Posts Tagged ‘Palestine’


The fate of Palestinians and Gaza is in the news a lot recently and there is shortly to be a film shown called From Balfour to Banksy: Division and Vision in Palestine.

This will be shown at Sarum College on 27 September at 7:0 for 7:30.  It is free but there is a retiring collection.  The speaker will be Miranda Pinch.  Further information can be obtained from sarumconcern.org

Advertisements

Attached is the current death penalty report thanks to group member Lesley for the work in compiling it.  Grim news on several fronts with Sri Lanka thinking of re-using the penalty.  China leads the world it is believed in the use of the penalty although details are a state secret.

On the issue of China, readers may like to read the website of the Chinese Human Rights Defenders which charts the systematic denial of human rights freedoms by the Chinese government.  Links to many human rights sites can be found at the bottom of this site.

Report – June/July (pdf)

 

 


Silent Voices

We would like to draw your attention to a photographic exhibition to be held in January at the Methodist

Palestinian flags

Palestinian flags

Church in St Edmund’s Church Street Salisbury.  It is of a village in the occupied west bank of Palestine seen through the eyes of children.  It starts on 6 January and runs through until 31st and is open from 10 to 12 o’clock.

Silent Voices

 

#Palestine film

Posted: February 7, 2015 in Film, Gaza, Palestine
Tags: , , ,

A documentary film is being shown at the Studio Theatre in Salisbury called Open Bethlehem.  It is on Friday 13 March and details are on the attached flyer.  The phone number for tickets is 01722 349740 and they can be purchased in the tourism office in Fish Row, Salisbury.

 

Film, Omar

Posted: December 5, 2014 in Event, Film, Gaza, Human Rights Act, Urgent action
Tags: , ,

Last night the Salisbury Arts centre hosted the film #Omar in the fourth of our collaborations with the Centre.  The film is a gripping story of love and betrayal in the occupied territories of Palestine and shows the grim realities of life for Palestinians living there.  Many people signed our cards at the end of the showing which concerned five individuals at risk of, or who have been, tortured (but not in Palestine).  A total of 103 were signed.

Several people expressed interest in the group and may come here to find out about us.  Details are to be found in the ‘About Us’ tab and we look forward to seeing you again.  ‘Every little helps’ is true and if you are able to help now and again at our events that is always appreciated.  From time to time we post urgent actions and if you can find time to write that is also a help.

We are possibly entering a difficult time as far as human rights are concerned with a concerted attack on the Human Rights Act by sections of the media.  It is fuelled often by misreporting of cases and the almost complete absence of reporting of the benefits the act has brought for ordinary people.  Hence the myth has become established that it helps terrorists, mass murderers and the like and it is all to do with the European Union imposing their beliefs on us.  The Conservative government have said they would like to abolish the act and replace it with a new version.


Each year we team up with the Salisbury Arts Centre and host a film which has a human rights element to it.  This year the Oscar nominated film is #Omar which is set in the occupied territories of Palestine.  Omar is a freedom fighter who is used to dodging bullets to cross the separation wall to visit his girl friend, Nadia.  After he is captured after a deadly act of resistance he is tricked to act as an informant. The film is directed by Hany Abu-Assad.

The film will show in the evening of 4 December at the Arts Centre and early booking is advised.


UPDATE: The full minutes are now available here

September minutes

We held our monthly meeting on 11 September and a number of items were discussed some of which will be separately posted [P].

  • the treasurer reported we had around £334 in the bank.  The funds promised from one of the school groups have not arrived
    Amnesty logo

    Amnesty logo

    however and he will chase this up

  • North Korea.  We have a speaker – Bona Shin – for the November meeting so we will hold it in Sarum College [P].
  • Lesley presented the death penalty report which will be separately posted.  Executions continue apace in Saudi Arabia, Florida and Texas [P].
  • Peter gave an update on progress with the Magna Carta celebrations next year and said that we have held our third meeting with Seif at the Cathedral and arrangements were proceeding well.  Caroline was hoping to prepare tapestry with all the regional groups contributing a panel each to illustrate an aspect of the Human Rights Act.  Fiona is working with S Wilts on the idea of a film.
  • Cathedral service.  Jonathan will liaise with the Praecentor about dates and a speaker.
  • there is to be a coffee morning on Saturday 20 September in St Thomas’s starting at 09:30.
  • the second Citizenship day is to be held next month on 23 October run on similar lines to last year.  There is to be a repeat of the competition with 3 prizes totalling £100 from a supporter.  Peter is to contact the sixth form colleges and schools in the area [P].
  • the forthcoming campaign against torture stall was discussed and will take place on 15 October in the Cheese Market [P].
  • the film will take place again on 4 December at the Arts Centre and will be on the subject of Palestine.  The speaker is Samiha Abdeljebar [P].

Full minutes will be posted soon.

#Gaza letter

Posted: August 17, 2014 in Gaza, USA
Tags: , , ,

We attach a letter published in the Guardian newspaper on 15th of August from survivors of the Holocaust.  It is an extremely moving letter, particularly bearing in mind the people who signed it.  It is unequivocal in its criticism of the violence by the IDF in GazaIt is worthy of a wider audience.

“As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide, we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonisation of historic Palestine.  We further condemn the United States for providing Israel with the funding to carry out the attack, and western states more generally for using their diplomatic muscle to protect Israel from condemnation.  Genocide begins with the silence of the world.

