EPSC Mailing 21Jun16
1. Film about Freedom Theatre in Jenin, recently visited by one of our supporters
2. Walk for Umm al Kheir kindergarten
3. Rabbi calls for poisoning of water supply to Palestinians
4. In Occupied Palestine
Totnes Palestine Group:
free film showing
Film about the Freedom Theatre in Jenin
Wednesday June 22, 7.30 pm
Quaker Meeting House, Ticklemore St, Totnes
2. 24 have walked an average of 7.5 miles (range 2 to 23 miles) to encourage the giving of money to keep the kindergarten running in Umm al Kheir. All much enjoyed walking through the beautiful West Devon countryside.
Reason for walk
The villagers are regularly attacked by Israeli settlers living illegally on land taken from the village. £4000 will pay for teachers' salaries for a year, equipment and repairs to the kindergarten building. Education is regarded as particularly important by the villagers because the settlers and the Israeli army are making it impossible for the villagers to make a living from their traditional employment as herders, so the children will have to train for other work. Not only does the kindergarten provide a good educational start for the children from Umm al Kheir and a neighbouring village but, being outside the villages, it keeps the children safe from attacks by settlers. The Bedouin have been looked down on by the other villagers but this is diminishing as the children from both villages start their education together.
How to donate
Donors can give online via the Charities Aid Foundation site at . https://www.cafonline.org/charityprofile/The-British-Shalom-Salaam-Trust (look for the Donate To This Charity button on the right). It is essential to specify under 'Special Instruction to Charity' "Villages Group Umm al Kheir Kindergarten." Cheques and any cash should be sent/given to Tony Davies, Dave Clinch, John Wade and Dave Chappell. Cheques need to be made out to the "British Shalom-Salaam Trust," and it is essential to write on the back: "Villages Group Umm al Kheir Kindergarten.
Many thanks to all our donors, without whose help the kindergarten would have to close.
Dave Chappell, 2 Hanover Cl, Exeter EX1 2SX, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07790727965
Dave Clinch, 37 St Mary's Cl, Torrington EX38 8AS, email@example.com, 01805 624938
Tony Davies, 10 Dinham Cres, Exeter EX4 4EF, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07749 038422
John Wade, 47 Gloster Rd, Barnstaple EX32 9JR, email@example.com, 01271 344202
3. Rabbi Calls for Poisoning of Palestinian Water Supply
19th June 2016 IMEMC News
While the Occupation is business as usual for Israel, there should be no business with Israel
In Occupied Palestine
Zionism in practice
Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Property
15 June 2016 www.palestine.org.nz
Israeli Navy opens fire on and hijacks Palestinian fishing boat
Israeli Army bulldozes crops on Gaza farmland
Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in 2 refugee camps and 11 towns and villages
3 attacks (3 Israeli ceasefire violations)
14 raids including home invasions
2 wounded – 1 abducted (aged 17)
4 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage
17 taken prisoner – 11 detained – 70 restrictions of movement
EPSC Mailing 6Jun16 Walk
1. Monthly meeting, Tuesday 7th June, 7pm, in the Function Room at the City Gate Hotel NB New venue for our monthly meetings. The City Gate is at the south end of the Iron Bridge.
2. Fundraising walk for kindergarten
3. Photo exhibition in Exeter Phoenix
4. Petition on behalf of Omar Barghouti
5. News items
There is a walk from Oakhampton on Saturday 18th June which will be the main focus of this year's fundraising for Umm al Kheir kindergarten. Please find links to download 1) a handout for walkers and 2) an explanatory flyer for potential donors, should walkers want to use it . It is a beautiful area which is great to walk in. Do think of joining in, whether 2 miles on the flat is your limit or 24 miles over varied terrain is more you style. The idea of fundraising need not put anyone off walking -- it would be good to have people join us for the walk even if they don't want to be involved in fundraising for the kindergarten.
Photo exhibition in the Walkway Gallery, Exeter Phoenix from 24 May to 25 June 2016 entitled “On Palestine”. This exhibition is part of the AHRC project on Gender and Settler Colonialism: Women’s Oral Histories in the Naqab (Negev)
Petition to Kerry about Omar Barghouti https://org.salsalabs.com/o/301/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19708
Israeli court convicts Palestinian child who was nearly beaten to death by mob. By Celine Hagbard | A Palestinian child, Ahmad Manasra (14) was convicted on Tuesday of two counts of attempted murder, despite a lack of evidence, a video showing him being severely beaten and insulted by a crowd shouting racial slurs, and another showing Israeli interrogators brutalising and intimidating the crying child, with no family member or lawyer present. He was aged 13 at the time of his arrest, and the Israeli Court decided to allow the Prosecution’s request to delay his court hearing until January, when he turned 14 and was allowed, under Israeli law, to be tried as an adult. . . . http://nsnbc.me/2016/05/12/israeli-court-convicts-palestinian-child-who-was-nearly-beaten-to-death-by-mob/
Gaza water situation 'catastrophic'. Frequent power cuts in Gaza have made it impossible to provide homes with running water all day. With summer approaching, moreover, Gaza is threatened with a water scarcity crisis that has been compounded by successive Israeli military assaults and a nearly ten-year-old blockade. https://electronicintifada.net/content/water-pollution-reaches-catastrophic-levels-gaza/16616
UK Parliament Early Day Motion (EDM): That this House acknowledges the view of the World Bank that Israel's occupation is preventing Palestine from accessing its natural resources, including not only oil and gas but also agricultural land and water aquifers; notes that the natural gas reserves of Gaza Marine 1 and Noa South of Gaza Marine 2 are in Gaza's territorial waters and contain at least $5 billion of gas; further notes that the BG Group has held a licence since 1999 but that Israel’s intransigence has prevented it from commencing exploration; notes that the already operational Meged oil field in Israel is believed to contain reserves of at least 3.5 million barrels and to extend into the Occupied West Bank; notes that Israel has also issued licences for oil exploration in the Occupied Golan Heights in violation of international law; recalls that the Oslo Accords oblige Israel to co-ordinate exploration for natural resources in shared territory with the Palestinian Authority and share its benefits; and therefore calls on the Government to press Israel, together with its European partners, to abide by its obligations and cease obstructing legitimate Palestinian endeavours aimed at accessing its natural resources. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/110
NATO headquarters upgrades Israel’s status. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has upgraded its ties with Israel, bringing Jerusalem even closer into its circle. Israel will open offices at NATO’s Brussels headquarters and will credential its representative, Israeli Ambassador to the European Union, David Walzer. Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed NATO’s “inviting the State of Israel to open office at the organisation's headquarters,” adding that he saw the move “as an important expression of Israel's standing in the world.” http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4800276,00.html
EPSC Mailing 30Apr16
1. Please consider signing letter to JNF
2. Events a) Monthly EPSC meeting, Tuesday 3rd May, 7 pm, 10 Dinham Crescent, Exeter EX4 4EF
b) Nakba Week event: showing of “Life in Occupied Palestine.”
c) Sponsored walk for Umm al Kheir kindergarten.
