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Rally, Town Hall: 51 Day War on Gaza, 12 o’clock Saturday 1st August

Remembering the dead of the attack on Gaza 2014
Vigil August 1st 12 noon Sheffield Town Hall

Commemorating the dead and injured of the 51 Day War on Gaza
From 8th July 2014, the Israeli military bombed Gaza, the most densely populated region the world for 51 days. It carried out 6,000 airstrikes and fired approximately 50,000 tank and artillery shells killing 2200 civilians, injuring more than 11,000. In addition, 17 hospitals and 50 primary health centers were damaged, and 6 hospitals and 28 primary health clinics had to close altogether.
Palestinian armed groups rockets and mortars towards Israel killed 6 civilians. Henry Siegman former national director of the American Jewish commented at the time: “Israel’s assault on Gaza.. was not triggered by Hamas’ rockets directed at Israel but by Israel’s determination to bring down the Palestinian unity government that was formed in early June,
even though that government was committed to honoring all of the conditions imposed by the international community for recognition of its legitimacy.”

Sumarin -update

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:

  1. Write to your MP and ask them to sign Early Day Motion 529.
  2. Get your trade union branch, political party branch, or community group to endorse the
    campaign.
  3. Put up messages of support for the Sumarin family on social media under the #JNFDontEvict

SumarinsMustStay

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.

Black Lives Matter Palestinian lives Matter

Derek Chauvin was the Minneapolis policeman who killed George Floyd on 25th May. Donald Trump stated that the policeman snapped. But he didn’t, the videos show a casual sense of entitlement from a white policeman using extreme force on a non resisting black man. Alarmed passers by were telling Chauvin that what he was doing was dangerous. The policeman’s experience of 18 years on the force and 18 complaints was that he was doing nothing wrong and there would be no serious consequences.

Five days later, half a world away another group of policemen confronted Iyad Halak. Iyad was autistic and on his way to a special school in East Jerusalem. For over 50 years Israeli police have exercised unquestioned power over the local population. They have presided over the steady displacing of Palestinians by ethnic Jews. Iyad’s carer told the police in Hebrew and in Arabic that he was autistic. They yelled at him, he panicked and ran, so they shot him. When he was wounded on the floor they killed him. Netanyahu said sorry and the world looked away.

On Saturday there was a massive demonstration in Sheffield under the banner of Black Lives Matter. Ours was part of a worldwide wave of protest that is challenging ingrained assumptions of the powerful. Slave owners should be reviled rather than holding pride of place in our public squares. Chauvin is being charged with murder and the other three policemen with aiding and abetting murder.

I believe that the movement that is bringing justice to the killers of George Floyd by challenging racism can help bring justice for the Palestinians.

For fifty years Israel has been taking Palestinian land and water. Its military have killed with impunity. Against the bckground of Israel threatening more land confiscation – and this time on a massive scale – Palestinian family, in East Jerusalem, is due to be evicted from its home in two weeks time. The Sumarin family lived continuously in the family home from before Israel overran East Jerusalem in 1967. The only justification for it is that they are Palestinians.  It is part of a land grab by the Jewish National Fund and a settler organisation. The Israeli Government is planning to annex the Jordan valley, taking yet more land. It sees no problem in this.

Britain has supported Israel since the Balfour declaration in 1917. Its official position is that the Israeli settlements are illegal under International Law. Its practice is to give diplomatic, military and economic aid to Israel. Pressure from below will be needed to turn nominal opposition to Israeli land thefts to real opposition.

Early Day Motion 529 opposes the eviction of the Sumarin family. So far it has 60 MPs. supporting it.

You can ask your MP to sign here.

You can see a film explaining the issues here.

Email your MP: Stop Eviction of Sumarin family – Support Sumarin Coalition

Members of the Sumarin family pose for a photo at their East Jerusalem home, March 23, 2018.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Solidarity from people in Sheffield with the Sumarin family – part of a growing internationa; mobilisation by civil society groups against Israel’s systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

“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.

Webinar series on JNF UK 4pm, first Saturday of each month. Next on June 6th.

Join expert guest speakers in a monthly webinar series to explore the role of the Jewish National Fund in Palestinian dispossession.

A short film by Angela Martin that is an excellent introduction on the JNF’s project in Palestine is available at https://vimeo.com/418202311

To book go to Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/stop-the-jewish-national-fund-uk-webinar-series-tickets-102250487962

https://www.facebook.com/events/591693741434291/

About this Event

Join guest speakers and experts in a monthly webinar series to explore the role of the Jewish National Fund in the historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. From the Nakba to today, the JNF has been a key agent in the colonization of Palestine. We will also explore how the JNF has helped to forge the racist ideology of the state of Israel, financing a discriminatory system whilst, at the same time, being accorded charitable status across the world. The campaign against the JNF likewise reaches across the world – we invite you to join us , wherever you are, in this campaign for justice.

You will receive instructions on how to join via e-mail.

Saturday 2nd May: What is the JNF (Jewish National Fund)?

The JNF functions as an arm of the Israeli state, yet presents as a charity in scores of countries. Our expert guests will discuss the JNF as a pioneer of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and its ongoing activities to expel Palestinians from their homes. We’ll look at the JNF’s claims to act on behalf of Jews worldwide and show how this racist organisation can be challenged wherever you are.

