All posts by frankgthomas

Join Day of Action 22 August

SIX YEARS ON FROM 2014: END ALL COMPLICITY, STOP ARMING ISRAEL!
11am SATURDAY 22nd AUGUST 2020
At HSBC Princes Street Edinburgh (foot of Castle Street)
6 years ago Israel concluded its aerial bombardment and ground invasion of besieged Gaza. The assault killed over 2,200 Palestinians, nearly a quarter of them children. Israel attacked densely populated civilian areas, destroying 18,000 residential units, and leaving over 100,000 Palestinians homeless.
Despite widespread condemnation of Israel’s deliberate and systematic targeting of the civilian population of Gaza, including by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Britain continues to arm Israel. According to Campaign against Arms Trade (CAAT) between 2014 and 2018, the UK issued individual licenses for £364 million worth of military equipment and technology for export to Israel, as well as 20 open licenses, allowing unlimited deliveries over a 3-5 year period. In addition, the UK continues to purchase high-tech weaponry from Israel, advertised as battle-tested on the Palestinian people. As Israel continues to murder Palestinians with impunity, Palestinian civil society has called for effective action to hold Israel to account, including for a two-way arms embargo now.
But the chain of complicity runs deeper than the government. As revealed by our research both UK universities and local government pension funds invest in companies complicit in Israel’s war crimes, including companies that supply weapons to Israel.
In addition, financial institutions such as HSBC invest and provide financial services worth millions to companies that supply Israel with weapons. Including BAE Systems and Raytheon. Weapons with both BAE and Raytheon components were used in 2014.
All institutions have a moral duty to end their complicity now. They must all #StopArmingIsrael


The Palestine Solidarity campaign is organising a Day Of Action on 22 August with these instructions on how to participate
1. Print out the relevant graphics (below) depending on the size of your group
2. Stand outside HSBC, or at another relevant location while adhering to social distancing regulations
3. Take a picture, post across social media and use hashtag #StopArmingIsrael

EA4P will be outside HSBC in Princes Street 11am Sat 22 August

Stop the Jewish National Fund UK – Webinar Series

First Saturday of Month at 4pm BST

Register herehttps://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OjQeU6oqSE

Join guest speakers and experts in a monthly webinar series to explore the role of the Jewish National Fund in the historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. From the Nakba to today, the JNF has been a key agent in the colonization of Palestine. We will also explore how the JNF has helped to forge the racist ideology of the state of Israel, financing a discriminatory system whilst, at the same time, being accorded charitable status across the world. The campaign against the JNF likewise reaches across the world – we invite you to join us , wherever you are, in this campaign for justice.

You will receive instructions on how to join via e-mail. 

Meetings
(First Saturday of Month at 4pm BST)

Saturday 2nd May: What is the JNF (Jewish National Fund)?

The JNF functions as an arm of the Israeli state, yet presents as a charity in scores of countries. Our expert guests will discuss the JNF as a pioneer of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and its ongoing activities to expel Palestinians from their homes. We’ll look at the JNF’s claims to act on behalf of Jews worldwide and show how this racist organisation can be challenged wherever you are.

Saturday 6th June: The JNF as a Pillar of Israeli Apartheid (1948-1967)

This webinar will reveal the part played by the JNF in this momentous period: the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the seizure of Palestinian land, the erasure of evidence of this land theft and the prevention of Palestinians’ Right of Return. With eminent authorities, we will also explore the ways in which the JNF helped to forge the racist ideology and practices of the emerging state of Israel.

Saturday 4th July: The JNF as a Pillar of Israeli Apartheid (1967-present)

Once established as a parastatal organisation, the JNF has continued to facilitate Israel’s apartheid system. This webinar will focus on the Naqab, and the JNFs role in contemporary land confiscation.

Saturday 1st August: From Prawer to the JNF 2040 Plan

The JNF was involved in ethnic cleansing of the Negev through the Prawer Plan. Now, the JNF has an ambitious 2040 Plan to settle 1.5 million Israelis in the Galilee and Negev through the development of hi-tech industries. In the Negev, where destruction of Bedouin villages continues, the 2040 Plan involves collaboration with IDF Technology Units, including the notorious Unit 8200 which spies on Palestinians.

