July 12, 2011

Rachel Corrie’s family claim Israel hid evidence of Rachel’s death

Posted in General Gaza Updates tagged , , , , , , , at 10:54 am by Alexia

The Guardian has a piece of the latest information coming from the civil suit that the Corrie family are pursuing in Israel.  The family claim that evidence has been withheld and misleading information was provided to the US officials at the time of her death.  The hearing has been taking place since March 2010 and finally completed last weekend.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/11/corries-accuse-israelis-death

In March last year the Corrie family launched a civil case, accusing the military of either unlawfully or intentionally killing Rachel or of gross negligence. Hearings in the case ended on Sunday and a verdict is due to be delivered next April.

“After more than a year of hearings, we are at this moment in much the same place as we were when they began – up against a wall of Israeli officials determined to protect the state at all costs, including at the expense of truth,” said Cindy Corrie, Rachel’s mother.

“We came seeking accountability. We demand justice,” said Craig Corrie

 Right up to the end of the hearings, the Israeli military sought to discredit the work of the volunteers there trying to prevent the human rights abuses being perpetrated by the Israeli military. 

 The final witness in the case, Colonel Pinhas Zuaretz, told the court in Haifa that Rafah was a war zone in 2003 and “reasonable people would not be there unless they had aims of attacking our forces”. Members of the International Solidarity Movement, such as Rachel Corrie, were aiding “Palestinian terrorists”, he said.

because of course an unarmed civillian with nothing more than a finger to wag or a camera to document the attacks on civillians is obviously a grievous threat to those heavily armoured tanks the military were permanently ensconced in and those “Palestinian terrorists” who were actually the unarmed homeowners who suffered sustained attacks on their homes by members of the military which usually led to the household abandoning the home and becoming refugees, then the military subsequently demolishing it were also grievous threats.

As the Israeli government has recently shown with its open pressuring of foreign governments to stop the flotilla and tacitly supporting at least one group that behaved in criminal behaviour to try to stop some of the flotilla boats leaving in Greece, it is unlikely that this will cause them to display integrity and admit responsibility for the behaviour of its armed forces.  Will the courts see it differently and judge that the military did distort the truth to hide its culpability in the death of Rachel?  We’ll know next April.

 

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April 26, 2011

ISM COMMITTED TO STAYING IN GAZA

Posted in ISM Updates tagged , , at 3:29 pm by Alexia

PRESS RELEASE: ISM COMMITTED TO STAYING IN GAZA

ISM GAZA

Following the murder of our comrade and friend Vittorio, we, activists
of the International Solidarity Movement, reiterate our commitment to
remaining in Gaza.  We will continue to work with and live among the
Palestinian population as we continue the work to which Vik was so
committed.

In these days of mourning, Palestinians have organized numerous
memorials for Vik; they constantly remind us how sorry they are to
have lost him, of how they loved him, his closeness, his affection,
and his indignation at what is happening here in Gaza.  We know that
the group that perpetrated this horrible crime does not in any way
represent Palestinian society.  The Palestinians of Gaza are our
friends, our colleagues, and our reason for being here; we will
continue to stand by their side.

As we had done when Vittorio was with us, we will continue to stand
alongside the Palestinian people, we will continue to struggle against
the occupation, we will continue to accompany farmers to their lands
along the border, we will continue to participate in demonstrations,
and we will continue to tell the world what happens here in the Gaza
Strip, Palestine.  We think that Vik would agree with Che Guevara when
he said, “Don’t cry for me if I die, do what I was doing and I will
live on in you.”  The best way to honor Vik is to continue the work
that he was doing.  In particular we will soon begin crewing a boat
whose mission is to monitor the violation of human rights in
Palestinian waters.  This boat will have its maiden voyage on April
20: Vik had strongly backed this project and he had enthusiastically
participated in its realization.

Vik has been an inspiration to all of us, we all hope to live up to
his example.  In a documentary about him, Vik said he would have liked
to be remembered by Nelson Mandela’s quote; “A victor is merely a
dreamer who never stops dreaming.”  Your dreams are our dreams; we
will never forget you, Vik.

 

 


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April 15, 2011

ISM Activist Killed

Posted in ISM Updates tagged , , , at 1:34 pm by Alexia

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/15/italian-peace-activist-murdered-gaza

Arrigoni’s death comes just over a week after a gunman shot dead Juliano Mer-Khamis, an Israeli actor who ran a theatre in the West Bank city of Jenin. It is not clear why Mer-Khamis was shot but his views about freedom of expression had generated some opposition in Jenin.

Arrigoni, known as Vik, lived in an apartment that he rented separately from his fellow volunteers for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). The first anyone knew of his abduction was when video was posted on YouTube in which Arrigoni appeared blindfolded with a bruised face.

The accompanying Arabic text said: “The Italian hostage entered our land only to spread corruption.” It described Italy as “the infidel state”.

On the day he was abducted, Arrigoni had written three posts on his Guerilla Radio blog: a report on the deaths of four men in the south of Gaza in a collapsed tunnel and comments on Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, and Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president.

He was last seen at a Gaza City gym on Wednesday and from there he ordered food by telephone but never arrived at the restaurant to pick it up.

Nathan Stuckey, a volunteer from the United States, said Arrigoni spent most of his time working as a journalist but was also involved in promoting the rights of Gazan fishermen to fish freely without hindrance from the Israeli navy.

