Exeter Palestine Solidarity Campaign
   




 
    
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EPSC Mailing 3Sep17

1. We are very fortunate to have acclaimed author Thomas Suarez to speak at our meeting on Tuesday 5th September,  at 6.30 pm, Toronto House, Prince Charles Road, Exeter EX4 7EW

2. Gaza Crisis Petition

3. Petition for Gaza's children

4. Destruction of school visited by North Devon PSC members

5. In Occupied Palestine Report

SIGN PSC's PETITION: visit http://palestinecampaign.iparlsetup.com/petition/gazapetition

The world knows Gaza is in crisis. No clean water, only 3-4 hours electricity a day and not enough medicine. Nearly 2 million people live besieged in conditions the UN describes as a crisis. But this is not a natural disaster; it is a political choice to punish the Palestinian people. A decision made by Israel with the support of the governments of the US, UK and EU.

Three years ago, Israel ended its devastating military offensive on the Gaza strip, which killed 2,251 Palestinians, including 551 children. A further 11,000 were injured, leaving many people, including around a thousand children, with life-altering disabilities. The 50-day long Operation Protective Edge, all but obliterated the infrastructure of Gaza and left the area highly contaminated.

To deliberately incarcerate people in their own land, refuse them the right to travel and trade and deprive them of all but the essential means of survival is a clear breach of international law. Such behaviour is not tolerable. The UN warned that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020 unless the blockade is lifted.


Defence of Children International Gaza petition 18Aug17

This year marks a decade since Israel began an air, land, and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip. The blockade has deprived children living in the coastal enclave of basic needs and a fear free childhood.
Join us to urge the International Criminal Court to take steps to hold Israeli authorities accountable for the ongoing collective punishment of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, 43 percent of whom are under 15 years old.

SIGN NOW: Tell the ICC children in Gaza deserve safety, health and a normal childhood.

The blockade has prevented adequate staple foods and access to agricultural and fishing waters, leaving nearly 50 percent of Gaza's population food insecure. Medical facilities damaged during repeated Israeli military offences have yet to be repaired, and chronic electricity shortages have degraded medical care.


Destruction of Jubbet al-Dhib school 23Aug17

from http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=778812

Norwegian Refugee Council Policy Manager Itay Epshtain, who visited Jubbet al-Dhib this morning, was quoted as saying, It was heart breaking to see children and their teachers turning up for their first day of school under the blazing sun, with no classrooms or anywhere to seek shelter in, while in the immediate vicinity the work to expand illegal settlements goes on uninterrupted.

According to the Council, some 55 schools in the occupied West Bank are threatened with demolition and stop-work orders by Israeli authorities, many of them built with funding from the European Union states and other donors. "In the first three months of this year there were 24 cases of direct attacks against schools, including incidents where tear gas canisters and sound bombs were fired at students on their way to or from school. Last year, four communities� educational facilities were demolished or confiscated and 256 education-related violations were documented in the West Bank, affecting over 29,000 students," NRC's statement said.

My comment to a wonderful man who devotes his life to the welfare of oppressed villagers living in the south of the West Bank:-- I have read about the monstrous destruction of the primary school you got the Norwegians to finance. As with the inactivation of solar panels in this and other villages, words cannot fully convey how despicable this act is. Are the people who order and carry out such acts fully human, with normal feelings for other human beings? -- but I must not indulge in racist thinking which is the underlying sin Zionists have succumbed to.


While Occupation and blockade are 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

(Compiled by Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Auckland, New Zealand www.palestine.org.nz)

IOP Report {Number 1 for September 2017}

8-year-old Palestinian girl dies after being struck by Israeli settler car

2 Palestinians wounded by Israeli Army gunfire in Nablus

UN chief Guterres calls for end to Israel's Gaza blockade

Belgium joins demands for compensation from Israel for

destruction of donated school equipment

Companies in Jordan dump G4S

Israeli Army bulldozes crops in southern Gaza

Demand the immediate release of human rights defender Salah Hamouri

Folk singer imprisoned for his Palestinian Resistance folk songs

Frankfurt becomes first German city to ban BDS movement

Israeli forces raid and shut down Palestinian radio station in Hebron

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 EPSC Mailing 14Jul17 Slow Genocide

This is devoted to two important items which deserve wide circulation. The first is by Dave Clinch of North Devon PSC. The second is from John Pilgers' address in London on 8th July to the very successful and well attended Palestinian Expo.

REMEMBER OCCUPIED PALESTINE

'THE SILENT EMERGENCY'

This morning (13July) in a long conversation on FB video with a dear friend in Gaza the terrible situation there was explained.

Humidity is 84% this morning, electricity is down to two hours. No air conditioning in most homes and offices. More people are losing their jobs. The unemployment rate is now over 60%.

Another child is due in my friend's family. I saw for the first time in over five years of Skype video etc real desperation, almost tears. This is a person who I have laughed with, discussed family, politics and more.

I was supposed to have run the Bethlehem 10k with him back in late March, but his clearance was cancelled and hasn't been renewed.

Gaza is collapsing. He called it a "silent emergency". Nobody is listening.

Already the population is traumatised by sustained and brutal attacks during an eleven year siege. Who knows the consequences of bereavement, loss of limbs and organs, loss of work, hospitals without essential equipment and medicine, education of children forever damaged, infrastructure destroyed or severely damaged, clean water is at a premium?

My friend who has a job and lives in an apartment with his family said he hadn't had a shower for four days. I know how important cleanliness is to Palestinians, just the same as ourselves. What a humiliation.

Food in the fridge has had to be ditched this week again, as there is hardly any power.

Their three year old child had stopped bed wetting a year ago. Now it's back. A child who has already endured three years of the blockade and a fifty-one day military assault from land, sea and air by the brutal Israeli regime, not to mention the daily military assaults and overflights breaking the sound barrier.

Daily reports from the Palestine Monitoring Group are available at: www.palestine.org.nz Collated by the wonderful Marian and Leslie Bravery in Auckland, New Zealand for the last thirteen years plus. You can sign up to their email distribution list on lorca@clear.net.nz

There is also an 'inner occupation' where Fatah President Abbas is pressurising Hamas to come to the negotiating table, so that his party can regain control in Gaza. He is encouraging Israel to continue its barbaric blockade for this cynical reason.

Needless to say none of this this would be happening if Palestine had not been occupied for the last 69 years since The Nakba, before anyone wants to remove any blame from the zionist Israeli state.

I signed off this morning by saying it would be great to keep in contact more often. My friend said I could no longer do this via his home, as there is virtually no opportunity because of the electricity shortage. I have to catch him at work.

On 2 November it will be the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which paved the way for Palestine to be handed to the zionists who wanted to create Israel over the heads if the indigenous population.

Britain's role has been despicable. It is incumbent on the British Government now to pressurise the Israeli government to end the siege of Gaza and the occupation of all Palestine. Ending the sale of arms to Israel would be a beginning, along with diplomatic measures.

Please share. The world is silent. Just this week I was told, four children under the age of five have died as a consequence of what my friend, nearing desperation, has described.

Write to MPs, MEPs anyone who might be able to pressurise the Israelis to stop the siege and the conditions in which Gaza's population is being forced to live and die.

Finally, something that everyone can do is to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. Israel is already very seriously concerned about the effects of the economic boycott which was called by over 100 Palestinian organisations back in 2005, knowing full well that it can be brought to its knees.

Major international companies such as Veolia and Sodastream have pulled out of trading with this brutal regime. The UK court has also ruled in favour of local councils encouraging the boycott of Israeli goods following a case brought by a pro-Israeli group. Reasons to be hopeful. https://bdsmovement.net/tags/uk

In solidarity, Dave


WHY PALESTINE IS STILL THE ISSUE

John Pilger. 11Ju17


I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them.

One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter.

Arabs”, they said, “nomads”. The words were almost spat out. Israel, they said, meaning Palestine, had been mostly wasteland and one of the great feats of the Zionist enterprise was to turn the desert green.

They gave as an example their crop of Jaffa oranges, which was exported to the rest of the world. What a triumph against the odds of nature and humanity’s neglect.

It was the first lie. Most of the orange groves and vineyards belonged to Palestinians who had been tilling the soil and exporting oranges and grapes to Europe since the eighteenth century. The former Palestinian town of Jaffa was known by its previous inhabitants as “the place of sad oranges”.

On the kibbutz, the word “Palestinian” was never used. Why, I asked. The answer was a troubled silence.

All over the colonised world, the true sovereignty of indigenous people is feared by those who can never quite cover the fact, and the crime, that they live on stolen land.

Denying people’s humanity is the next step – as the Jewish people know only too well. Defiling people’s dignity and culture and pride follows as logically as violence.

What enrages those who colonise and occupy, steal and oppress, vandalise and defile is the victims’ refusal to comply. And this is the tribute we all should pay the Palestinians. They refuse to comply. They go on. They wait – until they fight again. And they do so even when those governing them collaborate with their oppressors.

In the midst of the 2014 Israeli bombardment of Gaza, the Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer never stopped reporting. He and his family were stricken; he queued for food and water and carried it through the rubble. When I phoned him, I could hear the bombs outside his door. He refused to comply.

Mohammed’s reports, illustrated by his graphic photographs, were a model of professional journalism that shamed the compliant and craven reporting of the so-called mainstream in Britain and the United States. The BBC notion of objectivity – amplifying the myths and lies of authority, a practice of which it is proud – is shamed every day by the likes of Mohamed Omer.

For more than 40 years, I have recorded the refusal of the people of Palestine to comply with their oppressors: Israel, the United States, Britain, the European Union.

Since 2008, Britain alone has granted licences for export to Israel of arms and missiles, drones and sniper rifles, worth £434 million.

Those who have stood up to this, without weapons, those who have refused to comply, are among Palestinians I have been privileged to know:

Mustafa Barghouti, whose eloquence remains undimmed, who described the tolerance that existed in Palestine among Jews, Muslims and Christians until, as he told me, “the Zionists wanted a state at the expense of the Palestinians.” Dr. Mona El-Farra, a physician in Gaza, whose passion was raising money for plastic surgery for children disfigured by Israeli bullets and shrapnel. Her hospital was flattened by Israeli bombs in 2014. Dr. Khalid Dahlan, a psychiatrist, whose clinics for children in Gaza — children sent almost mad by Israeli violence — were oases of civilization.


Fatima and Nasser are a couple whose home stood in a village near Jerusalem designated “Zone A and B”, meaning that the land was declared for Jews only. Their parents had lived there; their grandparents had lived there. Today, the bulldozers are laying roads for Jews only, protected by laws for Jews only.

It was past midnight when Fatima went into labour with their second child. The baby was premature; and when they arrived at a checkpoint with the hospital in view, the young Israeli soldier said they needed another document.Fatima was bleeding badly. The soldier laughed and imitated her moans and told them, “Go home”. The baby was born there in a truck. It was blue with cold and soon, without care, died from exposure. The baby’s name was Sultan.

For Palestinians, these will be familiar stories. The question is: why are they not familiar in London and Washington, Brussels and Sydney?

In Syria, a recent liberal cause — a George Clooney cause — is bankrolled handsomely in Britain and the United States, even though the beneficiaries, the so-called rebels, are dominated by jihadist fanatics, the product of the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and the destruction of modern Libya.

And yet, the longest occupation and resistance in modern times is not recognized. When the United Nations suddenly stirs and defines Israel as an apartheid state, as it did this year, there is outrage – not against a state whose “core purpose” is racism but against a UN commission that dared break the silence.

Palestine,” said Nelson Mandela, “is the greatest moral issue of our time.”

Why is this truth suppressed, day after day, month after month, year after year?