3. News items.
Jewish Voice for Peace ask us to send a message to the JNF: Do not destroy the villages of Atir and Umm al-Hiran. From Rabbi Alissa Wise – The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is working hand in hand with the Israeli government to move forward the demolition of two villages, establish a new Jewish town, and plant a forest on the land where Arab Bedouin people have built homes, farms and mosques. It’s a pattern being repeated across Israel/Palestine. These communities were displaced from their ancestral land in 1948. They were displaced again in 1952 and again in 1956. And now they’re to be displaced once more. The JNF think that none of us care, but they are wrong.
Life in Occupied Palestine -- an eyewitness account (56 mins)
Anna Baltzer's film is outstanding. The conflict is a colonial takeover, dispossessing Palestinians of their land and denying their history, identity and heritage. Anna, who is herself Jewish, is horrified by what she sees in Palestine and brings us back to the basic principles of right and wrong.
Thursday 12th May 2016, 7 pm, Exeter Newtown Community Hut, in the middle of Belmont Park (between Belmont Road and Blackboy Road)
Please think of encouraging people you know who are not on our list to come to the film. It is a very good introduction to the subject.
Sponsored walk on Saturday 18th June for funds to keep the kindergarten we support going in Umm al-Kheir, south of Hebron. Route: part of the Two Castles Trail which runs from Okehampton to Launceston. Details to follow.
Unprovoked double murder by Israeli soldier. 23-year-old Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail, five-months-pregnant, and her 16-year-old brother, Ibrahim, were en route to Jerusalem when they took a path intended for vehicles, not pedestrians, into Qwalandiya checkpoint, near Ramallah. A soldier opened fire on Maram. When Ibrahim attempted to aid her, he was shot in his tracks. A Palestinian bus driver present at the scene said it did not appear that Maram or her brother posed any threat when the officer shot them. A Palestinian witness to the incident, Ahmad Taha, alleged that the officers planted knives on the scene, photographs of which were distributed by Israeli police who said they had been in Maram and Ibrahim’s possession. http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=771316 27Apr16
Israel bulldozes scores of EU-built Palestinian homes. Israel has already bulldozed more than 65 of EU-built Palestinian West Bank houses this year and the foreign Occupying power has the effrontery to argue that the homes were constructed 'illegally'. The EU says that it has a humanitarian duty to support Palestinian families “whose way of life is being crushed. Around 300,000 Jewish settlers now live in the West Bank, in defiance of international law.”
Antisemitism slurs against Labour MPs
From statement by Jewish Socialists’ Group on 28th April
Vanishing Palestinain maps coverup. It has been reported that publishing giant McGraw-Hill Education has censored and is planning to destroy copies of a US college textbook entitled "Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World," after complaints about a series of maps showing loss of Palestinian land from 1946-2000. Send a letter to McGraw-Hill Education to let them know it is unacceptable to censor Palestinian history!
3. Charitable donations to Zionism. Jonathan Cook, 28Mar16| This is astounding. A senior French politician has revealed that the tax laws of France entitle a citizen to make a charitable, tax-deductible donation to the Israeli army. As the French politician Nathalie Goulet observes: “This represents a tax benefit by the French taxpayer for the benefit of a foreign army.” Or put more bluntly still, French citizens are being encouraged through the tax system to subsidise an illegal, belligerent Occupation of the Palestinians by the Israeli Army. It underscores the sheer hypocrisy of the French Government as it claims to be trying to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through “peace-making” at the United Nations. Maybe one should not be too surprised. After all, the United States and most European countries, including the UK and France, make donations to the Jewish National Fund tax-deductible, even though one of the JNF’s primary activities has been concealing war crimes committed by the Israeli Army during the 1948 and 1967 wars: by planting and maintaining forests over more than 500 Palestinian communities that were destroyed by Israel after their inhabitants had been forcibly expelled. Why are these facts not more widely known? Both because the media make no effort to expose these abuses of taxpayers’ money, and because the rare politician who speaks out, like Goulet, is quickly terrorised back into silence.
Israel's extrajudicial killings. US Senator Patrick Leahy, along with ten other Democratic Congressmen, have called on the US to investigate the possibility of “gross violations of human rights” by Israel's and Egypt's security forces, including “extrajudicial killings”. Leahy made the request in a joint letter sent to US Secretary of State, John Kerry, on 17 February, suggesting that if the reports of rights violations should be proven, US military assistance should be cut off. A published letter cited findings by Amnesty International and other human rights organisations of extrajudicial killings by the Israeli military and police. Every year, the US provides $3 billions-worth of military assistance to Israel, and is currently negotiating a package for the next ten years that is expected to see that amount increase. The letter was sent before a soldier's gruesome killing of a wounded Palestinian in Hebron caused international outcry last week. Israeli forces have faced repeated criticism for their excessive use of force against Palestinians since a wave of unrest swept Israel and the Occupied Palestinian territory last October. More than 200 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces since October, some in clashes, the majority accused of attacking or attempting to attack Israelis, with nearly 30 Israelis killed in the same period. However, human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Israeli forces for opening fire on Palestinians who posed no imminent danger, in killings they say amount to extrajudicial executions. http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=770905
Mads Gilbert on Gaza siege 29Mar16 (3 mins)
Gideon Levy very critical of Israel
30Mar16 (22 mins)
EPSC Mailing 16Mar16
Latest BDS success: G4S to stop its operations in Israel. This is another vindication of BDS tactics. PSC Press release: http://www.palestinecampaign.org/13160-2/
Major American Jewish Leader Changes His Mind About Israel. “Israel is a failure, the Zionist dream has curdled into Jewish selfishness. After a life and career devoted to Jewish community and Israel, I conclude that in every important way Israel has failed to realize its promise for me,” David Gordis states. He is a former executive at the American Jewish Committee, a central organization of the Israel lobby. Gordis writes that he completely believed in Israel when it was founded and through his adult life, but that the spiral of that society into Occupation and Jewish particularism has caused him to change his mind. “It’s a political, spiritual and religious failure. The establishment leadership in the American Jewish community is silent in the face of this dismal situation, and there are no recognizable trends that can move Israel out of this quagmire.”
Roger Waters: I’ve seen firsthand the predicament of the Palestinian people. They need the support of anybody who cares about justice or love in the world to support their cause…. They live under martial law, and none of them have any rights at all. Which is unconscionable. And so BDS is a perfectly legitimate nonviolent form of protest. What is dangerous is that there are people who think it should be made illegal to protest peacefully against the policies of some foreign regime of which you disapprove. They’re trying to make it illegal, not just here in Canada and the United States, but in the EU as well. I find it very disturbing to think that an ordinary human rights organisation of which I am part can be turned into an illegal organisation, and I can be incarcerated for my part in it. I look at the predicament of both those people, because I love them both. In the United States, the mainstream media do not report the story with an even hand. You cannot have a democracy without an informed electorate. http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/waters-it-is-dangerous-for-us-and-canada-to-criminalize-a-nonviolent-form-of-protest-against-a-foreign-regime-bds/?utm_content=buffere6aed&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.