“At the moment, he was particularly focused on the launch of our new boat, which we will use to monitor the navy’s violations of the rights of the fishermen. He often said that he now felt more at home in Gaza than in Italy and he was strongly committed to the Palestinian cause,” Stuckey said.

Foreigners and outsiders are normally warmly welcomed in Palestinian communities, who regard them as allies against Israel. Previously the greatest risk for foreigners was seen to be from the Israeli army. Rachel Corrie from the US and Tom Hurndall from London were killed by Israeli forces in Gaza in 2003 and 2004 while volunteering for the ISM.

Here’s a video report.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2011/apr/15/italian-activist-vittorio-arrigoni-gaza-video

My thoughts are with his family and all those who are affected by this.

April 2, 2011

ISM calling for experienced activists to come to Gaza

Posted in ISM Updates tagged , , , , , at 12:12 am by Alexia

**please circulate widely**

The International Solidarity Movement is appealing for activists to join our team in the besieged Gaza Strip.

In recent months numerous people have managed to cross into Gaza through Egypt, so at present, there is a small window of opportunity to enter. ISM Gaza was reinstated in August 2008, when volunteers traveled aboard the historic, siege-breaking voyage of the first FreeGaza Movement boat. ISM has maintained a constant presence in Gaza since that time, for over two years of Israel’s crippling siege. ISM volunteers refused to leave when Israel began bombing Gaza in December 2009. During the devastating 23-day assault, activists accompanied ambulances and provided vital testimony to the international media.

Daily life in Gaza is a harrowing struggle. Israel’s siege has made rebuilding bombed structures virtually impossible, and thousands of Gazans continue to live in tents. The siege deeply restricts Gaza’s food supply, but Israel also prohibits Gazans from producing their own food. In stark violation of international law, Israel enforces a three-nautical-mile fishing blockade. The Israeli-imposed ‘buffer zone’ swallows up a third of Gaza’s farmland, which lies along the Israeli border. Farmers are routinely shot and killed simply for working their land well inside Gaza’s borders.

ISM Gaza volunteers accompany farmers and demonstrators in the ‘buffer zone’, as well as working to strengthen the link between Gazan students and the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Visit http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/category/gaza/  to watch videos and read reports by ISM Gaza. As the international community becomes more critical of Israel’s policies, it is vital to have individuals on the ground that can attest to the conditions inside the open-air prison of Gaza. Their voices lend strength to efforts abroad, as BDS campaigns gain momentum and freedom flotillas become pandemic.

Those interested in joining the ISM Gaza team are required to attend a preliminary training in their home country and have communicate with the volunteers in Gaza prior to arrival. Entering Gaza is an arduous process that requires some time to be spent in Egypt.

Also recommended:

– Previous experience with organizing/ activism, preferably in the Middle-East

– A historical understanding of the Palestine and some knowledge of the current political situation

– Arabic language skills – respect for Palestinian traditions and values

– Ability to stay in Gaza for an extended period of time (over a month)

For more information about where to attend a preliminary training or other questions, please email gazaism@gmail.com

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WEBSITE: http://palsolidarity.org

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June 27, 2009

PSC weekly update 26 June 2009

Posted in PSC Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:35 pm by Alexia

  

  1. Israeli government defies Obama, continues settlement expansion…
  2. Whilst house demolitions continue apace
  3. Scottish TUC says ‘Foreign Secretary out of step with trade unions on boycott of Israel
  4. New! PSC factsheet on Netanyahu’s speech
  5. 40 aid agencies condemn blockade on Gaza
  6. Free Gaza boats – update
  7. Court case in Canada against settlement companies
  8. PLC speaker released from Israeli jail
  9. Doctors demand Yoram Blachar resign over Israeli torture
  10. Israeli group issues report on torture of Palestinians
  11. Israel sells Palestinian refugee properties
  12. B’Tselem’s documentation of Israeli human rights violations wins award

 

1. Israeli government defies Obama, continues settlement expansion

Israel plans to allocate $250 million over the next two years for settlements http://www.palestinecampaign.org/index7b.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=4&l2_id=24&Content_ID=698

 Israel’s defence ministry has proposed legalising 60 existing homes at a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, and building another 240 homes at the site, despite US calls for a halt to settlement growth.’… http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/23/israel-palestine-construction-farmers-obama

Israeli government officials then denied this: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/06/200962319400811215.html

The Guardian editorial covered this issue: ‘It would indeed be a victory for Netanyahu if, in return for freezing a few extra flats, Obama let himself be manoeuvred into accepting that the existing settlements are “facts on the ground” that can never be changed. Settlements can be abandoned, or assigned to the sovereignty of another state, and many of them will have to be if a fair peace is ever to be obtained. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/25/israel-us-settlements-editorial

 Tony Judt in the New York Times: ‘If Israel is drunk on settlements, the United States has long been its enabler. Were Israel not the leading beneficiary of American foreign aid — averaging $2.8 billion a year from 2003 to 2007, and scheduled to reach $3.1 billion by 2013 — houses in West Bank settlements would not be so cheap: often less than half the price of equivalent homes in Israel proper. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/22/opinion/22judt.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all

 2. …Whilst house demolitions continue apace

The Israeli military has issued demolition orders to thirty two different family housing groups this month, saying that they will demolish the homes of 304 Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, in the eastern West Bank, before the end of June. http://www.imemc.org/article/60931