On Israel – the apartheid state, guilty of a crime against humanity and of more international law-breaking than any other– the silence persists among those who know and whose job it is to keep the record straight.

On Israel, so much journalism is intimidated and controlled by a groupthink that demands silence on Palestine while honourable journalism has become dissidence: a metaphoric underground.

A single word – “conflict” – enables this silence. “The Arab-Israeli conflict”, intone the robots at their tele-prompters. When a veteran BBC reporter, a man who knows the truth, refers to “two narratives”, the moral contortion is complete. There is no conflict, no two narratives, with their moral fulcrum. There is a military occupation enforced by a nuclear-armed power backed by the greatest military power on earth; and there is an epic injustice.


The word “occupation” may be banned, deleted from the dictionary. But the memory of historical truth cannot be banned: of the systemic expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland. “Plan D” the Israelis called it in 1948.

The Israeli historian Benny Morris describes how David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, was asked by one of his generals: “What shall we do with the Arabs?”

The prime minister, wrote Morris, “made a dismissive, energetic gesture with his hand”. “Expel them!” he said.

Seventy years later, this crime is suppressed in the intellectual and political culture of the West. Or it is debatable, or merely controversial. Highly-paid journalists and eagerly accept Israeli government trips, hospitality and flattery, then are truculent in their protestations of independence. The term, “useful idiots”, was coined for them.

So when Israel is called upon by governments and NGOs to “respect human rights” in Palestine, nothing happens, because they all know there is nothing to fear; nothing will change.

Mark the silence of the European Union, which accommodates Israel while refusing to maintain its commitments to the people of Gaza — such as keeping the lifeline of the Rafah border crossing open: a measure it agreed to as part of its role in the cessation of fighting in 2014. A seaport for Gaza – agreed by Brussels in 2014 – has been abandoned.

The UN commission I have referred to – its full name is the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia — described Israel as, and I quote, “designed for the core purpose” of racial discrimination.

For most of the 21st century, the fraud of corporate power posing as democracy has depended on the propaganda of distraction: largely on a cult of “me-ism” designed to disorientate our sense of looking out for others, of acting together, of social justice and internationalism.


Class, gender and race were wrenched apart. The personal became the political and the media the message. The promotion of bourgeois privilege was presented as “progressive” politics. It wasn’t. It never is. It is the promotion of privilege, and power.

Among young people, internationalism has found a vast new audience. Look at the support for Jeremy Corbyn and the reception the G20 circus in Hamburg received. By understanding the truth and imperatives of internationalism, and rejecting colonialism, we understand the struggle of Palestine.

Mandela put it this way: “We know only too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

At the heart of the Middle East is the historic injustice in Palestine. Until that is resolved, and Palestinians have their freedom and homeland, and Israelis are Palestinians equality before the law, there will be no peace in the region, or perhaps anywhere.

What Mandela was saying is that freedom itself is precarious while powerful governments can deny justice to others, terrorise others, imprison and kill others, in our name. Israel certainly understands the threat that one day it might have to be normal.

That is why its ambassador to Britain is Mark Regev, well known to journalists as a professional propagandist, and why the “huge bluff” of charges of anti-Semitism, as Ilan Pappe called it, was allowed to contort the Labour Party and undermine Jeremy Corbyn as leader. The point is, it did not succeed.

Events are moving quickly now. The remarkable Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) is succeeding, day by day; cities and towns, trade unions and student bodies are endorsing it.

More at: https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/11/why-palestine-is-still-the-issue/

John Pilger’s film, ‘Palestine Is Still the Issue’, can be viewed here.


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EPSC Mailing 1Jul17

1. Next Exeter PSC monthly meeting:- Tuesday 4th July, 7.30 pm, Toronto House, Prince Charles Road, Exeter EX4 7EW.

2. Actions:- a) Contact your MP re supporting Palestine in parliamentary debate on Wednesday 5th July

b) Letter to pass on to HSBC managers about the bank financing manufacturers of arms used against Palestinians

3. News:- a) High Court:- local councils free to divest.

b) Palestine Expo

c) Letter from Palestinian churches

d) Torture of 8-year-old Palestinian child


2a) See:- http://palestinecampaign.iparlsetup.com/lobby/parliamentdebate

2b) Click here to download letter


3. Victory for BDS in court case against UK Government. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) in Britain took the UK Government to the Royal Courts of Justice to fight for the right to boycott. On 22 June the judge delivered his verdict and justice prevailed. Administrative Court judge, Sir Ross Cranston, determined that the Government had acted for an improper purpose. The Government was trying to stop local council pension schemes divesting from companies complicit in Israel’s human rights violations. Theresa May’s disgraceful attempt to silence Palestinian voices and restrict the right to peaceful protest has failed. It’s a moment to treasure and a key victory for local democracy, the rule of law and for Palestine. PSC knows the public is on its side. A recent YouGov poll showed 43% of the British public thought BDS was reasonable. PSC's Director, Ben Jamal says: “We now know that the law is on our side too. We couldn’t be happier that our right to boycott has been upheld by the court in the month that the illegal military Occupation turns fifty years old. Today we have drawn a line in the sand against the attempts to suppress the right to boycott and to stand up for Palestine. Free Free Palestine!!”

https://www.palestinecampaign.org/government-suffers-defeat-court-palestine-campaigners-boycott-divestment-sanctions/

Palestine Expo is the biggest social, cultural and entertainment event on Palestine to ever take place in Europe. In a year of immense significance for Palestine. When? 8th & 9th July 2017. Where? Elizabeth II Centre, Westminster, London. https://www.palestineexpo.com/ Tickets: https://www.universe.com/embed2/events/58b9a196890d720042547242?state=%7B%22currentEventId%22%3A%2258b9a196890d720042547249%22%2C%22analytics%22%3A%7B%22ref%22%3A%22uniiverse-transactional_emailer-confirmation_instructions%22%2C%22google%22%3A%7B%22clientId%22%3A%22GA1.2.310639192.1488557397%22%7D%7D%7D

Points from letter from the Christian Organizations in Palestine to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement, 12th June 2017 Our call . . . That you unequivocally condemn the Balfour declaration as unjust, and that you demand from the UK that it asks forgiveness from the Palestinian people and compensates for the losses. We ask that churches and Christians to support the Palestinians in their request for justice. It was his infamous declaration, after all that laid the ground for the concept of an ethno-religious state – the very same thing our region is suffering today. . . . . That you defend our right and duty to resist the occupation creatively and nonviolently. We ask that you speak in support of economic measures that pressure Israel to stop the occupation and go further to support sport, cultural and academic measures against Israel until it complies with international law and UN resolutions urging the ending of its occupation, Apartheid and discriminations, and accepts refugees to return to their home land and properties. This is our last peaceful resort. In response to Israel’s war on BDS, we ask that you intensify that measures. Full letter at:- https://www.article1collective.org/2017/06/open-letter-from-christian-palestinians-to-the-world-council-of-churches-and-the-ecumenical-movement/

Occupation settlers abduct and torture 8-year-old child: Jenin – a gang of Zionist fanatics from the Itamar Occupation settlement assaulted a handicapped eight-year-old boy, Bashar Abdel-Latif Ghazal Malitat, and abducted him to their settlement. There, they tortured him, plastering his handcuffed body with hot molten plastic. Bashar was discovered in the illegal settlement after a search by Israeli soldiers that took several hours before he could be hospitalised. The boy, who is unable to speak, was lucky to have escaped with his life. In previous cases settlers had tortured and burnt to death Palestinian children, such as in the case of Mohammed abu-Khdeir (16) who, in 2014, was kidnapped and burnt alive. See also: http://www.palestinow.com/jewish-fanatics-torture-try-kill-little-boy-west-bank/

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EPSC Mailing 22May17

1. Events: Respect Festival 3rd and 4th June.

Next EPSC meeting 6th June.

2. Petition:  To PayPal

3. Contacting General Election candidates

4. News

Events

a) Respect Festival 3rd and 4th June, in Belmont Park. Offers of help on stall to Dave Chappell please (davejchappell@gmail.com )

b) Next EPSC meeting: Tuesday 6th June, 7.30 pm, Toronto House, Prince Charles Road, Exeter EX4 7EW

Petition

 

Dereen and Ted Duley point out that PayPal are, very unfairly, refusing to handle transactions by Palestinians :

https://actions.sumofus.org/a/paypal-stop-discriminating-against-palestinians/?akid=30211.5084694.ByHRl6&rd=1&source=fwd&t=1

Candidates views on Palestine

National PSC is still asking us to press candidates for their views about Palestine ( http://palestinecampaign.iparlsetup.com/lobby/votepalestine17 ). Here are some replies received from Exeter candidates:

Ben Bradshaw [L]: As I'm sure you know I have long been a supporter of the Palestinian cause, am a Member of Labour Friends of Palestine, have visited Gaza and the occupied territories on many occasions and regularly speak in and outside Parliament on this issue. I have consistently pushed for a more robust UK policy towards the Israeli Government. I'm afraid because of the suddenness of this election and the short campaign and the fact that we are defending the only non Tory seat this side of Bristol, I am not responding in detail to the many campaigning surveys I am receiving, because we need to focus our time on campaigning on the doorstep, if we're to stop the Tories taking Exeter.

James Taghdissian [C]: It will be of little surprise to you that I receive many requests to support many issues as a candidate. My approach is not to sign up to pledges and campaigns because I have no idea whether or not I would be able to support such a cause to the full in Parliament. That said, I have much sympathy with the cause you highlight and will do my best to learn more should I be elected.

Joe Levy (Green): Thank you for getting in touch with me on this extremely important issue. I am deeply concerned by the treatment of the Palestinian people, and I am determined that the Israeli government is held to account for what it has done. I am of Jewish heritage and am particular keen to show my solidarity with the Palestinian people, as I do not like the way that the Israeli government has exploited people's Jewish identity as if to say that they represent us, which they most certainly do not. I can assure you that if elected as your MP, I will be a strong voice for the human rights of Palestinian people. All oppressive governments must be held to account, whatever our diplomatic relationships with them are.

News

A Day in the Life of Palestinians – Some of the crimes reported for 1May17 – Mayday, Mayday, Mayday

Former Palestinian prisoner dies as a result of medical negligence in Israeli prison. A former Palestinian prisoner died of kidney failure on Tuesday morning, due to medical complications he sustained during his time in Israeli custody. More: http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776800

We live in constant danger and fear” – 2 Palestinian children killed by Israeli Army ordnance. Two children, from a Bedouin community in the Negev, were killed on Tuesday, 25 April, when ordnance left after an Israeli Army exercise in Zarnouk village suddenly detonated. . . . Only days after the tragedy, on Sunday, 30 April, and with cold Zionist disregard for the feelings of the bereaved family and villagers, Israeli soldiers and police officers returned to the village and issued demolition orders against two homes. More:

http://imemc.org/article/two-palestinian-children-killed-by-israeli-explosive-object-in-the-negev/

Israeli soldiers abduct wounded child from ambulance. 29 April 2017 | On 4 May, Israeli soldiers abducted a Palestinian child who had been shot by an Israeli Army sniper, in al-Eisawiya, East Jerusalem, after pursuing the ambulance transporting him to the hospital. The child, identified as Mos’ab Mahmoud Mheisin (14), was shot with several live rounds in the lower body, including the groin. More: http://imemc.org/article/israeli-soldiers-abduct-a-wounded-child-from-an-ambulance-in-jerusalem/

Palestinian child hospitalised after hit-and-run by Israeli settler in Hebron. 30 April 2017 | An Israeli settler ran his motor vehicle over a four-year-old Palestinian boy in the centre of Hebron, and then simply drove off . . . https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776777

Video: Zionist military sprays sewage on Palestinian homes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzRim2OjPTk

UN reports 'urgent need' to address crisis in Gaza. 1 May 2017 | In a report issued ahead of a United Nations meeting to discuss the situation, the United Nations Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) has released a report warning of the “urgent need” to address the worsening situation in the blockaded Gaza Strip. . . .“The social, economic and political consequences of crisis should not be underestimated,” UNSCO said in a statement. “Palestinians in Gaza, who live in a protracted humanitarian crisis, can no longer be held hostage by disagreements, divisions and closures.” . . .

