EPSC MAILING 31Aug19
Arms fair protest during first two weeks of September
Sharing the Land of Canaan
Prof Mazin Qumsiyeh gave an excellent talk about the past, present and future of his country at a recent Exeter Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting. He is Director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and the Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University (see http://qumsiyeh.org/activistmanual/ ). He taught clinical genetics and biotechnology in US universities, returning to Palestine when his contract at Yale was not renewed because of his non-violent support for the Palestinians. His perspective is based on the history of his country and the history of colonialism. Mazin's striking optimism about the long-term future of his country does not diminish his abhorrence of the way the Palestinians have been treated and are still being treated. He has been arrested 11 times for attending non-violent demonstrations and has no illusion about the possibility of being killed by the Israeli military, as have 19 of his friends.
Campaigners from the weekly Gaza vigil
their banners to the Extinction Rebellion gathering on Bristol Bridge
to draw attention to the injustice in Palestine. The discovery of oil
in the Middle East early in the 20th
century resulted in a scramble by European colonial powers to seize
the area, to trample the rights of local people, and to set up
duplicitous power deals such as the Balfour Declaration. The
Palestinians were among the first casualties of a century of the
run-away use of fossil fuels leading to the current climate emergency.
Protestors guilty in first Stop
the Demolitions court case
Three activists from Bristol and elsewhere were found guilty in Derby Magistrates court, under the Trade Unions Relations Consolidated Act, of ‘private nuisance’. Their ‘crime’ was to blockade the entrance to a JCB factory in the Midlands for 3 hours in September 2018, to persuade the Directors of JCB to stop allowing JCB bulldozers to be used to destroy Palestinian homes, businesses and communities. During the trial, news filtered through of a tragedy unfolding in Wadi al Hommous, occupied Palestine, where over 100 homes were being demolished, leaving up to 1,000 people homeless and traumatised. This is believed to be the biggest single demolition of Palestinian homes since 1967. JCB and Caterpillar will both be exhibiting their military products at the DSEI (Defence and Security Equipment International) arms fair in London. Join the week of action to stop the setting up of the fair – www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk
JNF UK supports the Israeli military and is complicit in the historic and ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people. For example, JNF UK provides funds to the OR movement, which has supported the Jewish-only settlement of Sansana in the illegally occupied West Bank. Every settlement is a war crime under international law. Despite this, it retains the benefits of charitable status in the UK. Write to the Attorney General and the Chair of the Charity Commission and let them know that this example of the UK's complicity in the oppression of the Palestinian people should be fully investigated. https://palestinecampaign.eaction.online/jnf-uk
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Exeter PSC MAILING 1Jul19
1. Umm al Kheir and fund-raising walk on 20th July
When Jane King from Totnes was teaching in the West Bank earlier this year she visited two Bedouin villages in the South Hebron Hills.
“The main village was Umm Al Khair, which has experienced a lot of problems from the nearby Israeli Carmel settlement. It was built VERY close to the village and there have been stone throwing from the settlers and house demolitions. The same village [PSC supporters and Quakers in Devon] have been supporting.
“According to the EU Ambassador to Israel, since 2009 approximately 170 EU-funded structures [including houses in Umm al Khair to replace destroyed ones] of a value of €300,000 have been demolished or confiscated and approximately 600 structures, worth over €2.3 million, have been served with demolition, stop-work or eviction orders and are therefore under threat of demolition.”
Hamed Qawasmeh, the inspirational development worker who raises funds for and coordinates educational, income generating, and rebuilding projects in the area, recently emailed:
“I am sorry to report on this, but as we were celebrating the opening of Ghaith Neighborhood Women Community Center on June 12, 2019, another Hebron International Resouce Network project was in the process of being demolished. If you recall, HIRN has sponsored the planting of 20,000 thyme seedlings for the benefit of the community of Umm Al Khair. Well, as we were inaugurating the Center, the Israeli Army was demolishing the fence surrounding a thyme field. The thyme itself was not touched, yet it was left defenceless in the face of intensive grazing that takes place in its immediate vicinity. We are currently discussing with our partners what to do next. We plant seeds of hope and dignity and they destroy …. The battle continues!!!!”