 3. Scottish TUC says ‘Foreign Secretary out of step with trade unions on boycott of Israel

The STUC has ‘rejected the Foreign Office’s “dismay” at trade union’s supporting boycotts of Israel, and suggested this is an indication that the UK Government is out of step with the views of workers on this matter. http://www.palestinecampaign.org/index7b.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=4&l2_id=25&Content_ID=701

 4. New! PSC factsheet on Netanyahu’s speech

A detailed analysis from PSC on the truth behind the rhetoric: http://www.palestinecampaign.org/index7b-2.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=5&l2_id=27&content_ID=702

 5. 40 aid agencies condemn blockade on Gaza

 Forty international aid agencies and non-governmental organizations have released a joint statement condemning Israel’s blockade of Gaza, to mark the second anniversary of the coastal territory being hermetically sealed off from the outside world. http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10613.shtml

 6. Free Gaza boats – update

 On 25 June, the Free Gaza movement issued a press release: ‘our ships were not given permission to leave today due to concerns about our welfare and safety. Our friends in Cyprus tell us that the voyage to Gaza is too dangerous, and they are worried we will be harmed at sea. http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/hope-fleet-news/956-public-advisory-we-did-not-leave-cyprus-today

 7. Court case in Canada against settlement companies

 From 22-24 June, Quebec Superior Court heard a court case by the village of Bil’in against Green Park International and Green Mount International, two companies registered in Quebec who are constructing illegal Israeli settlements on Bil’in lands. http://www.tadamon.ca/post/3903

 8. PLC speaker released from Israeli jail

From the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR): ‘On Tuesday, 23 June 2009, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) released Dr. Aziz al-Dwaik, Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), following three years of arbitrary detention in Israeli jails. PCHR also called ‘upon the international community to exert pressure on IOF to release all Palestinian prisoners, including the approximately 40 PLC Members who are currently detained in Israeli jails. http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/PressR/English/2008/81-2009.html

 9. Doctors demand Yoram Blachar resign over Israeli torture

More than 700 doctors from 43 countries have written a letter of protest to their governing ethical body, the World Medical Association, alleging that its recently appointed Israeli president has turned a blind eye to the involvement of medical staff in torture, and calling for his removal. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/21/doctors-israeli-torture-yoram-blachar-resign

 10. Israeli group issues report on torture of Palestinians

 A major new report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel shows that ‘various security agencies in Israel, chief among them the IDF and the GSS, shackle detainees in painful and humiliating manners that in a number of instances rise to the level of torture in violation of domestic law, High Court of Justice judgments, international law and accepted international standards of practice’ http://www.stoptorture.org.il/files/eng_report.pdf

 11. Israel sells Palestinian refugee properties

For an account of the problems caused by Israel’s decision to sell the property of Palestinian refugees ­ see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYuxeFcOgpk

 12. B’Tselem’s documentation of Israeli human rights violations wins award

 B’Tselem won the One World Media award for its project, which provides video cameras to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for them to use to document human rights violations. http://www.btselem.org/english/press_releases/20090623.asp

 And ‘Midweek’ on Wednesday 24 June featured a campaigner from B’Tselem talking about the project (the discussion starts about half way through the podcast). http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/midweek

 =====================================

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people.

PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law.

PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK.

Join PSC today!

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Box BM PSA London WC1N 3XX

Tel: 020 7700 6192

 Fax: 020 7609 7779

Email: info@palestinecampaign.org

Web: www.palestinecampaign.org

June 7, 2009

PSC weekly update 5 June 2009

Posted in PSC Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:15 am by Alexia

 

1. UN hearings to be held on Gaza war crimes
2. Oxfam report calls for lifting blockade on Gaza, and ending politicisation of aid.
3. On Obama’s speech
4. See speech by Hana Joma at PCS Annual Conference, and report from Sawt el-Amel
5. More on Israel wiping Palestine off the map
6. Scottish TUC supports Edinburgh Film Festival decision to return Israeli Embassy funding
7. Israel declares Nablus area a closed military zone
8. Israel prepares laws to deepen discrimination

 

1. UN hearings to be held on Gaza war crimes

A UN team investigating possible war crimes in Gaza says it will hold public hearings with victims of the conflict in Gaza and Geneva later this month. The team has spent the week interviewing witnesses and visiting sites damaged in Israel’s three-week offensive, which ended on 18 January. Richard Goldstone, who is heading the team, said it had hoped to hold hearings in Israel and the West Bank. But Israel has refused to co-operate in the inquiry, accusing it of bias. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8084734.stm

2. Oxfam report calls for lifting blockade on Gaza, and ending politicisation of aid.

In June 2009 the blockade on the Gaza Strip enters its third year. The intense closure policy, coupled with the government of Israel’s recent military operation ‘Cast Lead’, has had a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of one and a half million Gazans, pushing them further into poverty and aid dependency. Parties to the conflict and the international community have, to varying degrees, prioritised their own political objectives over people’s rights and needs, leaving Gazans sitting on the ruins of their homes. By attempting to isolate Hamas, the government of Israel and key international donor governments and institutions have in fact isolated the people of Gaza, thereby reducing chances of securing a peaceful, just and durable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The report also makes clear that ‘For signatories to the Geneva Conventions, it is not a choice of whether or not to act, it is a legal obligation. http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/policy/conflict_disasters/bn-rebuilding-gaza.html And Palestinian psychologists have warned Wednesday that 98% of Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip were suffering psychological traumas, and feel unsafe following Israel’s war on Gaza. In a workshop organized by the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) Palestinian psychologists urged all concerned international institutions to help protect the Palestinian children in a more effective way in order to minimize the effect of the war on them. http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7vnolVzqr1e1GVIWdAuyEWPlAGV3mfJkdAt2EzlhTOPO6AVzVOofp9PoKHHwJi5jq54jr193D933zQvgQlSqBKmnf10R3COl6bpHlVfO6n5Q%3d

