Palestine Solidarity Campaign Southampton fundraiser 27th February 2019

Dear All

Southampton PSC in conjunction with the Art House, are hosting a fundraising evening to raise funds for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Please come and enjoy a great evening and support Palestine at the same time. Sidelines are an eclectic local band, find out more on their Facebook page and follow the link below to sample their sound.
https://sidelinesuk.bandcamp.com

The event starts at 7pm and takes place at The Art House, Above Bar Street Southampton, on 27th February. There is no entry charge but we will request donations which will be split between PSC and The Art House.

I hope you can make it.
Warm Regards
Cathryn Spiller

Branch Secretary Southampton PSC.

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Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All

Southampton PSC campaigned outside HSBC eight times over the summer, asking HSBC to Stop arming Israel. This is also the message PSC wants to bring to the UK Government. National PSC lobbies parliament each year and this year the focus is on the Stop Arming Israel Campaign and the treatment by Israel of child prisoners. I will be attending the lobby, please get in touch if you can join me.

The lobby takes place on 28th November from 12pm to 6pm, followed by an evening rally. If you can attend please ask your MP to meet with you on the day. National PSC will provide briefings for participants. If you cannot attend, you can still support the lobby by writing to your MP and asking him/her to meet with representatives of PSC. Please follow the links below and if you can attend please register. Also please email pscsoton@gmail.com  to let me know as we could travel together.

https://www.palestinecampaign.org/lobby-day-of-parliament-28-11-2018/

https://palestinecampaign.eaction.online/lobby/parliament2018notattending

Please can I also remind you to join National PSC if you are not already a member, this is one of the best actions you can take to support justice for Palestine, help the national organisation campaign and build cross party support in parliament.

There is also a further action you can take to support the BDS movement. Boycott Puma. The sports company sponsors Israeli football teams based in occupied Palestine. To find out more about this campaign please visit our Facebook page and place a picture of yourself on social media in solidarity with Palestinian activists. www.facebook.com/southampton

Stalls in the city are taking a break until the new year but we will be in the city nearer Christmas singing some “Alternative Carols” telling the real story of the injustices in Palestine. I will be in touch when we have confirmed  date for that.

In the meantime we continue to follow the events in Gaza with interest. 205 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the 30th March and 20,000 injured. Nine Palestinians were injured in recent air strikes on Gaza following rocket attacks on Israel by Islamic Jihad, although there were no Israeli casualties.

In occupied Palestine, at least 29 structures were demolished by Israeli forces  in the month of September, displacing 51 people- including 23 children- and affecting a further 79 people, including 54 children. The village of Al Arakib in the Naqab desert was demolished for the 133rd time!

In solidarity

Regards Cathryn Spiller

Branch Secretary Southampton PSC.

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Jonathan Sacks, hypocritical wanker.

If you only know him from his tedious radio broadcasts you might be surprised at what a nasty piece of work Jonathan Sacks actually is.

So whilst we’re all trawling the archives, the sanctimonius bore gets a mention in this article from +972 Magazine Published in May 2013:

A year in review: Anti-African racism and asylum seekers in Israel

There’s a lot of it, and be warned, it’s a pretty harrowing read.

“The campaign to cover up Israel’s persecution of African asylum seekers is not only fought by the Israeli government itself. The cause is also eagerly taken up by Zionist celebrities, such as British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who had the gall to claim in February that Israel leads the world in accepting asylum seekers.”

Perhaps he was exercising ‘British irony’.

“Since Israel took over responsibility for reviewing refugee status requests from UNHCR, out of the 60,000 non-Jewish African asylum seekers living in Israel, Israel has approved only one single solitary application. And that one African woman that the State of Israel, in all of its magnanimity, has deigned to bequeath refugee status upon – is an albino.”

A racist endeavour? Decide for yourselves.

Fuck anti-Africanism, fuck anti-Semitism, fuck Jonathon Sacks.

Clean water for the Jordan Valley in occupied Palestine

You can donate here:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jordanvalleywaterwells

Water. Something we all take for granted until it isn’t there. Unfortunately, for many of the Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley in occupied Palestine, they can’t take it for granted. Not because of natural disaster or scarcity, but because the Israeli occupation is using access to water as a strategy to drive Palestinians from their land and into the cities.

