Palestine Action target Cambridge University over Israel genocide

  • Post last modified:March 8, 2024
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Palestine Action has had another busy week – targetting not only companies complicit in Israel‘s current genocide in Gaza, but also the memory of the man who began the Zionist occupation of Palestine over 100 years ago.

Palestine Action: targetting Balfour

First, on Friday 8 March Palestine Action ruined a 1914 painting by Philip Alexius de László inside Trinity College, University of Cambridge, of Lord Arthur James Balfour – the colonial administrator and signatory of the Balfour Declaration.

An activist slashed the homage and splashed the artwork with red paint, symbolising the bloodshed of the Palestinian people since the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917:

Arthur Balfour, then UK Foreign secretary, issued a declaration which promised to build “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, where the majority of the indigenous population were not Jewish. He gave away the Palestinians homeland — a land that wasn’t his to give away.

After the Declaration, until 1948, the British burnt down indigenous villages to prepare the way; with this came arbitrary killings, arrests, torture, sexual violence including rape against women and men, the use of human shields, and the introduction of home demolitions as collective punishment to repress Palestinian resistance.

The Nakbas – then and now

The British were initiating the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, fulfilling the Zionist aim to build their ‘home’ over the top of what were Palestinian communities, towns, villages, farms, and ancestral land – rich in heritage, culture and ancient archeological history.

The Palestinians refer to this time as the Nakba — which translates into the great catastrophe. In 1948, the Zionist militia, trained by the British, forced over 750,000 Palestinians into exile, destroyed over 500 villages, and forced those who remained to live under a brutal reign of occupation.

Since 1948, the Zionist regime continued to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people which has now culminated in an intensified genocide in Gaza, which 20 United Nations experts refer to as the second Nakba. Calls for a second Nakba were repeatedly made by Israeli leaders before 7 October.

In the past 154 days of genocide in Gaza, Israel has killed over 30,000 Palestinians, injured over 72,000 and displaced over 1.9 million — 80% of the Gaza population.

Britain’s support for the continued colonisation of Palestine hasn’t wavered since 1917.

Palestine Action: also targetting Smith Metals

Meanwhile, on Monday 4 March activists from Palestine Action also targeted Smith Metals headquarters in Bedfordshire, over their complicity in the Gaza genocide. Windows were cracked and red paint was sprayed across the building, symbolising the bloodshed of the Palestinian people:

Palestine Action

This is the second action against Smith Metals by Palestine Action, as activists recently hit the premises on 6 November 2023.

Smith Metals website confirms they supply components for the F-35 fighter jet, which Israel uses in their bombardments of Gaza . Despite a Dutch court banning the export of parts for F-35 fighter jets, companies such as Smiths Metals continue to supply components for weaponry which is currently being used to commit genocide.

A Palestine Action spokesperson said:

Whilst the brutality of the occupation rages on, we will continue to increase our actions against Israel’s war machine. Politicians insist on parroting the Israeli propaganda line and have continued to uphold our complicity in genocide, therefore it’s up to the people to take direct action.

Featured image and additional images/video via Palestine Action

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