3. On Obama’s speech

Phyllis Bennis: ‘President Barack Obama’s much-anticipated Cairo speech reflected a significant shift away from the ideological framework of militarism and unilateralism that shaped the Bush administration’s war-based policy towards the Arab and Muslim worlds… The shift in discourse, away from justifying reckless imperial hubris, unilateralism and militarism and towards a more cooperative and potentially even internationalist approach was potent. The actual policy shifts were much smaller’. http://www.ips-dc.org/articles/obama_in_egypt_changing_the_discourse Ali Abunimah: ‘Obama’s speech shows little real change. In most regards his analysis maintains flawed American policies. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/04/barack-obama-middleeast For Barack Obama’s full speech: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/06/20096410251287187.html

4. See speech by Hana Joma at PCS Annual Conference

and read Sawt El-Amel’s report Available on the PSC website, Hana’s deeply moving speech to the PCS Union’s conference: http://www.palestinecampaign.org/index7b.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=4&l2_id=24&Content_ID=661 And read Sawt El-Amel’s report of their delegation to PCS Annual Conference: http://laborers-voice.org/files/090601-PCSBrighton.pdf

5. More on Israel wiping Palestine off the map

Following our successful campaign against the Israeli tourism advertisements on the London Tube, the story went worldwide: A very public controversy with regard to a map of Israel erupted last month in London. The Israeli Ministry of Tourism placed an advertisement throughout the London Underground showing a map of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights in the same yellow color, giving the impression that Israel’s vast geography did not include occupied Palestinian territory. Obviously misrepresentative, because a British tourist cannot sunbath on the pristine beaches of Gaza or shop the markets of Ramallah, all the while travelling from Eilat to Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to Haifa. After mass protests, the Israeli Ministry removed the posters, calling them a “professional mistake.” However, Ministry officials most likely see the incident as a market miscalculation rather than an issue related to the borders of their country. A similar incident occurred when I was travelling through Israel a few months ago. I noticed that my travel map, published by Hertz, all but erased the existence of the occupied Palestinian territory. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-shtenderauerbach/the-cartographic-crux-of_b_208264.html

6. Scottish TUC supports Edinburgh Film Festival decision to return Israeli Embassy funding

Mary Senior, the Scottish TUC’s Assistant Secretary, has written ‘The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) applauds the decision of the Edinburgh International Film Festival to return funding from the Israeli Embassy, and welcomes the intervention on this matter from British director Ken Loach (your report, 19 May). Standing up to the State of Israel is not “extremist”, “sanctimonious” or “self glorifying”. Rather, it is about exposing the illegitimate actions of the Israeli government, for example in Gaza, in the continued construction of the separation wall, and in the growing settlement programme. http://news.scotsman.com/opinion/Pressure-on-Israel.5337562.jp

7. Israel declares Nablus area a closed military zone

In an attempt to prevent Israeli peace activists from entering the Nablus area, the head of the Central Command of the Israeli Army, Gadi Shamni, declared Nablus a closed military zone.’ http://www.imemc.org/article/60652

8. Israel prepares laws to deepen discrimination

BADIL writes: ‘For decades Israel has practiced discrimination and forced displacement against its Palestinian citizenry with impunity. But now it seeks to impose consent for its crimes upon its Palestinian victims. Three bills currently making rounds in the Israeli Knesset reveal an obscene and dangerous targeting of the individual and collective rights of Palestinian citizens. http://www.badil.org/Publications/Press/2009/press507-09.htm

For more news, information and details of more events across the country, see the PSC website: www.palestinecampaign.org

=====================================

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK. Join PSC today!

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Box BM PSA

London WC1N 3XX

Tel:   020 7700 6192

Fax:  020 7609 7779

Email: info@palestinecampaign.org

Web: www.palestinecampaign.org

May 15, 2009

PSC Weekly Update – Thursday 14 May 2009

Posted in PSC Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:35 am by Alexia

Actions

1. Demonstrate this Saturday 16 May

2. Birmingham education conference 11 July

3. PSC BDS Workshop 20 June

 

News

1. Protests as Lieberman visits London

2. Lieberman’s party proposes to imprison anyone commemorating the Nakba

3. Pope calls for end to Israel’s siege on Gaza and for Palestinian ‘sovereign homeland’

4. Gaza – dialysis supplies running out, families on one meal a day

5. Amira Hass banned from reporting the truth from Gaza…

6. but criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza continues

7. Twenty Israeli organisations call for Norwegian disinvestment

8. Arab railway workers in Israel have scored a first victory

9. New book on Israel’s attempt to assassinate Khalid Mishal

 

 

Actions

 

1. Demonstrate this Saturday 16 May

Join UK Apache, Mecca2Medina and Lowkey and thousands of others to call for an end to the siege on Gaza NOW! Free Palestine – end Israeli occupation

 Send a clear message to the government – we have not forgotten Gaza!

