Category Archives: Campaign News

Mark Thomas joins Artists for Palestine at Edinburgh Fringe

Comedian Mark Thomas joins Artists for Palestine outside the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe

Video by Edinburgh film maker Jon Pullman:

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Vigil for Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, who is detained by Israel

On 16th August, Edinburgh Action for Palestine and Artists for Palestine UK held a vigil in Edinburgh for the Palestinian Dareen Tatour, who is currently under house arrest and faces up to 8 years in prison for posting a poem on social media.

Video by David Little:

Palestine Solidarity Groups call for peaceful protest against Fringe Festival event organised by defenders of Israel’s illegal military occupation

Press release

The banner protest will start from 6 pm, with a photo opportunity from 6.30 pm. It will take place outside the Central Hall, 2 West Tollcross, Edinburgh EH3 9BP

15th August 2016 – Edinburgh Action for Palestine [1] will be holding a peaceful silent, banner protest outside the pro-Israel ‘International Shalom Festival’ on the evening of Wednesday, 17th August. They will be demonstrating against what they regard as a whitewashing of the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and the well-documented systematic abuses of human rights and international law by the Israeli government.

Edinburgh Action for Palestine supports the Palestinian civil society call for a cultural boycott of Israeli institutions [8], which is backed by over 100 UK artists, including Liz Lochhead, Alexei Sayle, Mike Leigh, Miriam Margolyes and Michael Rosen [9], and which is directed exclusively at Israeli institutions and at non-Israeli bodies that serve political propaganda purposes in favour of the Israeli government policy. Cultural boycott is not targeted at individual Israelis because of their nationality, and it respects the universal right to freedom of expression.

The International Shalom Festival is organised by the UK branch of the US organisation StandWithUs [2], whose slogan is ‘Supporting Israel Around the World’, and by the Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland, who are funded by and affiliated to StandWithUs [3]. StandWithUs publicly defend the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Israeli wall built on occupied Palestinian territory, and Israeli military attacks on Gaza [4], all of which breach international law.

The ‘International Shalom Festival’ Exhibition and Gala feature Israeli companies and musicians, without any mention of Palestine and the millions of Palestinian people, most of whom have been either forcibly evicted from their homes or are living under an illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Exhibitors include a cosmetics company which is exploiting salts from the northern shores of the Dead Sea, located in the occupied West Bank – a breach of international law [5], and an exhibition that promotes Krav Maga, a deadly martial art, used by the Israeli Military [6].

Evelyn McGregor from Edinburgh Action for Palestine explains: “Calling this festival ‘Shalom’, the Hebrew word for Peace, is a travesty because it is a blatant celebration of a state which consistently violates the human rights of Palestinians and breaches international law. Such breaches include the cruel blockade of Gaza, repeated military aggression against civilian populations, illegal Israeli settlements on occupied West Bank territory, and the impunity with which Israeli soldiers and armed settlers can kill and injure Palestinians, including children. This festival is using the arts as a tool for normalising human rights violations”.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi from Artists for Palestine UK, who delivered a letter of protest to the Fringe organisers [7], noted: “There is no mention by name of the Palestinians who make up one fifth of Israel’s population as well as the entire population of the occupied territories, besieged Gaza and numerous refugee camps across the Middle East, nor of those in exile around the world. Israel’s “cultural bridges” bypass the people it has dispossessed, seeking “international friendship” with those prepared to ignore a decades-long injustice to collaborate in an empty dance of dialogue.”

ENDS

Notes:
[1] Edinburgh Action for Palestine is an Edinburgh-based group affiliated to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which works locally to raise awareness of and campaign against the injustices suffered by Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli government and to support the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. See edinburghaction4palestine.org
[2] See www.standwithus.co.uk and www.standwithus.com/ .
[3] See apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends29/0001151
329_AC_20150930_E_C.pdf
[4] StandWithUs main public resource, to which both their US and UK websites link can be
downloaded from www.standwithus.com/booklets/i l101/ .
[4] See www.btselem.org/jordan_ valley/other_resources , written by the Israeli human  rights organisation B’Tselem
[5] www.kravmagainc.com/Imi-Lichte nfeld-History.html
[6] artistsforpalestine.org.uk/201 6/07/19/artists-for-palestine- uk-protests-brand-israel-onthe-fringe/
[7] See www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id =1047
[8] www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1. 642471
[9] https://artistsforpalestine.or g.uk/introduction/signatories- statements/

