All posts by Dick Pitt

Fundraiser Meal 8th December

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Lizzie Skinner gave an interesting and moving report into life at Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.  The more people who visit the region to see for themselves the stronger the solidarity campaign will grow and the less isolated the Palestinians will feel.

The talk followed a lovely meal meal6

and an auction.

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These events are good for the company, the food,  and the cause.

We will give a report of the money raised when we have it.

BBC – Bias

This is a headline that was in the I News

‘BBC to tackle fake news in new project The BBC is launching a new project called Beyond Fake News‘.

The arrogance of the BBC is staggering.  As that story broke the BBC reported 

‘More than 460 rockets have been fired into Israel by militants since Monday night, while Israeli aircraft have hit 160 militant targets in response.

Seven Palestinians, several of them militants, died in the strikes on Gaza, while a Palestinian civilian was killed in a rocket attack in southern Israel.’

If you read the full story you can sort out cause and effect.  Israel sent in an under cover special forces unit into Gaza.  They were discovered.  There was a flare up with Hamas soldiers.  Israel used air power and tanks in order to extract their soldiers.  Seven Palestinians and one Israeli infiltrator were killed.  Hamas fired rockets into Israel in response to the killings.  Israel responded to the rockets by demolishing a number of buildings which it claims were Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The BBC appears incapable of saying that Israel initiated the violence and Hamas retaliated.  The BBC states that Palestinians die as a result of Israeli attacks but Hamas rockets kill one person (a Palestinian from the occupied West Bank).

The BBC repeats that Hamas does not recognise Israel’s right to exist, but never states that Israel’s occupation and settlements have made a Palestinian state impossible.

BBC please note:-

The Israeli occupied territories are illegally occupied.

Israel is the aggressor, stealing land and water and it is establishing an Apartheid regime.

An Israeli armed attack is not an ‘incursion’.

Israel refuses to recognise Palestinian borders or rights.

Boycott Divestment and Sanctions of Israel was asked for by Palestinian civil society.

Israel kills Palestinians,  they did not die in an attack.

BBC misreporting was specifically pointed out in a report called ‘Labour, Antisemitism and the News- A disinformation paradigm’.

While the BBC has refuses to adopt honest reporting on the oppression of the Palestinians, we should take their offer to help us identify fake news with a kilo sized packet of salt.  Both the salt and BBC reports on Palestine are indigestible.

The opening of the Never Stop Dreaming Children’s Healing Centre in Khuza’a, Gaza Strip-Postponed

       

            with a video link-up from Sheffield’s UMIX Centre,

                        Was to be 2pm to 3.30, Saturday 24th November 2018               It has been postponed due to recent Israeli attacks                  

                            traumacentre2_edited-1     

 

The siege of Gaza and the regular Israeli military attacks of the last decade have left a cruel mark on the children. In the attack in 2014 alone over 500 children were killed with the  300,000 children in need of psycho-social support.  As a village very close to the border, Khuza’a has again been heavily affected by the brutal and indiscriminate killings by the Israeli military.

Since the peaceful protests began along the Israeli-Gaza border on March 30, 2018, Israeli forces have killed 205 Palestinians and wounded more than 20,000 people in Gaza.  One young victim from Khuza’a was 21 one year old volunteer medic Razan Najar.  She was killed on 1 June, wearing her white paramedic’s uniform as she went to help treat the wounded.

Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign with Gaza based partners is developing a Healing Centre in Khuza’a to provide some much needed support for children traumatised by Israeli attacks.

Khuza’a is very close to the border with Israel and has been particularly affected by the ongoing attacks. The land for the centre in Khuza’a has been donated by a local beneficiary.  The cost of the building came from contributions from Sheffield and will cost £12,600 per year to run.

If you would like to help email the Sheffield NSD play & healing project Steering Group c/o poland.cf@gmail.com.

Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign www.sheffieldpsc.org.uk

Protest Saturday 3rd November

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On Saturday we had our monthly protest at HSBC.  The bank profits from the arms industry.  In particular it profits from the Israeli arms industry.  Israel continues to expand its control over Palestine and deepen its Apartheid rule in the West Bank.  It can only do this with Western support.

Labour NEC bends under pressure

The massive pressure by right wing Labour, Zionists, and the right wing media has paid off.  The Labour NEC has adopted the IRHA definition and its examples.  Previous blogs have explained why we in PSC do not like some of the examples given.

The right wing succeeded in framing the debate.  The key issues were about Israel.  The NEC had previously accepted the IHRA definition of anti Semitism but not adopted four clauses about Israel. 

Imagine if all the headlines over the summer had been “Labour split on the issue of Israel” “Labour NEC split on whether Israel is an Apartheid state”.  What would have followed would hopefully have been a rational debate on the policies of the Israeli Government (which evidence shows to be racist) and what is the way forward.

Instead we had an appalling string of headlines attacking Corbyn and the Labour left as an anti-Semite.

“The NEC has today adopted all of the IHRA examples of antisemitism, in addition to the IHRA definition which Labour adopted in 2016, alongside a statement which ensures this will not in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians.”

We in the PSC feared that the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism was an attempt to silence criticism of Israel.  This is shown by the reaction to the NEC addition.

‘Labour Against Anti-Semitism said the move “appears to be about protecting the freedom of racists to present vile views”.  A spokesman said: “There can be no caveats, no conditions and no compromises with racism.  “We are disappointed by the decision of Labour’s governing body, the NEC, to diminish the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism via the attachment of a ‘clarification’ that risks giving racists in the party a get out of jail card.”

Simon Johnson, the JLC’s chief executive, said in a second statement that Corbyn had “attempted shamefully to undermine the entire IHRA definition”, adding that the free speech caveat “drives a coach and horses” through that definition.’

 ‘Labour Friends of Israel director Jennifer Gerber called the NEC’s decision “appalling” and claimed the “freedom of expression” clause “totally undermines the other examples the party has supposedly just adopted”.’

‘Dame Margaret Hodge, who is herself Jewish, said: “He should have simply adopted the full international definitions with absolutely no ifs and buts… “He’s sullied it. I’m saddened that it was sullied by this attempt that there is a get-out clause – the sullying that he was reluctant to go forward.”  She had described the NEC’s decision as: “Two steps forward and one step back.”

So the right to defend Palestinians and attack Israel is ‘a step back’ according to Hodge and ‘appalling’ according to Gerber.

While the media has a frenzied attack on Corbyn the ‘Israeli government announced a further enlargement of its massive colonial project in the occupied West Bank. Plans were now advanced, it said on Wednesday, for a further 1,000 “homes” in Jewish “settlements” – still the word we must use for such acts of land theft’

Last week is was announced that ‘Trump cuts more than $200 million in U.S. aid to Palestinians’

This is part of an attempt to remove refugee status for the Palestinians.

 

The blockade of Gaza goes on.  The prevention of free movement to Palestine goes on.  The oppression goes on.

The fact is that Israel is built to privilege people of Jewish ethnicity over that of the Palestinians.  Its racist policies flow from defending and perpetuating that structure.  It steals Palestinian lands and water.  In the west Bank it has established an apartheid state.  These are unpalatable facts to the right wing Labour, the media, and to the Zionists.  The statements are not anti Semitic.  Only a minority of Jews and some right wingers, support expansionist Israel and its establishment of Apartheid.  We need to shift the debate from a flawed definition of anti Semitism, to what is happening in Palestine.