 David Miliband met with racist Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman this week – but refuses to meet with the democratically elected Palestinian representatives. On the 61st anniversary of the Nakba, tell the government to act NOW to implement international law, end the inhuman siege on Gaza and end Israel’s illegal occupation.

 Please continue to publicise the demonstration on Saturday to everyone you know – transport details from outside London are on the website.

We will be assembling at 12 noon in Malet Street (nearest tubes Euston, Goodge Street or Russell Square) and marching to a rally in Trafalgar Square.

 2. Birmingham education conference 11 July (NOT June!)

Ilan Pappe, Karma Nabulsi, Daniel Machover, Samia Botmeh, Victoria Brittain, Dr. Rita Giacaman, Professor Manuel Hassassian are among the speakers at PSC’s education conference in Birmingham on 11 July (NOT June, as was wrongly advertised in our members’ newsletter). The conference will take place from 10.30am-4pm at Carrs Lane Centre – for further details and to register, go to www.palestinecampaign.org

 3. PSC BDS Workshop 20 June

PSC’s third Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions workshop will take place on Saturday 20 June 2009 in central London from 11am-5pm. It is for PSC members eager to fuel the boycott campaigning momentum at this crucial time – in the wake of Gaza and when BDS actions are making major impact around the world and when the call for BDS from Palestine grows ever stronger. Details of venue will be announced shortly.

 For other events, including the PSC branch forum on 30 May, and the sponsored walk from 4-5 July in Dartmoor, visit www.palestinecampaign.org

  News

 1. Protests as Lieberman visits London

Openly racist Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited London this week on his European tour and was met with lively and angry protests. Despite the secretive details of his visit, we were able to find out that he had a meeting in the Foreign Office on the morning of 13 May, and at very short notice, over 200 people gathered, joined by MPs Richard Burden, Jeremy Corbyn, Martin Linton and Baroness Jenny Tonge, in a protest by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, British Muslim Initiative, Stop the War Coalition and the Palestinian Forum in Britain. Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East lent their active support.

Avigdor Lieberman met with both Foreign Minister David Miliband and Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague. A lively and vocal protest publicised by Jews for Justice for Palestinians outside Lieberman’s meeting hosted by the Jewish National Fund on the evening of 12 May.

2. Marking 61 years since the Nakba

‘Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s party wants to ban Israeli Arabs from marking the anniversary of what they term “the Catastrophe” or Nakba, when in 1948 some 700,000 Arabs lost their homes in the war that led to the establishment of the state of Israel. The ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party said it would propose legislation next week for a ban on the practice and a jail term of up to three years for violators.’ http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1085588.html

Palestine Monitor writes on the Nakba:

‘For 61 years, the Palestinian people have had to deal with a life most westerners cannot even imagine. Being driven out of their homes, villages, and cities. Millions of Palestinians having to leave their land completely in the Diaspora. The continuing theft of their land because of the separation wall and the illegal Israeli settlements that are still expanding in the West Bank. Arbitrary beatings, arrests, and torture by Israeli soldiers. Targeted killings, or murders, by the Israeli military leading to walls being filled with posters of martyrs—some of them teenagers or younger. Hundreds of checkpoints and road barriers making travel inside the West Bank humiliating and long. And so much more…’

http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article945

 3. Pope calls for end to Israel’s siege on Gaza and for Palestinian ‘sovereign homeland’

On his visit this week, ‘the pope made his strongest call yet for a “sovereign Palestinian homeland”. He said mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square and offered his “solidarity” to the Palestinians of Gaza, telling them he wanted to see the Israeli blockade of the coastal strip lifted.’ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/13/pope-benedict-palestinians-gaza

And speaking in Aida refugee camp, standing against the backdrop of the Apartheid Wall, he said: ‘I know how much you have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of the turmoil that has afflicted this land for decades.’

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/pope-challenges-israel-to-give-palestinians-homeland-1684587.html

And Israel tried to hide the reality of its occupation: ‘An official Palestinian Media Centre was set up at the Ambassador Hotel in East Jerusalem; however on Monday Israeli police and intelligence forces shut the centre down…

In his welcoming speech to Pope Benedict XVI on Monday, President Shimon Peres declared that “Israel safeguards the absolute freedom of religious practice and free access to holy places. We are always happy to receive pilgrims from throughout the world in the Holy Land”. However for Palestinian Christians living under occupation Israeli-issued permits must be obtained to visit their holy shrines in Jerusalem and Nazareth. Many Palestinian Christians living in the West Bank were refused permits to attend yesterday’s Mass lead by the Pope at the Garden of Gethsemane.

Israel granted 93 permits to Gazan Christians to attend the Mass, but refused permits to more than 400. Israel cited security reasons for refusing permits to all Gazans below the age of 35. Further, Israel controls access to Bethlehem and it is very difficult for Christians outside the West Bank to obtain visas to visit or to study there. Even Palestinians within the West Bank have to pass through checkpoints to go there. Father Hijazin, a Jordanian, was illegal in the West Bank for some time as the Israeli authorities refused to grant him a visa.

http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article943

4. Gaza – dialysis supplies running out, families on one meal a day

With only three days’ supplies of dialysis solutions left, the Palestinian health ministry said that ‘more than 600 Palestinians are treated for kidney failure and have weekly dialysis sessions including 200 children.’ It ‘previously reduced the dialysis sessions for each patient from three to twice weekly’. http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en

And Gaza families are ‘down to one meal a day’: ‘Umm Abdullah cannot remember the last time she was able to feed meat to her eight children. She does know that for the past week the single meal she cooked for them each day consisted only of lentils. And that on one day, she had received aid coupons from the United Nations, which she subsequently sold to buy tomatoes and eggplant at the local market.’