Zionist spokesman says settler attack that killed little boy's family does not count as terrorism. Israeli 'Defence' Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, says that Ahmed Dawabsheh, whose family was killed in an arson attack on their home two years ago, was not eligible for compensation from the state. The six-year-old does not qualify to be considered a “terror victim” and will therefore not receive compensation. . . http://www.albawaba.com/news/little-boy-lost-family-settler-attack-he%E2%80%99s-not-%E2%80%98terror-victim%E2%80%99-israel-says-969714

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  Abuse of Palestinian child by IDF

EPSC Mailing 30Apr17

1. NEXT EPSC MEETING: Tuesday 4th April, 7.30 to 9 pm.

To start with Lizi Allnatt will tell us about a visit she and two members of North Devon PSC recently made to the West Bank to be there for the Bethlehem marathon. Meeting venue:Toronto House, Prince Charles Road, Exeter EX4 7EW (Buses stopping near Toronto House: B, E, F1, F2, P. Cars can be parked on service road running past Toronto House).

2. Four PETITIONS and letters supporting economic, sporting and cultural boycott. Remember the profound effect the boycott had on apartheid South Africa. BDS measures are what Palestinians have particularly asked us to do to bring an end Israeli apartheid.

3. Israel bans Palestinian products

4. Complaint at Livingstone telling the trut

5. Legitimacy of Israel conference

6. Systematic Abuse of Palestinian Children by Israeli army

2a. Hold Air Canada accountable. Air Canada is outsourcing maintenance work for its B787 jets to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). IAI is the largest state-owned defence and aerospace company in Israel. In fact, IAI is the subject of boycotts across Europe and is well-known for its drone technology and production. Please sign the petition.

2b. National PSC asks us to sign a letter to FIFA: https://www.palestinecampaign.org/action-fifa-revoke-israeli-settlement-clubs/

2c. Radiohead know what social justice means - they’ve stood up for Tibet, and against the War on Terror. And as artists with a conscience, Radiohead should stand in solidarity with Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace says: Nearly 8,000 people have already signed our petition asking Radiohead to cancel their concert in Tel Aviv this July. Will you help us get to 18,000?

2d. https://www.change.org/p/toronto-symphony-orchestra-urged-to-cancel-concerts-in-israel

3. Israel bans Palestinian products inside Occupied Palestinian territory. The decision came after a decrease in sales of Israeli products in Occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem. Five Palestinian companies, Hamoudah, al-Jideedi, Arryan, distributers of dairy products, as well as Asslwa and Saniora, associated with meat products, warned of financial losses as Israeli Occupation forces banned their products. The Israeli decision came after a decrease in Israeli sales of the same products, in Jerusalem markets, due to the success of Palestinian products. http://www.mintpressnews.com/israel-bans-palestinian-products-inside-occupied-palestine/214767/

4. Zionists complain at Labour’s failure to expel Livingstone for telling the truth. Victory for Ken Livingstone despite Corbyn’s shameful silence. Another frequent target of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism is Ken Livingstone. Click link to see that Livingstone's allegations were in all essentials correct. There is the German Zionist newspaper in 1935 welcoming the Nuremburg Laws. The Charity Commission have promised a decision very soon on the CAA, please distribute this widely. Iain McNicol Avoids Discussing Livingstone's Accusation of Zionist...It is 'anti-Semitic' to talk about the subject of this book by a Zionist – Edwin Black – the Jewish Labour Movement don't like to be reminded that the Zionist movement was a Jewish Quisling movement. http://azvsas.blogspot.co.nz/2017/04/victory-for-ken-livingstone-despite.html

5. Conference on legitimacy of Israel held finally in Cork. Two Springs in a row the Israel lobby prevailed upon the University of Southampton to forbid an academic conference looking at whether Israel is a legitimate state. The trumped-up grounds had been security concerns, as a handful of neighboring Zionist activists had hinted at disruption. After several other universities in England and the Netherlands likewise deemed the conference too hot to handle, the Southampton-based organizers turned to academic friends at University College Cork, in Ireland, where free speech is still alive, and on the weekend of March 31-April 2, 2017 thirty-eight academic papers were finally discussed on the theme ‘International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility’.Full article at: http://www.palestinechronicle.com/shifting-the-narrative/

6. Systematic Abuse of Palestinian Children by Israeli army Lesley Bravery, 21 April 2017

In 2013, a UNICEF report revealed the Israeli Army's systematic abuse of young Palestinians. That report was confirmed by another report in 2015 and even more recent data shows that little has changed. This year already, over 111 Palestinian children and teenage minors have been taken prisoner by the foreign soldiers that enforce the military Occupation of the Palestinian West Bank. For the most part, the 'evidence' presented against Palestinian minors facing Israeli military Courts is couched in vague language lacking required specificity. The Israeli Occupation's military Courts occasionally impose fines, as well as imprisonment, on these children and even try, at times, to extort large sums of money from impoverished families for the release of their children. Palestinian families are well aware of the physical and verbal violence that their children are subjected to and the Israeli Occupation enforcers know that, in desperation, families will very likely try to find the money to bring them home. That contributes to the financing of the Occupation.

Israel contrives apparent justification of its persecution of Palestinian children by ensuring near-100% guilty verdicts. A non-governmental organisation, Military Court Watch, monitored the treatment of more than 450 Palestinian minors held captive by the Israeli military between 2013 and 2016. The data collected revealed that 94% of those taken prisoner in 2013 and 2016 reported being painfully handcuffed. In an even more needless and terrorising abuse, 82% were blindfolded. Verbal violence was experienced by 46%. These actions are designed to 'soften up' the youngsters and make them more amenable under interrogation. In both years, 60% suffered more physical violence while under interrogation. The persecution of Palestinian children is racist and there is no legal justification for treating Palestinian and Israeli children differently.

Full article at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/04/23/right-to-resist/

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EPSC Mailing 10Apr17

1. Oppose yet more home demolitions in Umm al Kheir

2. Petition Exeter uni's VC not to lead delegation to Israel

3. Some of the Zionist crimes in recent days

 

Urgent call from Umm al Khair for us to campaign against demolitions

Villager Tariq writes:
People of Um Al Khair , children , women , men are calling for your help to stop demolition to 7 houses. Three days ago the Civil Administration submitted demolition orders to two families to remove their houses after 7 days. The people immediately called the lawyer Ghaiath Nasser to object, but the Israeli civil administration didn't respond to the lawyer's message, and now the passover holiday starts and continues to The 17th of this month, which means that we don't have any opportunity to object.
We need your help in order to stop it , so If you can write messages to leaders , governments , human rights organizations, or anyone who can help us , do demonstrations , tell your friends and other people , or anything else you can do. YOUR HELP IS REALLY NEEDED. We expect the demolitions on 18, 19 or 20 of this month.

Dave Clinch and John Wade of North Devon PSC are staying in Umm al Kheir at present. Dave writes:

ACTIONS WE CAN TAKE. Please copy/adapt the following letter or write your own to one or more members of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Palestine.

Dear Member of The Delegation for Relations with Palestine,

HOME DEMOLITIONS IMMINENT AT UMM AL KHAIR, PALESTINIAN WEST BANK

The Bedouin village of Umm Al Khair in the South Hebron Hills of occupied Palestine was subjected to visits by Israeli bulldozers on 9 and 23 August and 15 November. Several homes, some paid for by the EU, were destroyed. The village Community Centre was also destroyed on 23 August. It too was funded by the European Union. The Community Centre was rebuilt but was bulldozed again on Tuesday 15 November.

"They destroy, we rebuild" said a villager, displaying what Palestinians describe as 'sumud' - resilience. To rebuild is an act of resistance

The Community Centre is where clinics are held, children are taught, where villagers greet 'Internationals', where communal meals are organised, where villagers meet each other to relax. It is the very soul of Umm Al Khair (meaning Mother of All Goodness!).

We implore you to arrange for pressure to be put on the Israeli government to end this collective punishment, which is illegal under international law.

Please help. Yours sincerely,

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European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Palestine:--martina.anderson@europarl.europa.eu,
marita.ulvskog@europarl.europa.eu,
margrete.auken@europarl.europa.eu,
laura.agea@europarl.europa.eu,
heinzk.becker@europarl.europa.eu,
enrique.calvetchambon@europarl.europa.eu,
sergio.cofferati@europarl.europa.eu,
therese.comodinicachia@europarl.europa.eu,
briancrowleymep@eircom.net,
brian.crowley@europarl.europa.eu,
rosa.damato@europarl.europa.eu,
jorn.dohrmann@europarl.europa.eu,
sergio.gutierrezprieto@europarl.europa.eu,
patrick.lehyaric@europarl.europa.eu,
edouard.martin@europarl.europa.eu,
barbara.matera@europarl.europa.eu,
konstantinos.papadakis@europarl.europa.eu,
peter.simon@europarl.europa.eu,
neoklis.sylikiotis@europarl.europa.eu,
eugen.freund@europarl.europa.eu,
karl-heinz.florenz@europarl.europa.eu,
iratxe.garcia-perez@europarl.europa.eu,
mary.honeyball@europarl.europa.eu,
norbert.neuser@europarl.europa.eu,
sofia.sakorafa@europarl.europa.eu,
keith.taylor@europarl.europa.eu,
roza.thun@europarl.europa.eu,
miguel.urbancrespo@europarl.europa.eu,
ivo.vajgl@europarl.europa.eu,
ramonluis.valcarcel@europarl.europa.eu,
angela.vallina@europarl.europa.eu,
anders.vistisen@europarl.eu

-------------------------------------------------

Please also write to Green MEP for the South West, Molly Scott Cato, a friend of Palestine. She knows about Umm Al Khair.

molly.scottcato-office@europarl.europa.eu
molly.scottcato@europarl.europa.eu
molly.scott.cato@greenparty.org.uk

--------------------------------------------------

and to Labour MEP for the South West, Clare Moody.

clare@claremoodymep.com

 

VILLAGERS would love to hear from us. If you email messages to me, I will pass them on (Tony: postmaster@exeterpsc.org.uk )

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EPSC member Richard Seaford, a long-time campaigner for the rights of the Palestinians, asks us to sign this petition for Exeter uni's Vice-Chancellor to call off his plans to lead a delegation to Israeli universities:

https://www.change.org/p/jo-johnson-minister-for-universities-and-science-jo-johnson-and-steve-smith-cancel-your-trip-to-israel

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From 'In Occupied Palestine' Report 3 for April 2017

Website: www.palestine.org.nz

Israeli aircraft spray toxic chemicals on Gaza farms

300 Palestinian children abducted since start of 2017

Palestinian (aged 20) killed and 2 injured in drive-by shooting in Jenin

Teenager shot dead by Israeli police

Palestinian critically wounded in Israeli Army raid on al-Duheisha UN refugee camp

Zionist regime destroys Palestinian homes in Jerusalem

EU denounces Israel’s West Bank home demolitions

Israeli bulldozers lay waste to Gaza farms

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Balfour

 

EPSC Mailing 2Apr17

1. NEXT EPSC MEETING: Tuesday 4th April, 7.30 to 9 pm, Toronto House, Prince Charles Road, Exeter EX4 7EW (Buses stopping near Toronto House: B, E, F1, F2, P. Cars can be parked on service road running past Toronto House).

