#Vote Palestine

As we enter the last week of the election campaign, we need to make  a concerted effort to ensure every candidate within West Midlands is aware of our campaign and its objective of peace and justice in Palestine.

So far, very few of the West Midland candidates have responded to the questions put to them. You could help by sending them a reminder by following the link below.

Click Here to email your constituency candidates

You can also view the responses from the candidates we have received so far by following the link here

Click Here to view responses from West Midland candidates

 

Solidarity Fast and Vigil Cancelled Tuesday, 30th May 6-7pm with the Hunger Striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails

Vigil outside the Mail Box B1 1 Birmingham

Tuesday 30th May 6-7pm

Cancelled

Yesterday after 41 days on hunger strike , Palestinian prisoners suspended the strike after Israeli authorities yielded to the demand to enter negotiations with the prisoners’ chosen leaders.

Issa Qaraqe, director of the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Commission , speaking on May 28th declared that “80 percent of the demands” of the prisoners were achieved in the strike, calling it “an important achievement to build on in the future on the basis of the protection of the prisoners’ rights and dignity

In recognition of this victory PSC and organizing partners have called off the actions planned for Tuesday May 30th including a solidarity fast and rally outside of the BBC

It is appalling that over 1500 people had to place their lives at risk to be granted basic human rights such as proper medical care and family visits. But the hunger strike was of course about more than that. It was an assertion of the broader Palestinian struggle for freedom equality and justice. The hunger strike has been an action which has galvanized Palestinian society and emphasized the centrality of the Prisoners movement to the struggle of the Palestinian people as a whole.

So we salute the courage of the strikers their families and all of those groups in Palestine and beyond who campaigned in support for their action, and also commit ourselves to continuing efforts in our broader campaign for an end to the oppression of the Palestinian people and the achievement of a just peace.

In the UK our immediate focus must now turn to the election campaign and to ensuring that we all put every effort into ensuring that the cause of Justice for the Palestinians is not lost in the fog of election debate. To date over 1000 have contacted your candidates in our vote Palestine campaign. Please add your voice by sending an email to your candidates here

Let us remember the words Marwan Barghouti sent out to the world as he entered the 6th day of the hunger strike : “I call on you to stand up for those thrown into dark cells to be forgotten. I call on you to support the legitimate demands of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and to uphold international law. I call on you to support the freedom and dignity of the Palestinian people, so peace can prevail.”

Ben Jamal, Director Palestine Solidarity Campaign

28/05/17

Join the Vigil and support Palestinian Hunger strikers Saturday 6th May 1pm-3pm High Street Birmingham B4 7TE

Over 1500 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails have gone on hunger strike since the 17th of April demanding improvement in the treatment they receive in the prisons. They are demanding two monthly visits and an extension of the visits from 45 minutes to 90 minutes and allow children to visit their mothers without barriers so they can hug and kiss them. The prisoners demand an end to administrative detention and solitary confinement. Today Over 500 Palestinians are held without charge or trial indefinitely under administrative detention orders. The United Nations has denounced Israel’s practice of administrative detention where by Palestinians are caged indefinitely, without charge, on the whim of the Israeli military.
The prisoners demand proper health treatment for sick prisoners. Ramla prison hospital where they are currently taken is unfit for medical care. It has been described by patients as “a slaughterhouse, not a hospital, with jailers wearing doctors’ uniforms.”

The prisoners demand prisoners not be charged for their medical care.

The prisoners demand that kitchens are restored in all prisons and place them under the supervision of Palestinian detainees to prepare their own meals. The kitchens in most prisons in Israel where Palestinian political prisoners are caged are run by Israeli criminal prisoners. According to testimony from Nafha prison, Israeli criminal prisoners routinely urinate and spit in food prepared for Palestinian prisoners. Witnesses have also seen them stirring the soup for Palestinian prisoners with a broom that they previously used to clean the floor.
The prisoners demand humanitarian treatment of prisoners during transportation and transfer, returning the prisoners promptly to prison from clinic and courts. At present prisoner are held shackled in an iron box on the transportation vehicle, the journey of a few miles from the prison to the court can take a full day with no access to a toilet and sometimes no food. political prisoners during the transport. The prisoners demand that they be allowed to receive cloths, food and reading material from their families during visits. Israel has turned prisons in to money making enterprises with prisoners essentially forced to pay for their own imprisonment. Israel deliberately fails to provide Palestinian prisoners the basic essentials like edible food, cloths (underwear, shoes..) and hygiene products (soap, toothbrush..), and doesn’t allow families to bring these during visits, forcing prisoners to buy them at the extortionately priced prison shop.

From Balfour to the Nakba Britain’s role in the disaster the Palestinians face today.

Public Meeting Thursday the 18th May 2017 7 pm, 

Venue Carrs Lane Church, Carrs Lane Birmingham B4 7SX

Speakers 

Bernard Regan whose book The Balfour Declaration Empire the Mandate and Resistance in Palestine

Kaimel Hawwash a British academic of Palestinian origin recently refused entry into Jerusalem.  