We at Jordan Valley Solidarity are working together with Palestinian communities and NGOs to rebuild water pipes, re-dig wells and to bring piped, fresh water to isolated communities so that these communities can continue to resist the ethnic cleansing of their land.

Where is the Jordan Valley?

The Jordan Valley is the easternmost third of the occupied West Bank and runs from the border with 1948 Israel in the north to the Dead Sea in the south. It is part of the Great Rift Valley that stretches all the way from Kenya to Syria and, at more than 400m below sea level, forms the lowest inhabited place on the planet. It is also completely occupied by the Israeli military.

95% of the Valley is designated as Area C, meaning that it is under the direct control of the Israeli military authorities. This 95% excludes the largest towns and town centres but includes numerous Palestinian villages and Bedouin communities. At least 58,000 Palestinians reside in this jurisdiction but deliberate Israeli policies have caused this to decrease from 300,000 in 1967.

The Jordan Valley is situated on a natural aquifier. Hot summers and ready access to underground water mean that it is perfectly situated for mass agriculture. Since 1967, huge Israeli agribusiness settlements have increasingly colonised the land and overwhelmingly dominated access to resources whilst forcing Palestinian residents off the land. Israel has made no secret of its intention to annex the Valley permanently in the eventuality that it is forced into a two-state solution, citing both security and business desires.

What has this got to do with water?

The West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, sits on top of a huge natural aquifier. This means that water should be a readily available natural resource.

Yet, the inhabitants of this same territory are deprived of it. In Area C, Palestinians are routinely refused permission to build the infrastructure for clean water. When they build it anyway, the occupation sends soldiers and bulldozers to fill in the wells and destroy the pipes. This means that Palestinians have to buy tanks of water from the Israeli state water company at exorbitant prices.

The vast majority of villages, communities and farmers have seen their access to water destroyed by the occupation that steals this ‘blue gold’ for the benefit of settlers, as well as Israeli civil society through big companies such as Mekorot. By denying access to water, the occupation hopes to force Palestinians into exile in the cities or abroad, thus, clearing more space for Israeli-only settlements.

There is a law established by the occupation in area C, which says that when a Palestinian does not cultivate land for 3 consecutive years, then it no longer belongs to them and becomes property of the occupation.

But how can a Palestinian farmer cultivate their land when their access to water is made almost impossible? They will be a farmer who will no longer have the energy to fight the occupation. A farmer who will have no viable and secure land to ensure the future of his family, to pass on to his descendants.

What can we do about it?

Jordan Valley Solidarity (JVS) has teamed up with six international charities, local communities and a network of Palestinian NGOs to complete a campaign of building works bringing clean water facilities to communities in the Valley. We are looking for £7000 to pay for materials and the cost of paying local labourers a fair wage (and thus putting money into the economy) for their work.

Palestinians have an Arabic word, Samoud. Samoud translates most clearly as ‘steadfastness’ and is used by the Palestinians to express their desire to resist the ethnic cleansing of the occupation by staying exactly where they are. This means finding ways to live, work and live family lives in the midst of the violence and harassment of the occupation.

Israel wants to make life impossible for the Palestinians of the Valley so that they up sticks and leave. By donating towards the Water Campaign you are directly contributing to the resistance against the occupation. To Exist is to Resist.

What is JVS going to do about it?

We are going to dig a new water well, 150 metres deep to access the falling water table. This well will be accessed by 40 large Palestinian families who are currently forced to buy the water from under their feet from Israel. This well will also provide emergency water to other communities during the hot, dry summer months. If the occupation destroys the well, we will dig it again.

Half of the cost of this work is being donated by Palestinian civil society groups and we are raising the other half. The more we raise, the more work we can do.

Who is Jordan Valley Solidarity?

Jordan Valley Solidarity campaign is a network of Palestinian grassroots community groups from all over the Jordan Valley and international supporters. Our aims are to protect Palestinian existence and the unique environment of the Jordan Valley by building international support and supporting communities on the ground.

www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org

JCB distribution centre blockaded in solidarity with Khan al-Ahmar

From Corporate occupation

A group of activists closed down the JCB distribution centre in Derby, UK, this morning to protest the company’s involvement in demolitions of Palestinian homes. The activists locked themselves together in front of the JCB centre in order to prevent lorries from entering or leaving.

