Sheffield Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund annual newsletter March 2021 is here. Read about how our students have struggled to continue their studies in the Covid-19 pandemic with intermittent internet access. Please continue supporting these amazing women in the Gaza Strip and West Bank
The biggest Human rights group in Israel has changed its position over the nature of Israel. For years the situation in the West Bank clearly shows all the features of Apartheid. Our last post shows the vaccines are given to the 600,000 illegal occupiers not to the Palestinians. This discrimination joins separate roads, seperate living areas and a separate legal and court system.
“In the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, the Israeli regime implements laws, practices and state violence designed to cement the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians. A key method in pursuing this goal is engineering space differently for each group.
Jewish citizens live as though the entire area were a single space (excluding the Gaza Strip). The Green Line means next to nothing for them: whether they live west of it, within Israel’s sovereign territory, or east of it, in settlements not formally annexed to Israel, is irrelevant to their rights or status.”
Among the things that led to the change of position was the length of time of the occupation, over 50 years, the Nation State Law (Israel is the Nation State of the Jews) and the fact that Israel feels it can unitarily annex chunks of the West Bank at will.
This is hugely important. B’tselem is an Israeli human rights group. It is hard to dismiss its comments as anti Semitic. It means that the issue is openly discussed in the mainstream media, The Independent , the Guardian, NBC and many others.
The media is reporting that Israel is leading the world in terms of its vaccination program. However if we look at the West Bank, the racism of Israeli Apartheid is crystal clear. The 600,000 illegal Israeli settlers will get the vaccine the millions of Palestinians will not.
An important message of support for Corbyn has been sent from Palestine. The full message is here. It starts:-
A message of solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn from Palestine We the undersigned, express our solidarity with Mr. Corbyn following the unfair decision by the British Labour party to suspend such a principled man. For all of us in Palestine, Mr. Corbyn’s stands represented a principled path toward social justice and freedom for all human beings regardless of sex, race, faith, ideology or political views.
This webinar promises to be highly informative. Register here.
All five activists who occupied and closed down an Elbit Systems factory for at least two weeks pleaded on Monday 19th October not guilty today at Stafford Crown court. The judge refused to lift bail conditions, in spite of the activists arguing in court that the conditions interfered with their right to protest. The Judge’s ruling on bail serves to protect the war criminal Elbit “business” & enable its illegal activities to continue. Their Crown court trial has been set for 17th May 2021.
Outside court the activists spoke out again – ‘We cannot rely on the UK establishment, who have shown not only today but for over one-hundred years, that they favour colonisation, military occupation and war-profiteering. They will continue to allow war criminals to operate here in the UK in direct opposition to international law and human rights.
It is for people across this country to use their privilege, to take a stand, to put themselves on the line. Now is the time to take power into our own hands and to #ShutElbitDown for good!’
Please help by contributing to the the arrested protesters’ legal expense.
Several members of Sheffield PSC attended the rally outside the Stafford Court, taking with them a banner highlighting the complicity between the RAF UK, who pay Elbit systems to train UK pilots, and the war crimes committed by the Israeli state, using Elbit’s weaponry.
At last the mass media has seriously taken up the issue of the Sumarin Family. Have a look at the reports here.
https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-54237970https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my2Udh7xmAI&feature=youtu.behttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsh4kexx8gwhttps://www.timesofisrael.com/chelsea-owner…/…https://www.haaretz.com/…/.premium-companies-linked-to…הרב אריק אשרמן
Lichfield Live reported on 14th September:
Activists who have launched a rooftop protest in Shenstone say they have done so “for the sake of human rights, justice and freedom”.
The members of Palestine Action scaled the UAV Engines site in the early hours of this morning (14th September), while others chained themselves to the gates of the factory.
They also poured red paint down the building in a move they said was to “symbolise Palestinian blood shed” as a result of parts made at the site being used in drones manufactured by Elbit Systems for use by Israel.
A spokesperson for Palestine Action said:
“The UK government has been complicit in the colonisation of Palestine for over 100 years.
“Now they continue to profit from, sustain and facilitate Israel’s apartheid regime.
“While our Government continues to turn a blind eye to Elbit Systems continuing to arm Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people, we too will continue to disrupt and take direct action for the sake of human rights, justice and freedom.
“We call on all those who stand against racism and for humanity to take action, join us and shut Elbit down for good.”Palestine Action spokesperson
The protesters – who say they are part of a grassroots network of activists – say they have held 15 actions to target the work of organisations involved in the manufacturing of drones in the last month.
“These drones include the military drones Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 which were employed extensively during the 51 day attack on Gaza in 2014, which killed over 2,200 Palestinians including 500 children.
“UAV Engines produce the engines for Elbit drones.”
Statement on Court Decision on Sumarin Family Eviction from StopJNFCampaign
On Tuesday 30th June, an Israeli court ruled that the ownership of the Sumarin family home in Silwan, East Jerusalem, was legally transferred to Israeli state under the discredited Absentees’ Property Law, and that the eviction notice against the family was therefore valid. Further, the
court ruled that if the family did not leave the property by August 16th then force could be used to dispossess them.
This ruling clears the way for the eviction of the family.
Eight years ago, Seth Morrison, former Director of JNF USA wrote:
“I have learned that the action on the Sumarin home is not an isolated case. JNF has gained ownership of other Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and, in many instances, then transferred these properties through its subsidiaries to Elad, a settler organization whose purpose is to “Judaize” East Jerusalem. In my eyes, the expulsion of the Sumarin family is a violation of human rights. But it is also part of the systematic transfer of Palestinian property to ideological settlers who wish to put facts on
the ground that hinder a lasting peace agreement.”
Seth Morrison reaffirmed his condemnation of the JNF this month.
“The eviction of a family that owned the land before Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, is illegal under international law, a grave violation of the Sumarin family’s human rights, and part of Israel’s project to alter the demographics of East Jerusalem by driving Palestinians out, while
giving financial and political support to illegal Jewish-only settlements.”
The international community must act. From 16th August 2020, the Israeli authorities can forcefully evict the family.
We call on human rights activists to:
- Write to your MP and ask them to sign Early Day Motion 529.
- Get your trade union branch, political party branch, or community group to endorse the
- Put up messages of support for the Sumarin family on social media under the #JNFDontEvict
- We are organising a protest in Sheffield in front of the Town Hall on Saturday 15th August 12 noon, bring a mask and stay separated. (The family is appealing to the supreme court against this decision. The court may allow an appeal or not. We will keep you informed.)
- We also draw your attention to the request by the Sumarin Coalition to contribute to the costs of mounting an appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court ($40,000). The family also face a massive fine and may have to pay for their own eviction.
- Email your MP via PSC’s website: https://palestinecampaign.eaction.online/SumarinFamilyEviction
- The Jewish National Fund Is Trying to Evict a Palestinian Family from their Home. The Court Stopped It – for Now
- Israel Evicts Palestinian Family From East Jerusalem Home, Handing It to Settlers
“While the JNF says it is only trying to protect its property, it is acting as a proxy for settler groups in this and similar cases. Months ago, a Palestinian family living on ground owned by the JNF near Bethlehem was evacuated following a request by the organization: several days later,a settler outpost was set up in the same spot. The practical effect of the JNF’s campaign against the Sumreens is that this family of 18, guilty of no crime and accused of no wrongdoing, may soon find itself without a home, bereft and bankrupt. ” Rabbi Michael Marmur.
Support the Sumarin Coalition – write a letter to the JNF Here
See the Sumarin Coalition film.
We are asking you to write a letter to your MP.