Exeter PSC and Quakers have supported educational and other initiatives in the impoverished Bedouin village of Umm al Kheir since 2005. We helped fund the setting up of its kindergarten in 2010 and, with Barnstaple Quakers and North Devon PSC, have been the major providers of the salaries of its three teachers since then.
There is to be a fund-raising walk on 20th July. It will start at 11am at the car park of Parke House (the HQ of Dartmoor National Park), a mile from Bovey Tracey, and is to Lustleigh. There is an all day charge of £2 to park at Parke House (but free to National Trust members).
The main option is 7 miles (4 miles up to Lustleigh by one route and 3 miles back to Parke by another). It is a lovely walk along well-maintained shady woodland paths and little-used country roads. Some people might prefer to get a lift or catch a bus to Lustleigh and do the 3 mile return part of the walk, or walk a shorter distance in the woods of Parke Estate. There are toilets and excellent cafes at Parke and Lustleigh where there is also a pub which serves meals. Relevant websites: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/parke , and www.pinns.co.uk/devon/lustleigh.html (which describes a walk much of which we shall be using),
Like last year, the walk it is also a focus to raise money for the 'Hands Up' drama project for Palestinian children run by Nick Bilbrough of Totnes.
Encourage your family and friends to help us to help Palestinian children living under very tough conditions. Money can be given for the kindergarten online via cafdonate.cafonline.org/7827#/DonationDetails or by cheque or cash to Tony Davies, (10 Dinham Crescent, Exeter EX4 4EF, email@example.com ). If I am told amounts of online donations I can let Hamed know they are for the kindergarten (however, all donations to HIRN will be spent on fulfilling urgent needs).
2. Deliberate denial of education to Palestinian children in prison
800 Palestinian children from Jerusalem were arrested in
2018. The year ended with at least 41 children from
occupied East Jerusalem being imprisoned. Under
international human rights law, Palestinian children,
including those in detention, have the right to an
adequate education. However, this right is denied in
Israeli prisons. From: http://www.addameer.org/publications/education-within-israeli-prisons-deliberate-policy-de-educate
3. Two scorching articles on Gaza by Gideon Levy
very courageous and respected Jewish critic of political
Zionism is not afraid to make a direct comparison
between Nazi treatment of Jews and Israel's treatment of
the inmates of Gaza ghetto. (Thanks to Mike French for
drawing attention to these articles published by Jewish
Voice for Labour) https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/blog/the-war-on-gaza-two-essays-by-gideon-levy/
Committee is also concerned to find out what
“assessments, if any, which Israel carried out on impact
of the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the
Jewish People on the non-Jewish population and on their
enjoyment of the Covenant rights, particularly the right
to self-determination, right to non-discrimination and
cultural rights.” The UN Committee is also demanding
answers from Israeli authorities regarding “concerns
raised regarding the Law that it may exacerbate the
existing ethnic segregation and lead to policies and
budget allocation that may further disadvantage the
non-Jewish population.” From: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190402-un-body-demands-israel-address-discrimination-against-non-jewish-citizens
EPSC MAILING 29Mar19
Saturday 30 March – Show
solidarity with Palestine: Exist! Resist! Return!
Exeter PSC stall in Bedford Square, 12 to 2 pm.
Palestinians have issued a global call for solidarity on the 1st anniversary of the start of the Great Return March.
2a Exeter PSC meeting, Tuesday 2nd
April, 7pm,.Toronto House,
Prince Charles Road, Exeter EX4 7EW
Israeli Committee Against
House Demolitions Conference, Saturday
11 May, 11.30am to 5.00pm. Venue: Amnesty International UK, 25 New
Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA
Breaking the Wall - How To Bring About Change in Palestine
The stagnation in Palestine/Israel seems to be never ending, with short outbursts of resistance often followed by violent periods of severe oppression. Lack of meaningful progress towards a just solution with no will from the international community to resolve the situation serves the Israeli regime. Trump's "peace plan" is not even a joke. Gaza is crushed under destruction and want. The Palestinian Authority is weak and can't stand alone.
