State of Terror & Balfour and Me

Why has the so-called ‘conflict’ in Palestine endured for over a century, with no resolution in sight? Tapping a trove of source documents heretofore poorly explored, Suárez challenges the prevailing narrative of a clash between Arabs and Jews as depicted by the mass media, demonstrating what to many informed observers is obvious from the present reality: that the entire tragic history is at its root the violent takeover of Palestine by a European settler movement that couched its goals in pretenses of messianic entitlement—Zionism.

Suárez details a shocking campaign of Zionist terrorism in the 1940s and 1950s that targeted anyone in the way of its political goals, whether the British government, the indigenous Palestinians, or Jews. Indeed, Suárez challenges Zionism’s self-proclaimed raison d’être—safe Haven for Jews—by exposing the racial-nationalist movement’s exploitation of Jews and Jewish persecution.

The historical evidence demonstrates that Zionism pursued its goals at the expense of, not for the benefit of, persecuted Jews, yet continues to wield the smear of anti-Semitism to silence its opponents. Today’s seemingly intractable quagmire is Zionism’s unfinished business, an Israeli state driven by unrequited territorial designs and the dream of ethnic ‘purity’. As such, the ‘conflict’ is neither complicated nor unsolvable, but ending it will require stripping Zionism of its false narrative. Suárez addresses this by laying bare the historical record.

Arthur Balfour was born in 1848 on the family’s Scottish Estate in East Lothian. In 1916, he was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

I am Fatima, a 35-year old asylum seeker living in Scotland. I was born a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon. In 2001, I came to the UK to seek refuge and rebuild my life. Why am I here? Who was Arthur Balfour and what relates him to me? Arthur Balfour & Me is a visual and emotional journey through history and present time, an untold story about how a politician’s action has to this day affected my life as a young woman from the Middle East.

In exile since I was born, I dream to see the day when I will be able to return to my homeland. The land of my parents and grandparents was Haifa, now an Israeli city. Two weeks before the official creation of the state of Israel in May 1948, my parents fled their village El-Yajour, in the north East of Haifa in the hope they would be able to come back within a matter of weeks or possibly months according to UN officials.

But what began as a short-term refugee status for my family turned into a lifetime in the refugee camp in Lebanon. I have never experienced a proper home. I have lost so many relatives, some I have never met and others I have not seen since I was a small child.

The film will also appeal to a general audience, both nationally and internationally. I have also asked my Jewish friend Henry Maitles, a
University lecturer and antiZionist, to accompany me on the journey. As a Jew, the Declaration has also affected him. While I am not allowed to go back to the land where I come from, the Balfour Declaration gave Jewish Henry Maitles the right to go and live in the newly created state. The only Jewish people I ever knew while in Lebanon were Israeli soldiers. Henry was the first Jewish person that I met after arriving in Scotland. I was shocked when I found that a Jew could be supportive of Palestinian Rights. By telling you my story, and by showing the impact of a letter “one political act”, I hope to convey to you, the audience a more intimate picture of a global issue, one where the human side is often omitted because of its political nature.

Set in Scotland, the film looks at a little known aspect of Scotland’s political history, which will be of great interest to the Scottish viewer

Rally against Mark Regev Israeli Ambassador visiting Birmingham Feb 8th 2017 9:30 am Victoria Square

Unwelcome Israeli Ambassador mark Regev 

‘ israel refuses to meet the most minimal bench marks of international behavior’  

The Israeli ambassador, Mark Regev is visiting Birmingham, at the Council House on Wednesday, 8th February to meet the Councillors.  We are asking the Councillors to boycotting the ambassador and show solidarity with Palestinians and the majority of Birmingham residents outraged about Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians and the continued building of illegal Israeli settlements which are contrary to the values of a multi-ethnic and multicultural Birmingham and an obstacle to peace.

In response to his visit, we are in a rally outside the Council House starting at 9:30 am on 8th February to oppose Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and illegal occupation and breaches of international law.

The increasing international outrage and condemnation of the occupation of Palestine, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the degrading inhumane conditions that Palestinians, are forced, daily, to endure. Last year, over 684 Palestinian houses were demolished in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and 35 Palestinian children had been killed by Israeli soldiers, police and armed settlers  In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Palestinians have no freedom of movement and schoolchildren are forced to endure checkpoints or to walk several miles to circumvent an illegal Wall that Israel has constructed on occupied land.

The numerous violations by Israel of international and humanitarian law in respect of Palestine which are well documented by international organizations including the United Nations and Amnesty International.

The continued blockade of the Gaza strip, now in its 10th year.  The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in 2015 declared that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. A consequence of the Israeli blockade and continuing military aggression in Gaza (three devastating military operations since 2007) has laid to waste its economic and social infrastructure. Today, the people of Gaza have electricity for only four hours a day, suffer 60% unemployment and 47% face severe food insecurity. They are prevented from fishing in less than one third of the fishing area allocated under the Oslo accords.   Of course, we cannot forget that the Ambassador visiting Birmingham was, in the summer of 2014, justifying Israeli violations of international law and war crimes on our TV screens when Gaza was being bombed killing over 2000 Palestinians including over 500 children

The non-stop denial of rights and home demolitions of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Only last week, eight houses were demolished and two people killed, one a Palestinian school teacher, Yaakup Abu al-Qiyab,  in the attempted demolition of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev. These villagers had been ethnically cleansed from their land in 1956 and their land given to a Kibbutz. Today these same villagers face being ethnically cleansed from their homes for a second time to make room for Jewish-only homes.   Among the injured during the demolition was a Palestinian  member of the Knesset and chair of the ‘Joint List’ coalition of Palestinian-based political parties in Israel.