2. PSC appeal

3. Request to the Queen

4. Consequences of the Balfour Declaration

5. Security Council Resolution 2334 on settlements

6. UN report on Israeli Apartheid

7. FIFA threat to settlement teams

8. In Occupied Palestine


2. PSC fighting fund
The campaign for justice for the Palestinians is under attack in the UK. National PSC's fighting fund to counter such efforts is its most expensive venture ever. In 2016 the government brought in measures to stop local council pension schemes divesting from companies complicit in Israel’s human rights violations. In December the PSC applied to take the government to judicial review – arguing that the new regulations broke the law. The government sought to convince the court that the case had no merits. The government lost that argument and the divestment ban will go to a full trial this summer. PSC is appealing for donation for legal costs. More at:
https://www.palestinecampaign.org/psc-takes-government-court-donate-today/

3. Sir Christopher Geidt, Private Secretary to to the Queen: Please do not advise Royal Visit to Israel in Balfour Centenary Year. Dear Sir Christopher, We the undersigned members of the British public, the Commonwealth and concerned members of the International Community would politely request that Her Majesty the Queen does not travel to Israel for commemorations around the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. The British Foreign Office has described this as “unfinished business” and for the Palestinian People and their global supporters, it would add insult to injury. Most important, it would embroil Her Majesty in a controversy which is likely to prove highly damaging to the international standing of the British Monarchy. Respectfully Yours, Elizabeth Morley – A concerned private citizen.
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Sir_Christopher_Geidt_Private_Secretary_to_Queen_Elizabeth_

II_Please_do_not_advise_Royal_Visit_to_Israel_in_Balfour_Cent/?tKImdkb

4. 100 YEARS SINCE THE BALFOUR DECLARATION – JUSTICE NOW FOR PALESTINE. Every year Palestinians mark the Nakba – “catastrophe” in English – when in 1948 around 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes during the creation of the state of Israel. 500 villages were destroyed in a premeditated campaign, and their inhabitants never allowed to return. Zionist militias, who later became the “Israel Defence Forces” (IDF), committed massacres in the villages of Deir Yassin, Lydda, Tantura and dozens of other Palestinian communities.
The Nakba came just thirty years after the Balfour Declaration, when British Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour wrote to the Zionist movement pledging UK government support for a Jewish state in Palestine. The declaration famously stated that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. The existing ‘non-Jewish communities’ were the Palestinians. They constituted 94% of the population, and were not consulted when their land was given away. This was a typically colonial British act of the time.
The Declaration began the process where one group of people (the British) pledged the land belonging to a second group (the Palestinians) to a third group of people (the Jewish people). The British Mandate followed (1922–1947) with the bloody suppression of the Palestinian campaign for self-determination. The Nakba of 1948 was a direct consequence of British policies.
 (
https://www.palestinecampaign.org/
resource-pack-balfour-nakba/ )
5. United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 of 23rd December. Article 1. reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.” The resolution passed in a 14–0 vote. Four members with veto power, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, voted for the resolution, whereas, the United States abstained. It was the first UNSC resolution to pass regarding Israel and the Palestine territories since 2009 and the first to address the issue of Israeli settlements with such specificity since Resolution 465 in 1980. More at: http://www.un.org/webcast/pdfs/SRES2334-2016.pdf and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_2334
6. UN Report: Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid. “This report concludes that Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole. Aware of the seriousness of this allegation, the authors of the report conclude that available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.” https://www.unescwa.org/sites/www.unescwa.org/files/publications/files/israeli-practices-palestinian-people-apartheid-occupation-english.pdf
7. Israel fumes over world soccer official's ultimatum | The Times of Israel | Israeli soccer head, Ofer Eini, was said to be furious after the chairman of a FIFA committee threatened to suspend Israel from all international competitions if it continues to allow teams from settlements in the West Bank to play in the national league. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-fumes-over-fifa-ultimatum/
8. Some of the Israeli crimes suffered by Palestinians on 26Mar17 2 children wounded / Palestinian family home destroyed / Settler mob assaults Palestinian farmworkers / Another Israeli water crime // 26 raids including home invasions / 2 wounded – 25 taken prisoner / 3 abducted (all aged 16) / 3 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage ( www.palestine.org.nz )

 

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boy vs tak


1. NEXT EPSC MEETING on Tuesday 7th March, 7.30 to 9 pm, in Toronto House, Prince Charles Road, Exeter EX4 7EW (Buses stopping near include B, F1, F2, P. Cars can be parked on service road running past Toronto House).


2. YOU MAY WANT TO ADD YOUR NAME to one or more of these requests:

a. Recognize Palestine

b. Apology for Balfour Declaration

c. Stop selling arms to Israel

d. Red Card for Israel

e. Consider voting for Karma Nabulsi


3. NEWS ITEMS

a. Hero who died because he would not be a collaborator

b. Council of Europe on desperate condition of Gaza

c. Balfour on Balfour

d. Zionist myths

e. Canadians ahead of their government

f. Incitement and provocation of Palestinians


Recognize Palestine petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/174181


Balfour apology petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/184398


Click this link to sign the petition "We want the UK Government to ban the sale of all arms to Israel" https://petition.parliament.uk/signatures/35343751/verify?token=TIIpRzSV2XEJYoVh51Ea

Call on FIFA to take action on Israeli settlement teams participating in official Israeli leagues. https://bdsmovement.net/redcardisrael


Karma Nabulsi, an activist involved in defending the rights of students in Oxford to participate in Israel Apartheid events, has been nominated for the Guardian Higher Education Award. You can vote here: https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2017/mar/01/vote-for-higher-educations-most-inspiring-leader-2017

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Palestinian teenager dies in Gaza after Israel denies him access to hospital. A 17-year-old Palestinian died last week after Israel refused to allow him to leave the besieged Gaza Strip for treatment of a congenital heart defect, the Gaza-based al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights said in a report last week. Ahmad Hassan Shubeir, from Gaza City, was denied treatment because he had refused to serve as a collaborator for the Israeli authorities”, according to the Centre. After being repeatedly denied permission by Israel to cross, despite securing a number of appointments at Israeli hospitals as his health declined, Ahmad died at approximately 4am on January 14. . . . . Al-Mezan strongly condemns Israel’s ill-treatment of Palestinian patients in Gaza, where health care services are crippled due to the Israeli blockade that will, in June, enter its tenth year. “The denial of adequate medical care . . . is in violation of treaty and customary international law, and amounts to a prohibited collective punishment,” al-Mezan stressed. https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775049


Council of Europe condemns Gaza blockade as 'collective punishment'. 25 January | The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has adopted a report outlining the dire humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip and reiterating its support for lifting the decade-long siege of the territory, which it called “collective punishment” imposed on Palestinians in contravention of international law. . . . . The Assembly blamed the vast destruction caused by Israel’s 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip for exacerbating hardship in the small Palestinian territory, as hundreds of Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, more than 12,500 homes were completely destroyed and at least 100,000 Palestinians were displaced. The report went on to detail several aspects of the blockade that have exacerbated the humanitarian situation in Gaza, including the lack of free movement of people and goods, the depleting energy and water supply, the unjustifiable harassment and killing of Palestinian fishermen off the coast, in addition to the use of “excessive and intentional force without justification against Palestinian civilians in the buffer zone, including against farmers, journalists, medical crews and peaceful protesters” which, it said, was “blatantly counter to human rights principles and the international law.” The report stated: “The lifting of the blockade of Gaza is a vital precondition for the resolution of the humanitarian crisis and should be supported by the international community through the provision of security conditions necessary for the free movement of people and goods”. . . . The UN warns that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020. Ending the blockade would be the only way to ensure Palestinians in Gaza have access to “basic and inalienable human rights”, the report concluded. https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775101


NYTimes.com: Letters - Roderick, Earl of Balfour - Feb 16, 2017

In 1917, my forebear Arthur Balfour, as British foreign secretary, wrote the Balfour Declaration, a great humanitarian initiative to give Jews a home in their ancient lands, against the background of the dreadful Russian pogroms. We are conscious, however, that a central tenet of the declaration has all but been forgotten over the intervening decades: respect for the status of (Arab) Palestinians. . . . If this situation is to have a chance of being neutralized, Israel must respect the United Nations resolutions (the same United Nations that gave Israel legitimacy 70 years ago) and look to allow the Palestinians their own state. Of course, this will mean disruption and Israeli political upheaval, and it’s disappointing that this week President Trump looked more like Janus on the issue. . . . We don’t believe that the declaration centenary can be properly celebrated this year unless progress is made, and soon. Simultaneous work toward making Jerusalem an internationally protected capital for all three Abrahamic faiths could see original intentions realized.


Canadian public opinion on Israel and Palestine at odds with the Canadian Government. Results of a national survey of Canadians by EKOS, which Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) co-sponsored, shows that Canadians are at sharp odds with the Canadian Government’s and Jewish establishment’s pro-Israel bias. Here is tangible proof that Canadians share our values in support of human rights for all in Israel-Palestine. The poll found that far more Canadians had a negative (46%) than a positive (28%) opinion of the Israeli Government. https://madmimi.com/s/dd0999


Zionist myths: Zionist sympathisers make use of ideological myths and unjustifiable assumptions that attempt to exempt Israel from its obligations under international humanitarian law. http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/02/11/zionist-myths/

Incitement and provocation of Palestinians

Leslie Bravery | 25 February 2017

http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/02/25/incitement-and-provocation/

While issuing statements affirming the unacceptability of Israeli settlement expansion, it has become fashionable for governments and UN institutions to also condemn what they describe as Palestinian 'incitement'. It is as if the Palestinian people's reaction to the everyday horrors of life under foreign military Occupation should be seen as somehow commensurate with the brutalities inflicted by the Occupying power, Israel. One dictionary definition describes incitement as “something that incites or provokes”. The online Merriam Webster Dictionary gives an example of the use of the term 'incite' as follows: The news incited widespread fear and paranoia.” Well the daily experience for Palestinians, both within Israel and the territories beyond, is certainly fearsome and Israel intends it to be so – as a matter of policy. Yehuda Shaul, co-founder of the whistle-blowing group of Israeli soldiers, Breaking the Silence, writing in the Guardian earlier this month revealed the malevolence of Israel's intentions towards the Palestinian people. He described his personal experience of the Israeli Army's role in enforcing Zionist rule:

Day and night, we would go into the Casbah, the Old City of Hebron. Entirely at random, rather than on the basis of any intelligence, the officer or sergeant would pick a house. We woke up a family at two in the morning, fully armed, and searched the house – for no reason. We then started knocking on the doors of houses and shops to make noise, in the middle of the night. We ran to the other side of the Old City, entered another house – and this continued for eight hours, until the end of our shift. This has been the protocol: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, since the start of the second intifada in September 2000. The sole purpose was to intimidate the Palestinian population through what we called “creating a sense of persecution”. Because this is what you have to do, when you want to maintain control over millions of people with no rights, and with no endgame in sight. The only way to do it is to induce constant fear, and as soon as this fear becomes routine, ramp it up more, to no end.”

Awaiting the next Israeli Gaza blitz

While Gaza makes attempts at recovery, the terrorised population must live with the ever-present fear that the next Israeli blitz could come at any time. That may be even sooner than some people might expect, Israeli Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Galant says, “I believe we should be prepared by spring”. Education Minister Naftali Bennett reckonsthe next round of war is approaching” and Avigdor Lieberman declares that, until the people of Gaza submit completely, “we’re not stopping”.