Anti-zionist Miss Canada finalist. By Julie Lévesque | You think beauty pageants have no content? Well, think again. The next Miss Canada could soon be parading her crown to protest against the Israeli apartheid and Occupation. "If I win, I will proudly wear my crown on a boat to Gaza, in protests for social justice and against austerity," says Hala, Miss Canada finalist, a civil engineer and board member of PAJU (Palestinian & Jewish Unity). http://www.globalresearch.ca/miss-canada-finalist-boycotts-israel/5511134
Zionism in practice
Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Property
Compiled by Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Auckland, New Zealand
Twenty four hours to 8 am 8 March 2016
Israeli Army positions open fire on Gaza farms in 4 districts
Israeli Occupation troops shoot and wound Palestinian man in Qalqiliya
Israeli Army bulldozes crops on Palestinian land trapped behind the annexation Wall
Israeli soldiers in Hebron beat up and hospitalise local resident
Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in 3 refugee camps and 12 towns and villages
5 attacks (4 Israeli ceasefire violations)
26 raids including home invasions
1 beaten – 4 dead – 3 injured
6 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage
20 taken prisoner – 12 detained – 84 restrictions of movement such as prevention of movement through checkpoints
EPSC Mailing 18Feb16
1. In Occupied Palestine.
2. Link to videos on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
1. While the Occupation is business as usual for Israel, there should be no business with Israel
In Occupied Palestine
Zionism in practice
Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Property
24 hours to 8am on 15 February 2016 www.palestine.org.nz
3 Israeli Navy attacks on Palestinian fishing boats
Israeli Army positions open fire on Gaza farms in 2 districts
10-year-old boy injured in Israeli Army raid
Israeli Army destroys more Palestinian homes
Night peace disruption and/or invasion in 2 refugee camps and 14 towns and villages
7 attacks (5 Israeli ceasefire violations)
34 raids including home invasions
50 injured or wounded
3 abducted (all aged 15)
7 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage
27 taken prisoner – 9 detained –
88 preventions of movement by checkpoints and barriers
UK Anti-terror police question schoolboy for wearing pro-Palestine badge. Teenager reported by his teachers for trying to raise money to help Palestinian children. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/anti-terror-police-question-schoolboy-for-wearing-pro-palestine-badge-a6873656.html
Obama to sign agreement equating settlements with Israel. US President Barack Obama reportedly intends to sign a sweeping trade agreement which includes provisions that fail to differentiate between Israel and illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian territories, as well as discourage the boycott of Israeli goods. http://www.imemc.org/article/74925
Videos about the conflict can be found at http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/the_top_10_documentaries_about_the
EPSC Mailing 4Jan16
Palestinian representation at UN
In Occupied Palestine on Christmas Day
BDS in 2015: Seven ways our movement broke new ground against Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid
Posted on December 29, 2015 by Palestinian BDS National Committee
The year 2015 will be remembered as the year that Palestinian popular resistance spread across historic Palestine and that saw tens of thousands of Palestinians take to the streets to resist and confront Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid. Ten years since the launch of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, 2015 was also a landmark year for BDS.
1. We showed our movement can have a real economic impact on Israel. The authors of a UN report said that BDS was a key factor behind the 46% drop in foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014. The World Bank cited BDS as a key factor behind the 24% drop in Palestinian imports from Israel. The Israeli government and the Rand Corporation both publishe reports predicting that BDS will cost Israel billions of dollars. Moody’s, a leading credit ratings agency, said “the Israeli economy could suffer should BDS gain greater traction.” One senior Israeli businessman even complained that the growing strength of the BDS movement means that major European companies now avoid investing in Israel.
2. We won our incredible campaign against Veolia. French corporate giant Veolia sold off all of its businesses in Israel. This was a direct result of our 7-year campaign against its role in infrastructure projects for illegal Israeli settlements that cost it more than $20 billion in lost tenders and contracts. Our grassroots organising persuaded a corporate giant to completely abandon Israel! And it’s not just Veolia: telecoms giant Orange responded to BDS pressure in France, Egypt and elsewhere by saying it will pull out of Israel by 2017. G4S has started talking about ending its contract with the Israeli prison service.
1000+ artists join the cultural boycott.
4. The academic boycott goes more mainstream across the world. Israeli universities play a key role in planning and whitewashing Israel’s crimes but now academics across the world are taking effective action.
5. Our movement is spreading to new areas and winning new support. New BDS coalitions have been established in Malaysia and Egypt and BDS is growing rapidly in Latin America and the Arab world. Major trade union bodies joined the dozens of national trade unions that already support BDS.
6. Justice for Palestine has become a key issue for students and youth across the world.
7. Israel’s reaction shows that our “soft” power is having a real impact. Israel knows it is losing the argument and is throwing everything it has at sabotaging our movement, dedicating money, government staff and apparently even its security services to undermining BDS. Israel is exporting its mentality of repression and getting its allies in the west to run McCarthyite attacks on free speech in the US, France, the UK, Italy, Canada and elsewhere.
One has to be inspired to inspire others. In the BDS movement, we are definitely inspired, motivated and full of hope. Help us not only in seeking freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people but also in proving that the hegemonic powers that be around the world can also be held to account in the pursuit of justice everywhere.
3. Who should represent the Palestinians?
Richard Falk 1 January 2016
Palestinians need representatives who fulfill their aspirations, not false leaders compromised by collaborationist postures.
While serving as UN Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine, especially in my early years between 2008 and 2010, I fully expected to encounter defamatory opposition from Israel and ultra-Zionists - what surprised me were various efforts of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to undermine my role at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
. . . . . . . . . .
it is important that the Palestinian chair at the UN not be empty, and there is no present alternative to PA representation. Perhaps, an eyes wide open acceptance of the present situation is the best present Palestinian option, although the approach taken to representation is up to the Palestinians. It is an aspect of the right of self-determination, which is treated as the foundation for all other human rights.
At the very least, given the dismal record of diplomacy over the course of the last several decades, the adequacy of present representation of the Palestinian people deserves critical scrutiny, especially by Palestinians themselves.