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10526.shtml

With construction materials banned by Israel, Gaza’s government is looking at ‘plans to kick off a state home building project that encourages locals to rebuild out of clay bricks’

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=37675

5. Amira Hass banned from reporting the truth from Gaza…

On 12 May, Israeli police detained Haaretz  correspondent, Amira Hass, as she left the Gaza Strip. Haaretz reported that Hass was released on bail after promising not to return to Gaza for 30 days.
http://www.imemc.org/article/60370

Her latest article in Haaretz – ‘Israel knows that peace doesn’t pay’, focuses on the advantages Israel gains by maintaining the occupation: ‘Successive Israeli governments since 1993 certainly must have known what they were doing, being in no hurry to make peace with the Palestinians. As representatives of Israeli society, these governments understood that peace would involve serious damage to national interests.’ http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1084656.html

6. But criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza continues

Gideon Levy also wrote in Haaretz: ‘The Israel Defense Forces returned from Operation Cast Lead and, of course, denied everything. The people applauded it for its bogus victory and no one paid much attention to the awful price paid by the Palestinians.

But after the smoke (in this case, white phosphorus) cleared a bit, the blood began crying out from the ground. Foreign journalists and human rights groups investigated and reported their findings. The United Nations said the IDF intentionally targeted its facilities, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International accused the army of illegally using phosphorous bombs, the International Red Cross reported on the injured being denied medical attention and strikes on medical crews, officers at a premilitary course spoke of civilians killed, and Amira Hass wrote for Haaretz about the killing of people flying white flags, the use of flechette shells and the annihilation of entire families…’

‘But let’s assume Amnesty is lying, Human Rights Watch is fabricating, B’Tselem is embellishing, the UN is anti-Israel and the media is full of hatred against us – isn’t there enough in the IDF’s own figures to shake us to the core? Three hundred civilians killed, including 90 children – isn’t that enough to expose the propagandistic lie of “the most moral” army? How many innocent people must be killed for that to happen?’ http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1084418.html

7. Twenty Israeli organisations call for Norwegian disinvestment

 A wide alliance of Israeli civil society and grassroots organizations has sent a letter to the Norwegian Pension Fund, urging it to support their efforts for a just peace and equality in Israel/Palestine by divesting from all companies involved in the Israeli occupation.

http://coalitionofwomen.org/home/english/articles/norway-fund

8. Arab railway workers in Israel have scored a first victory: Israel Railways forced to act!

The Israeli labour court ordered Israel Railways to review its new policy requiring army service as an employment condition in consultation with Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. On May 6, 2009, Israel Railways submitted a new policy proposal to the court. However, no action will be taken while the lawsuits are pending as the court has ordered a temporary injunction. The date for the next hearing is still to be determined.

http://www.laborers-voice.org/article_details.aspx?TopID=998&catid=46 <http://www.laborers-voice.org/article_details.aspx?TopID=998&amp;catid=46>

9. New book on Israel’s attempt to assassinate Khalid Mishal

Review of Paul McGeough’s book on Mossad’s attempted assassination of Khalid Mishal: In early September 1997, Danny Yatom, the head of Mossad, arranged a special screening for Binyamin Netanyahu, who was then prime minister. The film, shot on the streets of Tel Aviv, presented the plan for the assassination of Khalid Mishal, the head of Hamas’s political bureau in Amman.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n09/shtz01_.html

  =====================================

 The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK. Join PSC today!

 Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Box BM PSA
London
WC1N 3XX

Tel:   020 7700 6192
Fax:  020 7609 7779

Email: info@palestinecampaign.org

Web: www.palestinecampaign.org

May 6, 2009

PSC Update 30 April 09

Posted in PSC Updates tagged , , , , , at 2:09 pm by Alexia

PSC Weekly Update ­ Thursday 30 April

Actions

  • Stop Veolia running the London Cycle Hire scheme!
  • Book your place now on coaches to 16 May demonstration Gaza
  • 100 ­ run for Gaza!

News

  • Gaza depends on tunnels for food, fuel, medicines
  • Watch Seven Jewish Children online
  • Israel’s secret plan for West Bank expansion
  • Israel continues using Palestinians as human shields
  • Israel’s imprisons more Palestinian children
  • Visiting Daddy in Prison: A Palestinian Ordeal Israel harasses peace activists

Actions

1. Exclude Veolia from the London Cycle Hire Scheme! Transport for London (TfL) is in the process of selecting a contractor to build and operate a public cycle hire scheme similar to the one in Paris. The contractor is anticipated to be selected by June this year and the scheme will start operating in May 2010. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, is Chair of Transport For London.

The French multinational Veolia recently set up a subsidiary called Veloway to run cycle hire schemes and is highly likely to have bid for such a lucrative and prestigious contract.

Whether you live in London or not, please write or email a letter to the Mayor (mayor@london.gov.uk) asking for Veolia and all its subsidiaries, including Veloway, to be excluded from this contract on the grounds of grave misconduct, namely aiding and abetting Israeli war crimes.

Veolia is involved in building and operating a tramway linking Israel with its illegal settlements in East Jerusalem, binding these settlements more firmly to Israel, and so helping to perpetuate war crimes.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/roadusers/cycling/cycle-hire-scheme/  gives a description of the cycle hire scheme.