What is the role of the international solidarity movement at this time? Is it activism on the ground, or is it promoting a coherent political solution? Is it our only role to rally support for Palestine and educate Britain and Europe about its plight, or is it to pave the road towards a new plan for bringing an end to Apartheid, and freedom and justice for Israelis and Palestinians? Could we possibly do both?
What can we learn from the shared experienced of International solidarity and social justice campaigns? What balances and attitudes worked successfully in past campaigns, to bring sustainable justice?
3a TELL TRIPADVISOR TO CHECK OUT OF STOLEN LAND. We call on you to remove all listings located within Israel's illegal settlements or run by settlers in the OPT, including East Jerusalem. Sign the petition at: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/checkout?from=issue&purls-pers=1&purls-opt-mail=a&client_id=1782809&guid=d1fe6d4b3f1f5de6&utm_campaign=MEMA1954_ACT_TAC_Isreal_Companies%20profiting%20stole&utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Campaigns&utm_content=3760
4a People Power: The Story of Veolia
In an era where corporations wield seemingly immovable power, ordinary citizens have used collective action to take on multinational corporations, and they have won.
Several major corporations, such as Veolia, Orange, G4S, and CRH, have fully or partially ended their operations in Israel following high profile campaigns of collective action highlighting how these companies contribute to Israel's human rights abuses. Today's visual illustrates the financial impact and evolution of one campaign, the campaign to boycott Veolia.
Until 2015, Veolia had a stake in the Jerusalem Light Rail. Built on occupied Palestinian territory, the Jerusalem Light Rail provides service to Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, which are illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Such infrastructure projects entrench the presence of illegal settlements and facilitate their ongoing expansion.
It took at least 8 years of slow-but-steady organizing and action to get Veolia to stop profiting off of Israel's human rights abuses. By laying out this timeline, we wanted to emphasize the cumulative impact of collective action, where today's small steps are tomorrow's significant milestones.
More major wins are not only possible, but they are also unfolding right now, small step after small step. Just last week, Brown University students passed a divestment motion, becoming the first Ivy League university to back divestment, and joining over 50 other North American universities that have passed such motions in the last decade. When we see such steps, we know were on the right track! More at: www.visualizingpalestine.org
4b While the Occupation is business as usual for Israel, there should be no business with Israel
In Occupied Palestine: Zionism in practice
Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, New Zealand
Most recent 24-hour report (for 25 March 2019).
Israeli air strikes destroy 3 buildings
Israeli Navy opens fire on Palestinian fishing boats
36 Palestinian missile attacks
41 Israeli air strikes and
7 attacks (48 Israeli ceasefire violations)
62 raids/attacks including home invasions
Occupation settler militants chop branches off Palestinian olive and almond trees
Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in refugee camp and 27 towns and villages
3 abducted (aged 16 to 17)
4 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage
13 taken prisoner -- 7 people detained
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Events and meetings
News and articles
EPSC stalls/events this month
Exeter PSC's March meeting agreed to hold two street stalls/events this month. The first is next Saturday (16th), outside the HSBC bank near Boots on the High Street in Exeter to continue our Stop Arming Israel campaign. This will run from 11am to about 1pm, weather permitting. Please come along if you can.
The second event will be 1200 - 1400 on 30th March, Bedford Square (off Exeter's High Street), to commemorate the anniversary of the start of Great March of Return demonstrations
Eviction petition: Help the Sabbagh family to keep their home in East Jerusalem.
British cultural icons are calling on the BBC: Boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. SIGN the petition
NEWS / ARTICLES
Pro-Israel Lobby Caught on Tape Boasting That Its Money Influences Washington. By Ryan Grim February 13, 2019
A debate about the power in Washington of the pro-Israel lobby is underway, after Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., responded sharply to reports that Republican leader Kevin McCarthy was targeting both Omar and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan. [Ilhan has been smeared as an anti-Semite for telling the truth that the pro-Israel lobby uses money to influence politics.]
Omar quoted rap lyrics — “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” — to suggest McCarthy’s move was driven by the lobby’s prolific spending. Asked specifically who she was referring to, Omar responded, “AIPAC!”