Saturday 6th June: The JNF as a Pillar of Israeli Apartheid (1948-1967)

This webinar will reveal the part played by the JNF in this momentous period: the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the seizure of Palestinian land, the erasure of evidence of this land theft and the prevention of Palestinians’ Right of Return. With eminent authorities, we will also explore the ways in which the JNF helped to forge the racist ideology and practices of the emerging state of Israel.

Saturday 4th July: The JNF as a Pillar of Israeli Apartheid (1967-present)

Once established as a parastatal organisation, the JNF has continued to facilitate Israel’s apartheid system. This webinar will focus on the Naqab, and the JNFs role in contemporary land confiscation.

Saturday 1st August: From Prawer to the JNF 2040 Plan

The JNF was involved in ethnic cleansing of the Negev through the Prawer Plan. Now, the JNF has an ambitious 2040 Plan to settle 1.5 million Israelis in the Galilee and Negev through the development of hi-tech industries. In the Negev, where destruction of Bedouin villages continues, the 2040 Plan involves collaboration with IDF Technology Units, including the notorious Unit 8200 which spies on Palestinians.

September 5th 2020: Nexus of Forces Allied with the JNF

To advance the Zionist movement’s conquest of land strategy, the JNF has relied on extensive fundraising among Jewish communities abroad, allowing the Israeli state to shift more of its resources to its military sector. In this session we examine the methods deployed by Western governments, the JNF and pro-Israel lobby groups to shield the Israeli state from criticism and actions coming from the BDS movement. We aim to explain how the JNF and its extensions in various countries pass off ethnic cleansing as charitable and explore ways to oppose them.

October 3rd 2020: Greenwashing and the JNF

Environmentalists beware. The JNF, which was established for the purposes of colonial dispossession, and has been executing ethnic cleansing for over 100 years, has re-branded itself as the “oldest green organization in the world” and is infiltrating the environmental movement. From biodiversity conservation to energy generation, from water conservation to climate change, the JNF has been causing environmental devastation and greenwashing crimes against the Palestinian people.

Please note: the running order of the webinars after July may be subject to modification.

Speakers Include:

Salman Abu Sitta, groundbreaking Palestinian researcher and historian

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement

Jonathan Cook, journalist based in Nazareth

Ilan Pappé, Israeli historian and activist.

Ghada Karmi, Palestinian doctor, author and academic.

Joseph Schechlacoordinator of Habitat International Coalition’s Housing and Land Rights Network.

Kholoud al-Ajarma, Palestinian activist

Aziz al Touri (pre-recorded), activist from al-Araqib

Shir Hever, economic researcher and author

The Stop the JNF UK campaign is part of an international campaign to end the Jewish National Fund ‘s role in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. It is made up of a coalition of activists from Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

Newsletter

We hope all our supporters are well in these difficult times.

We have just sent out a newsletter highlighting the Covid epidemic as it hits Gaza. Sadly the current link for sending money to Middle East Children’s Alliance, our preferred long time partners, will not work from this country. We urge all our members and supporters who wish to donate, please do it via Medical Aid for Palestinians

Other Items in the newsletter are the plight of Palestinian Prisoners in the time of Covid 19, the continuing campaign to Give Puma the Boot and the coming day of protest on the Naqba.

We have printed a report on our work with children’s projects in Gaza which your support has enabled. We cannot distribute these at present but it is available here.

The newsletter is available here.

Covid 19

Dear supporter, 

Regretfully, we have had to postpone a number of meetings due to Covid 19 

Lowkey, tonight (Monday 16th March) , Postponed

Labour Party, Antisemitism and the Media, 7pm Wednesday 18th March Postponed 

Professor Salman Abu Sitta, The Right of Return: Sacred, Legal and Feasible March 27th Postponed


Two events are low risk since they are outside and are going ahead (but check Facebook Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
Wednesday 18 th March 12 noon Hallam Square Sheffield Hallam University Gathering to support Anti Israeli Apartheid Week, called by Palestine Solidarity Society

Saturday 28th March 12 noon Sheffield Town Hall – Palestine Land Day 

All of us are thinking of the impact of Covid 19 on our network of friends, neighbours and relatives. We would like you also to think of the impact on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.  They have a weak economy, few resources, a very weak health service and an unsympathetic occupying power.  The impact on them will be far worse.

UN List of companies active in Israeli illegal settlements.

Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign welcomes that the UN has at last published  a list of companies colluding in Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank. There are currently around 600,000 illegal settlers, part of a systematic policy to remove the Palestinian people from the land and expand Israel. Their number has been growing over the last 50 years. Some are economic settlers looking for cheap, state subsidised accommodation, others believe that they have a God given right to Palestinian land. The settlements exist because Israel is the dominant regional military power and is backed by the world’s only super power, the United States.

Stealing another people’s land is a throwback to colonial times. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, Britain intervened militarily, and when Russia annexed parts of Ukraine, Britain supported sanctions. By contrast, illegal Israeli settlements have been accompanied by mild rebuke but no sanctions. Consequently Israel has continued to expand with impunity and has been rewarded with aid and lucrative trade deals.

Now, the United Nations Human Rights Commission has produced a report that lists 112 companies that are active in these illegal settlements.The companies that profit from building and sustaining settlements, must be banned from trading in the UK.
The UN’s list of complicit companies is far from complete but it is a start. It is time for everyone committed todemocratic values to rally behind Palestinian civil society’s call for boycotting all trade with Israel until it abides byinternational law and ends the oppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

PSC has issued a statement here.

War on Want has issued a statement here.

Lawyers for Palestinian Human rights has issued a statement here.