Category: Activism/Campaigns


About CAAB

The Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB) evolved in 1992 out of the long campaign of protest at the American base at Menwith Hill, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire; local people having expressed their concerns at the arrival of the US Army at Menwith Hill in 1951. We have continued to build on the work and struggles of many people over the years since the arrival, occupation and control of the US Visiting Forces in the UK.

There is a demonstration every Tuesday evening (6-8pm) outside the main entrance to Menwith HIl – we are now into the 12th year. Please come and join in – one way to see the base, learn about/what the base does and a chance each week to bear witness and be a voice of opposition – saying to the people who work on the base “Tonight there are people here who oppose what you do”. Come for as long as you like – you don’t have to stay the two hours! Bring yourselves and banners.

We concentrate on the presence, role and functions of the US Visiting Forces and their Agencies in the UK (also world wide). Our long term aim is to send the US Visiting Forces and their Agencies back to within their borders.

Where are these bases? (which are all referred to as ‘RAF’ but are in fact under the control and occupation of the US Visiting Forces and their Agencies)

National Security Agency of America (NSA) Menwith Hill – near Harrogate North Yorkshire
United States Air Force (USAF) Mildenhall – near Brandon Suffolk
USAF Lakenheath – near Brandon Suffolk
USAF Alconbury – near Huntingdon Cambridgeshire
The Deep Space Tracking Facility and Near Space Center at Feltwell – near Thetford Norfolk
Joint Analysis and Intelligence Infusion Center (JAIIC) Molesworth near Molesworth Cambridgeshire
USAF Fairford – near Letchlade Gloucestershire
USAF Croughton near Northampton Northamptonshire
RAF Fylingdales near Pickering North Yorkshire (run by the RAF but Missile Defense component is joint shared)
……..significant US military presence at RAF Digby, GCHQ Morwhenstow and many more.

For more information please visit the CAAB website


Stop Arming Israel


What is the Stop Arming Israel Campaign?;

In July 2006, as Israel launched a horrendous attack on Southern Lebanon, various organisations and individual campaigners came together to launch Stop Arming Israel. The bombing and invasion of Gaza in the winter of 2008/9 has highlighted the UK’s complicity in arming Israel, both directly and through components in US-supplied weaponry.

The UK has consistently sold arms to Israel. The current policy was “clarified” in a letter dated 10 February 2011 from the Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt, which says: “I can confirm that UK policy on the export of controlled goods and equipment to Israel has not changed since the Coalition Government took office. All export licence applications to Israel are considered on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Export Licensing Criteria.”

However, this says nothing – the real issue is how the criteria are interpreted. Despite the UN stating that Israel “violates humanitarian law”, and even though the criteria are supposed to assess the impact on regional peace, security and stability and the human rights record of the recipient, the sales continue.

Components matter

In addition to the military equipment being supplied directly from the UK, there are also components that go into US-built equipment destined for Israel. In July 2002, the UK government approved the export of components for F-16 fighters being made by the US company Lockheed Martin and sold to Israel. Then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw justified the sales saying: “The Government has judged that the UK’s security and defence relationship with the US is fundamental to the UK’s national security … Defence collaboration with the US is also key to maintaining a strong defence industrial capacity.” He went on “Any interruption to the supply of these components would have serious implications for the UK’s defence relations with the United States.” In other words, the commercial relationship between BAE Systems and US companies such as Lockheed Martin was judged more important than the lives of Palestinians.

Israel has used F-16 fighter aircraft and Apache combat helicopters to bomb Lebanese and Palestinian towns and villages. These have contained UK manufactured components including missile triggering systems for Apaches and Head-Up Displays for F-16s.
More information on UK companies known to have supplied military equipment to Israel.

Equipment used in Gaza contained UK-supplied components

In a Ministerial Statement on 21 April 2009, then Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary David Miliband admitted that Israeli equipment used in Gaza “almost certainly” contained UK-supplied components. He cited F16 combat aircraft, Apache attack helicopters, Saar-Class corvettes and armoured personnel carriers. The following day, quizzed by the Commons’ Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC), junior Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell said no licences for components for the F16s, helicopters or armoured personnel carriers had been approved since the war on the Lebanon in 2006. On 13 July 2009 the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that licences for parts for the Saar corvettes had been revoked. The UK embassy in Israel confirmed this had been done following the then Foreign Secretary’s statement.
Israel’s own arms industry and the two-way links

Israel’s military sector is made up of over 200 public and private companies, dominated by three state-owned ones: Israel Aircraft Industries (Israel’s biggest employer outside government), Israel Military Industries and Rafael. Private company Elbit Systems is also significant.

The UK spends millions of pounds each year on ‘battle-tested’ arms from Israeli companies. One growing link is in the area of unmanned aerial vehicles, sometimes known as drones. More information about this can be found here.

Another area of concern are the links between the European Union and Israel over security equipment.

Stop Arms Sales to and from Israel
Because Israel is now such a major exporter as well as importer of arms, CAAT is calling for an embargo on the sale of all UK equipment to and purchases from Israel as well as the breaking off of all military contacts. This would send a strong message to the Israeli government that its actions are totally unacceptable.

Campaign Postcards

A double campaign postcard is available from Stop Arming Israel. One card is for people to send to their MP, the other is either for them to keep as a reference or to send back to us for more information.