Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton

Dear All

Two upcoming events to tell you about:

Firstly: Thursday 24th October at the University of Southampton room 2005 at 6pm Talk by Professor Haim Bresheeth One State in Israel and Palestine. Professor Bresheeth’s work is a major contribution to the way forward for Israel Palestine. A quote from Professor Bresheeth:

“Most of my family was destroyed in the holocaust – in different concentration camps and in the Warsaw ghetto and I was born in a refugee camp in Italy immediately after the war… I’m not saying this in order to elicit some sympathy because this is nonsensical on this audience [mostly Jewish] obviously. I’m saying this in order to explain why its so easy for me to understand the Palestinians in Gaza and in the rest of Palestine. It is very easy for me to understand them because they live in a combination of a concentration camp and Warsaw ghetto for so many years that we have stopped counting”

For tickets go to eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/one-democratic-state-in-palestineisrael-a-talk-by-prof-haim-bresheeth-tickets-76948782881

This is a free event, organised by our chairman Professor Suleiman Sharkh and everyone is welcome.

Secondly: Saturday 26th October come and join us outside Sports Direct in Central Southampton. We will be there from 11.45 until 1.30 .

Give Puma the Boot. End Sponsorship by Puma until it ends its sponsorship of the Israeli Football Assocaiation. We will have letters to sign and leaflets to distribute. Come and help.

Please remember to follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/southamptonpsc/

Warm regards
Cathryn Spiller (Secretary Southampton PSC)

RADICAL WORKERS’ BLOC AT TOLPUDDLE 2019

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and rally 2019 Friday, 19th to Sunday, 21st July 2019. View map No stall this year, apparently they were “oversubscribed”. Nah we don’t either, more time to get drunk then.

On the plus side the IWW are back, with a new improved stall run by Dorset branch.

Wob kitchen will run from Friday evening to Sunday lunch, next to the Big Tent; you’ll hardly notice the difference. Wessex Solidarity will make some of our literature catalogue available on the day. We’ve lots of new stuff that isn’t in the reference library as we’re running out of storage space – it hasn’t been updated for years. Why not get in touch now if there’s a subject you’re particularly interested in.

Catering Cadre: Comrade Les, our Wob kitchen chef is offering free training on outside and event catering for Radical Workers and groups who want to feed their members, homeless or unemployed workers in a safe and cost-effective way. Topics including:

  • Basic Health safety and hygiene.
  • Basic budget and Menu planning.
  • Basic dietary requirements.
  • Basic safe use of LPG and Butane gas cookers.

Let us know if you’re interested or come and see us about it at the festival.

Safe Space Policy: “don’t be a dick”.

This year we ask Radical Workers to be especially kind to members of the Prison Officers Association, as they are ever so sensitive, and easily upset by loud noises and rude words.

Bloody hell it was hot! Tolpuddle R.W.B. 2018

Notre Dame of Gaza: Our Mosques and Churches are Also Burning

Middle East Monitor

By Ramzy Baroud

As the 300-foot spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris tragically came tumbling down on live television, my thoughts ventured to Nuseirat Refugee Camp, my childhood home in the Gaza Strip.

Then, also on television, I watched as a small bulldozer hopelessly clawed through the rubble of my neighbourhood mosque. I grew up around that mosque. I spent many hours there with my grandfather, Mohammed, a refugee from historic Palestine. Before grandpa became a refugee, he was a young Imam in a small mosque in his long-destroyed village of Beit Daras.

Mohammed and many in his generation took solace in erecting their mosque in the refugee camp as soon as they arrived in the Gaza Strip in late 1948. The new mosque was first made of hardened mud but was eventually remade with bricks, and later concrete. He spent much of his time there, and when he died, his old, frail body was taken to the same mosque for a final prayer, before being buried in the adjacent Martyrs Graveyard. When I was still a child, he used to hold my hand as we walked together to the mosque during prayer times. When he aged, and could barely walk, I, in turn, held his hand.

But Al-Masjid al-Kabir – the Great Mosque, later renamed Al-Qassam Mosque – was pulverised entirely by Israeli missiles during the summer war on Gaza, starting July 8, 2014.
Full article

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.

e-mail

Website

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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