No hope for justice while Zionism rules

With the fiftieth anniversary of the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza and the Syrian Golan heights looming this year, it is high time to take stock. These longest military Occupations in modern history are a terrible blood-soaked reminder of the failure of the international community to stand up in defence of international law and human rights. The author of the notorious Balfour Declaration of 1917, Arthur Balfour, declared, The weak point of our position is of course that in the case of Palestine we deliberately and rightly decline to accept the principle of self-determination and in a reply to Lord Curzon, shamelessly admitted that “in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.” This unchanging mindset drives the unconditional support for Israel that powerful world leaders apparently hold dearer than the provisions of the Geneva Conventions.

Israeli Professor of History, Ilan Pappe, has observed:

Jewish settlers and native Palestinians share a land and will do so also in the future. The best way to fight anti-Semitism today is to turn this land into a free democratic state that is based as much as possible on just and equitable economic, social and political principles.”

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EPSC Mailing 5Feb17

1. Ask MPs to take part in settlement debate on 9th Feb

2. PSC warning about an email

3. Open letter to Foreign Secretary

4. EPSC’s AGM on 11th February (reminder)

Dear friends,
In less than two weeks since President Trump's inauguration, the Israeli government has approved 6000 settlement homes to be built on stolen Palestinian land. Next week, Israel’s parliament is expected to vote on a bill to allow the “legalisation” of more illegal outposts built on private Palestinian land.
The UK government are yet to offer any words of condemnation for this latest surge in settlement expansion.
Next Thursday, the 9th of February, MPs will have the chance to take part in a parliamentary debate on Israel's illegal settlements. We need to make sure they not only condemn settlements, but that they demand concrete action to be taken against them. We want the government to review all of their financial dealings with settlements, and make sure products from illegal settlements are banned from the UK.

Do ask your MP to take part in the debate:

https://palestinecampaign.iparlsetup.com/lobby/settlementsdebate


If you received the below email, please do not respond.
We have reason to believe this is an attempt by a pro-Israel organisation or individual to gather information.
Please get in touch with me immediately if you have responded to this email.
The primary purpose could be the gathering of activist's email addresses in order to send viruses/malware/spyware.
Make sure you forward this to the rest of your branch.
Please remain vigilant regarding any requests that cannot be verified.
Thanks.

Samir Eskanda, Campaigns Officer, Palestine Solidarity Campaign


From: "Ha'man Therasha"
Date: 30 January 2017
Subject:
PSC info

Hi

I am organising an information booklet for students for Apartheid Week. The info on the PSC website is out of date and there are students who want to engage in local activity.

It would help if you could answer these questions.

Is your group still active?

Do you have events, where can students see them listed?

What's the name / best person to contact if they wish to join?

Solidarity.

Ha'aman Therasha

Birkbeck

 

To the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP – As a historian you must know that Jews and Arabs lived together without hatred before Balfour. Dear Mr Johnson, Re: Your conclusive betrayal of the Palestinian people http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/3561481f-8f75-4050-816c-86fb08fcd494 In oral evidence to the HoL International Relations Committee yesterday [26 January] you averred that HMG had supported UNSCR 2334 because it “at least contained some new language, and important language, about the effect of Palestinian terrorism and the very real security fears of the Israeli public”. I think you know jolly well that a people under brutal military occupation have the legal right to engage in armed resistance. I think you also know that “Palestinian terrorism” is not a patch on the terrorism deployed every minute of every day by the Israeli armed forces and rabid armed settler groups. I am sure you must also know what the Israeli public can do with their “very real security fears” – lay them at the feet of their political masters, tell them to go down on bended knee and beg the Palestinians' forgiveness for having persecuted them for decades. As a historian you must know too that Jews and Arabs lived together without hatred before Balfour. . . .

Yours sincerely, Elizabeth Morley.

http://palestine.org.nz/phrc/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3900&Itemid=44

 

This year’s AGM is on Saturday 11th February, 10 am to 2 pm. Venue: meeting room in Toronto House, Prince Charles Rd, Exeter EX4 7EW. We are fortunate to be starting with talks by Liz Hocking and Ayat Hamdan who have recently been working in the West Bank south of Hebron. Do come and hear them.

If coming by car, take turning into Margaret Road, but then turn immediately into service road passing in front of Toronto House. There should be no difficulty parking in the service road or Elizabeth Avenue. Map: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=293321&y=93901&z=0&sv=ex4+7ew&st=2&pc=ex4+7ew&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf

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EPSC Mailing 7Jan17

1. Next EPSC meeting: Tuesday 10th January, 7.30 to 9.30 pm, at 10 Dinham Crescent, EX4 4EF. Note later start time. Come and help plan our efforts to obtain justice for the Palestinians.

2. Petitions: a) Recognize that Israel is a state that abuses children.

     b) Recognize Palestine.

3. News: a) Security Council condemns settlements

     b) Challenge to Government’s decision on BDS

     c) In Occupied Palestine newsletter

 

Petition: 2016 was the deadliest year for Palestinian children in a decade. This targeting of children must stop. Israel must be put on the UN List as abusers of children. Please help by signing this petition to the UN, demanding Israel be placed on the UN List of Serious Violators of Children's Rights.

Petition: Recognize Palestine as a state now alongside Israel, 100 years on from the Balfour Declaration.
Palestine is recognised by over 130 countries worldwide. The United Kingdom, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, should now do so as a major contribution to a two state solution to this conflict. While our Government recognised Israel in 1950, it has still not recognised Palestine – despite supporting many United Nations resolutions, and European Council conclusions confirming the Palestinian right to self-determination.
Please consider signing this petition. At 10,000 signatures government will respond to this petition At 100,000 signatures the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament. Petition closes in May

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UN Security Council condemns Israeli settlements 23 Dec 2016
In a rare condemnation of Israel, the UN Security Council has said Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories have “no legal validity”. The vote before Christmas only passed because the US declined to use its veto – which it has used dozens of times in the past - and instead abstained from voting. In doing so, the Obama administration not only permitted Israel to be rebuked, but also rejected a call from both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump, to block the move. Read more:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/un-security-council-condemns-israeli-settlements-palestinian-territories-us-refuses-use-veto-a7493351.html

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PSC challenging British Government’s decision on BDS. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is taking the government to court over its decision to restrict Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) from divesting from companies involved in human rights abuses in Israel. The government initially announced its proposal to block local councils in England and Wales from deciding how to invest their pension funds in November 2015. The decision restricts Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) from disinvesting in certain areas relating to UK foreign and defence policy. The plan came into force on 1 November 2016. The PSC has filed judicial review proceedings against the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, The Rt Hon. Sajid Javid MP in respect of this decision, on the basis that the guidance is an unlawful interference in the exercise of freedom of expression and freedom of conscience. More at: europalforum.org.uk/en/post/1925/Palestine+Solidarity+Campaign

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Daily News Reports on Palestine
The New Zealand Palestine Human Rights Campaign do an amazing job of compiling all the relevant news reports on Palestine and sending them out (free) by email. To get on their mailing list contact: lorca@clear.net.nz

Here are the headlines from a recent newsletter, covering the 24 hours to 8 am on 30th December.

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

Israeli Army position opens fire on Gaza farms

10 injured in Israeli Army raid on village near Jerusalem

Israeli checkpoint troops shoot and wound Palestinian woman

Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in 5 villages

5 attacks (3 Israeli ceasefire violations)

7 raids including home invasions

2 abducted (aged 16 and 17)

7 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage

11 injured – 9 taken prisoner – 1 detained

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EPSC Mailing 26Oct16

Next monthly meeting: Tuesday 1st November, 7pm, Exeter City Gate Hotel

1. Lobbying and appeals you may want to support

a) Child prisoners

b) Defending right to boycott

c) Jackie Walker

2. News:

a) Facebook

b) US funding terror

c) UN raporteur on Gaza

Demand release of Palestinian child prisoners. On Wednesday, 5 October, three 14-year-old boys, Mustafa Bdair, Mo'taz Barad'ah and Omar Radi, were seized from their homes at 4am by Israeli soldiers. Their families still do not know where they are. The three are from the Aida UN refugee camp in Bethlehem (twinned with Glasgow) and are members of the Lajee Dance Group. Some Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign activists hosted the young Palestinians as friends during their most recent UK tour in July.

Attacks on the Lajee Centre have escalated since Celtic Fans raised over £170,000 divided between Medical Aid for Palestine and the Lajee Centre in the Aida refugee camp. These specific night raids by Israeli soldiers fit into a pattern of reprisals that follow international gestures of solidarity with the Centre under an Israeli military Occupation that the UK and other governments officially consider to be illegal. Send a letter to your MP

 

Appeal from national PSC
Once again our movement is under attack
– the government has introduced legislation to prevent councils divesting from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and human rights abuses. The aim is to stop councils from being able to make ethical decisions about investments linked to Israel’s illegal settlements and also to arms companies. At a time when Palestinians are losing their homes at an ever increasing rate to make way for yet more illegal settlements, our government is trying to stop us holding Israel to account.
We’re launching an appeal
not simply to help us challenge this piece of legislation but because we know that there are a host of attacks we are facing as a movement – and we need to be able to fight back against them all. So we are asking for your support. Can you help us raise £30,000 for our campaigns? BDS is people like you and me choosing not to do business with Israel until it adheres to international law. It worked in South Africa and it will work this time too. Please donate today!

 

Free speech on Israel: antizionism is not antisemitism. If you agree that Jackie Walker has been badly treated and that there is a witch-hunt generally to discredit Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters, you may wish to contribute to the legal case she wishes to bring. http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/jackie-walker-crowdfunds-bring-legal-proceedings-iain-mcnicol/

 

Facebook attack on Palestinian groups. Facebook has resumed its policy of targeting Palestinian media pages with the accounts of eight administrators of the Palestine Information Centre and Al-Rai being deleted, Quds News reported. This is seen as an attempt to “besiege all Palestinian content on the network”. The Palestine Information Centre had 2.2 million Facebook followers and published daily news on Palestinian, Arab and international issues. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20161012-facebook-resumes-attack-on-palestinian-groups/

 

US funding Israeli state terrorism. Last month, the United States signed a $38bn record military aid deal with Israel, described as the “largest single pledge of military assistance in US history to any country”. Many of the warplanes, rifles and bullets that Israel uses against Palestinians, often in ways that may amount to human rights violations, are manufactured and supplied by the US.

While US domestic law under the Foreign Assistance Act states that “no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognised human rights”, no US Administration since 2000 has held Israel accountable.

The US is to blame for every Palestinian child killed at the hands of Israel. I go out on non-violent protests, and I will tell you, I am afraid. We can die at any moment. I blame America, but I also blame the Arab and the Muslim world, and the international community for allowing Israel to practise terrorism against the Palestinian people. Full article at: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/09/funding-israeli-state-terrorism-military-deal-160926074254028.html

 

UN co-ordinator expresses concern over situation in Gaza Strip. On Thursday the UN Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, expressed concerns over the situation in Gaza, and urged Israel to understand that its policy towards the besieged enclave only “escalates violence.” He met with Palestinian Minister of Public Works and Housing, Mufid Mohammed al-Hasayna, in Gaza who emphasised the crisis expected during the winter for Palestinians whose homes were demolished during Israel's devastating 2014 Israeli offensive on Gaza, as some 75,000 Palestinians still remain displaced after losing their homes.

