JCB – March 4th

REPORT ON JCB NSPCC DAY OF ACTION

This day reflected a brilliant national, collective response to JCB and to the NSPCC, a charity which chooses to accept that firm’s money, despite full knowledge of the company’s tarnished reputation. In a nutshell, JCB is:

·         named by the UN as complicit in Israel’s war crimes.

·         being investigated following Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights complaint for failures to observe OECD guidelines on human rights.

·         increasingly visible in reports of home demolitions in Palestine as here in Channel 4 and here in Tom Anderson’s film.

SO, WHAT HAPPENED ON 4TH MARCH?

This was the first day of a national conference organized by the NSPCC. In the advert, NSPCC asserts ‘Every Child has the Right to Grow up Safely’, and the campaign response was ‘How Safe are Palestinian Children?’ Our demand was that NSPCC stop taking money from JCB; the values of the company are totally at variance with the stated values of the charity.

The campaign coalition comprises: The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD UK), Social Work Action Network (SWAN), UK Palestine Mental Health Network, PSC England and Wales, Scottish PSC, the Shoal Collective, Boycott Israel Network (BIN), Protecting Palestinian Families.

E-ACTIONS

·         Each of the 50 speakers and facilitators of the Conference received two letters, one from the broad coalition, one from the Director of PSC, informing them of concerns about NSPCC’s acceptance of JCB’s defences of itself and the charity’s continued partnership with the firm.

·         9,337 letters were sent, facilitated by PSC, from 3000+ participating supporters. These went to 3 key members of the NSPCC’ s decision making body: CEO, Peter Wanless; Chair of Trustees, Neil Berkett and Head of Fundraising, Josephine Swinhoe.

·         Many individualized letters were sent to the NSPCC by members of the coalition groups, but also by concerned non-aligned people, friends and colleagues who were shocked at the link between JCB and NSPCC.

·         A Twitter storm saw huge numbers of posts being made, using the conference hashtag (#HowSafe2021) and the campaign hashtag (#HowSafeArePalestinianChildren) and copying @NSPCC and @JCBmachines

CAMPAIGN PROMOTION WEBINARS: The campaign has been widely promoted, airing the issues effectively.

·       ICAHD UK has hosted 3 webinars:

  • Not Every Child Matters: Challenging the NSPCC – 21 Feb 2021 – Watch here
  • Resisting Demolitions from Outside Palestine – Part 1 – 26 Sept 2020 – Watch here
  • Resisting Demolitions from Outside Palestine – Part 2 – 11 Nov 2020 –  Watch here

·        Scottish PSC has hosted 2 webinars:

o   Interview with Guy Shennan and Annie O’Gara, of the campaign coalition

o   Interview with Linda Ramsden of ICAHD UK and the campaign coalition

RECENT PUBLICATIONS: Important articles from social work and mental health professionals have been published in journals and sites with a wide reach in the profession.

·         On the day the NSPCC conference opened, the Professional Social Work Magazine published a letter, see below, entitled “By Accepting JCB money, NSPCC is Complicit in Bulldozing Homes”, signed by 29 social workers, all members of BASW (British Association of Social Workers).

·         Also, a background article by Simon Cardy on the whole campaign and its ethical basis was published on the SWAN (Social Work Action Network) site.

·         Earlier, Martin Kemp, of UK Palestine Mental Health Network (UKPalMHN) had this article published in Middle East Monitor; his piece was entitled “Clearly, Not Every Child is Worth Fighting for: racism, conscience and the NSPCC.” 

ANTHEM FOR THE DAY:  A song was specially composed, performed and recorded for the day. It has been widely broadcast – an unexpected and welcome creative gift.

·         The George Cowley Experience song can be heard here, is available on YouTube, so can be shared. Peter Unwin composed it: Peter is a lecturer in Social Work and one of the signatories to the BASW letter mentioned earlier. 

CITY AND DEALERSHIP ACTIONS: We live in strange, Covid-enforced days of isolation, but individuals and pairs of people still managed to produce powerful demonstrations against JCB. These have been shared on Twitter and of Facebook.

·         BRIGHTON posted picturesof a number of actions, adding to Twitter’s impact.

o   City centre actions

o   Actions near JCB sites

·         SHEFFIELD and STOKE ON TRENT ACTIVISTS targeted dealerships:

o   the World Logistics centre of JCB Engines near Stoke on. The protest focussed on the devastating impact of home demolitions on children and the callous disregard by the Bamford family (owners and Directors of JCB) for the wellbeing of Palestinian children.

o    A simultaneous protest was held in Sheffield at the main dealership for JCB in the north of England, TC Harrison JCB. Banners read: “Anthony Bamford: working with Israel to demolish Palestinian homes” and “Anthony and Carole Bamford: Why don’t you care about Palestinian children?

o   Information sheets providing more information about the complicity of JCB and the hypocrisy of the NSPCC were hung in the two bus stops used by the JCB workforce, informing them of their employers’ complicity with Israel in war crimes.