4. Zionism in practice
While the Occupation is business as usual for Israel, there should be no
business with Israel
Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Property
25 December 2015 http://www.nad-plo.org/dailyreports.php http://www.nad-plo.org/dailyreports.php
Israeli Navy opens fire on Palestinian fishing boats
Israeli Army attacks on Gaza: 2 dead, 25 wounded
Israeli soldiers terrorise 8 youngsters aged 15 to 17
Raiding Israeli troops injure and hospitalise boy (15)
Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in refugee camp and 3 towns and villages
13 raids including home invasions
1 beaten – 2 dead – 56 injured
3 taken prisoner – 13 detained – 99 restrictions of movement
+ + ++ + + + + + ++ + + + + ++ + + + + + ++ + +
Points from David Graeber on Israeli psycho-warfare 30th July 2015
The constant awareness of the existence of a ferocious, hostile intelligence that is organizing the terms of one’s existence, but which, ultimately, does not wish one well. One never sees them. All you know is that these people are utterly inimical to your existence.
Obviously, there is also outright torture, people who are actually being shot, beaten, tortured, or violently abused. But for most, it’s as if the very texture of everyday life has been designed to be intolerable—only, in a way that you can never quite say is exactly a human rights violation. There’s never enough water. Showering requires almost military discipline. You can’t get a permit. You’re always standing in line. If something breaks it’s impossible to get permission to fix it. Or else you can’t get spare parts.
There are four different bodies of law that might apply to any legal situation (Ottoman, British, Jordanian, Israeli), it’s anyone’s guess which court will say what applies where, or what document is required, or acceptable. Most rules are not even supposed to make sense. It can take eight hours to drive 20 kilometers to see your girlfriend, and doing so will almost certainly mean having machine guns waved in your faces and being shouted at in a language you half understand by people who think you’re subhuman. So you do most of your dalliance by phone. When you can afford the minutes.
There are endless traffic jams before and after checkpoints and drivers bicker and curse and try not to take it out on one another. Everyone lives no more than 12 or 15 miles from the Mediterranean but even on the hottest day, it’s absolutely impossible to get to the beach. Unless you climb the wall, there are places you can do that; but then you can expect to be hunted every moment by security patrols. Of course teenagers do it anyway. But it means swimming is always accompanied by the fear of being shot.
If you’re a trader, or a laborer, or a driver, or a tobacco farmer, or clerk, the very process of subsistence is a continual stream of minor humiliations. Your tomatoes are held and left two days to rot while someone grins at you. You have to beg to get your child out of detention. And if you do go to beseech the guards, those same guards might arbitrarily decide to hold you to pressure him to confess to rock-throwing, and suddenly you are in a concrete cell without cigarettes. And you realize: you’re going to have to live like this forever. There is no “political process.” It will never end. Barring some kind of divine intervention, you can expect to be facing exactly this sort of terror and absurdity for the rest of your natural life.
Full article at:
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EPSC Mailing 30Jun15
1. Bike ride for Umm al-Kheir kindergarten
2. Gaza flotilla ship Marianne hijacked
3. PSC Parliament Lobby rally meeting
4. BDS news
5. Petition Irish firm supporting the occupation
6. Next EPSC meeting: Tuesday 8th July, 7 pm, 10 Dinham Crescent, Exeter EX4 4EF
1. Bike ride for Umm al-Khair Kindergarten. From Dave Clinch:-- John Wade, Mark Buckingham and I cycled from Barnstaple to Palestine, Hampshire. It took 14 hours and 15 minutes to complete the 205 km. We had a great send-off by North Devon Palestine Solidarity Campaign supporters at The Square [at midnight on Sunday 28th June. There's still money coming in. It is close to £2000. The staff salaries for one year at the kindergarten amount to £4000. Already Exeter Palestine Solidarity Campaign have sent off £4000. Others are also fundraising. This should ensure that the kindergarten continues to flourish. There is the constant threat of the demolition of the whole of Umm Al Khair. The kindergarten is an oasis of care, education and safety for the little ones of the village. A thousand thanks to all who have donated. If you still wish to do so here's how to donate online. Go to: 1) https://www.cafonline.org/system/Charity-profile.aspx?friendlyUrl=The-British-Shalom-Salaam-Trust 2) Click 'Donate to this charity' 3) Choose 'Method of Payment' 4) Click 'Next' 5) In the 'Special Instructions to the Charity' box please type "To The Villages Group for Umm Al Khair Kindergarten."
Note from Tony: The fundraising plan for the kindergarten is that this year the lead is being taken by North Devon PSC and Quakers, whereas last year we (Quakers and PSC and others) in and around Exeter raised most of the money. Just as North Devon helped us last year, they need a bit of help from us this year.
2. Israeli Navy hijacks Gaza Flotilla ship Marianne. According to Haaretz, Israeli forces hijacked the Gaza-bound boat Marianne late on Sunday night (on 28th June) and headed for the Israeli port of Ashdod. The three other boats were said to have turned back. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the operation and Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon claimed that the flotilla "wasn't humanitarian and didn't seek to help anyone," adding that "the participants were seeking to continue the campaign to delegitimise Israel."
The flotilla's goal was "to highlight the violation of the rights of 1.8 million Palestinians living in the world's largest open-air prison”. "We once again call on the government of Israel to finally lift the blockade on Gaza," a statement read, "Our destination remains the conscience of humanity." The vessel’s passengers included European parliament members, journalists, academics and writers. “All the passengers are peace activists and their purpose is to protest against the closure of Gaza and to provide humanitarian aid – medical equipment to Shifa Hospital.”
3. Notes on speeches at rally following the PSC Lobby of Parliament on 23 June 2015
Alan Duncan MP, Rutland (Tory): Has been going to Palestine for 30 years. There is no justice for the Palestinians. It is time for cross-party collaboration: most of Labour, almost all SNP, majority of Tories, would be in favour of recognising Palestine. He asked that people in Tory constituencies would ask their MPs their views – on moral grounds – on the acquisition by Israel of someone else’s land. Even the Jewish Board of Deputies now includes some who doubt whether what is going on is in Israel’s long-term interest.
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Islington North (Labour), Chairman: Congratulated PSC members for achieving the vote in Parliament on the recognition of the State of Palestine.
Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Pavilion (Green): We must continue to fight for the rights of Palestinians. US and UK governments condemn Hamas for firing rockets but are seemingly blind to the lack of symmetry and years of persecution. They have warm words but no action. We have more allies now across Parliament.
Richard Burden MP, Birmingham Northfield, Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East: The mood in Parliament has changed with the 2015 intake. We are approaching the anniversary of Israel’s assault on Gaza. Dr Mads Gilbert, Norway, has given a factual account of what happened. Israel no longer allows UK MPs to see the damage done. Supplies allowed into Gaza have now increased to about half the amount allowed in in 2007. The UN report now published says there is a case for both Hamas and Israel to be accountable for their actions to the International Criminal Court.
Tania Mathias, new MP for Twickenham (Tory): Worked in Gaza with UNWRA for two years. She admired the Palestinians who are very strong people, and the country can be beautiful.