The 51-day offensive in 2014, termed by the Zionist regime “Operation Protective Edge”, resulted in the killing of 1,462 Palestinian civilians, a third of whom were children. Residents of Gaza suffer from high unemployment and poverty rates, as well as the consequences of three devastating wars with Israel since 2008. The UN has warned that the besieged Palestinian territory could become “uninhabitable” by 2020, as its 1.8 million residents remain in dire poverty due to the nearly decade-long Israeli blockade that has crippled the economy. Full article at: https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=773555

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EPSC Mailing 3Oct16

1. Petitions re visas for Palestinians

2. Hewlett Packard pledge

3. Villages delegation to Washington

4. Trying to learn in Hebron

5. UK arms for Israel

6. World Council of Churches advocates non-violent measures including boycott

Refusal of visitor's visa to Palestinian peace activist. Respected activist Iyad Burnat, who advocates non-violence, has been denied a visa to enter the UK to discuss his life and work. This petition seeks to have the ruling reversed. He is a person we and the government should be listening to.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/grant-iyad-burnat-award-winning-peace-activist-and-author-a-uk-visa?bucket&source=facebook-share-button&time=1474539326

Make visa rules the same for Palestinians and Israelis: Petition to Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Tobias Ellwood

https://www.change.org/p/tobias-ellwood-make-visa-rules-the-same-for-palestinians-and-israelis

From National PSC: Hewlett Packard (HP) profit from Israel's occupation and oppression of Palestinians. They do this by providing biometric ID systems for the military checkpoints that Palestinians are forced to travel through; technology for Israel's mass detention and imprisonment of Palestinians; and IT systems for Israeli forces to impose the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. We're working with colleagues around the world to highlight HP's complicity in human rights abuses and discrimination. We want to show them that profiting from occupation and oppression is not acceptable and will seriously harm their reputation and bottom line.
You can take action now by signing the pledge not to buy any HP products until they pull out of their contracts with Israel. http://stophp.uk/

From report of villages delegation to Washington. Senator Diane Feinstein met with villagers from Palestinian Susiya and Umm al Kheir in August just before they caught their plane home. Back home they were greeted with heartbreaking news. That morning, the Government of Israel demolished a water well on the edge of Susiya Village, and in the north, in the West Bank's Jordan Valley, demolitions included "tents, animal barns, and living rooms", and there were also demolitions in East Jerusalem and near Nablus.

Senator Feinstein from California described her important intervention to keep the Palestinian village of Susiya standing. “We face the heartbreaking reality that efforts to save Susiya do not safeguard all the homes in Susiya, nor halt demolitions of the homes in the Palestinian countryside or in other Palestinian villages. Because more Palestinian homes, schools, barns and water systems were destroyed by the Israeli government this year than in any year in the past decade, Congressional and U.S. State Department intervention is deeply needed on behalf of other Palestinian villages too.”

Eid Suleiman Hthaleen explained that the legal petition filed by his village of Umm Al Kheir, to freeze demolition orders, never even reached the Israeli court. They did everything right but new rules and red-tape blocked their way, leading to the grueling demolition of five homes and a community center, in three early morning demolitions in April and August of this year.

Fatma Nawaja compared the lifestyle of Israeli women who live in the settlements to that of the Palestinian women who live in and near the village of Susiya. One has running water and electricity, and can pursue her education, exercise, and spend time with her children — the other is struggling to prepare meals without running water, cook and wash clothing by hand without electricity, and bear the brunt of keeping her family safe.

Back-to-school in Tel Rumeida. Palestinian children in Tel Rumeida, Hebron, located in the southern part of the West Bank, returned to school on August 28 with no end to the Israeli-enforced military closure of their neighborhood in sight.

The principal of the Cordoba school told DCIP that she has had to cancel school on many occasions as a result of political unrest and Israeli military and settler activities.“Children are tremendously affected by the constant harassment of soldiers, and the constant military presence in their neighborhoods,” she said. “Closing the schools and sending the children home obviously impacts their education.”

Even when the school is open, settler violence may prevent children from attending school. a 10-year-old student at Cordoba, told DCIP, “Sometimes the settlers stand in our way and won’t let us get into our schools,” she said. “They even throw rocks at us.”

Israel, a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), is legally obligated to uphold Palestinian children's access to education. Under Article 28(e) of the CRC, Israel is responsible to, “Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates.”

http://www.dci-palestine.org/back_to_school_in_tel_rumeida_a_closed_military_zone?utm_campaign=9_30_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=dcipalestine

British Government approved £4million of arms sales to Israel after Gaza bombardment. Arms deals to Israel worth £4million were approved by Britain immediately after the summer 2014 bombardment of Gaza. The sales won official approval despite evidence suggesting British-made arms and components were used in the bombing of the Strip when more than 2000 people were killed. A new report reveals the Government sanctioned licences for surface-to-surface missiles, combat helicopters and military communications equipment after the onslaught. The first licence was granted only five days after the bombing stopped. Billy Briggs, Sunday Mail, 12 July 2015.

World Council of Churches strongest statement yet on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the so-called peace process. The Central Committee met in Trondheim, Norway, 22-28 June noting (in contrast to Cameron's disgusting plans to mark the centenary of the Balfour declaration) that “next year – 2017 – will mark a painful anniversary: 50 years since Israel began its occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.”

They set out their position on the subject of violence and terror: “The WCC has consistently denounced the use of violence and acts of terror, whether by the State of Israel or by Palestinian groups and individuals.

The WCC statement calls for member churches to promote and support “all non-violent efforts to end the occupation (including considering appropriate economic and other measures).”

WCC calls for member churches to “recognize the danger of using scripture to in any way justify occupation, and to recognize Christian Zionism as a form of Christian fundamentalism endangering especially indigenous Palestinian Christian communities.”

Likewise the WCC “expresses its concern regarding efforts in legislative bodies throughout the world to silence and penalize calls for non-violent measures to resist illegal occupation.”

Full statement at http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/central-committee/2016/statement-on-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict-and-peace-process  

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EPSC Mailing 16Sep16

1. Petition Facebook to stop settlement ads

2. Call to join the olive harvest

3. Arrested for saying “Viva Palestina”

4. Apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and genocide

Facebook is running advertisements selling settlement homes on stolen land. The land belongs to our friends, Palestinian families. If we take action now, we can stop this. Thousands of Israelis and supporters of the Occupation have seen ads on Facebook – the world’s largest social network – offering opportunities to buy homes in settlements like Modi’in and Ariel. Facebook’s ad. guidelines say it’s prohibited to run ads offering illegal products. Settlements are not just illegal, the process of building and populating them is considered a war crime by the international community. Similar campaigns have succeeded in getting Facebook to remove ads. We need all your voices to win. Facebook's guidelines prohibit advertising related to illegal activity. Facebook's guidelines for accepting ads seek to protect lives and livelihood of all people, and the Palestinian people should not be excluded. Sign the petition to Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/facebook_stop_ads_for_settlements_palestine_final/

The Palestinian Olive Harvest 2016. At a time of increasing settler violence in the West Bank, the International Solidarity Movement is issuing an urgent call for volunteers to participate in the 2016 olive-harvest on the invitation of Palestinian communities. International Solidarity activists engage in non-violent intervention and documentation that enables families to pick their olives. In addition, the olive harvest provides a wonderful opportunity to spend time with Palestinian families in their olive groves and homes. The harvest will begin in October and run until mid-November. We request a minimum two-week commitment from volunteers. We kindly ask that volunteers start arriving in the first week of October, so we are prepared when the harvest begins. The ISM will be holding mandatory two-day training sessions which will run weekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please contactpalreports@gm

https://palsolidarity.org/2016/09/call-to-action-olive-harvest-2016/?utm_source=wysija&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Weekly+Digest

Human rights campaigner arrested and charged for saying “Viva Palestina” Aberdeen resident and human rights campaigner Ally Coutts (56) was arrested, detained for 7 hours and charged with “Acting in a racially aggravated manner with intent to cause distress and alarm" for simply saying “Viva Palestina” next to the Jericho Cosmetics stall in Union Square, Aberdeen. Jericho Cosmetics sell products derived from minerals illegally extracted from occupied Palestinian territories surrounding the Dead Sea. The extraction and commercialisation of resources from an occupied territory by the occupant is prohibited by UN resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention (http://www.cjpme.org/fs_146). Notably, Palestinians have no access to such resources - the exclusive access of resources to a section of the population based on ethnicity amounts to apartheid as defined by the UN.

The Genocide of the Palestinian People: an International Law and Human Rights Perspective. 25 August 2016. While there has been recent criticism of those taking the position that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians, there is a long history of human rights scholarship and legal analysis that supports the assertion. Prominent scholars of the international law crime of genocide and human rights authorities take the position that Israel’s policies toward the Palestinian people could constitute a form of genocide. Those policies range from the 1948 mass killing and displacement of Palestinians to a half-century of military occupation and, correspondingly, the discriminatory legal regime governing Palestinians, repeated military assaults on Gaza, and official Israeli statements expressly favoring the elimination of Palestinians.

The term genocide was coined in 1944 by a Jewish Polish legal scholar, Raphael Lemkin. For Lemkin, “the term does not necessarily signify mass killings.” He explained:

More often [genocide] refers to a coordinated plan aimed at destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups so that these groups wither and die like plants that have suffered a blight. The end may be accomplished by the forced disintegration of political and social institutions, of the culture of the people, of their language, their national feelings and their religion. It may be accomplished by wiping out all basis of personal security, liberty, health and dignity. When these means fail the machine gun can always be utilized as a last resort. Genocide is directed against a national group as an entity and the attack on individuals is only secondary to the annihilation of the national group to which they belong.[1]

From a legal perspective, genocide, like the crime against humanity of persecution, is an international crime distinguished by the specific intent to discriminate against a group on recognized grounds through a series of acts or omissions often reflected in and achieved through State policies. While different in degree, both genocide and persecution “[reduce] a person to their identification with or membership in a group,” but also “[attack] the group itself.” Persecution criminalizes the denial of fundamental rights for members of the group, and genocide criminalizes the most extreme stage of discrimination: efforts to actually destroy the group.

According to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,[4] genocide includes various acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” as such, including:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.[5]

This definition is reflected in Article 6 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has jurisdiction over crimes occurring on the territory of the State of Palestine since June 13, 2014.[6]

Full article at: https://ccrjustice.org/genocide-palestinian-people-international-law-and-human-rights-perspective 

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demolished home

EPSC Mailing 26Aug16

Next EPSC monthly meeting: Tue 6th September 7 pm at City Gate Hotel.

1. Demolitions in Umm al Kheir yet again

2. Gaza: Boycott HP

3. Water stolen all the time

4. Football protest

5. Another major US church behind boycott

Israeli Army's hateful campaign of destruction in Bedouin village. Dear Friends, The bulldozers have returned to the Bedouin village of Khirbat Umm Al Khair in the South Hebron Hills, a place where I have many friends now and to where we send funds for the kindergarten. Only two weeks ago the Israelis demolished five homes here. They are bulldozing buildings that have replaced those that were bulldozed two weeks ago, buildings which are funded by the European Union. One of the buildings destroyed is the Community Centre. I have slept there on my visits in 2012 and 2014. It is where kindergarten teaching was to be relocated, where villagers meet and also receive visitors including 'internationals'. It is awful. I have no words left to describe my contempt for these barbarous thugs. Please share – please send messages of support by Facebook to: Mahmoud Alhadleen Aziz Hathalin Tariq Hathaleen Eid Suleman https://www.facebook.com/mahmoud.alhadleen/videos/1083702865047462/ Thanks, Dave Clinch, Secretary, North Devon PSC. PS: There is no mainstream reporting of these outrages. A message from Eid Suleman: Thank you Dear Dave, Today it was hard on our village just 11 days between two demolitions they come on 6am so early before the sun shine they demolish two buildings and the community centre. It's so hard for the women our kids and my father was arrested from the beginning and the lock him away in army car in side Carmel settlement until they finish the demolition. Then they take him away from the village about four km then he come back on his feet in this heat. So hard. Now in the village 25 people homeless without roofs. We need your prayers for peace in this hard time of the village. Thanks a lot ?, Eid. Please send messages of support to Eid Suleman via Facebook if possible.

