's response to a pretty infantile protest. They tolerated an occupation that had a massively disruptive effect on a large number of students (while refusing to give in to your demands) and allowed you a fair amount of time to indulge your 'spirit of '68'. During which time, you succeeded in alienating yourselves from the student body of Cambridge (who, as a bunch, are pretty liberal) and making yourselves look a bit silly (not to mention violent and childish).

    In some fairly interesting discussions with my JCR Vice President and members of my college, a recurring theme came out. That, while there was a great deal of sympathy in the student body towards some of your less ridiculous aims, no-one really thought much of your methods. It seemed, from the start, an exercise in self-promotion more than a real effort to improve things for the Palestinians. The result of the CUSU open meeting showed the University that the student body supported neither your aims or your methods.

    Cambridge University students are a fairly politicised bunch - we care about Palestine, we care about ethnic cleansing in the Congo, we care about the civil war in Sri Lanka. But we can see that a self-important, unworkable protest is a waste of time - if you disagree with British Foreign policy, why not march on the FCO? I might even join you, if you make your demands a little less obviously pro-Hamas.

    I'm glad you rah-rah-revolutionaries failed in your little sleep-over. Hopefully, next time, you'll make some sort of effort to engage with the student body of the University and CUSU. Or at least leave the student voice for the majority.

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  85. Absolutely hilarious, Mhairi. That you're referring to me as "Alec", and not "Alec Macpherson", suggests you've read my posts and are responding to me as an individual but with the intention of declaring that you don't consider me an individual.

    After loosing fantastically on this protest, you are trying desperately to salvage what little self-respect you can. However, like other pathetic middle-class nobodies, all you have to distinguish yourself is an idiosyncratic spelling of your name... except you cannot even get the case of that right.

    You're one of those idiots who loose arguments with themselves. Into the dustbin of history with you!

    Mass-murdering thug he may have been, at least Lenin accomplished something with his life. Heck, even that great political failure, Trotsky, lasted longed than a week!

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  86. Previous post by Alec ignored and tagged under Stalinoid navel-gazer.

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  87. Oh, for the love of constructive debate, could you please all stop with the personal attacks, sweeping generalisations and repeated uses of offensive language.

    Cambridge Gaza Solidarity made more effort to engage with the wider student body than I've ever known CUSU or my JCR to do.

    We were told at CUSU council that it was not the place for politics.

    The university has more resources at its disposal than we as students do, and it's our university, so we are well within our rights to make demands on it, and seek a platform for negotiation. Once again, it's emerged that CUSU is not that platform.

    Cambridge Gaza Solidarity is not going anywhere: we're continuing with fundraising, outreach, education, events, non-violent direct action. We're working hard to try to build links with Israel Soc, J-Soc, all members of the university. Our impact and actions are developing all the time.

    There's going to be an open meeting this Thursday for discussion of what we've done so far, and where to go from here. Is there no chance that you guys could just attend that, or email us with your input, rather than clogging up our blog with all this vitriol???

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  88. "it's our university, so we are well within our rights to make demands on it"

    It's the university at which we are students. Our rights are very limited.

    Carry on fundraising for the DEC charities. This is good, even if your agenda is still ideological rather than humanitarian. But please stop trying to coerce the University.

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  89. Perhaps if your protest had been better organised you would have been more successful, like we were at Oxford. From the reports I've heard, when the Proctors turned up and tried to negotiate you 'took a vote' as to whether to listen or not.
    You damage the cause more by being asses than by not doing anything at all. Perhaps you should have done the latter in this case.

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