Andy Slaughter MP for Hammersmith (Labour). The Palestinian Lobby is having growing success around the world, in contrast with the situation on the ground. 80% of Labour MPs voted for recognition. Why does UK and EU trade with illegal settlements – boycott against them is not a boycott, it simply upholds the law.
Debbie Abrahams MP for Oldham East (Labour): Visited the West Bank in 2012, saw in Hebron the paths Palestinians have to use, heard from Palestinian farmers who can’t access their own land – so much like South Africa. Her rich and poor constituents came together to express their horror at Gaza. A Palestinian child will be subject to military law and detention, an Israeli child will not: the laws are unbalanced and racist.
Grahame Morris MP for Easington (who had the idea for the Parliamentary vote on recognition of Palestine): Thanked PSC for its work. The new Tory intake especially recognises the lack of justice. All we ask for is normal standards, the abolition of apartheid. He saw boys the same age as his son in prison uniforms with shackles and leg irons. The only lasting security for Israel is justice.
Stewart MacDonald MP for Glasgow South (SNP): SNP has only recently set up SNP Friends of Palestine, but has always been positive to Palestinians. If something looks like apartheid, that’s what it is, – so he said so and promptly got a letter of complaint from a constituent. SNP will support an arms embargo and the recall of ambassadors etc.
Catherine Smith MP for Lancaster & Fleetwood (Labour). A new MP, she has travelled to Palestine. The arms trade is indefensible. The government politely reproves Israel, but does nothing
Philippa Whitford MP for Ayrshire Central (SNP): She is Irish. Gazans are strong on family, music and hospitality, and so are the Irish. She worked in Gaza in 91/92 as a surgeon and saw an incursion by Israel’s armoured cars: 23 years later it is the same but worse. The Wall separates people from their gardens and wells. MPs will make as much noise as they can but they need support from the public.
David Waring (not an MP): Spoke about the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict which was published yesterday, 22 June, a year after the conflict started; and its supporting Press Release UN Gaza Inquiry finds credible allegations of war crimes committed in 2014 by both Israel and Palestinian armed groups Both are available on the Internet. He said that people in this building have sanctioned the supply of arms to Israel (£11m during 2014). Of 35 licences some were used in the attack. They would be suspended if significant hostilities were resumed, but ‘significant’ was not defined, so the government makes us complicit in crimes against Palestinians.
Hugh Lanning, PSC Chairman. The EU ‘Foreign Secretary’ is critical of Israel in public, but privately permits arming and supporting Israel. Today is about getting action. Settler terrorists operate in the West Bank but our media does not report them. We should arrest them when in the UK and hand them over to the ICC. Hewlett Packard is a target of ours, don’t buy their ink! On 10 July at 5.30 pm in Downing Street those who died will be remembered.
Dr Mustafa Barghouti, Leader of Palestinian National Initiative (Palestinian MP) spoke last and ended the rally: His first visit to UK was 10 years ago. Today is a great contrast thanks to PSC, JVP and others. This is not a religious conflict. Israel is trying to create a totally Jewish state with no minorities, there is no room now for a two-state solution. It is an apartheid country, he can’t drive down a Jewish road. It will continue whatever US, UK etc may say. The US ensures that UN resolutions against Arab countries are implemented and that resolutions against Israel are blocked. Israel’s policies are fascist, apartheid and colonial. Israeli war criminals should be arrested and handed over to ICC. He can’t do that, but we (PSC) can. Alan Ray-Jones, Tavistock
4. National Union of Students votes to boycott Israel
The National Union of Students has passed a motion to boycott Israeli companies and to affiliate to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The proposal was passed with 19 votes for, 14 against and one abstention on 2nd June at a meeting of the NUS National Executive Council, which is made up of elected NUS representatives.
Orange would cut Israel ties Associated Press, 03.06.15
French telecom giant Orange SA would end its relationship with the Israeli operator Partner Communications that pays to use its name "tomorrow" if it could. Speaking at a news conference in Cairo to lay out plans for the years ahead in Egypt, Orange's CEO Stephane Richard said his company intends to withdraw the Orange brand from Israel as soon as possible. "I am ready to abandon this tomorrow morning but the point is that I want to secure the legal risk for the company, but I don't want to expose Orange to a level of risk and of penalties that could be really sizeable."
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EPSC Mailing 29May15 Action for Bedouin
1. EAPPI letter requesting action on behalf of threatened Bedouin communities
2. Israel's Defence Minister Moshe Yallon – a psychopath?
2. Israeli Defence Minister promises to kill more civilians and threatens to nuke Iran: Moshe Yaalon, speaking at the 2015 Shurat HaDin conference. Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel would attack entire civilian neighbourhoods during any future assault on Gaza or Lebanon. Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, Yaalon threatened that “we are going to hurt Lebanese civilians, to include kids of the family. We went through a very long deep discussion … we did it then, we did it in [the] Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future.”
The Israeli official also appeared to threaten to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran, although he said “we are not there yet.” In response to a question about Iran, Yaalon said that “in certain cases” when “we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations” Israel might take “certain steps” such as the Americans did in “Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000.”
Relating a July 2013 meeting with UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, Yaalon recalled promising Israel would bomb the entire Gaza City neighbourhood of Shujaiya. He showed Ban photos of villages in Lebanon and of “certain neighbourhoods in Gaza, to include well-known Shujaiya, with many red spots” which he claimed were “terror assets in the densely populated urban area. And I said – July 2013 – we are going to hit it.” Yaalon was true to his word. The Shujaiya massacre was among the most brutal examples of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s attack on the Gaza Strip.
Israel killed 2257 Palestinians during the 51-day assault, according to the United Nations monitoring group OCHA. Of that number, OCHA says 70 per cent were civilians, including 563 children (Defence for Children International-Palestine has documented 547 child deaths). The 20 July 2014 attack on Shujaiya was the most bloody day of the war, when Israel bombed the entire neighbourhood indiscriminately. Initial reports on the day said 60 bodies had been brought out of the rubble. Later reports suggested death tolls of 90 or 120. http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/israeli-defense-minister-promises-kill-more-civilians-and-threatens-nuke-iran
EPSC Mailing 20May15
Action on Behalf of Palestinian Susiya
Part of Susya / Family in their threatened home
All the structures housing Susya's people and their animals are now at risk of being demolished, with expulsion of the 300 villagers from their land. Susya is a neighbouring village to Umm al-Kheir whose kindergarten we support. Both villages are continually attacked by settlers living illegally on the villagers' land. Some of us know these villages and marvel at the way the villagers keep going in spite of being persecuted and deliberately impoverished. The destruction of one village is likely to be followed by the destruction of others in the West Bank. We endorse the following plea from the Villages Group. Please consider contacting our regional MEPs to suggest they write to EU High Representative Frederica Mogherini in support of MEP Kirton-Darling's letter about Susya (below).
