All posts by frankgthomas

Witch Hunt – see documentary film by Jon Pullman

Witch Hunt is a film about the attempt to smash the most hopeful movement of our lifetime.

In 2015, while the far right was gaining ground around the world, socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the UK Labour Party in a landslide victory. Accusations of antisemitism within the party immediately began to circulate. Well-known anti-racists and left-wing Jews, such as Jackie Walker, were amongst the chief targets.

WitchHunt sets out to investigate the stories and the people behind the headlines, examining the nature of the accusations. Is this a witch hunt, as some claim? If so, who is behind it, and what is the political purpose of such a campaign? Has the media failed in its duty to fairness and accuracy in reporting on such serious allegations?  Through a series of interviews, analysis and witness testimony, WitchHunt explores the connections between the attacks on Labour, the ongoing tragedy of Palestine and the wider struggle against race-based oppression. It argues that if it is to mean anything at all, the fight against racism must  be a shared one that includes all peoples.

To see film click https://witchhuntfilm.org.

 

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Occupied Hebron: Stories from the Ground

Speaker: Sundus Azza.

Venue: The Melting Pot 5 Rose St, Edinburgh EH2 2PR

Time: 18:30

Date: Sunday 10 March 2019

Sundus Azza, 25, is an activist from Hebron, Palestine. She lives a few metres away from an illegal Israeli settlement and faces regular harassment from extremist Israeli settlers. Her house has been vandalized and her and her family violently assaulted by settlers as well as soldiers. She has been a volunteer with Youth Against Settlements since 2008, documenting human rights violations as a media and activity organizer. She has a degree in English from Al-Quds Open University in English Language Teaching Methodology. She currently works in the Hebron Governor’s office to attend to the needs of the Old City – the primary target of the Israeli occupation in Hebron. In 2015, her brother was arrested and falsely accused of possessing a knife – he was subsequently released after a DNA test proved him innocent.

Youth Against Settlements is a Palestinian grassroots initiative to promote non-violent community resistance against the Israeli occupation. The Open Shuhada Street campaign is an annual call to end the closures, restrictions, human rights violations, and occupation in the city of Hebron and all of Palestine.

From Balfour to Banksy: Divisions and Visions in Palestine

Film event: From Balfour to Banksy: Divisions and Visions in Palestine

7pm, Sat, 16 March 2019 at The Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2JL

100 years ago Britain’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour set in motion the vision of Israel……..

His ‘Balfour Declaration’ had another, disastrous impact: the dispossession of the Palestinian people.

This film looks at other visions — including a wide range of views from occupied Palestine today, ranging from anger to attempts at envisioning a future. It also shows the vision of another Englishman: the contemporary artist Banksy, who has created in Palestine a hotel that is also a remarkable satirical art installation.

How do today’s Palestinians live behind the ‘security wall’? What change must come?

Walking to Palestine: a talk by Benjamin Ladraa

Benjamin Ladraa is a human rights activist from Sweden.  He recently walked 5,000 km from Sweden to Palestine to raise awareness about the human rights violations taking place under the military occupation of Palestine. Traversing 13 countries in 11 months, on arrival in Israel he was interrogated for 6 hours by the Israeli military, then refused entry.

Hear Benjamin talk of his experiences and the human rights situation in Palestine.

7pm, Friday 18 January 2019 at 46 The Pleasance Edinburgh EH8 9TJ.

Al Dawayima massacre 1948: commemoration and public meeting

Edinburgh Action for Palestine are organising two events on Sunday, 28 October 2018 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of one of the most brutal massacres of the ethnic cleansing carried out to create the state of Israel.

On 29 October 1948, the villagers of Al Dawayima were the target of an attack by the Israeli army. It was particularly brutal with up to 100 peaceful villagers slaughtered. The children had their heads beaten with ’sticks’ – adults were blown up in their homes or in the local Darawish Mosque. Some, seeking refuge in caves, when ordered to leave by this ‘first wave of conquerors’ were machine gunned. There were reports of rape followed by death. Bodies were stuffed down the village well. As with Deir Yassin, some months earlier, these acts of slaughter terrified the area and stimulated the flow of refugees, the abandonment of their land, as they sought refuge.