Palestine Solidarity Groups call for peaceful protest against Fringe Festival event organised by defenders of Israel’s illegal military occupation

Press release covered by The Sunday Herald

Palestine Solidarity Groups call for peaceful protest against Fringe Festival event organised by defenders of Israel’s illegal military occupation

15th August 2016 – Edinburgh Action for Palestine [1] will be holding a peaceful silent, banner protest outside the pro-Israel ‘International Shalom Festival’ on the evening of Wednesday, 17th August.  They will be demonstrating against what they regard as a whitewashing of the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and the well-documented systematic abuses of human rights and international law by the Israeli government.

Edinburgh Action for Palestine supports the Palestinian civil society call for a cultural boycott of Israeli institutions [8], which is backed by over 100 UK artists, including Liz Lochhead, Alexei Sayle, Mike Leigh, Miriam Margolyes and Michael Rosen [9], and which is directed exclusively at Israeli institutions and at non-Israeli bodies that serve political propaganda purposes in favour of the Israeli government policy.  Cultural boycott is not targeted at individual Israelis because of their nationality, and it respects the universal right to freedom of expression.

The International Shalom Festival is organised by the UK branch of the US organisation StandWithUs [2], whose slogan is ‘Supporting Israel Around the World’, and by the Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland, who are funded by and affiliated to StandWithUs [3].  StandWithUs publicly defend the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Israeli wall built on occupied Palestinian territory, and Israeli military attacks on Gaza [4], all of which breach international law.

The ‘International Shalom Festival’ Exhibition and Gala feature Israeli companies and musicians, without any mention of Palestine and the millions of Palestinian people, most of whom have been either forcibly evicted from their homes or are living under an illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Exhibitors include a cosmetics company which is exploiting salts from the northern shores of the Dead Sea, located in the occupied West Bank – a breach of international law [5], and an exhibition that promotes Krav Maga, a deadly martial art, used by the Israeli Military [6].

Evelyn McGregor from Edinburgh Action for Palestine explains: “Calling this festival ‘Shalom’, the Hebrew word for Peace, is a travesty because it is a blatant celebration of a state which consistently violates the human rights of Palestinians and breaches international law. Such breaches include the cruel blockade of Gaza, repeated military aggression against civilian populations, illegal Israeli settlements on occupied West Bank territory, and the impunity with which Israeli soldiers and armed settlers can kill and injure Palestinians, including children. This festival is using the arts as a tool for normalising human rights violations”.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi from Artists for Palestine UK, who delivered a letter of protest to the Fringe organisers [7], noted: “There is no mention by name of the Palestinians who make up one fifth of Israel’s population as well as the entire population of the occupied territories, besieged Gaza and numerous refugee camps across the Middle East, nor of those in exile around the world. Israel’s “cultural bridges” bypass the people it has dispossessed, seeking “international friendship” with those prepared to ignore a decades-long injustice to collaborate in an empty dance of dialogue.”

ENDS

Notes:

[1] Edinburgh Action for Palestine is an Edinburgh-based group affiliated to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which works locally to raise awareness of and campaign against the injustices suffered by Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli government and to support the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. See edinburghaction4palestine.org

[2] See www.standwithus.co.uk  and www.standwithus.com/ .

[3] See http://apps.charitycommission. gov.uk/Accounts/Ends29/0001151 329_AC_20150930_E_C.pdf

[4] StandWithUs main public resource, to which both their US and UK websites link can be downloaded from www.standwithus.com/booklets/i l101/ .

[4] See http://www.btselem.org/jordan_ valley/other_resources , written by the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem

[5] www.kravmagainc.com/Imi-Lichte nfeld-History.html

[6] artistsforpalestine.org.uk/201 6/07/19/artists-for-palestine- uk-protests-brand-israel-on- the-fringe/

[7] See www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id =1047

[8] www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1. 642471

[9] https://artistsforpalestine.or g.uk/introduction/signatories- statements/

 

Palestinian cultural events during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Exhibition about Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, Tuesday, 16th August, 2-4pm, outside Usher Hall, Lothian Road
Drop-in exhibition about Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, who was imprisoned by the Israeli military for posting poetry on Facebook with the word ‘resistance’.
Alrowwad: Beautiful Resistance
Tuesday, 16th August, 6-7 pm, St John’s Church
Edinburgh EH2 4BJ

The Beautiful Resistance promotes human rights through creative and non-violent responses to the armed occupation of Palestine. Meet Dr Abdelfattah Abusrour, founder of the Beautiful Resistance and architect of Alrowwad Cultural Association in Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem.

