Ami Ayalon, former chief of the Shin Bet Israeli security service as well as commander of the Israeli navy was invited to examine the question “is there a partner for peace” by the KCL Israel Society.
As of today, KCL Action Palestine has not received any official information from the Student’s Union (KCLSU) as to why Ami Ayalon was given a platform, taking into consideration the crimes he is accused of and the degree of controversy surrounding him.
Ami Ayalon is allegedly coming to speak about Israel’s security and stability, but what is really behind this rhetoric of endless peace processes and security?
Ami Ayalon has been accused of being directly responsible for war crimes as former head of the Shin Bet, one of the most powerful security organisations in the world. The Shin Bet has historical roots in the Zionist terrorist Haganah groups, responsible for the ethnic cleansing of thousands of Palestinians. The Shin Bet is infamous for the torture and killing of Palestinian detainees. The Shin Bet has been condemned by the UN Committee Against Torture for its use of violent interrogation tactics.
According to Israeli Human Rights Lawyer, Avigdor Feldmon, ‘’Many practices legal for Shin Bet are illegal for the police. If Shin Bet detains you, you have no rights to a lawyer for up to 20 days’’.
According to Palestinian Lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein, ‘’Shin Bet infringes basic human rights, it prevents people’s ability to express their opinion, gather and demonstrate’’.
Ami Ayalon is also known for supporting the two state solution and launching a peace initiative called “The People’s voice”. He wrote however that to preserve “a clear Jewish majority,” the Israeli government “must declare that it has no and will have no sovereignty claims east of the security fence.” This initiative also denies the inalienable right of return of the Palestinian refugees as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
To argue Israeli Jews must always be a majority, to define Palestine around an annexation wall (most of which is built on Palestinian land), and to deny the Palestinian right to return implies the two state solution is preached due to a fear of losing the ethnic and colonial supremacy Israel has enjoyed since 1948.
It is also questionable whether this two state solution implies the removal of 500, 000 illegal settlers and settlements that cut deep into the West Bank. Under these conditions and a totally unconnected 41km long Gaza strip, a two state solution means isolated bantusans on a depleted scrub land. It means the oppressors continued supremacy and the total subjugation of the oppressed. It means an absolute victory to a racist, apartheid state and total defeat to the struggling indigenous people’s of the land.
Thus, Ayalon’s position makes him no different from the more overtly racist Zionists in the current Likud government.
As a society committed to the Palestinian fight for justice and that stands in solidarity with their plight we declare that:
It is unacceptable to collaborate with any person, organization and institution complicit in war crimes or human rights violations.
It is unacceptable to give voice, under the guise of a failed peace process, to an alleged war criminal such as Ami Ayalon who has been accused for torture while Palestinians are denied a voice, their right to protest, and their right to free movement.
It is unacceptable for us as students to stand idle while our University invests in arms companies and cooperates with Israel in “anti-terrorist” strategies that keep perpetrating violence and deaths.
Having war criminals to speak at the expense of Palestinian voices and that try to whitewash apartheid is not academic freedom. It is complicity with systematic oppression.
We ask you as a student to support the BDS movement and the academic boycott of Israeli institutions until Israel grants Palestinians their basic rights and ends the illegal occupation and siege of Gaza.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE.
FOR FREEDOM, EQUALITY AND RETURN.
KCL Action Palestine, SOAS Palestine Society & LSESU Palestine Society