Every year Palestinians mark the Nakba – “catastrophe” in English – when in 1948 around 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes during the creation of the state of Israel. 500 villages were destroyed in a premeditated campaign,and their inhabitants never allowed to return. Zionist militias, who later became the “Israel Defence Forces” (IDF), committed massacres in the villages of
Deir Yassin, Lydda, Tantura and dozens of other Palestinian communities. The Nakba came just thirty years after the Balfour
Declaration, when British Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour wrote to the Zionist movement pledging UK government support for a Jewish state in Palestine. The declaration famously stated that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. The existing ‘non-Jewish communities’ were the Palestinians. They constituted 94% of the population, and were not consulted when their land was given away. This was a typically colonial British act of the time.
The Declaration began the process where one group of people (the British) pledged the land belonging to a second group (the Palestinians) to a third group of people (the Jewish people). The British Mandate followed (1922–1947) with the bloody suppression of the Palestinian campaign for self-determination. The Nakba of 1948 was a direct consequence of British policies.
A century following the Balfour Declaration Palestinians still face the Nakba..The ethnic cleansing never ended, and continues today, with hundreds of Palestinians losing their homes due to Israel’s demolition policies in Occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the
Palestinian Bedouin suffering repeated dispossession and displacement in the Naqab/Negev desert in Israel.
Israel continues to deny Palestinians their fundamental rights, including, crucially, the right of return. While Israel’s Law of Return entitles automatic citizenship to Jewish people born anywhere in the world, Palestinian refugees are denied the right to return to their homes and land, from which they were expelled. Millions of Palestinians live in refugee camps in Israel’s neighbouring countries, and the occupied Palestinian territory, with many having been made refugees two or
more times.
Many Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip are refugees from the ethnic cleansing of 1948. Palestinian citizens of Israel (the minority who remained following the ethnic cleansing of 1948) are today subjected to dozens of discriminatory laws and other forms of systematic racism.
Well over half a million Jewish Israeli settlers continue to colonise Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, with settlement expansion rising dramatically under the Netanyahu government. These illegal settlements displace Palestinians, cutting them off from their land, monopolising scarce water resources and subjecting them to frequent attacks from armed settlers, who are protected by the Israeli forces.
West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign has invited Bernard Regan whose book The Balfour Declaration Empire the Mandate and Resistance in Palestine examines the hundred year history which saw the creation of the state of Israel, the Nakba and the dispossession and occupation of Palestine.
Bernard will be joined by Kamel Hawwash who was refused entry to his own country by the occupying forces. He was forcefully separated from his family. They were returning to Jerusalem to spend the Easter break. Kamel’s both parents were born in Jerusalem. Many of his family still live in the city. Now he faces the prospect of not seeing some of his elderly relatives. Kamel Hawwash plays a very active part in campaigning for the Pa lestinian rights. He also holds British nationality and contributes widely to the multi-cultural city of Birmingham where he teaches at the city’s leading university.
Despite all this the British government refuses to take any positive action against the state that violates Kamel’s rights as a Palestinian as well as a British national. Instead our Prime Minister is inviting the Israeli administration to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration later this year in London. Instead of celebrating a declaration that century ago laid the foundation of the Nakba that is still continuing today.
We demand that our government to reflect on that declaration and take positive action against the state to reinstate the Palestinians their rights in Palestine. From Balfour to the NakbaBritain’s role in the disaster the
Palestinians face todayBoycott Divestment and Sanctions
Meeting Thursday the 18th May 2017 7 pm

Training Session for the Big Ride Saturday the 1st April 10 am by MAC in Canon Hill Park

WMPSC is starting the training session for cyclists wishing to take part in the several events he Big Ride is planning to mark the various anniversaries including the centenary of the Balfour Declaration that led to the Nakba (catastrophe) that Palestinians face today.

There will be a big ride event in July against the Arms Trade and marking the anniversary of the bombing of Gaza that left over 2000 Palestinians dead.

Please come and join us on Saturday by the MAC to start the training and help campaign for the end of the occupation of Palestine. Please visit the facebook event page to register your interest.

https://www.facebook.com/events/404178996606064/

 

Birmingham City Center High Street Stall

West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign has a stall with information on Palestine and on solidarity activities with the Palestinians. The stall is generally outside the Marks & Spencer outlet on the High Street in Birmingham City Centre, Birmingham, B4 7SS

The stall is there from 1pm to 3pm most saturdays. If you can spare a few minutes visit the stall and help us promote Palestinian rights as they are dispossessed of their lands and homes in Palestine .

West Midlands Palestine Solidarity campaign will welcome you to visit the stall and to discuss with the volunteers manning the stall how you can help promote the rights of the Palestinians in the West Bank as they live through the 50th year under occupation.

Also, hear how the Palestinians feel about the Balfour declaration made a century ago that contributed to the Palestinians losing their homeland.