Using art, dance, music and film to break the cycle of violence and oppression experienced by young people daily, programmes promote recovery from trauma, build resilience and hope and preserve the dignity of those living with the harsh realities of life under armed occupation. Hear Dr Abusrour’s story and savour traditional Dabka dance and song performed by Alrowwad’s young artists.

The first event is an exhibition Tuesday 16th August, from 2 – 4pm about the Palestinian poet, Dareen Tatour, who was imprisoned by the Israeli military for posting poetry on Facebook using the word ‘resistance’.   The drop-in exhibition on Dareen’s work and experience of cultural resistance will be found in a white gazebo on Lothian Rd in the area in front of the Usher Hall.
Cafe Palestine at the Fringe
Monday 22nd August to Friday, 26th August.
60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ

Young Palestinian performers from Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem, will come together with Fringe favourites and surprise guests for this unique review show. Featuring the Alrowwad Youth Theatre’s take on traditional Palestinian dabka dance and a changing roster of well-known comedians and musicians from the Artists for Palestine UK network. It will also include interviews on life in the refugee camp and Alrowwad’s response to it – beautiful resistance, film footage and a call to action. Produced by Justin Butcher and Amos Trust.

See edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/event/590944-cafe-palestine/ for details of venues, times and ticket purchases

Gaza – Photography in Dark Times | Network of Photographers for Palestine – Exhibition, 5th to 28th August, St Jon’s Church Edinburgh EH2 4BJ

What does it do to the creative spirit to live under a blockade? For nine years now Gaza has had to endure the most severe deprivations – of food, medical supplies, electricity, and clean water. It has also been ravaged by three attacks from Israel costing thousands of lives. As a result, a whole generation of young Gazan artists have grown up under conditions unknown in other parts of the world. The five young photographers featured in this exhibition reveal how the blockade impacts on the style and content of the photographer’s art. A range of themes emerge. Darkness is never far away, and yet the humour and resilience of the human spirit shines through clearly.  See just-festival.org/just-exhibitions-1/2016/6/15/gaza-photography-in-dark-times

 

Protest against Israeli PR event at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Please join us from 6pm on Wednesday, 17th August, outside the Central Hall, Lothian Road.

Edinburgh Action for Palestine will be joining with other Palestine solidarity campaigners to protest against the “International Shalom Festival Gala Concert” at the Fringe Festival. The Shalom Festival event is organised by the Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland, who describe themselves as ” seeing to stand by the nation of Israel in the midst of pressures, boycotts and undeserved criticism” – in other words to undermine solidarity with Palestine through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. The co-organisers of the Shalom Festival, StandWithUs have a similar agenda and, in the US, even run a campaign called ‘Buy Israeli Goods’. Clearly, the aim of the event is to whitewash the Israeli government, regardless of its persistent violations of Palestinian human rights and of international law.

We believe that the Fringe Festival should support the Palestinian civil society call for a cultural boycott of Israel and give no space to such a propaganda event.

See here for an Open Letter to the Fringe Festival organisers by Artists for Palestine UK: artistsforpalestine.org.uk/2016/07/19/artists-for-palestine-uk-protests-brand-israel-on-the-fringe/.

See www.facebook.com/events/274590366252267/ for Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s protest announcement regarding the same event.

Edinburgh welcomes Palestine Youth Orchestra

Elsewhere on this website (link) there’s information about concerts by the Palestine Youth Orchestra in Perth and Glasgow. Yesterday they made a visit to Edinburgh first for a wonderful meal provided by volunteers (including EA4P members) in Stockbridge and then a photo-call at the Scottish Parliament.  They were met by Andy Wightman MSP, a piper, and the Protest in Harmony ban of singers who all did their stuff magnificently.  The Palestinian musicians responded with applause, cheers and smiles, and wanted the words of the ‘Boycott’ song sung by Protest in Harmony.  There was much taking of photographs.  Then they went up the Royal Mile with piper and Palestine flags to Johnstone Terrace to get on their bus back to Glasgow.  IMG_1832