Dear friends and supporters,
See the the following below sent by Member of the European Parliament Jude Kirton-Darling to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. MEP Kriton-Darling wrote this message after the urgent situation of Palestinian Susya was brought to her attention by friends of the Villages Group and the people of South Hebron Hills. MEP Kriton-Darling's letter contains important details concerning the current state of affairs in Susiya. This initiative stands out as a fine example of what can and should be done, in terms of political pressure, for the sake Susya's survival. We urge you to take similar steps and contact your political representatives and ask them to take action on behalf of Palestinian Susiya and its residents.
Information about the current risk facing Susiya can be found in the following links lhttp://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20150507_khirbet_susiya_
Ehud Krinis on behalf of the
For contact details for emailing or mailing our MEPs see:
Vice-President of the
Commission, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and
Security Policy, Federica Mogherini
Dear Vice-President and High Representative Federica Mogherini,
I am writing to express my concerns regarding the prospective illegal demolition of the village of Susya, located in the South Hebron Hills of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The demolition of the village would cause the mass displacement of Susya's several hundred occupants, resulting in the loss of their homes, livestock and agricultural land. On 4th May Israel's High Court of Justice authorised the demolition of the village and the forcible transfer of its residents from Area C of the West Bank. The justification for their demolition is cited as being due to a violation of zoning regulations yet this occurs within a discriminatory legal context in which it is almost impossible for Palestinians to legally obtain building permits and they are habitually denied the right to plan and build their own communities within the West Bank.
This problem is pervasive within the Occupied Palestinian Territories yet the state of affairs in Susya calls for an urgent response. The residents sought an interim order to freeze the implementation of the demolitions until their petition is heard at Israel's highest court on 3rd August, as is standard practice in such cases. Unfortunately, although the High Court of Justice has expressed a willingness to hear the village's petition to legitimise its status, the villagers request for an injunction has been refused. In consequence the court has effectively permitted Susya's demolition before even hearing its residents' case. The impact of the demolition will be far-reaching and cause irreversible damage to the livelihoods and lifestyles of the villagers.
The ruling stands in stark contrast to Israel's obligation to meet the needs of the residents of the occupied territories and constitutes a grave violation of international humanitarian law prohibiting forced transfer. Demolitions and the evictions of Palestinians from their homes cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians and are hugely detrimental to the peace process. The threat of demolition and expropriation of the village of Susya is indicative of the broader systemic problem for Palestinian villages located in Area C, within which executive planning decisions are often completed by military planning committees without Palestinian representation.
Within your capacity as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy I request that you take all possible action to raise our concerns over Israel's failure to respect the fundamental rights of Susya's residents. We must be explicitly clear voicing our condemnation of the treatment of the villagers and the refusal to facilitate local Palestinians in Area C in the planning processes that decimate their lifestyles and displace them from their homes. I trust we will have your full support in this matter and look forward to receiving your response. If you require any further information on the situation in Susya or wish to discuss this matter in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Member of the European Parliament
Wishing all our supporters a successful 2015, particularly in our work against oppression.
2. Tutu letter and 3 articles
3. Coca-Cola action
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From letter by Desmond Tutu to US campaigners, Jewish Voice for Peace, 30Dec14
We saw what apartheid did to the white people, making it possible for them to commit horrendous atrocities. In dehumanising others, they were themselves dehumanised in the process.
I saw it in the callousness of young Israeli soldiers at checkpoints when they could decide to let an expectant mother desperately needing a hospital to deliver her baby go through, or not, as the whim struck them. I saw it when they bombed schools and hospitals in Gaza. I saw it when settlers uprooted hundreds-year-old Palestinian olive trees.
And it pains me to no end, especially when I see this dehumanisation happen to a people that has suffered for millennia. What gave us strength to rebuild after apartheid in South Africa was believing in every person's capacity to turn pain into healing, and fear into love.
When I look for that same strength and inspiration - to bring a true
peace in Israel and Palestine - I look to Jewish Voice for Peace.
Even when there is a price to pay - in their families, their synagogues
and communities – the thousands who are a part of Jewish Voice for
Peace continue to speak out on behalf of justice and love for all people.
They push for change: through boycott and divestment campaigns,
through political pressure, through inspiring others to follow their heart, and through challenging their own community. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We are a country without limits, not even the sky. Could one imagine a Syrian bombing of an arms shipment being unloaded at Haifa Port? It would be immediate grounds for war.
By Gideon Levy, 11 December 201.
Is Israel permitted to do everything? Are Israel’s neighbours forbidden to do what is permitted to Israel? Why? For what reason? Can Israel arm itself as it pleases – and there is no weapon that it doesn’t have – while at the same time prevent its neighbours from acquiring arms? Are even defensive weapons, those designed to protect them from Israel’s attacks and aerial bombardments, also to be denied them? Is Israel thus permitted to bomb anywhere? Is it permitted to undermine other countries’ sovereignty in any way it pleases? Is it permitted to do everything? Is it permitted to do everything just because it can? Is it permitted to do everything just because it is strong and its neighbours are weak? And if it is so strong and its neighbours are so weak, why does it need to do these things? Won’t all this just blow up in Israel’s face one day? . . . .
According to foreign reports, the Israel Air Force has bombed nearly ten sites in Syria and one in Lebanon over the past three years. Of course, these were legitimate defensive actions, aimed at ensuring the continuation of that other legitimate defensive action – Israel’s regular reconnaissance flights over Lebanon.
We are a country without limits, not even the sky. Could one imagine Lebanese reconnaissance flights over Israel? It even sounds funny, no? How about a Gaza drone making regular runs over Tel Aviv? Or a Syrian bombing of an arms shipment being unloaded at Haifa Port? All these would be immediate grounds for war, of course. Hezbollah is forbidden to rearm, Hamas is forbidden to equip itself. Gaza must be demilitarised, as must the Palestinian state that will never be established. Why? Because they endanger the existence of the State of Israel. But doesn’t Israel threaten Gaza’s existence? Come on, how can you even compare? And of course, the father of all prohibitions: Iran must not have nuclear weapons.
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Yousef al-Rammouni's murder and Israel’s Moral Suicide
By Vacy Vlazna
On 17 November 2014, the earth of Abu Dis awaited the final homecoming of its son Yousef al-Rammouni whose tortured body had been further desecrated with lies by the Israeli coroner. The sky over the village wept. The previous evening, like many preceding evenings, Yousef, 32, bid goodnight to his wife, Shireen, and his little boys, Mohammed 6 and Jihad 3, then crossed to West Jerusalem for his 9.20pm shift at the Egged Bus depot at Har Hotzivim where he was a valued driver for five years.
At 10pm, on Sunday 16th, Yousef was found lynched with a thin cord in his bus by a fellow driver. Dr Saber al-Aloul, a Palestinian pathologist present at the same post-mortem at the request of the al-Rammouni’s family, later said that the autopsy did not suggest suicide but rather an “organised criminal murder.”