JCB has been targeted in response to the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) National Committee’s (BNC) call last week in response to the threat of destruction of an entire Palestinian village. The Israeli state is currently attempting to destroy the village of Khan al-Ahmar, using equipment provided by JCB and other companies.

The Palestinian BNC gave the following statement: “Popular struggle and international solidarity have defended Khan al-Ahmar until today from expulsion, and have stopped the bulldozers manufactured by international corporations from inflicting destruction … It is the role of the BDS movement to mobilize global pressure against Israel’s impunity in perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity and against corporate complicity in these crimes.”

They called on ordinary people around the world to take the following actions in solidarity with the people of Khan al-Ahmar, and all other Palestinian communites facing demolition by the Israeli state:

“Organize protests at the offices of the JCB, Caterpillar, Volvo, Hyundai, Hitachi and LiuGong. Ask them to terminate their contracts with Israel’s occupation forces, and to commit to halting the delivery of all further equipment or services that may be used by Israel in activities that violate fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people.”

It is in response to this call from the Palestinian BDS National Committee that we are protesting today. We call on JCB to to end all its dealings, whether direct or indirect, with the Israeli state and stop its complicity with the illegal and immoral home demolition policy in occupied Palestine.

Read more about JCB and the Israeli occupation here –
https://corporateoccupation.org/category/companies/jcb/

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All

Thank you to everyone who came to the barbecue last Sunday. It was a lovely occasion and raised £400 for the PSC national appeal.Thank you to everyone who contributed in any way. A particular thank you to Isabel and Chris for the use of their home and for all the preparation they did.Also our thanks to Rev Stephen Sizer for his extremely stimulating presentation.

On Sat 15th we will be campaigning outside HSBC in the city centre. Please let me know if you can join us. Placards will be provided. Please come. Lets make a noise and tell HSBC to stop arming Israel. We will meeting outside HSBC at 10.30 and plan to stay until 12.30. If you can join us for 2 hours that is excellent but if you can only do an hour that is also great. Please let me know if you are coming.

If you also willing to hep with the regular Saturday stalls help is urgently needed.

Many thanks everyone
Regards
Cathryn Spiller

Branch Secretary Southampton PSC.

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Freedom Flotilla Coalition – Legal and Welfare Update and Appeal

Via Freedom Flotilla Coalition

Please donate here to support the 2018 Just Future for Palestine Freedom Flotilla, in which 34 people, from 12 countries, in two boats, directly challenged the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza and brought international attention to the horrific human-made conditions of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

The two boats ‘Al Awda’ (The Return) and ‘Freedom’ were hijacked by the Israeli Occupation Forces in international waters 42 and 49 nautical miles respectively off the coast of Gaza. During their unlawful detention, crew, participants and journalists were subjected to a range of physical and emotional violence.

The captain of Al Awda was threatened with execution, 4 people were tasered, 3 people had ribs broken by the Israeli military and one person had his foot broken.

They were all taken against their will to Israel, unlawfully imprisoned and ultimately deported. The Israeli authorities have stolen the boats and the 13,000 Euros worth of medical supplies that we were carrying as gifts, as well as many of the participants’ personal belongings (including clothes, a Bible, credit cards, IDs and mobile phones). Incredibly, they have begun to take legal action to attempt to confiscate the boats.

We have set aside some money to assist with legal expenses and welfare, but request your help. Please donate here to contribute towards:

a) our legal fund for the costs including actions to:

i) represent participants who were detained unlawfully
ii) increase our capacity to take action against and resist the Israeli Government’s attempts to confiscate the two boats, cargo and personal property; and

b) our welfare fund which will pay for emotional counseling for those needing assistance to process the violence and trauma that they suffered.

Please donate here to one of our partners to help with these particular expenses incurred in challenging the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Israeli Government has still not released 114 boxes of Medical Supplies for Gaza.

Freedom Flotilla demands the immediate release of humanitarian cargo