September 5th 2020: Nexus of Forces Allied with the JNF

To advance the Zionist movement’s conquest of land strategy, the JNF has relied on extensive fundraising among Jewish communities abroad, allowing the Israeli state to shift more of its resources to its military sector. In this session we examine the methods deployed by Western governments, the JNF and pro-Israel lobby groups to shield the Israeli state from criticism and actions coming from the BDS movement. We aim to explain how the JNF and its extensions in various countries pass off ethnic cleansing as charitable and explore ways to oppose them.

October 3rd 2020: Greenwashing and the JNF

Environmentalists beware. The JNF, which was established for the purposes of colonial dispossession, and has been executing ethnic cleansing for over 100 years, has re-branded itself as the “oldest green organization in the world” and is infiltrating the environmental movement. From biodiversity conservation to energy generation, from water conservation to climate change, the JNF has been causing environmental devastation and greenwashing crimes against the Palestinian people.

Please note: the running order of the webinars after July may be subject to modification.

Speakers Include:

Salman Abu Sitta, groundbreaking Palestinian researcher and historian

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement

Jonathan Cook, journalist based in Nazareth

Ilan Pappé, Israeli historian and activist.

Ghada Karmi, Palestinian doctor, author and academic.

Joseph Schechla, coordinator of Habitat International Coalition’s Housing and Land Rights Network.

Kholoud al-Ajarma, Palestinian activist

Aziz al Touri (pre-recorded), activist from al-Araqib

Shir Hever, economic researcher and author

STAND UP FOR PALESTINE – A PSC Fundraiser – 23 July

Thursday 23 July 8pm (BST)

Tickets are available here: https://bit.ly/2VF6fgb

The Palestine Solidarity campaign are thrilled to announce this exciting online solidarity comedy fundraiser taking place live online on Thursday 23 July.

Hosted by the brilliant Jen Brister, our fantastic line-up for this stand-up event features acclaimed comedian Mark Thomas, alongside Dana Alexander, Esther Manito, Jenan Younis, US based Palestinian Amer Zahr, and music by Efa Supertramp. Make sure to book now for this event featuring an exceptional line up for a great cause!

Proceeds will fund the work of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the fastest growing campaign for Palestinian human rights and justice, in the UK and beyond.

Tickets and details: https://bit.ly/2VF6fgb

Women In Hebron, 12 March

Public meeting on Thursday 12 March at 6:30pm at 59 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9ES.

Speaker Laila Hasan from the Women in Hebron cooperative.

Founded in 2005, Women in Hebron is a Palestinian non-profit fair-trade cooperative that was established as part of the Idna Cooperative Association for Embroidery and Handicrafts’ efforts to supply women in Hebron district with the resources necessary for the women and their families to provide for themselves through the production and sales of Palestinian handicraft items. Having grown from a small table along the main thoroughfare of the market to a permanent fixture in the Old City, the ICA has been able to open a small community center in the village of Idna, where members can gather together for educational and recreational purposes.

Travelling from Hebron specially to speak to the British public, Laila has made an arduous journey traversing Israel’s occupation barriers to be here with us and tell us her story: one of suffering and oppression, but equally rich in hope and vitality. An opportunity to hear about settler violence in the world’s most segregated city and resistance through craft, while helping to support the livelihoods of Palestinian women by browsing their handmade embroidery – this is a talk not to be missed.

Voices of Palestine is PCF’s national campaign to amplify the voices of Palestinians in the UK. We seek to re-centre Palestinians at the heart of their struggle for liberation, giving a platform to Palestinians to champion their own story, articulate their own discourse and reclaim the narrative through a series of events and videos. EUJPS is extremely excited to collaborate with PCF for this event! Click the ticket link to save yourself a spot at the event! We hope to see you on March 12 at the Muslim Welfare House.

