All posts by Dick Pitt

Open Shuhada Street

This is Sundus Azza. She is from the campaign to open Shuhada Street. At a meeting in Sheffield on Tuesday she described the daily humiliations and provocations caused by a small group of Zionist settlers defended by 2,000 Israeli soldiers. Hebron is the most populous city in the West Bank, Shuhada Street was the main market area. In 1994, an American Zionist Goldstein murdered 29 Muslims at prayer. Palestinians demonstrated, Israeli military stepped in. The road has been closed to Palestinians ever since.
In a dignified calm voice she described how she was attacked by a settler Zionist, then arrested by the Israeli military for the incident. One Israeli settler killed a Palestinian, unusually he was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in his house. The people of Hebron face rubber bullets, arrest, violence, and even bullets. See more here. Her powerpoint is here.

Stop the Jewish National Fund

Stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF) – campaign update 2019 

Background: 

In the Nakba of 1948, the wanton destruction of over 500 villages, seizure of land and property, not to mention massacres of inhabitants, were all war crimes committed to establish the new state of Israel.  The JNF was, and still is, a direct beneficiary of these crimes, having received much of the land it now “owns” as a by-product of the ethnic cleansing. Indeed, the JNF has been described as “the principal tool for the Zionist colonization of Palestine.” (Ilan Pappe) The historic complicity of the JNF in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine during the Nakba has not ended – the JNF remains actively involved in the ongoing forced displacement of Palestinians from their land. 

The JNF tries to give a veneer of legitimacy to stolen land. It has planted forests, created parkland and claims to be working to enhance the environment. One such venture is the park named British Park, funded by the JNF UK. This park has been created over the ruins of three Palestinian villages, ethnically cleansed in 1948. The park  

Campaign to de-register the JNF UK: 

As registered British charity, the JNF UK receives all the associated financial and reputational benefits of this status and it is this privileged position which the campaign challenges. The campaign to persuade the Charity Commission to withdraw the charitable status of the JNF UK began in 2013 and a new appeal was lodged in 2018. 

This appeal highlights the case of a Palestinian family whose land in Ajjur was taken from them by force in 1948 and lies beneath British Park. A young Palestinian member of the family has produced a strong case, evidenced with title deeds and tax receipts related to the family land. Her family lands are open as a leisure facility for Israelis, but inaccessible to their rightful owners. Her case was supplemented by statements and evidence from UK supporters. The submission to the Charity Commission shows the unsuitability of the JNF UK to hold charitable status. 

Despite all this the Charity Commission has rejected the case. 

Tribunal appeal: 

On appeal, the case has been granted an oral hearing by the First Tier Tribunal (Charity). This takes place in Manchester on April 2nd 2019. We see this as a step forward in advancing the argument against the JNF. 

Speaking Tour: 

After the Tribunal, there will be a speaking tour, featuring the Palestinian applicant, lasting 2 weeks. Dates and venues are being arranged. It is possible that a second such tour will be staged later in the year as the campaign unfolds. (Tour being arranged by Manchester and Sheffield PSC

For further information re tour: enquiries.sheffieldpsc@gmail.com 

Stop the JNF website:  http://www.stopthejnf.org/ 

2103 complaint to the Charity Comission: http://www.stopthejnf.org/media-release-human-rights-campaigners-charity-commission-failing-to-follow-own-guidelines-to-end-abuse-of-charity-status/ 

Stop the JNF ebook, Volume 1: http://www.stopthejnf.org/documents/JNFeBookVol1ed2x.pdf 

Stop the JNF ebook Volume 2: http://www.stopthejnf.org/documents/JNFeBookVol2.pdf 

Stop the JNF ebook Volume 3: http://stopthejnf.org/documents/JNFeBookVol3.pdf 

Stop the JNF ebook Volume 4: http://www.ijan.org/projects-campaigns/stopthejnf/e-book-v-4/ 

Report Back From Gaza

On Saturday 16 th February, Musheir El Farra gave a report back on his visit to Gaza. He reported back on Sheffield’s PSC supported children’s projects in Gaza and the most recent project the healing centre in Khuza’a. He also described how the great powers in the region and the USA were trying to undermine the basic rights of Palestinians including the right of return. We had booked the Choir Room but it was too small for the 40 plus audience. Musheir was well received.

Meeting- Report back from Gaza 16th February 2.30

khuza

A huge amount of effort went into the creation of a healing centre in Gaza.  The Yemeni community,   Sheffield PSC, Chesterfield PSC, Manchester PSC and many others.  The land was acquired, and the building is now completed.  This is a great achievement.  Our chairman Musheir El Farra has just got back from this and our other projects in Gaza.  He will give a report on these and the political situation at this important meeting.

Saturday – 16 February 2019      02:30                                                                     PM Choir Room – Victoria Hall Chapel Walk – Sheffield S1

Fundraiser Meal 8th December

meallizskinner8267

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.

meal8th

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