Dr David Halpin, in a letter to the BBC wrote: “The circle of the bruised/killed skin is low on the neck. I am NOT a forensic pathologist but say a. hanging is most unlikely but garrotting is much more likely. The ‘ligature’ is closed from the back. Whatever – the greatest evil has been done to a native of Palestine. His suffering would have been terrible.” Dr Halpin included a US army training video to support his observation that garrotting is a skill acquired in elite forces. Given that the vast majority of Israeli adults have served or are serving in the military, there is a vast pool of suspects to draw from with Yousef’s Jewish extremist co-workers at the top of the list.
But deep down everyone knows that all of Palestine is Israel’s kill zone. No Palestinian is exempt. No one escapes the maze of dead-ends set up by Israel, the US, the UN, the EU, Australia, Canada, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority that blocks every hope of safety, freedom and justice.
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This is NOT Recognition
By Miko Peled 13 December 2014 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40460.htm
As the recognition by European countries of a so-called “State of Palestine” continues, it is becoming obvious that this is nothing but an old colonial trick dusted and reused. The fact that liberal Zionist hypocrites the likes of the Israeli writers Amoz Oz and David Grossman are all over it says it all. In the triangular relations between the Europeans, the colonial regime in Palestine – Israel, and the Palestinians, all remains the same. . . .
Israelis who are free and enjoy the privileges of the racist regime in Palestine like to remember people like my father, the retired General Matti Peled, and others like him who while remaining Zionists called for the right of Palestinians to self determination, but only within a small area, defined by Israel of course, so that we can maintain our racist regime and still feel enlightened all at the same time. It works well for those who do condemn Israel and its policies but still want to see the state of Israel as part of the solution. We hear that the “Two States” are the first step to a single, unified democracy, a statement that only demonstrates the ignorance of those who express it. In Palestine, speaking out against injustice is no longer enough. In fact it was never enough. As people of conscience we must act for the removal of the injustice and its replacement with a free, democratic system. But many forget that in order to achieve this there must be a struggle. A real struggle, and not some intellectualised version of a struggle as is often suggested by some Israeli liberals, is the only way to defeat racist, colonialist regimes. . . .
But, as Franz Fanon writes in The Wretched of the Earth, “Colonialism is not a machine capable of thinking, a body endowed with reason. It is naked violence and only gives in when confronted by greater violence.” My father and the other liberal Zionists were wrong then and their successors are wrong now. For there is no way to stop the colonial machine once it has started. You cannot contain its insatiable hunger, its lust for power and its brutal force. That is why a “Zionist peace camp” is a sham, that is why there is no possibility of peace with the apartheid regime known as Israel. European governments never liked people who were not white and Christian like them. They have a history of brutal colonialism, of theft of land and resources and one wonders if Africa and parts of the Middle East would not have been prospering democracies by now had it not been for the murderous, greedy policies of past colonisers. Those of us who care and indeed struggle for justice in Palestine would do well not to fall for the old colonial tricks. Rather we should demand recognition that Israel is occupied Palestine, that all Israeli towns and cities are illegal settlements, and that it is time to free Palestine and its people from the illegitimate colonialist regime known as Israel.
Miko Peled is a peace activist who dares to say in public what others
still choose to deny. Miko was born in Jerusalem in 1961 into a well known
Zionist family. His grandfather, Dr Avraham Katsnelson, was a Zionist
leader and signer on the Israeli Declaration of Independence. His father,
Matti Peled, was a young officer in the war of 1948 and a general in the
war of 1967 when Israel occupied
the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and the Sinai.
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Tell Coca-Cola to stop operating in illegal Israeli settlements
Coca Cola has announced plans to build a factory in the Gaza Strip, as hospitals remain damaged and re-building following the summer attack is yet to take place. The arrival of ten trucks of materials into Gaza to build the first Coca-Cola factory has been met with a great deal of fanfare globally. Coca-Cola announced the venture with local Palestinian partners as a step in support of Palestinian employment and the economy.
Here are some questions to ask Coca-Cola:
1. Where are these construction materials being purchased? We believe it's Israel so isn’t Coca-Cola simply supporting the Israeli economy to a far greater tune than the Palestinian economy? Raw materials such as sugar will be purchased from Israel, thereby enriching the Israeli economy.
2. How much water is required to run the bottling plant and where will the water come from? Palestinians in Gaza face a chronic shortage of freshwater, and rely on desalination plants. Reports from around the world show that communities living around Coca-Cola bottling plants are adversely affected by water shortages due to Coke's demands on the water infrastructure. The World Bank has reported on the dire state of the water and sewage infrastructure in Gaza following Israel's various attacks. Access to water is limited on average to 6-8 hours for 1-4 days a week for the population of Gaza. In light of these statistics, how does Coca-Cola plan to operate its factory? And will the factory divert vital resources from Palestinian families, while drawing a profit from its products?
3. Where will the factory's electricity supply come from? The only power plant in Gaza is only able to supply 30% of the population intermittently, leaving 1.2 million Palestinians in darkness. Hospitals continue to run on emergency generators.
4. Will Coke be given preferential access to water and electricity, which will disadvantage Palestinian civilians and hospitals? The indications are that it will, and this is indicated by the passage of materials into Gaza to build the factory, while essential building materials for hospitals are barred.
5. What guarantees has Israel provided that it won't bomb the Coca-Cola factory? Israel has a track record of destroying businesses in Gaza. Before the blockade in 2006, 3600 factories operated in Gaza. Now, there are less than a hundred. Israel bombed a biscuit factory in Gaza which employed 450 people, leaving them unemployed. Can Coca-Cola guarantee that its 400 workers won't be left in a similar position?
6. Coke's investments in the West Bank and Gaza are dwarfed by its economic activity in Israel. At present, Coca-Cola is profiting from the occupation by abiding by Isra el's occupation regime. “If Coca Cola is serious about investing in the Palestinian economy, will it call for a lifting of the siege on Gaza so that its operation there can really flourish and provide Palestinians with more than jobs, but with future economic prospects – as it is doing for Israel,” said Shamiul Joarder, Head of Public Affairs at Friends of Al-Aqsa. Write a letter to Coca-Cola asking these questions and ask the company to stop operating in illegal Israeli settlements. Add your name and email.
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EPSC Mailing 10Dec14
Demolition of villagers' homes in Umm al-Kheir in South Hebron Hills
Umm al-Kheir. How can anyone bring himself to destroy other people's homes and make them homeless? (The kindergarten, running because of the generosity of people in Devon, is just outside the village and does not have a demolition order on it.)
On Monday, October 27, Israeli Army and Police forces demolished dwellings in the western part of the Bedouin-Palestinian village of Umm al-Kheir. This was the most massive operation of house demolition in the village since October 2008.