We are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanisation of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached fever-pitch.  Politicians and pundits in the Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post have called openly for genocide of Palestinians and rightwing Israelis are adopting neo-Nazi insignia.

Furthermore, we are disgusted and outraged by Elie Wiesel’s abuse of our history in these pages (advertisement, 11 August; Report, 11 August) to promote blatant falsehoods used to justify the unjustifiable: Israel’s wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of nearly 2,000 Palestinians, including many hundreds of children.  Nothing can justify bombing UN shelters, homes, hospitals and universities. Nothing can justify depriving people of electricity and water.

We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people.  We call for an immediate end to the blockade of Gaza.  We call for the full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. “Never again” must mean “Never again for anyone”. ”
Hajo Meyer survivor of Auschwitz; The Netherlands, Henri Wajnblum survivor and son of an Auschwitz victim from Lodz, Poland; Belgium, Norbert Hirschhorn refugee of Nazi genocide and grandson of three people who died in the Shoah; London, Suzanne Weiss survived in hiding in France, whose mother died in Auschwitz; Canada, Felicia and Moshe Langer survivors from Germany, Moshe survived five concentration camps, family members were exterminated; Germany, Michael Rice child survivor, son and grandson of survivor; United States and 30 Jewish survivors of the Nazi genocide and 260 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other relatives of survivors
See full list at ijsn.net/gaza/survivors-and-descendants-letter/

 


The world has been horrified by the films, reports and photographs coming out of #Gaza since the latest violence started.  Amnesty teams – along with other organisations – have been in Gaza to assess the damage and have found evidence of war crimes by both sides in the conflict.  There have been serious violations by both parties but since the Israel Defence Force is the best equipped army and air force in the region by far, the damage and destruction has been predominantly on the Palestinian side.

Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel but with the protection of Iron Dome, few have resulted in casualties.  The casualties on the Palestinian side have now passed 2000 (12 August, Sky News) with 67 Israeli deaths.  Many of the Palestinian casualties are women and children, killed in strikes on schools, mosques and hospitals.

Israel is able to carry on its attacks secure in the knowledge that it has, and continues to have, the support of the United States.  Indeed, the USA has continued to supply weapons to replace those lost in the latest fighting.  The United Kingdom supplied £6.3m in weapons to Israel last year.

It seems clear to most outside observers that whatever the provocation Israel has suffered, the scale of destruction in Gaza has been disproportionate.  This latest incursion follows hard on operation Cast Lead which also wrought terrible destruction in the territory.

Nor is the suffering imposed limited to the fighting but comes on top of the relentless expansion of settlements and the blockade of Gaza which has now lasted over seven years.  Gaza is in effect a prison surrounded by a stifling regime of checkpoints, barriers and walls.  They are not allowed to catch fish in the sea.  Inhabitants also have to endure power and water cuts for no apparent reason.

Protest in the south of France

Protest in the south of France

Is there any hope in all this?  Surprisingly, there may be.  It will not come from the ceasefires and feeble political statements wishing peace while at the same time continuing to sell arms.  The key difference this time is that Israel is losing the propaganda war.  Such is the volume of evidence emerging from Gaza, the harrowing footage of injured children and pictures of the scale of destruction, that people around the world have been moved to protest (see picture).

British Ministers are forbidden to use the word ‘disproportionate’ in their various statements.  But the public can see that it is.  Nick Clegg described the attacks on schools as ‘outrageous’.  Israel is desperate to avoid its actions going to the International Criminal Court and will no doubt succeed with US help in so doing.

With Cast Lead, the Israelis were able to keep journalists out of Gaza so that very little was seen on our TV screens.  This time, with a range of devices, images are coming through loud and clear.  This is another example of the public seeing things for what they are and politicians being behind the curve.  Support for Israel is still strong in the United States certainly among Senators and Congressmen, but younger people are not so supportive.  This is likely to be the key difference this time.

Visit the South Region site of Amnesty

Amnesty International comments on Gaza

Stop arming Israel


The monthly meeting took place on Thursday, 12 June.

The following were discussed:

  • there was an update on the death penalty from Lesley and her report will be a separate post in a few days.  It was noted that the Devizes group were active with Hakamada Iwao who was probably the longest serving prisoner on death row but is now on release.  We are waiting advice from AIUK on the campaign in Belarus
  • an email has been received from Kenny Latunda Dada concerning North Korea and he has a speaker on that country.  This will be investigated
  • John Glen MP.  11 July has been confirmed for him to speak to the group which will be in the Methodist Church at 7:30.  It is restricted to members and supporters.  We are to let AIUK know of this event
  • Unfortunately the regional rep could not come to this meeting but is coming to the next
  • Peter said he had received no copy from anyone and was reluctant to write an entire newsletter.  It was agreed that it would wait until after 11 July
  • Magna Carta.  The group were very disappointed not to have heard from AI HQ following the contact Kate Allen had made with Robert Key.  Fiona is to write to the regional rep to complain.  Peter is to contact the manager of the MC event being organised by the cathedral.  It was unlikely that there would be any money coming from the City Council as they had awarded money to the Cathedral project
  • Cathedral service in November: Tony is to follow up
  • Film.  Omar has been agreed on as this years film.  More details in future.  To be shown on 4 December
  • The stall is on Saturday 21st!