What’s happening on 28 October?

First, at 1pm, there will be a gathering at a memorial plaque in the Meadows, just off Melville Drive.

Al Dawayima plaque

Then, at 2pm there will be a public meeting “Remembrance and Resistance: How We Can Build a Just Future” with speaker Nadia Hijab.  Details here.

Also note the Scottish Friends of Palestine will shortly have erected a memorial stone to Al Dawayima and intend to conduct a memorial event the following day – which is the exact 70th anniversary of the massacre.  SFP have provided the following information:

Al Dawayima memorial, Monday 29 October 2018 1pm at Regent Road Park, Edinburgh EH1 3DG

[Directions: Regent Road (the A1) is a continuation of Princes Street at the Waverley Station end of Princes St. From the station the road curves round to the right along the base of Calton Hill. The Park is to be found on your right. Please note that the stone will only be in place a few days before the memorial.]

Remembrance and Resistance: How We Can Build a Just Future

Edinburgh Action for Palestine have arranged a public meeting at 2pm Sunday, 28 October 2018.  The speaker will be Nadia Hijab, co-founder & board president of Al-Shabaka: the Palestinian Policy Network.  The meeting follows the commemoration at 1pm on the same day of the Al Dawayima massacre in 1948.

Nadia Hijab is co-founder and board president of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network. She served as its Executive Director between 2011 and March 2018. A writer, public speaker and media commentator, Hijab’s first book, Womanpower: The Arab debate on women at workwas published by Cambridge University Press and she co-authored Citizens Apart: A Portrait of Palestinians in Israel (I. B. Tauris). She was Editor-in-Chief of the London-based Middle East magazine before serving at the United Nations in New York. She is a co-founder and former co-chair of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and now serves on its advisory board.

Talk & discussion 2 – 4 pm

History of the Nakba display can be viewed from 1pm & after the talk

Summerhall (TechCube), Summerhall Pl, Edinburgh EH9 1PL

 

 

 

 

Protest against Israeli dance company L-E-V, 9-12 August

Edinburgh Action for Palestine is calling for protests outside the Kings Theatre during the performances of Israeli dance company L-E-V, part of the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF). Thursday 9 August – Sunday 12 August, from 7pm until 8pm each evening.

We have previously outlined support and sponsorship which L-E-V performances have received from Israeli embassies and consulates around the world – https://edinburghaction4palestine.org/2018/07/12/stop-israels-cultural-whitewash-of-apartheid/

By accepting this support L-E-V is complicit in Israel’s use of culture to normalise perception of the state of Israel – a state which is in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, in violation of numerous UN resolutions and stands accused of serious human rights abuses by groups including Amnesty International.

Consequently we protest at the presence of L-E-V at the festival.

Other high profile Israeli citizens have recently chosen to distance themselves from the actions of the Israeli state. We met with the director of EIF, Fergus Linehan, and suggested that L-E-V might similarly wish to distance themselves, offering to meet the company. They have declined to respond.

In April 2018, actress Natalie Portman, a US and Israeli citizen, was awarded the Genesis Prize but refused to attend the ceremony, stating:

“I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. ….

But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values.”

As reported in the Guardian newspaper on 20 April 2018 (https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/apr/20/natalie-portman-israel-genesis-prize), Portman’s representative said: “[R]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony”.

Similarly, Daniel Barenboim, a conductor & musician who holds Israeli citizenship, recently wrote an Op-ed in the Guardian newspaper on 23 July, 2018, distancing himself from the current Israeli regime. (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/23/israel-racist-new-law-ashamed-apartheid-daniel-barenboim)

He concluded his piece by saying –

Yet nothing has really changed since 2004. Instead, we have a law that confirms the Arab population as second-class citizens. It follows that this is a very clear form of apartheid. I don’t think the Jewish people lived for 20 centuries, mostly through persecution and enduring endless cruelties, in order to become the oppressors, inflicting cruelty on others. This new law does exactly that. Therefore, I am ashamed of being an Israeli today.”