The debate over the influence of pro-Israel groups could be informed by an investigation by Al Jazeera, in which an undercover reporter infiltrated the Israel Project, a Washington-based group, and secretly recorded conversations about political strategy and influence over a six-month period in 2016. That investigation, however, was never aired by the network — suppressed by pressure from the pro-Israel lobby.
In November, Electronic Intifada obtained and published the four-part series, but it did so during the week of the midterm elections, and the documentary did not get a lot of attention then.
In it, leaders of the pro-Israel lobby speak openly about how they use money to influence the political process, in ways so blunt that if the comments were made by critics, they’d be charged with anti-Semitism.
Full article at: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51104.htm
From an email re anti-Semitism
It was difficult to listen to the anti-Semitism debate in Parliament following the resignation of the Labour 8 and the 3 Tories. Members spoke with passion about the cruelties of anti-Semitism but none spoke of the cruelties of Israel which fuels this anti-Semitism which is worldwide. Can these friends of Israel not see that their protection, which enables Israel to persist with its heartless occupation, fosters anti-Semitism? Can they not pour out that same passion to demand that Israel ends its occupation of this once holy land? End the Occupation, then there will be Peace -- Ted from Liverpool 23Feb19
From “Free Speech on Israel: Jews & friends who say antizionism is NOT antisemitism”
Ronnie Barkan. Alongside two other activists for Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, he faced a first trial hearing in Berlin on 4 March for disrupting a talk by Israeli lawmaker Aliza Lavie at Humboldt University in Berlin (in 2017). The three were pointing out her complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
This is his powerful speech to the court.
I stand here today with a sense of pride. Not the pride of vanity, but pride in knowing that what I did was fundamentally right and done for the greater good. I also stand here today as the accuser, not the accused. . . . . .
Today, more than 70 years after the colonization and occupation of Palestine, there is one regime that controls the lives of roughly 19 million people. Only a third of them, about 7 million, are afforded basic human and collective rights. Those are the privileged group that I belong to.
The remaining 12 million live under different forms of oppression: 6 million live in forced exile for the past 7 decades. Many of them are stateless to this day – denied the right to go back home for the sole purpose of maintaining ethnic-purity in that land.
An additional 4 million people suffer under a brutal and barbaric military occupation for the past 5 decades, an occupation that denies their every right, including in many cases their right to life.
Finally, there are the 2 million Israeli citizens who are, at best, subjugated 2nd-class citizens. They are forbidden, by law, from demanding equality, multiculturalism and the rights of minorities – they are forbidden from turning Israel into a democracy.
Israel practices the crime of Apartheid
Given all of that, it is hardly surprising that the UN report on Israeli apartheid by renowned scholars Tilley and Falk, concludes that the State of Israel practices The Crime of Apartheid – one of a few crimes that are classified as a crime against humanity. The report concludes that all 12 million Palestinians are directly affected by Israeli practices of apartheid. This also includes the millions of Palestinian refugees, some of them are residents of this city .
But why are they still refugees 70 years later? For one and only one reason – so that I may be a privileged Israeli-Jew at their expense – they are being punished for the crime of wrong ethnicity.
[As] the State of Israel is indeed an apartheid state, then everyone in this room [has] the moral and possibly the legal obligation to oppose such grave crimes which are carried out on a daily and hourly basis. This is exactly why the Nuremberg principles have been drafted – to urge people like us into action. . . . .
In Occupied Palestine: While the Occupation is business as usual for Israel
there should be no business with Israel
Zionism in practice: Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb,
Liberty and Property on 6th March 2019
4 Israeli air strikes in Khan Yunis
Child (15) killed as Israeli Army opens fire on protesters in Gaza
Israeli Army positions open fire on Gaza farmland
Israeli Navy opens fire on Palestinian fishing boats
Israeli soldiers tear-gas and hospitalise 40-day-old babY
Israeli Army destroys 2 Palestinian family homes
In total:-- Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in refugee camp and 9 towns and villages
4 air strikes
5 attacks (9 Israeli ceasefire violations)
2 Palestinian ceasefire violations
19 raids including home invasions
1 killed (aged 15) – 5 wounded
2 abducted (aged 13 and 14)
4 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage
24 taken prisoner – 1 person detained
Further details at: https://www.nad.ps/en
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EPSC MAILING 22Feb19 Meeting at Uni on 25th
6-8 pm on Monday Feb 25th in Peter Chalk Centre, Exeter University
Professor Ilan Pappe is a historian and the director
of the European Centre for Palestine Studies. His books include: 'The
Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine' and 'Ten Myths about Israel'.
