Actions 25th and 26th May

We will gathering for Palestine, outside the Light Cinema on the Moor in Sheffield Town Centre on Saturday 25th May at midday

Sunday we will be taking part in a support rally for a Palestine Action member on remand for highlighting the criminal nature of the Israeli regime.

Please joins us on both if you can

Nakba Day Action

Wednesday 15th May: Nakba Day. We will be outside the Town hall from 10.30 am until approx 2.30 pm with a display of Nakba photographs. NB the rally will now start at 1.45 pm as the Council meeting is not starting until 2.30 pm. Palestinians, Lena and Sahar will be speaking plus Sheffield Councillors.

Sheffield Remembers The Nakba in 2024

An inspiring march and rally on Saturday May 11th as Sheffield remembers the Nakba and stands with Palestinians as the attacks on Rafah intensify.

Below is a great summary of the Nakba and its meaning today, taken from a speech by long time activist for justice in Palestine, Paul Kelemen, at our rally in Sheffield on Saturday May 2024.

This year’s Nakba Day has a special meaning, a special significance:

  • Palestinians are again subjected to ethnic cleansing and mass murder; 
  • We are again seeing unarmed Palestinians fleeing on foot and on carts, in the face of savage bombardments, just as they as they were forced to do from Dec 1947 to the first few months of 1949.

Then, as now, the Palestinian resistance had to fight without much support from the neighbouring states.  In Zionist mythology it is said that the Zionist militias had to withstand 5 Arab armies.  

The truth is that the neighbouring Arab states led by Western stooges made largely token gestures at fighting to placate their own public. The King of Jordan, the only leader with a serious military clout had an army run by British officers. He made a deal with the  Zionists to carve up Palestine, which is what the British wanted. 

After the 1948, it became the standard defence for Israel to claim that it had to be established because Jewish people could find safety only by having their own state.

It is true, that the during the rise of fascism the so called liberal democracies did not want to open their doors to large numbers of persecuted Jewish people.  But people who seek refuge don’t become colonisers merely by taking refuge in another country – instead they settle down amongst the people living in that place.  

It was the Zionist movement which turned the Jewish people who went to Palestine into colonisers, by recruiting them into a project which involved Jewish immigrants being given land taken from the Palestinians and being given jobs and resources that were denied to the Palestinians.  

The same colonisation process is now being implemented in the West Bank and it is also the goal that Israel is pursuing in Gaza.  By reducing Gaza to rubble, by making it unliveable, Israel is hoping to push out its population.  

The Naqba has never ended.

Although there are haunting parallels between Israel’s current genocide and the 1948 massacres and expulsion, there is also a very important difference.  

In 1948, there were no public protests at the expulsion of 750,00 Palestinians.  

In Western countries, it barely registered on public consciousness.  In the UK, no political party or organisation spoke out for the Palestinians.  To give but one example. Prior to 1948, Labour party conferences had passed 11 resolutions in support of the Zionist movement. They mostly repeated the Zionist argument that Jewish settlement would also benefit the Palestinians. 

In the autumn of 1949, as the traumatised Palestinian refugees were sheltering in refugee camps some under tents but most under trees, with little to eat or drink, the Labour Party had its annual conference.  About the destruction of Palestine, not a single word was uttered at the conference.  

It is not an exaggeration to say that for about 20 years after Israel’s establishment in 1948, in Western countries, the Palestinians were forgotten.  Their ethnic cleansing was covered up by thick layers of mythology about Israel finding a barely populated land. 

In this respect there is a fundamental difference between the lack of an international response to the Nakba, and the popular mobilisation on the side of the Palestinians against Israel’s current genocidal war.  Completely unexpectedly to Israel and its allies, this has opened up a second front in the Palestinian struggle. 

Some of the most significant anti-colonial struggles in the past century, as in Kenya, in Algeria and in Vietnam were won because the moral authority of the coloniser collapsed. And it collapsed in the imperial centres as well as globally because of the resistance of the colonised but also because of the international protest movements which that resistance provoked.  

A sure sign of this happening now, is that the likes of Biden, Sunak and Starmer are now desperately trying to recover the moral high ground, by feigning concern over Israel’s attack on Rafah.  

But even as they make great play of their concern, they continue to supply Israel with weapons, to demonise the Palestinian resistance and to accuse us, who refuse to turn a blind eye to genocide, of being motivated by racism.

 The truth is that it is their racism that has been exposed. They incite hatred against migrants and pretend to shed tears over Ukrainians to expand NATO to Russia’s border, but they believe that massacring Palestinians is something we should quietly accept.

In contrast to the total moral bankruptcy of Western leaders, the people of Gaza have kept their unity.  In the midst of the grief, the stress and the shortages, they might have turned against each other. They have not.  

In military terms, the Palestinians cannot match the most advanced US, German and British weaponry supplied to the IDF, but they do not have to win on the battlefield.  

They and the international solidarity movement can and are winning the political battle.  

There is a long struggle ahead but after 76 years the political tide has turned. The task for us, is to make British complicity with Israel into a mainstream political issue and to build a powerful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. 

That is the least we owe to Palestinians in Gaza, in the West Bank, in Israel, in exile here among us and around the world

 who have continued fighting for their people’s liberation 

They have demonstrated that the Westen imperial order can be defied and discredited and that there are people everywhere willing to join the fight to defeat racism and colonialism.