All posts by Dick Pitt

Mail on line – unfounded attack on ex Sheffield student.

An ex Student Education Officer at Sheffield University is under an incredible slur by the Daily Mail. In a democracy people are supposed to meet discuss clarify each other’s positions perhaps reach an agreement perhaps not.  Suppose an opponent wilfully misstates someone’s position then attacks them for it.  There are at least two possibilities.  They do not wish for a coherent discussion that they may lose or they wish for a nasty cheap headline.   This is from the Daily Mail.  blog

The full sentence was

‘If terrorism means protecting and defending my land, I am so proud to be called terrorist. What an honour for the Palestinians!’

This statement is the same structure as this one.   

“If Donald trump loves Muslims then pigs can fly.”  Only a complete idiot or someone wishing to misrepresent would conclude that the speaker believes pigs can fly.

This is one definition of terrorist

“a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”

The UN states that every nation and person has the legal right to defend their land. 

So a Palestinian ‘protecting and defending my land’ is not of itself a terrorist. 

The United Nations resolution 2334 tells us that the West Bank settlements are a “flagrant violation” of international law and have “no legal validity”.

So any Israeli soldier helping the illegal settlements in the West Bank is acting illegally. They clearly use violence.  It is aimed at civilians.  It is clearly a political aim.  It really does look like they satisfy this definition of terrorist.

A debate on the issue of ‘spot the terrorist’ would be interesting.

On the one side we could have the young woman who believes “‘Together we are stronger, together we will win. Together our world will be brighter and more inclusive for all of us regardless of our differences and where we come from. Regardless of our religions and backgrounds or ethnicity. We can still disagree and still love each other through disagreement.’ 

On the other we could have an Israeli soldier using violence to help destroy a home in the West bank.

Apparently The Daily mail on line has 200million visits a month.  For an organisation of this size to attack a young Moslem student, and use her photograph is beyond disgusting.  Reading this Daily Mail article reminded me of another.



For what it is worth I have put in a complaint to the Independent Standards Organisation under harassment, discrimination, and accuracy.

UN Human Rights Day

humanrightsprotestSome of the people who joined the protest today.  On UN Human Rights Day we wished to point out that Israel is engaged on a further land grab in Hebron.  This and similar are illegal under International law.  The UK Government, accepts that these land grabs are illegal but has a policy of business as usual with the Apartheid State.

UN Day of Solidarity


A very strong display of Solidarity with the Palestinians.   The street theatre was very impressive.  Congratulations to all the actors (and to everyone who came.)

The next protest is on UN Day of Human Rights.  We will be protesting about Israeli land thefts in Hebron, West Bank.

Benefit Meal


About 80 people were at this very enjoyable meal.  Jews, Christians, and Muslims and others enjoyed the dancing of Shahd Abu Salama and the fantastic music.  In these dark times it is inspirational that people can come together in solidarity to raise money for children’s charities in Gaza.  We have just sent moneys to Gaza so our coffers are bare.

Shahd Abu Salama  was a young girl when she was first here in 2005 so it was delightful to see how she has grown into a such strong confidant singer and speaker.  More pictures are here


The New Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Calendar


One of our members, Caroline Poland walked from Land’s End to John o Groats to raise money and spread awareness of the oppression of Palestinians.  Some forty people joined her for parts of the walk.  In this country people struggled to get access to our beautiful countryside.  In Palestine movement is severely restricted by the Israeli Army.  The calendar shows the contrast.

Watch out for it at vigils and meetings.


Town Hall Vigil


About thirty people joined our Saturday Vigil on 29th October.  We were pointing out how Palestinian farmers were being oppressed by Israel.  There is land theft, water theft, olive trees uprooted and much else in the Israeli imposed Apartheid state.

There was very little hostility in spite of a wave of right wing propaganda falsely claiming that we are anti Semitic.   We oppose the Government of Israel and its supporters for the imposition of an Apartheid state.   These words are not just terms of abuse they are the simple honest assessment of facts on the ground.

Home Affairs Report on Anti-Semitism

The Home Affairs Committee has just produced a report into Anti-Semitism There is a huge amount of confusion about the subject.  This report does not help.  National PSC has given a reply here.

I want to take up just one point.

Under conclusions and recommendations (page 50) there is this sentence  ‘The word Zionist or worse Zio as a term of abuse however has no place in civilised society.’ 

The practice of  Zionism as implemented by successive Israeli Governments includes the following

1.       Ethnic cleansing of about 700,000 Palestinians in 1948. 

2.       Systematic land theft in Jerusalem and the West Bank since 1967.

3.       Theft of water from Palestinian lands.

4.       A systematic illegal house building program for Israelis on stolen land.

5.       The blockade of Gaza, the destruction of its economy and periodic devastating attacks.

6.       A systematic system of barriers in the West Bank that make travel for Palestinians very difficult.

7.       The establishment of an Apartheid regime in the area that Israel controls.

Let me expand on the last one.  There are roads that Palestinians are not allowed to drive on.  There are areas that Palestinians are not allowed to live.  There is a separate system of law for Palestinians.

 Three fourteen year olds who came to dance in Sheffield have been arrested.  We think it is for throwing stones.  They will be charged in a military court.  In the unlikely event that an Israeli was charged for the same act, (s)he would be tried in a civilian court.

 There is a set of clauses from the UN that define what is Apartheid.   The clauses of freedom of movement alone shows Israel is imposing an Apartheid state. 

Desmond Tutu said “I am especially urging the Assembly to adopt the overture naming Israel as an apartheid state through its domestic policies and maintenance of the occupation [of Palestinian lands]….”

 “In the situation that exists today, until a Palestinian state is created, we are actually one state. This joint state — in the hope that the status quo is temporary — is an apartheid state,” Alon Liel Ex Israeli Ambassador to South Africa

We in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign oppose all racism.  The claim of the Israeli Government that it represents all Jews, and that it acts in the interests of all Jews is manifestly untrue, deeply offensive and breeds anti-Semitism.  Jews are not responsible for Apartheid Israel.  Probably the most important figure in the establishment of Israel was the Anti-Semitic Balfour.  He introduced the Aliens Act of 1905 to prevent Jewish refugees from coming to Britain.

I regard the practice of Zionism in creating Israeli Apartheid deeply offensive.  How do I use the word in a non abusive way?

The Tory Party supported South African Apartheid till very late.

It would be very nice if it did not wait as long to oppose Israeli Apartheid.