Dr. Nadia Naser-Najjab is an honorary fellow at the Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies and dedicates much of her work on Israeli-Palestinian nonviolence, and issues surrounding Palestine's political elite.
Dr. Katie Natanel is a lecturer in Gender studies at the Institute. Her book, 'Sustaining Conflict: Apathy and Domination in Israel-Palestine' critically analyzes the passivity of leftist-Jewish Israelis.
More details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/335712240378004/
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EXETER PSC MAILING 4FEB19
APPEALS AND PETITIONS
Crowdfunding request for legal action against Israeli military
The Ziada family home in Bureij refugee camp in Gaza was bombed by Israeli military forces. It was a targeted attack that reduced the three story building instantly to rubble and left everyone inside it fatally wounded. I am taking the liberty of reaching out to you . . . . We recently started a fundraising campaign in support of the Ziada family from Gaza in Palestine who are taking legal action against the Israeli military in a Dutch court for war crimes. The Campaign is a single-issue group of concerned citizens who have come together with the specific aim of raising funds to support the Ziada family in their quest for justice. You can read more on the website at https://palestinejusticecampaign.wordpress.com .
The case being taken by the Ziadas has a real chance of a providing a major breakthrough and the establishment of a legal precedent that will benefit other Palestinians and hopefully prevent further Israeli war crimes. It is important to stress that the case is not being taken for personal gain. Should the case be successful, any compensation received will be dedicated to a specially established fund for Palestinian war crime victims in general and children in particular.
Best wishes, Eddie Whyte, on behalf of the Palestine Justice Campaign
Statement of support from Professor Ilan Pappé “This case opens a different avenue for fighting Israeli war crimes in Gaza and beyond. Israeli courts and the International court have not yet challenged Israel’s impunity. This brave family is trying to take it to the Dutch System – if they succeed this would be a landmark and a breakthrough in the struggle for justice in Palestine. . . .
Please sign global BoycottEurovision2019 petition
and Petition against expulsion of international human rights monitors from Hebron
As if things weren't already bad enough in Hebron, Israel has just announced the expulsion of Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) and the the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme Palestine Israel (EAPPI) has responded by saying it is now too unsafe for them to continue to station their human rights monitors in the city. If it's too unsafe for international monitors, what's it like for the Palestinian community living Hebron among violent fanatical settlers and the Israeli military? Join Hebron Freedom Fund and Youth Against Settlements in an effort to appeal to the UN and the EU to condemn the removal of TIPH from Hebron. Ask them to use all methods at their disposal to see that international human rights monitors, volunteers, and activists are able to safely operate in the city.
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EPSC Mailing 23Jan19
Fired for refusing to oppose BDS
In a return to the bad old days of McCarthyism, Bahia Amawi, a US citizen of Palestinian descent, lost her Texas elementary school job after refusing to pledge in writing that she would not participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Earlier this month, Amawi sued the school district that fired her. . . . Twenty-six US states have anti-BDS laws and 13 others are pending. . . .
Last week Quakers in Britain became the first Christian denomination in the U.K. to adopt a responsible investment policy towards the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian land. It was the first denomination but I doubt it will be the last. . . . Paul Parker, recording clerk for Quakers in Britain, explained why the Quakers had taken the decision: “Our long history of working for a just peace in Palestine and Israel has opened our eyes to the many injustices and violations of international law arising from the military occupation of Palestine by the Israeli government. With the occupation now in its 51st year, and with no end in near sight, we believe we have a moral duty to state publicly that we will not invest in any company profiting from the occupation.” [This policy was initiated by Devon Quakers] Full article at: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/writingfromtheedge/2018/11/as-british-quakers-divest-from-the-occupation-jewish-leaders-seek-to-discredit-and-smear-them/
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