JCB are clearly alert to the campaign. At one of the dealership sites, it was reported in Sheffield that  JCB blockaded its own entrance and called the police (see photo below), despite there being only two people there, one of whom had made it clear no mass protest was planned and no disruption envisaged. In its statements to the NSPCC, JCB has claimed that the LPHR complaint has been dismissed (it hasn’t) and also asserted that they have asked the UN to remove them from the list of complicit companies (UN hasn’t budged). These over-reactions at the dealerships and threadbare excuses reveal a company rattled by the campaign.

Stop the Jewish National Fund UK – Webinar Series 2021

All Palestinians know that Israel is an apartheid regime. 2021 opened with a reaffirmation of the apartheid nature of the state given by its own leading human rights organisation, B’Tselem. This organisation is following in the footsteps of the definitive report on Israeli apartheid by Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley. The JNF remains an agent of the state of Israel, “100% Israel” in its own words, implementing and advancing Israel’s apartheid agenda to the detriment of the Palestinian people. Our campaign against the JNF continues unabated. Undeterred by the pandemic, our new webinar series offers further opportunities to find out more from international experts about the workings of the JNF and to join with us in our campaign to Stop the JNF.

Guest speakers so far have included Salman Abu Sitta and Uri Davis and in the coming months Michael Fischbach, Richard Falk, Khalil Alamour and Ilan Pappé will be speaking. (Note: events that have already taken place are removed from the listing)

Saturday March 6th at 4.00pm Register here

Michael Fischbach: “Palestinian Refugee Property: Restitution and Claims for Compensation.” Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land has been continuous since 1948 and is now widely acknowledged.  Pre-1948, around 90 per cent of Palestine was under Palestinian ownership, today that figure is 3 per cent and shrinking. It is however only part of the wholesale plunder on which Israel has been built. In the early years of the Israeli state, more wealth was transferred to it in the form of Palestinian assets than in foreign aid.

The right of return and compensation for the suffering and loss of property and livelihood remain central to realising a measure of justice for the Palestinian people.  Michael Fischbach, a professor of history and author of The Peace Process and the Palestinian Refugee Claims, Addressing Claims for Property Compensation and Restitution, will discuss his research on the history of attempts to address this issue.

Saturday March 20th at 3.00 pm. Our contribution to Israeli Apartheid Week Register here

Richard Falk: “Israeli Apartheid.”  Richard Falk’s and Virginia Tilley’s 2017 report for a major UN body aroused the fury of the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, and UN Secretary General Gutteres moved quickly to suppress the report.
Now even a major Israeli human rights group has bowed to the inevitable, the glaringly obvious, and concluded that Israel is a Jewish supremacist state from the river to the sea.

Saturday April 3rd at 4.00 pm:  Register here 

Khalil Alamour: “The Role of the JNF in the Ethnic Cleansing of the Naqab”

Khalil Alamour is a Bedouin Palestinian who lives in Israel. His village is al-Sira, one of the many Bedouin villages in the Naqab which Israel refuses to recognise, depriving people of services. Khalil has called what’s happening there “another Nakba,” as Bedouins are ethnically cleansed to make way for the state’s Judaization plans. JNF UK is a key player in these plans, investing heavily in the region and even describing the Naqab as a politically uncomplicated area, clearly indifferent to the Bedouin whose homes and lives are being destroyed.

Khalil is an attorney, a mathematician and community leader. He also is a member of the Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages and part of the Negev/Naqab Co-existence Forum for Civil Equality. With colleagues, he works to provide welfare projects, which in other societies are the responsibility of the state. He has spoken up for his community at the UN and EU.

Saturday May 8th at 4.00pm Register here

 Ilan Pappé: ” The role of the JNF in the Palestinian Nakba” The Nakba is not an isolated historic event, but an ongoing process. Ilan Pappe will describe the crucial role of the JNF and its leaders in developing the ideology and strategy of ethnic cleansing leading up to 1948. He will also illustrate some of the ways in which the JNF is implicated in the military operations for the expulsion of the Palestinians from their lands and how the JNF thwarted the Palestinian Right of Return.

Israeli Water Apartheid

I read a huge number of papers, articles and watched a number of videos.

Here are some of them.