A suggested letter is on our website: http://www.palestinecampaign.org/index7b-2.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=3&l2_id=51&content_ID=607

London is the capital and we all have an interest in its transport system. This will be a high profile scheme and a great opportunity to put more pressure on Veolia to pull out of the Jerusalem project and show Israel that it can no longer break international law with impunity.

If you live in London, please also write to your Assembly Member, asking them to oppose this and raise their opposition with Boris Johnson. For details of your Assembly Member: http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/lams_facts_cont.jsp

2. Book your place now on coaches to 16 May demonstration Details of coaches are now coming into the PSC office ­ and are available on our website.

More details are being added daily ­ and if there isn’t a coach leaving near you, why not talk to other local supporters, friends and family and organise one yourselves!

www.palestinecampaign.org/

The demonstration will be assembling at 12 noon in Malet Street, London WC1 and marching to Trafalgar Square for a rally.

Make sure you are there! On the anniversary of the Nakba, we must send a clear and strong message to the British government, and a message of solidarity to Palestinians: Remember Gaza ­ End the siege now!

Free Palestine ­ End Israeli occupation! End the arms trade! With only two weeks to go, please make sure that everyone you know is coming along ­ for more leaflets, stickers and posters, just contact us on 020 7700 6192 or info@palestinecampaign.org

3. Gaza 100 ­ run for Gaza! Most People Running 100 Metres in a 12 hour Relay Guinness Book of Records Official Title Saturday 23 May and Sunday 24 May 2009 ­ from 12 noon to 12 noon, Mile End Stadium, London. IF, supported by Palestine Solidarity Campaign and many other organisations, is calling for participants to take part in one of two spectacular record breaking attempts on May 23rd 2009 ­ running 100 metre relays.

The aim is to raise as much money as possible for the children of Gaza. All monies generated from this World Record Run will be given as humanitarian aid to Save the Children’s Gaza Appeal.

Celebrities that have already agreed to participate in the run, include Tre Azam, and Ghazal Asif from BBC1’s hit show, the Apprentice, comedian Jeff Mirza, boxer Anthony Small and Baroness Pola Uddin.

For more details and to sign up: http://www.ifcharity.com/gaza100.html

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

News

4. Gaza depends on tunnels for food, fuel, medicines:

The tunnels that provide Gaza with food, fuel, medicine and other consumer goods may have become even more crucial as an economic lifeline, the World Food Programme (WFP) says. http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=46629

5. Watch Seven Jewish Children online Watch Jennie Stoller perform Caryl Churchill’s play, Seven Jewish Children, which was written in response to the situation in Gaza in January this year, thanks to the Guardian who have put it online: http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/video/2009/apr/25/seven-jewish-children-caryl-churchill

6. Israel continues using Palestinians as human shields The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has released an important update to its July 2008 report on the IOF practise of hiding behind Palestinian human shields.

The use of civilian human shields is customary Israeli practice in gross violation of international law, in which the practice is a war crime and crime against humanity, as well as a violation of Israel’s own High Court ruling of 2005, which itself came after a three-year legal battle. The pretence extends then to the illusion of Israeli rule of its own law.

The Al Mezan report also takes the international community to task for its “continued failure … to fulfil its obligations and its silence on Israeli violations [which] encourages Israel to proceed with its crimes.”

http://pulsemedia.org/2009/04/28/hiding-behind-civilians/

7. Israel’s secret plan for West Bank expansion Israel has taken a step towards expanding the largest settlement in the West Bank, a move Palestinians warn will leave their future state unviable and further isolate its future capital, East Jerusalem’. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israels-secret-plan-for-west-bank-expansion-1674759.html

8. Israel’s imprisons more Palestinian children The Global Movement for the Defence of Children’s Palestine Branch reports that Israeli imprisonment of Palestinian children is up.

Over the past two months Israeli forces have increased campaigns against children. At the end of February 2009 the number of Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons was up to 423.

This is the highest number since the beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada in 2000. http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5148

9. Visiting Daddy in Prison: A Palestinian Ordeal Spending time with her dad requires that six-year-old Jinan undertake a bizarre and arduous odyssey.

Usually, she travels alone, but last Monday, the Palestinian girl with the rosebud smile and bouncing energy was accompanied by her younger sisters, Dania, 4, and Noor, 2, on the journey to the Israeli prison that holds her father. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1893620,00.html

10. Israel harasses peace activists On April 26, 2009, a number of Israeli peace activists had their computers confiscated, were called for interrogations, and were only released upon signing agreements not to contact their political friends for 30 days. We are asking you to contact the Israeli Attorney General to demand an immediate stop to this harassment. http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/301/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27127

 =====================================

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people.

PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK.

Join PSC today!

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Box BM PSA

London WC1N 3XX

Tel: 020 7700 6192

Fax: 020 7609 7779

Email: info@palestinecampaign.org

Web: www.palestinecampaign.org

April 29, 2009

Remember Gaza… End the Siege now! – Free Palestine! National Demo May 16 2009

Posted in demonstration information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:15 pm by Alexia

Remember Gaza… End the Siege now! – Free Palestine! National Demonstration 16 May London

With a growing number of supporting organisations, listed in the e-flyer below, we want to ask all members and supporters to help mobilise for the national demonstration on May 16.