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Gaza bombarded: Boycott Hewlett-Packard Gaza was attacked by Israeli forces on Sunday, with dozens of strikes by air and land. Four Palestinians were injured, including a 17-year-old boy. On this date, two years ago, Israel had killed over 2,000 Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip in a brutal military assault. By the time it ended, more than 2,200 Palestinians and 73 Israelis had lost their lives. Yet Israel's attacks on Gaza never really ended, with near-daily breaches of the 2014 ceasefire, including frequent military incursions, and attacks on fishermen and farmers. Since the 2014 assault, almost nothing has been reconstructed, with most of the 100,000 people made homeless still displaced. Israel's blockade prevents the materials people need to rebuild their homes from entering Gaza. Marking the anniversary of the assault, PSC has released testimonies from Palestinians living in Gaza. Their moving stories are available to read now.
“This is Gaza, the Gaza that no words can describe, the Gaza that no language, even Arabic, can provide a simple description for, since only with the flooding of blood does the world locate Gaza on the map." - Ahmad, 25.
Take action now to Stop HP. Hewlett Packard (HP) provide IT for the Israeli Navy, who enforce the naval blockade of Gaza. Sign the pledge to boycott HP.

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Plundered water boosts Israel's surplus. Leslie Bravery | 20 August 2016 The West Bank Mountain Aquifer, Palestine's principal water reserve, once blessed the land and its people, enabling a remarkable agriculture to flourish. Palestine's precious water is now controlled by Israel. The foreign military Occupation diverts the water for Israel's benefit so that Palestinians have access to even less water than that recognised by the UN as the minimum for survival – a third less, in fact. Palestinian agriculture is cursed even further by the Occupying power, depending on the area, either by denying Palestinian farmers proper access to their land or by annexation. According to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel takes for itself 86% of the water from the aquifer.

Palestinians are prohibited even from collecting rainwater Israel’s Military No.158 forbids Palestinians any rights to drilling, irrigation or conservation of water. The building of reservoirs or collection of water in rooftop tanks is prohibited, with the Israeli Army destroying wells and invading homes to destroy rooftop water storage.

Gaza and Israel's criminal water blockade Israel has installed alarge numberof deep wells along the Gaza border in order to extract as much groundwater as possible before it can reach the blockaded territory. Last month US Congressional Representatives warned that the absence of immediate action to purify Gaza's wastewater would lead to severe environmental hazards that would threaten the health of both Palestinians and Israelis. In a letter to Israel's Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz, the Congressional Representatives clearly outlined Israel's responsibility for the abysmal state of Gaza's water supply and the lack of sewage treatment. In the UK, Jeremy Corbyn continues bravely to hold his ground in support of Palestine and international humanitarian law.

Full article at http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/08/20/plundered-water-boosts-israels-surplus/

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Massive pro-Palestine demonstration at Celtic football ground in the UK on Wednesday, 17 August 2016, calling for expulsion of Israel from FIFA. See photos. This is the largest team since Palestine began competing in the games in 1996. One of the swimmers, Mary Al-Atrash, competed in the 50-metre freestyle, but despite this being just one length of an Olympic-sized pool, Al-Atrash had to complete all her training in a 25-metre pool because there are no Olympic-sized facilities in the Occupied West Bank. Arriving in Brazil without equipment, the team had to buy everything when they got to Rio as Israel had prevented equipment donated to the team, mostly by foreign governments, from reaching the athletes. Israel also blocked the head of the Palestinian Olympic team from leaving the besieged Gaza Strip to be with his team in Brazil. FIFA recently produced a video featuring Umm al-Khair, entitled “Football Unifies, Inspires In Palestine”. This is a village which has been continually attacked by Israeli forces and has now suffered yet another demolition. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign says take action today to demand FIFA suspend Israel from international football competitions for destroying communities in Palestine. FIFA is rightly proud of the work it does to support football development in Palestine. We call on FIFA to condemn the demolitions in Umm al-Khair.
Read here for information on how to contact FIFA and to take action.

Ordinary fans fly the flag for Palestine. As the international community becomes more aware of the injustices meted out on the Palestinian people by Israel, protests have increased, despite the best attempts of the state and its supporters to silence dissenting voices. Efforts to stifle free speech and the right to protest in the democratic world does not go down very well. Hence, when the fans of Scottish champions Glasgow Celtic Football Club were instructed not to fly Palestinian flags during a match between their team and Israel’s Hapoel Beer-Sheva, the outcome was fairly predictable: thousands of flags were waved by the crowd in defiance of the UEFA diktat. Now Celtic FC faces a penalty from the European governing body of the sport after the mass flag-waving during a Champions League play-off match; Celtic won 5-2, by the way. Full article: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20160818-ordinary-fans-fly-the-flag-for-palestine/

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US Lutherans: “End aid to Israel”. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has become the latest US denomination to take economic action against the Israeli Occupation. At its triennial assembly last week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the four million-member church, one of the largest in the US, voted on two separate resolutions targeting Israel’s Occupation and human rights abuses, passing each by a landslide. The first resolution calls for the end of US aid to Israel until it ceases violations of international human rights norms, specifically the on-going construction of settlements on Occupied Palestinian land. It passed by a 751-162 vote, or 82%, on 12 August. The second resolution, adopted by a 90% margin on Saturday, calls for the creation of a “human rights social criteria investment screen”, specifically citing concerns raised in the church’s Middle East policy. The Lutheran Church has deep ties to Palestinian churches which are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Reverend Mitri Raheb, whose Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem is one such congregation, was one of the authors of the Kairos Palestine Document, which calls on churches around the world to use “boycott and disinvestment as tools of non-violence for justice, peace and security for all.” Read more:https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ryan-rodrick-beiler/massive-shift-lutherans-vote-halt-us-aid-israel?utm_source=EI+readers&utm_campaign=43a1e543f8-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e802a7602d-43a1e543f8-294332501

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EPSC Mailing 12Aug16 Demolitions

Thanks to the amazing generosity of many Quakers and supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Devon, together we have raised the £4000 needed to keep the kindergarten in Umm al Kheir running this year. It is not yet known how much has been given altogether because we are awaiting the figure for on line donations. It is likely that enough has been given to keep the kindergarten going during the first months of 2017 as well. The kindergarten building has escaped threat of demolition as it is just outside the village.

1. Please sign petition about demolitions

2. Emails from Umm al Kheir

3. Warning to Israel – but would the words be followed by action?

4. Balfour – will Britain acknowledge its shame?

Director of Jewish Voice for Peace's petition against demolitions

I woke up to the terrible news that 27 people were made homeless for the second time when Israeli bulldozers demolished five structures in the South Hebron Hills village of Umm al Kheir.

Unfortunately, this isn't the only village facing immediate demolition now. You may have heard about the village of Susiya previously: the village has been facing many demolitions in recent years, as well as settler harassment, crop destruction, and direct violence from Israeli soldiers.

Today, Susiya’s future lies in the hands of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the ultra-right wing Israeli Defense Minister, who will make a decision on 15th August
You can make a difference, but you need to act now

From emails about demolition in Umm al Kheir, sent by a villager and a Jewish peace activist who has worked tirelessly with villagers in the South Hebron Hills for many years.

Date: 2016-08-09

Hello Dear friends

Today in 6:30 am the Israeli civil administration and the army come to the village and they close the village from all ways then they start with demolition of five buildings three of them is built by EU as help to the people who lost their homes in last demolition in April. 

My father was arrested for two hours under the sun heat without water. Everyone in the village sad and shocked. The children crying the women's even. And all of that by the name of the law it's illegal to build here We want your Prayer for peace and your solidarity with the poor families who lost their homes again. We would like to thank all our friends who stand with village in this hard time

Our love to you all

Greetings God bless you all
 

From Erella, August 9, 2016:  Demolition again. Another demolition. And again we were there.

A week ago, four people of Regavim (an association of Jewish settlers in the West Bank) “took a walk” in Umm Al Kheir. They roamed around feeling very much at home and took pictures. Old Maliha said that their “stroll” was an omen of demolition. And today it happened. Without any prior notice. In such a state of total helplessness and zero ability to thwart injustice, even a moment to get ready emotionally is something.

The demolition bulldozers arrived at 6:30 a.m. Adults and children, babies and youngsters were still sleeping. When Maliha told me about this she could hardly control her voice. Five homes were demolished: three – houses put up by the European Union after the demolitions this April, and two – homes built long ago by their owners.

Lords of the bulldozers, lords of the occupation, this many-armed octopus (Israeli government, army, police force, Civil Administration, settlers, their association…): the people whose homes you demolished today have names. These people have hands and feet, heads, faces. They have hearts and life – Zyad and his wife, who have already had two demolitions since their wedding early this year, Aadel and Aamna and their five children, Maliha who no longer counts the many demolitions she has undergone, innocent Hadra and her only daughter Rima.

When Evil-Doing Comes Like Falling Rain (Bertolt Brecht)
The first time it was reported that our friends were butchered there was a cry of horror.

Then a hundred were butchered. But when a thousand were butchered and there was no end to the butchery, a blanket of silence spread.

When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out “stop!”

When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible.

When sufferings become unendurable the cries are no longer heard.

The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.

U.S. Warns of Harsh Reaction If Israel Demolishes Sussia
EU, Britain join diplomatic push to spare Hebron Hills village, though Israel maintains that the fate of Sussia will be decided in court decision.
The United States has warned it will respond harshly if Israel demolishes the Palestinian village of Sussia in the southern Hebron Hills.
Israeli and American officials, who asked not to be named, said Tuesday that over the past two weeks U.S. administration officials have informed officials in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Defense Ministry that a severe American reaction would result if Israel destroys the houses in the village.
The Israeli officials said similar messages were conveyed over the past two weeks by the European Union, the British government and other international bodies. For example, British diplomats conveyed messages to the PMO and the Foreign Ministry that the British Foreign Office in London would find it difficult to continue assisting Israel in international forums in the event Sussia were demolished.
The Israeli officials said international pressure over the matter came after the Palestinian Authority turned to the United States and a number of other Western countries, claiming that Israel intends to destroy the village in a few weeks.
Source: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.736107

Britain should apologise for the Balfour Declaration, not ‘celebrate’ it

Europal Forum, Kamel Hawwash

The Balfour Declaration and Britain’s League of Nations Mandate rule in Palestine were key reasons for the growth of Jewish migration to Palestine, which accelerated following the Second World War and the Holocaust. The creation of Israel as Britain rushed to abandon Palestine left the Palestinians at the mercy of murderous Zionist terror groups hell-bent on expelling as many if not all of them from their homeland. The injustice felt in the Middle East at the creation of Israel also contributed to the tensions that led to Arab Jews leaving their home countries for the nascent Zionist state.

The injustice of the lack of a viable Palestinian state and the continuing refugee catastrophe continues to this day. How can Britain celebrate this? Even if Britain claims that it is not “celebrating” Balfour, but simply “marking” the document’s centenary, that will also offend Palestinians living under Israel’s military occupation in Palestine, and in the refugee camps of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, as well as the diaspora. To read more

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EPSC mailing 2Jul16

1. Events

2. Petition against cooperation with Mekerot

3. Water apartheid

4. Golan threat

5. Letter re Balfour

6. BDS successes

Next EPSC meeting Tuesday 5th July, 7pm, Exeter City Gate Hotel, starting with a presentation by Nick Bilbrough, a teacher who is running classes in Gaza by videolink.