Check #VoicesOfPalestine to follow the campaign. www.palestinefoundation.org.uk/campaigns/voices-of-palestine <http://palestinefoundation.org.uk/campaigns/voices-of-palestine%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank>

Massacre in Palestine, 1948 – commemoration 27 Oct

Commemoration of Al Dawayima massacre Palestine, October 1948

1-1:30 pm Sunday 27 October 2019 

Memorial stone – Regent Road Park, EH1 3DG
Regent Rd is a continuation of Princes St at the east end. From Waverley Station the road curves round to the right along the base of Calton Hill. The Park is to be found on your right.

 “As we got up on the roofs … we saw a vast plain stretching eastward … covered by thousands of fleeing Arabs … The machineguns began to chatter & the flight turned into a rout.”
Account from an Israeli soldier present at massacre, quoted by Israeli historian Benny Morris in ‘The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited’ (Cambridge University Press 2004) 

Flight

 

Ethnic Cleansing / access to Water

The event has now taken place but the organisers of the Edinburgh World Justice Festival filmed the talk – https://youtu.be/a_O-tEjMdXw.

 

Water as a tool of ethnic cleansing in Palestine

Dr Eurig Scandrett
Senior Lecturer in Public Sociology at Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, previously Head of Community Action at Friends of the Earth Scotland

Thursday 3 October 2019 – 7pm to 9pm

The Dome, Potterrow (5/2 Bristo Place, EH8 9AL)

Dr Eurig Scandrett will argue that Zionist settler colonialism in Palestine has used access to water as a mechanism for the expulsion of the Palestinian population.

“180,000 – 200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities have no access to running water … [they] have no choice but to purchase additional supplies from mobile water tankers at a much higher price.”
Amnesty International, Troubled Waters: Palestinians denied fair access to water.

Part of Edinburgh World Justice Festival

 

 

Concert tour by Palestinian musicians

This concert tour in Scotland is produced by Palmusic UK in partnership with the Scottish Friends of Palestine and Dundee-Nablus Twinning Association. It has also been generously supported by The City of Glasgow, which is officially twinned with Bethlehem since 2007.

Our ensemble of exceptionally talented young musicians from Palestine continue their summer tour in Scotland this year over the first weekend of July.

Concert details 

Friday 5 July 1pm Stevenson Hall, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 100 Renfrew Street, Glasgow G2 3DB

Saturday 6 July 3pm St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PA

Sunday 7 July 7.30pm St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1 High Street, Dundee DD1 1TD

Concert entry is free, with donations welcomed.

The musicians

Guest artist and rising star Iyad Sughayer, pianist, will join Omar Saad on viola, Tibah Saad on cello, and Lourdina Baboun on violin for an uplifting programme of Mozart and Mahler piano quartets, and Arabic folk music arranged by the ensemble. Speaking of the programme, Omar says,

“These are celebrated works that we have all wanted to perform for a long time. The folk music is a reflection of our roots that we believe complement the western classical repertoire… With every group you have a different storytelling of the same piece and that is what makes these works great.”

Palmusic is supporting Omar, Tibah and Lourdina with scholarships to study at top British conservatoires. Omar has just completed his master’s degree in music performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, (RCS), in Glasgow. His sister, Tibah Saad, is also studying at the RCS with two more years to complete her bachelor of music degree. Lourdina is also a bachelor student of music performance at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Omar, Tibah and Lourdina have all performed with the Palestine Youth Orchestra at prestigious venues internationally.

Iyad Sughayer is a Jordanian-Palestinian pianist who is regarded as one of the Middle East’s most promising young artists. He completed his Master’s degree at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, in 2018, and returned there in September on the International Artist Diploma course to study with Murray McLachlan, Martino Tirimo and Graham Scott.

Iyad has received numerous awards including the prestigious Gold Medal Award at Trinity Laban. Winter 2020 will see the release of his debut disc under the BIS Label, featuring the solo works of Aram Khachaturian.

Witch Hunt – film about threat to democracy

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 online click https://witchhuntfilm.org.

Contact the team at witchhuntfilm1@gmail.com to arrange screenings and discussions.