Background reading and videos to Israeli water Apartheid Water

Amnesty International The Occupation of Water | Amnesty International 2017

TROUBLED WATERS – PALESTINIANS DENIED FAIR ACCESS TO WATER

Microsoft Word – MDE 15 027 2009 Troubled Waters ENGLISH dr layout 181109.doc (amnesty.org)

Al Haq Palestinian legal support. Water For One People Only: Discriminatory Access and ‘Water-Apartheid’ in the OPT (alhaq.org)

https://jordanvalleysolidarity.org/reports/al-haq-sumoud/ Very moving film from northern Jordan Valley 2018 13 minutes

EWASH report 2011 (and Al Haq) https://www.un.org/unispal/document/auto-insert-195880/

Adala – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

Produced a newsletter on Israel restricting water for Arabs in Naqab/Negev in 2006

AdalahMicrosoft Word – Adel.doc (adalah.org)

Still fighting for water for Palestinians last year

Israel charges Bedouin living in unrecognized Naqab villages the highest water prices in the country – Adalah

MEKOROT: AN APARTHEID ADVENTURE – YouTube

Apartheid Adventures – Very powerful portrayal of water in West Bank.

Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign

Video: Water situation in the Jordan valley (Homsa and Fasayel) – Jordan Valley Solidarity


Shoruq Organization

Water Crisis in Palestinian Refugee Camps | Water Apartheid in the West Bank – YouTube

Stop the Wall Produced a fact sheet in 2020

Factsheet: Cutting the lifeline – Stop the annexation of Palestinian water – Stop The Wall

Israeli Apartheid in the Jordan Valley: Abu Saqr and his family arrested on charges to access water – Stop The Wall Report of arrests for “Theft of water”

Peace Now – Israeli Peace organisation. Produced a good factsheet in 2017 on the Jordan Valley process of annexation.

JordanValleyEng.pdf (peacenow.org.il)

B’tselem Israeli human rights organisation produced Water Crisis | B’Tselem 11 Nov 2017

ISM International Solidarity Movement produced a factsheet in 2016

Qarawah water apartheid – International Solidarity Movement (palsolidarity.org)

Israeli Committee Against Demolitions factsheet 2016

Water is life – World Water Day 2016 (icahd.org)

The Ecologist produced a factsheet 2014 Agricultural Apartheid: Land & Water on Vimeo

Water apartheid in Palestine – a crime against humanity? (theecologist.org)

UN has published numerous reports this one was in 2012.

This is in general the situation including water https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session19/FFM/FFMSettlements.pdf (Facts gathered from 2012)

Global Policy Forum gave a view in 2006 that Israel provoked the war in Syria in order to obtain its water. Breaching Borders: The Role of Water (globalpolicy.org) Breaching Borders: The Role of Water (globalpolicy.org)

Friends of the earth produced a fourteen page factsheet

Water-injustice-in-Palestine.pdf (foei.org)

Friends of the Earth International statement on water apartheid in Palestine – Friends of the Earth International (foei.org)

THE PLO Produced a statement about Israeli water Apartheid in 2017

On the Occasion of the International Water Day 2017: Israeli Apartheid, The Case of Water | NAD

The Electronic Intafada in 2017 carried an article on Israeli water Apartheid

Israel is world’s leading practitioner of water apartheid | The Electronic Intifada

IInternational Middle East Media Center carried an article on Israeli water apartheid in 2017ional Middle East Media Center International Middle East dia How Israel Engages In ‘Water Apartheid’ – – IMEMC News

Al Jazeera produced this film in 2018 showing destruction of Palestinian water pump.

and an article in 2014 Israeli water miracle that wasn’t

and a film in 2018  Israel control of Palestinian water supply hits farmers

OXFAM produced a pamphlet in 2012 describing the theft of Palestinian land and water

Haaretz had an article showing JNF complicity in developing settlements in Jordan Valley

🇮🇱 🇵🇸 Israel control of Palestinian water supply hits farmers | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

B’tselem This is Apartheid

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.

B’tselem states

“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.

Israel, Covid and Apartheid

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.

Biden

Across the world people who show sympathy and solidarity with the Palestinians will not shed a tear over Trump’s departure from office next January.

However we should not expect a campaign for justice for the Palestinians from Biden. In 1986 the then senator Biden said “It’s about time we stop ..apologizing for our support for Israel… It is the best $3 billion investment we make. Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect our interest in the region.”