The operation was aimed mostly at three houses that were built in the last two years (on the ruins of earlier demolitions). These houses were built for three young couples: Abd’alla and Ruqaya al-Hathelin and their four children (aged two months to seven years); Kheir’alla and Nura al-Hathelin and their baby girl, and Bilal and Iman al-Hathelin and their baby boy. On top of that the Israeli occupation forces demolished the mobile home of Samikha (aka Miyaser) al-Hathelin and her seven children, which was donated to her by European agencies after her house was demolished twice in 2011 and 2012. Samikha’s tabun (traditional bread oven) was demolished as well, although it was not included in the demolition order. It should be mentioned that recently a family from the adjacent Israeli settlement Karmel appealed to court against the tabun claiming that its smoke interrupts their daily life. In addition, the Israeli occupation forces demolished two temporary buildings that served as the storeroom and kitchen of Suliman and Malikha al-Hathelin.
These last actions are part of an ongoing wave of house demolitions carried out by the Israeli Civil Administration and Army that seek to drive out the inhabitants of the western parts of Umm al Kheir that have been living there for more than sixty years. The main cause for these actions is the proximity of Um Al Kheir to Karmel, the Israeli settlement that was built some thirty years ago.
We arrive and no one interrupts. There are no military forces at the crossroad, no Police, no Civil Administration. The demolishers demolished and went away. We arrive at the calamity - six houses are completely demolished, a Tabun that smokes its remnants, furnitures, clothing, toys, kitchenware. And men, women and children, beaten by pain, dwell between rage and depression. Their shoulders - some leaning downwards and some protest; their eyes - some weeping, some burned down, some blazing. Entire life trampled with a wave of a bulldozer and retell the chronicle of a known ahead heartlessness and wickedness . This is not a demolition, it is demolition again. There is no more power left to draw power from the non-violent resistance. Maybe the strength will come back. But now an hour later - deep mourning. We are part of it; we stand by them, fully present, in order to give the helplessness its deserved respect. Respect for the trauma. We do not hasten to console. We do not hasten to offer solutions. Only to be here in order to make a way for the deadly pain. To cry. It is allowed to cry.
And from her tears, sitting by a small fig tree that somehow survived the extermination, Malikha whispers: "they demolished houses, a tabun, the heart, but why did they have to ruin the small garden I planted?" I touched her tenderly and kept silent. When I will come next time I will bring with me plants that will enable her old tired hands to touch the good earth again and to water it with her bitter tears of pain. Perhaps she would want to plant. Perhaps life will flourish once more.
Erella and Ehud, of the Villages Group
26th October 2014
Press Release: University of Exeter Votes to Boycott Israeli Settlement Products
A referendum at the University of Exeter to boycott illegal Israeli settlement products has passed in a landslide.
1,040 students voted in the referendum, the highest voter turnout in the history of the university’s political referenda, with 86% voting in favour. Overwhelming support for the referendum is especially significant given the historically conservative nature of the university. The result demonstrates the growing momentum behind the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in the United Kingdom and internationally.
The decision follows the 2005 Palestinian civil society call for BDS campaigns against Israel, aimed at pressuring the Israeli government to respect international law and human rights. The action also aims to bring the University of Exeter in line with the National Union of Students and recent EU regulations relating to goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements. World-renowned historian and University of Exeter professor Ilan Pappé offered his praise for the campaign organizers. “I congratulate the group of students that ran the campaign,” he said. “This is just the beginning.”
A spike in BDS activity has occurred since earlier this year, when Israel launched its most recent attack on the Gaza Strip. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 2,189 Palestinians were killed during the 50-day assault, including 513 children.
Marcel Golten of Exeter Defend Education said, “This vote reflects both the hard work of those campaigning in support of this referendum and also the importance of this issue to the student body. Exeter Defend Education recognizes this as a concrete step towards a just peace in Palestine and Israel. We look forward to supporting future campaigns to this end’.
Francesco Amoruso, a member of the pro-boycott campaign, explained, “In light of a Peace Process that has failed for decades, we believe that BDS is civil society’s most effective means to encourage peace and equal rights for all. We call on all people of conscious to join us in these efforts.”
When did Israel cease fire?
Although the BBC and other media are reporting that the ‘cease-fire’ is holding, when did Israel ever cease fire? In the last few days two Palestinian children have been killed in the West Bank. Bahaa Badr - a 13 year old boy - was shot dead by Israeli soldiers, following demonstrations against the occupation. A five year old girl, Einas Khalil, was run over and killed by a settler, it is believed deliberately. No one has been arrested. A video has emerged of Israeli soldiers imprisoning, handcuffing and blindfolding a mentally disabled Palestinian child. More details have also emerged about the torture and death of Raed Al Jabari in Israeli prison. Israel’s waves of attacks and imprisonment of Palestinians continue.
Israeli violence also continues against Palestinians in Gaza. The UN has reported seven incidents in Gaza from 30 September to 13 October where Israeli forces opened fire. One incident caused an injury, and forced Palestinian farmers to leave their agricultural land. Israeli forces also made an incursion and levelled Palestinian land in Gaza, reportedly entering up to approximately 150 metres across the border.
On two occasions during the reporting period, Israeli naval forces opened warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats sailing near the Israeli-declared 6-Nautical-Mile (NM) fishing limit. No injuries were reported. Access restrictions at land and sea continue to undermine the agricultural sector in Gaza, which is the primary source of income for thousands of farmers and fishermen and their families.
And contrary to the terms of the ceasefire deal signed in August, the blockade of Gaza has not been lifted.
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(For a more detailed history of the Israeli occupation of Palestine go to 'Palestine Background'.)
But this powerpoint slide show you can download CLICK HERE pretty much says it all! Please copy and distribute.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from many communities across Britain, and increasingly throughout the world. PSC represents people in Britain from all faiths and political parties, who have come together to work for peace and justice for the Palestinian people. PSC is opposed to all forms of racism, including anti-Jewish prejudice.
Exeter PSC is one of many local affiliations in Britain to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Exeter PSC's website focuses on local matters and activities in particular and we organise our own local campaigns and events whilst also supporting those of a national and international nature. You can find out more about us, what we have done, and what we are planning, how you can help, or support us with donations, through the links above.
You will also find links to other web sites allowing you to quickly access more information on any particular subject, contact other related organisations for information or events, or link to the national Palestinian Solidarity Campaign website to get a full update on the most recent situations in Palestine or the international campaign in general. There is also information on how you can get involved in lobbying to help bring about an urgent and overdue solution to the appalling situation of the Palestinians.
If you are interested in finding out more, feel free to come to one of our regular meetings or events. Even if you know very little about the Israeli conflict in the Middle-East and the plight of the Palestinians or are worried about committing too much of your time to the Palestinian cause, you are welcome, anything you can do no matter how small can help.
Please feel free to contact us direct if you have any questions, we will try to reply within a few days.