 

Draft Letter to Your Member of Parliament (Copy and Paste please and personalise)

Dear Member of Parliament

You will be aware that the Labour party has called on the government to immediately launch an public inquiry into “improper interference in our democratic politics” after an investigation by Al Jazeera and Mail on Sunday into the activities of an Israeli embassy official.

The shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, has described the recent exposure of an Israeli embassy official discussing how to bring down or discredit a government minister and other MPs because of their views on the Middle East as extremely disturbing.”

The revelations have also provoked anger among some Conservative politicians with one former minister in David Cameron’s government believing that the embassy’s efforts to exert improper influence on British public life went far further than any plot to “take down” unhelpful members of parliament.

This former minister, writing anonymously in the Mail on Sunday, stated that “For years the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) have worked with – even for – the Israeli embassy to promote Israeli policy and thwart UK government policy and the actions of ministers who try to defend Palestinian rights”.

It is utterly unacceptable for the UK government to accept the Israeli embassy apology and consider the matter closed. These revelations add to existing concerns that those who raise legitimate criticisms regarding Israel’s policies towards the Palestinian people will be subject to smears and character assassination. Politicians, like all citizens, must be able to speak freely about their views on Palestine without fear of consequences.

I write to you asking you to support the call for an immediate public inquiry to determine the extent of improper interference in UK democratic politics and to demand from the Israeli government that it is brought to an end.

 

 

Events Calander

UK STOP Arming Israel from Arms to Renewables Monday 19th December 2016 10:30 am

We call for a two way arms embargo with israel and a shift from weapons production to socially useful production,

A rally is planned for Monday the 19th December

The rally will be a creative, non-violent  outside the factory gates to demand the Elbit’s factory’ demanding its closure. The rally will be starting at
10 30 am
Map of the factory: https://www.caat.org.uk/resources/mapping/address/5164

Welfare not warfare. The campaign is highlighting the waste of Government money on the arms trade, instead of opposing austerity and spending the money on vital local services, NHS, apprenticeships etc.
The protection of local jobs by supporting an ‘Arms to Renewables’ policy. The arms industry currently receives a huge public subsidy- but reallocating resources to renewables could create more and better jobs. You can read more about the Arms to Renewables campaign on the CAAT website.

It is time to let the israeli war machine know we are like stars and we will not disapear that the fight for justice is everlasting.On 19 dec 2016 groups and campaigners from across the UK are going to protest at Elbit’s factories across the uk to demand that the UK stops arming Israel and that the factory close. Elbit Systems manufacture UAVs (drones) that are used by the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza.

The assault on Gaza of 2014 which killed over 2,200 Palestinians, was one of the most brutal examples of Israel’s ongoing occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Palestinians, including 551 children, were massacred in a duck shoot by the Israelis, who launched high ordinance missiles into Gaza’s residential areas, schools, hospitals and refugee camps, the most overcrowded area in the world, At the time, activists occupied Elbit’s factory in Shenstone, halting its operations and costing Elbit over £100,000.

Birmingham Palestine Action are leading the action at the shenstone site. Email palaction1@gmail.com to contact. Twitter: @brumpalestine

Our action will be a creative, non-violent picket and rally outside the factory gates to demand the factory’s closure. We will be starting at
10 30 am
Map of the factory: https://www.caat.org.uk/resources/mapping/address/5164

TRANSPORT:

Shenstone is a small village outside Birmingham, accessible by National Rail trains. The Elbit factory, UAV ENGINES, is five minutes walk from Shenstone railway station which is on the Longbridge Lichfield cross city line.Trains are every 15 minutes from New Street station.

If you are coming from a big city where there is an active Palestine Solidarity movement it might make more sense to book a mini-bus or coach instead – please coordinate with us via our email (above).

PLEASE BRING:

Banners!
Pots, pans, air horns, megaphones, any noise-making devices.
Red, green, black and white ribbons to tie on the fence and kites, http://www.flykitesnotdrones.org/

ACCESSIBILITY:

We want to make the day as accessible and inclusive as possible. If you have access needs or will be coming with children and would like to discuss practical arrangements, please get in in touch via email (above).

For more information on Elbit etc.:

https://corporatewatch.org/company-profiles/elbit

http://wire.novaramedia.com/2015/07/stoparmingisrael-6-reasons-to-block-the-factory/

www.caat.org.uk/resources/countries/israel

www.uavenginesltd.co.uk

https://www.stoparmingisrael.org/

Birmingham Palestine Action
Community
A network of people in Birmingham taking (direct) action against Israeli apartheid through BDS & other participative Palestine solidarity work.

Welcome to West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign website

West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign is dedicated t o campaign for Palestinian rights in Palestine and end to the occupation.

We support the Palestinian Civil Society’s call for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions. Our action in the West Midlands is dedicated to ensuring an effective boycott of all goods associated with the occupation. We encourage companies and public bodies not to invest in companies that benefit from the occupation and we campaign for government and other public bodies to apply sanctions against the occupying power while it continues to violate international law and while it continues to violate human rights for the Palestinians by refusing them the right to return.