One hundred years ago another politician in another Imperial power wrote something similar. Winston Churchill wrote

“But if, as may well happen, there should be created in our own lifetime by the banks of the Jordan a Jewish State under the protection of the British Crown, which might comprise three or four millions of Jews, an event would have occurred in the history of the world which would, from every point of view, be beneficial, and would be especially in harmony with the truest interests of the British Empire.” ZIONISM versus BOLSHEVISM 1920

For those who hope that Biden’s views have changed since 1986, this is him in 2011

“Israel is the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East,” Biden said, “ Imagine our circumstances in the world were there no Israel, how many battleships would there be, how many troops would be stationed. 21st June 2011

An indication of the usefulness of Israel to the USA was shown an article from Today’s NewYork Post

“Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, accused of helping to mastermind the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, was killed in Iran in August by Israeli operatives acting at the behest of the United States…Masri, one of al Qaeda’s founding leaders, was killed along with his daughter”.

With Trump’s going we see the weakening of evangelical support for Israel, sadly it is unlikely that a Biden administration will usher in justice for the Palestinians. Justice for Palestinians will come from grass roots support and activities.

Solidarity for Corbyn from Palestine.

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.

Corbyn’s suspension

Corbyn’s real crimes were being pro justice for the Palestinian, which the right wing and the Zionists re branded as anti Semitism, and being for more justice and equality.

Many Palestinians and 73 Palestinian community organisations have written a statement of support. It is here.

Open Letter to the Charity Commission Board members

Dear Member of the Board

I am writing to you as a director of the Charity Commission. There is a major scandal brewing concerning the Charity Commission and I assume that you know little or nothing about it, or you would have acted.

The Board of the Charity Commission has the duty of protecting its reputation and integrity.

All UK charities in the UK are obliged to be for the public good. The Jewish National Fund Charitable Trust is racist, complicit in ethnic cleansing and is allied with those evicting the Sumarin family from their home in illegally occupied East Jerusalem. It is not for the public good. The Charity Commission has been failing in its statutory duty of oversight.

Briefly – other materials are availablei.

1. The Jewish National Fund CT is not independent of the Jewish National Fund in Israel (KKL)

The agreements between the JNFCT and the KKLii were known to the Charity Commission, but they were hidden from the public. (The Charity Commission even refused to say whether they had a copy.) The Jewish National Fund CT does not even own its own name. It uses it on lease from the KKL. See below or https://youtu.be/VgILRxYyYgU In the agreement between the JNFCT and the JNF/KKL, they agree to work together to find suitable projects for the JNFCT to fund. All the monies raised in the UK by the JNFCT for Israel pass through the accounts of the KKL.In the agreement between the JNFCT and the JNF/KKL, they agree to work together to find suitable projects for the JNFCT to fund. All the monies raised in the UK by the JNFCT for Israel pass through the accounts of the KKL.

2. The JNF in Israel (KKL) is openly racist and has stated as much in an Israeli court.

“The JNF is not and cannot be loyal to the entire Israeli public. The JNF’s loyalty is reserved for the Jewish people alone – for whom it was established and for whom it acts. […] The JNF will argue that it bears no duty to allocate its land to non-Jews. To the extent the matter concerns JNF land, it will lead not only to interference with and disruption of the order of the JNF’s activities and tasks, but will negate entirely its unique function as the owner of the eternal property of the Jewish People.”iii The Racism of the JNF/KKL should preclude any links with a British Charity.

3. The JNF UK created the British Park on the ruins of the village of Ajjur (and others). When the owners of the land raised the issue with the Charity Commission, their solicitor said “It may be that Ms Al Ajarma and her family have legal rights that have been breached by the actions of the Jewish National Fund” but they had no right to question the status of the JNFCT.

4. The JNFCT openly stated in 2014 that it spent £114,000 on the Gaza war effort. When the Charity Commission was asked about this it has refused to comment. It also refused to say how many other charities have supported foreign wars.

5. The Jewish National Fund (KKL) is working through its wholy owned subsidiary, Himanuta, with ELAD to evict the Sumarin family from their home in East Jerusalem. ELAD is the settler movement funded by Roman Abramovich to the tune of $100million which featured in the BBC film.iv

This issue will not go away. The issue is drifting into the court of public opinion and into parliament.v

I ask you to draw this issue to the other members of the board, and remove the JNFCT from the list of charities.

Yours Stop the JNF Campaign

ihttp://www.sheffieldpsc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/KKL-JNF-Report-March-2020-converted-1-1-1.pdf

iihttp://www.sheffieldpsc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/JNF-Agreement-between-JNF-and-KKL-Heads-of-Term.pdf

iiihttps://www.adalah.org/uploads/oldfiles/newsletter/eng/jul09/Position_Paper_on_Land_Reform_Bill_july_2009.pdf

ivhttps://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-54237970

vhttps://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57037/eviction-of-palestinian-family-from-east-jerusalem