Please make sure to circulate the e-flyer below to all you friends, colleagues and other contacts asking them to circulate it…

We have plenty more material available in the PSC office: stickers, leaflets and posters.. contact us to receive some more..

Volunteers needed We are looking for volunteers on the day, to make sure the demonstration will be safe and successful. Please contact us if you are able to help stewarding the demonstration: email info@palestinecampaign.org or call 02077006192.

Thank you for helping us making this demonstration a massive show of support for the Palestinian people.

Free Palestine! National Demonstration Saturday 16 May 2009

Assembling 12 noon in Malet Street, London WC1

Rally in Trafalgar Square

Free Palestine — End Israeli Occupation — End the Arms trade

JOIN US TO MAKE THIS THE BIGGEST DEMONSTRATION FOR PALESTINE IN THE UK

Called by: Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Palestinian Forum in Britain

Supported by: Action Palestine, Amos Trust, Arab Media Watch, Association of Palestinian Communities UK, Britain-Palestine Twinning Network, The Council for Arab-British Understanding, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Christian Peacemaker Teams UK, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Friends of Lebanon, Friends of Birzeit University, Friends of Sabeel UK, The Green Party, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK, Jewish Socialists’ Group, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Labour Friends of Palestine, Liberation, Midlands Palestinian Community Association, Muslim Association of Britain, Muslim Council for Britain, NUS Black Students Campaign, Palestinian Forum in Britain, UNISON, UNITE, Pax Christi, Public and Commercial Services Union, Rail Maritime and Transport Union, Viva Palestina, War on Want, Zaytoun Ltd

Leaflets are available from the PSC office

Please save the date and start organising transport now!

Please contact the PSC office for more information:

Tel: 020 7700 6192

Email: info@palestinecampaign.org

Web: www.palestinecampaign.org

Designed by Mulberry Design

April 7, 2009

Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Events Update: 7 April 09

Posted in PSC Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , at 3:19 pm by Alexia

PSC Events Update

 

          Trade Union Conference in Liverpool 18 April

          Remember Gaza – Free Palestine! National Demonstration 16 May

          Sponsored Walk in Dartmoor 4 & 5 July

          PSC Day Conference in Birmingham 11 July

          Other upcoming events

 

==================================

 

Palestine Solidarity Trade Union Conference

Saturday 18 April

 

Quaker Meeting House,

School Lane, Liverpool  L1 3BT

 

Registration, stalls, photos 10.00

Conference    11.00 – 4.00

 

A crèche will be available.

 Speakers include: Sameh Habeeb, photojournalist: Gaza eyewitness report, Manawel Abdel-Al, Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), Eamon McMahon (Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign), Greg Dropkin (Liverpool Friends of Palestine)

 

Organised by: Liverpool Friends of Palestine and Merseyside Association of Trades Union Councils

 Fees: Branch delegates £10; individuals £5/3 (concession low-waged/unemployed) Lunch: Middle eastern (mainly) food available at a small cost

 

Contact for more info/ email: tbnw16268@blueyonder.co.uk

 

Remember Gaza – Free Palestine!

National Demonstration 16 May 2009

National demonstration – Saturday 16 May, assembling 12noon in Central London

Free Palestine

End Israeli Occupation

End the Arms trade

Called by: Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Leaflets are available from the office – please save the date and start organising transport now!

Please contact the PSC office for more information:

 Tel:   020 7700 6192

Email: info@palestinecampaign.org

 

==================================

 

PSC Sponsored Walk 2009

 

In Postbridge, Dartmoor in Devon

 

Friday 3rd July to Sunday 5th July 2009

 

Join us for the annual PSC sponsored walk, this year again in a wonderful location: Dartmoor in Devon.

 Please register with the PSC office now and start raising the funds for this years campaign for Palestinian rights.

 We have booked a youth Hostel exclusively for our group. A basic joining fee will cover accommodation, meals and other costs.

 There will be a range of walks available for various abilities, and there will be a social event with music and BBQ on the Saturday night.

 As well as raising much needed funds, this is a chance to meet other PSC supporters over a fun weekend. Sign up now!

 Email: psc.admin@palestinecampaign.org Tel: 02077006192

 

==================================

 

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

 

Day Conference in Birmingham

 

Saturday 11 July 2009

 

Keep this date free for a wonderful opportunity to hear speakers on the

key issues for supporters of Palestine including:

 

• 1948 and after — ethnic cleansing and the refugees

 • The Reality of Occupation: Politics, Economy, Health, Education, Land

 • Lessons from the Anti Apartheid Movement

 Confirmed speakers: Karma Nabulsi, Rita Giacaman, Samia Botmeh, Daniel Machover, Victoria Brittain..

 More details to be announced very soon.

 

==================================

 

Other upcoming events:

 

Please check the PSC website for more events and actions around the UK.

 

www.palestinecampaign.org

  

Including:

          Charity Crafty fair for Gaza 19 April London

         Screening of Route 181, Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel, 21 April, Hackney/London

         The 10th London Palestine Film Festival 24 April to 8 may at Barbican and SOAS

         Le Trio Joubran – Wales Tour 2 to 10th May

         Camden War Crimes Tribunal on Israel’s attack on Gaza 9 may

 And many more..

 

==================================

 

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK. Join PSC today!

  

Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Box BM PSA
London
WC1N 3XX

Tel:   020 7700 6192
Fax:  020 7609 7779

Email: info@palestinecampaign.org

Web: www.palestinecampaign.org

 

 

 

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