Stall to be held at the Green Fair on Sat 3rd September on the

 Cathedral Green.

Stall at St Thomas Festival on Sunday 11th September

Ask Arup to cut their partnership with Mekorot

Mekorot, the state-run Israeli water company, recently shut the valves of water pipes leading to areas in the West Bank during the holy month of Ramadan. Tens of thousands of Palestinians, many of whom are fasting from sunrise to sunset, are now left without water safe for consumption. This adds to the structural policies enacted by Mekorot that deprive Palestinians from their water.

Arup is a global consultancy firm that in 2015 entered into a partnership with Mekorot. They are active in the water sector worldwide and specialise in “driving innovation” in water technology. But there’s nothing innovative about denying Palestinians their right to water.

Mekorot has been enforcing ‘water apartheid’ for decades. Estimates show that they supply Israelis with four times more water per head than Palestinians.

In response to citizen campaigns, companies and states worldwide are cutting partnerships with Mekorot, and Arup should join them.

Full article at: https://community.sumofus.org/petitions/arup-cut-your-partnership-with-human-rights-violators 

  Israel: Water as a tool to dominate Palestinians by Camilla Corradin

As temperatures rise and summer months approach, yet again this year, thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are being deprived of their most basic need - access to water - as the Israeli national water company Mekorot restricted the water supply to villages and towns in northern West Bank.

By building on the myth of a water-scarce region - Ramallah has more rainfall than London - Israel has deliberately denied Palestinians control over their water resources and successfully set the ground for water domination, granting itself a further tool to exercise its hegemony over the occupied population and territory.

Palestinian water resources in the West Bank wouldn't be scarce - they include the Jordan River, running all along the eastern border of the West Bank, and the Mountain Aquifer underlying the West Bank and Israel. Both water resources are transboundary - meaning that, by international law, they should be shared in an equitable and reasonable manner by Israel and Palestine.

Water consumption figures are telling: While Israelis have access to around 240 litres of water per person per day, and settlers over 300, Palestinians in the West Bank are left with 73 litres - well below the World Health Organization's minimum standard of 100.

Full article at: http://europalforum.us11.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=57937686bafbc030f7aa17537&id=5f425c5550&e=2916567e3e

  EU Commissioner Announces Funding for Gaza’s Seawater Desalination Plant

EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn, responsible for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, visited today the EU-funded seawater desalination plant in southern Gaza.The first phase of the desalination plant is in its final stage of construction. ”Water and natural resources have been significantly damaged after the continuous years of closure and conflicts in Gaza. As a consequence, nearly 95% of water in Gaza is considered unfit for human consumption. Therefore we are supporting this plant that will provide clean fresh water for 150,000 Palestinians,” said the EU Commissioner. http://europalforum.us11.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=57937686bafbc030f7aa17537&id=f38e1ea891&e=2916567e3e

Syrians protest against Israeli Occupation and planned annexation of Golan Heights.

http://nsnbc.me/2016/06/27/syrians-protest-against-israeli-occupation-and-planned-annexation-of-the-golan-heights/

The crime of belligerent occupation. General Assembly resolution 3103 (XXVIII) of 1973, describes occupation and continuing occupation as a crime and recognises the inherent right of people living under occupation to resist it by all means. http://nsnbc.me/2016/06/27/syrians-protest-against-israeli-occupation-and-planned-annexation-of-the-golan-heights/

Letter to UK Foreign Office: Dear Foreign Secretary, Next year HMG plan to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration of 2nd November 2017. The Balfour Declaration gave a green light for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”. It went on to state that HMG would “use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object”. HMG stuck to that part of the bargain even while the Jewish people ignored the Declaration's proviso: “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. The Jewish people took full advantage of their strengths and possibilities. More than establish “a national home”, they declared the State of Israel in the land of Mandate Palestine. Israel gives demonstrations every day of its commitment to ethnically cleanse and illegally occupy all the land belonging to the “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”, consistently perpetrating the most egregious human rights violations. The fact that HMG are not prepared to issue sanctions against Israel for its violations of the rights of Palestinians tells us that HMG not only have no doubt where this will lead, but that they condone it. Yours sincerely, Elizabeth Morley. Quoted in In Occupied Palestine newsletter, 4Jun16.

Pro-Israel group loses legal action against 3 UK local authorities and ordered to pay costs. A pro-Israel group has lost its legal action against three local authorities who passed resolutions in support of Palestinians. The High Court in London ruling in favour of three councils that have boycotted Israeli settlement goods has been hailed as a “victory for the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign and for democracy”. The landmark ruling is also a rejection of the UK Government’s attempts, in February, to stop councils from adopting ethical procurement and investment policies by implying that legal action could be brought successfully against them. Sara Apps, interim Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), said: “Today’s High Court ruling is an important victory for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign and for democracy itself. Councils have been told categorically by the High Court that there is nothing unlawful in ethically boycotting Israeli settlement goods, and PSC welcomes this ruling. “The UK Government’s attempts to intimidate local councils into dropping ethical procurement and investment policies clearly have no legal basis. Councils can legally adopt policies which avoid or end links with Israel’s illegal settlements. We applaud Leicester, Swansea and Gwynedd councils for standing up for their democratic right to free speech, and we look forward to working alongside them and other councils who choose to adopt policies in support of Palestinian human rights.” The case against Leicester, Swansea and Gwynedd City Councils was brought by Jewish Human Rights Watch, which has been ordered to pay the legal costs of all three councils. http://www.leicester.gov.uk/news/news-story-details?nId=88753

Kuwait boycotts G4S, citing Israel connection. Kuwait's Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) has decided to divest its funds from the Britain-based G4S due to the company's involvement in the Israeli security and prison industries and the long record of human rights abuse. http://nsnbc.me/2016/06/28/kuwaits-pifss-divests-from-g4s-over-palestine/

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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


1. 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

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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, davejchappell@gmail.com, 07790727965

Dave Clinch, 37 St Mary's Cl, Torrington EX38 8AS, dpclinch@gmail.com, 01805 624938

Tony Davies, 10 Dinham Cres, Exeter EX4 4EF, davies.tony@gmx.com, 07749 038422

John Wade, 47 Gloster Rd, Barnstaple EX32 9JR, john79uk@yahoo.co.uk, 01271 344202

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3. Rabbi Calls for Poisoning of Palestinian Water Supply

19th June 2016 IMEMC News

The foreign ministry of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Sunday, demanded the arrest of a Jewish Rabbi, who called on Israeli settlers to poison water used by Palestinians in hundreds of towns and villages across the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian national office for the defense of land and resistance of settlements warned of the dangers and consequences of such calls.

n its weekly report, it explained that Rabbi Shlomo Mlmad, the chairman of the so-called Council of Rabbis in West Bank settlements, called on settlers to poison Palestinians through their water supply, which came to light by the Israeli organization ‘Breaking the Silence’.

Group member Yehuda Shaul said, according to WAFA, that the aim behind poisoning water in the West Bank is to push Palestinians out of their towns and cities in order to allow settlers to take over Palestinian lands.

The ministry of foreign affairs said, in a press release, that Palestinians have grown used to Israelis stealing from their water sources then selling it back to them. Recently, Israeli authorities cut off water supplies from the northern cities of the West Bank during the hottest days of the month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise till sunset.

While Israel continues to pose multiple restrictions on Palestinians who try to dig water wells, this call by Rabbi Mlmad is considered a crime against humanity because it targets humans, animals, crops and all forms of life in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

The ministry held the Israeli government fully responsible for the consequences of such calls. It demanded the arrest of the Rabbi for inciting murder, and the enforcement of necessary procedures to protect Palestinians from individuals who might attempt to poison water sources.

What is the international community waiting for to interfere; the death of thousands of Palestinians of thirst? To meet such incident with silence and ignore the war Israel is waging against Palestinians is a cause of shame for the international community.”

http://imemc.org/article/rabbi-calls-for-poisoning-of-palestinian-water-supply/

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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

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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

 

kinder.jpg

Dave Clinch

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

News items

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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News items

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.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/27/israel-bulldozes-scores-of-eu-built-palestinian-homes-in-bitter/

Antisemitism slurs against Labour MPs

From statement by Jewish Socialists’ Group on 28th April

Criticism of Israeli government policy and Israeli state actions against the Palestinians is not antisemitism. Accusations of antisemitism are currently being used to attack the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour party. This is despite Corbyn’s longstanding record of actively opposing fascism and all forms of racism, and being a firm a supporter of the rights of refugees and of human rights globally. The accusations do not refer to antisemitic actions but usually to comments, often made on social media, long before Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership. Those making the charges now, did not see fit to bring them up at the time, under previous Labour leaders, but are using them now, just before mayoral and local elections, when they believe they can inflict most damage on the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn. We stand against antisemitism, against racism and fascism and in support of refugees. We stand for free speech and open debate on Israel, Palestine and Zionism. [As Dave Chappell has pointed out, Ken Livingstone was factually correct in saying that Hitler supported Zionists – making an agreement with them to transfer Jews from Germany to Palestine]. http://www.jewishsocialist.org.uk/news/item/statement-on-labours-problem-with-antisemitism-from-the-jewish-socialists-g

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   EPSC Mailing 1Apr16

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!

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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.

http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2016-03-28/frances-tax-subsidy-on-gifts-to-israeli-army/#sthash.wCxDLc8h.dpuf

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

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4. Videos

Mads Gilbert on Gaza siege 29Mar16 (3 mins)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH2-RVJGQ_8

Gideon Levy very critical of Israel 30Mar16 (22 mins)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-QNP4Zw-KQ&sns=em

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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.

com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.EKCZWG0S.dpuf

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

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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


News updates:

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

_israelpalestine_conflict/

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EPSC Mailing 4Jan16

BDS successes

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.

3. 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.

Full article at: http://bdsmovement.net/2015/7-ways-our-movement-broke-new-ground-13634

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.

Full article: http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/who-should-represent-palestinians-1891320394

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

Economic sabotage

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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: http://internationaltimes.it/hostile-intelligence-reflections-from-a-visit-to-the-west-bank/
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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

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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.

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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.”

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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

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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.

http://www.thejc.com/news/campus-news/137207/national-union-students-votes-boycott-israel


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."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.659520

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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

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EPSC Mailing 20May15

Action on Behalf of Palestinian Susiya

Susya

Family at home

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_

facing_expulsion

http://rhr.org.il/eng/2015/05/israeli-court-makes-move-to-allow-demolition-of-entire-village-of-susya/

http://rhr.org.il/eng/save-susya/

Ehud Krinis on behalf of the Villages Group

For contact details for emailing or mailing our MEPs see:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html 

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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.

Yours sincerely,

Jude Kirton-Darling

Member of the European Parliament

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Mailing 1Jan15

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.
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    Israeli exceptionalism 

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.

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.631036#

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.

Full article at http://www.palestinechronicle.com/yousef-al-rammouni-and-israels-moral-suicide/#.VJdCMZ3AIZ


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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. http://mikopeled.com/
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Tell Coca-Cola to stop operating in illegal Israeli settlements

http://foa.org.uk/page/letter-to-coca-cola

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

27Oct15

Umm al-Kheir home demolition

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

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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.”

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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.

http://www.palestinecampaign.org/when-did-israel-ceasefire/ 22 Oct 2014

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Points from the Recent History of Palestine

(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

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.

Freedom for PalestineExeter Branch

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 a

bout 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.