Category Archives: Past events

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.

Remembrance & Resistance: How we can Build a Just Future

Edinburgh Action for Palestine were delighted to welcome Nadia Hijab, a well known political analyst, author and journalist to Edinburgh on Sunday 28 October. Hijab is co-founder and board president of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network (

In her talk titled Remembrance and Resistance: How We Can Build a Just Future, Hijab acknowledged that in the midst of the various actions by the Trump administration like the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, the closure of the PLO office in Washington, the ‘deal of the century’, it is easy to feel despondent. She acknowledged the worrying alliances between Israel and anti-semitic politicians in Europe like Hungary (1) and Poland (2)  and the willingness of the Gulf States to ally with Israel, but she reminded the audience that there is also much to be positive about.

The international solidarity movement is strong, and getting stronger. After Oslo it became weak, but once it became apparent that Oslo was a dead end, particularly after 2000, the movement began to grow in strength again.

Hijab spoke of the many alliances forged particularly in the US with the Black Lives Matter movement and with the Native American movement and said that it was important to forge these links in Scotland as well. The Palestinian solidarity movement is part of a global solidarity movement for human rights.

Hijab spoke of Israel’s attempts to control the discourse in the US and Europe but she does not believe that is working well. In the US many, particularly young, Jews are questioning the increasingly right wing policies of the Israeli government. Attacks on, and attempts to outlaw, the BDS movement are being challenged by those campaigning for free speech.

Within Europe, she continued, the European Union has resisted pressure from the US and Israel to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, instead working to secure EU-Iranian trade in the face of US sanctions.

Hijab also reminded her audience about Khan al Ahmar – it is a very small Bedouin village, the halt to the demolition and transfer of the population is only temporary, but it is important to recognise that the EU can exert some pressure on Israel.

Looking to the future, Hijab told her audience that the sources of power that Palestinians have are too weak to be able to negotiate a just settlement. She said that the question should not be one-state or two-state, but the issue is one of human rights based on international law.

Solidarity groups should be promoting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, (BDS) movement and their call for freedom, justice and equality, upholding the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity. We should demand our politicians uphold the law.


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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 –

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 (, 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. (

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.”

Stop Israel’s cultural whitewash of Apartheid

State-sponsored Israeli dance company, L-E-V, is performing at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival (EIF).

Write to Fergus Linehan, Director of Edinburgh International Festival, EIF, The Hub, 348-350 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE; OR email  Ask that EIF cancel the L-E-V performance because of its links to the Israeli state.

EA4P wrote to Linehan (letter here) and received this reply.  Our response to the reply is here.

The Israeli state stands accused by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the UN and other bodies of war crimes.
The festival director, Fergus Linehan, has declined to respond to Edinburgh Action for Palestine’s query about Israeli state sponsorship for this event, but we know that L-E-V’s performances are promoted by Israel’s embassies around the world (see the numerous links below), including their performance this month in London.

From the Israeli Embassy’s Cultural Facebook page   CultureIL

9 July at 11:08 · 

We are very excited for #Israeli dance company, L-E-V’s ‘Love Chapter 2’. Headed up by #SharonEyal Sadler’s Wells newest Associate Artist and #GaiBehar

13th & 14th July

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity. .BDS demands are simple, comprehensive and clear:

  • End the Occupation & dismantle the Wall
  • Full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel
  • Right of return for Palestinian refugees

Several criteria have been developed for identifying artistic groups and events that should be boycotted (  At least two of these criteria are relevant to L-E-V’s participation in EIF 2018:

As a general overriding rule, Israeli cultural institutions, unless proven otherwise, are complicit in maintaining the Israeli occupation and denial of basic Palestinian rights, whether through their silence or actual involvement in justifying, whitewashing or otherwise deliberately diverting attention from Israel’s violations of international law and human rights.

A cultural EVENT/ACTIVITY is boycottable if it is partially or fully sponsored by an official Israeli body or a complicit institution.

Boycott is a traditional, peaceful form of protest. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jnr & Nelson Mandela all used boycotts.

Cancellation of the performances would provide great encouragement to Palestinians suffering Israeli oppresion. If however the event goes ahead join us to protest outside the Kings Theatre, Edinburgh, 9-12 August.   For time and details of each evening’s protest, see our Facebook page email to join our mailing list by emailing us at

Links indicating Israeli government support and sponsorship of L-E-V:


Edinburgh supports Great March of Return

Taking our inspiration from Palestinians who resist the brutal Israeli occupation,
Edinburgh Action for Palestine organised a march and vigil on June 5, 2018.
A large crowd gathered in Edinburgh to mark 51 years of occupation (West Bank, E
Jerusalem, Gaza and Golan), and to commemorate the unarmed Palestinian
protestors killed in Gaza killed by the Israeli military during the current Great March of
The Great March of Return protests are organised by grassroots Palestinian groups
in Gaza. They are demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees (and their
descendants) who were forced to flee their homes when Israel was created in 1948.
The protestors are also calling for the end of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The Edinburgh protest began with a march from Princes Street to the Royal Mile
where Protest in Harmony led the crowd in the singing of protest songs outside St
Giles Cathedral.

18-06-05 vigil for Gaza Protest in Harmony

The evening concluded with a short vigil where the names of the
120 unarmed protestors killed in Gaza were read out

18-06-05 vigil for Gaza Reading the names (2)18-06-05 vigil for Gaza Reading the names (1)
As we stand in solidarity with Palestinians, as we mourn their murders, it is important
to remember that they are not helpless victims but active resisters.


On 27 February 2018, Jeff Halper (Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions – ICAHD) delivered an inspiring lecture, followed by a question/answer session in Edinburgh, hosted by the Scottish Palestinian Forum ( and Edinburgh Action 4 Palestine ( Continue reading Jeff Halper: WHERE ARE WE HEADED IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE?

Mon, Feb 26, 6.30-9 PM Where Are We Headed in Israel/Palestine? Jeff Halper, ICAHD


Monday, February 26,  6:30 – 9 PM

Studio at Augustine United Church  (accessible venue)
George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL

Jeff Halper, Director, The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) argues that the Matrix of Control which Israel has laid over the Occupied Territory has effectively eliminated the two-state solution and produced instead a regime of apartheid. Faced with apartheid and the warehousing of the Palestinians, he outlines what appears to be the only just solution remaining: a democratic, bi-national state, which he explores in depth.