WMPSC AGM and launching books on Palestine & Israel

JOIN US FOR

WMPSC AGM at 1pm

followed by the

Launch of ShirHever’s & Warren Bardsley’ books 

The Privatisation of Israeli Security

Consequences The Trial of Arthur James Balfour

Sunday 3 December 2017 at 1 pm

Unite Building, Heneage Street West, Birmingham B7 4AZ

Between 1994-2014, Israel’s security service was transformed, becoming one of the most extreme examples of privatised security in the world. This book is an investigation into this period and the conditions that created ‘Occupation Inc.’: the institution of a private military-security-industrial complex.

State sponsored violence is increasing as a result of this securitisation, but why is it necessary, and what are its implications? In this book, ShirHever considers the impact of the ongoing Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation, the influence of U.S. military aid and the rise of neoliberalism in Israel, to make sense of this dramatic change in security policy.

Through the lens of political economy, this book shows how the Israeli security elites turn violence into a commodity in order to preserve their status and wealth, providing a fresh new perspective on the Israeli occupation.

ShirHever is an economic researcher based at the Alternative Information Centre in Jerusalem.

Consequences: The Trial of Arthur James Balfour, by Warren R Bardsley

Warren Bardsley’s new book was released in early September, and is available for the price of £9.99

Please see this flyer for more details about the book.

Balfour flyer (1)

There is also a 3-act play script based on the book available for groups to use, with no charge or copyright.

To order a copy of either the book or play script, please contact w.bardsley39@btinternet.com

All proceeds will go to Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Lobby Council Free Speech on Israel

Birmingham City Council Conservative councillors re putting the resolution to the Council that will severely restrict our ability to campaign for Palestinian rights and aspirations. WMPSC has written to the Council’s member responsible for Equalities about our concern. I am urging all of you to write to individual councillors also about your concern.

This resolution, if passed by the Council, would prevent Palestinian voices being heard in the city. We urge you to turn up in large numbers to impress on the Council the strength of our feelings for Palestine.

It would be good if you can contact your councillor by monday afternoon as they will be deciding group policies before Tuesday’s council meeting. Join us for a lobby on Tuesday

Copy Letter below and send it to your council – email addresses can be ob

I am writing to you as a Labour Councillor about our concern regarding how the resolution proposed by Conservative Councillors Ewan Mackey and Matt Bennett would impact social cohesion in multi-cultural Birmingham. 
 
Instead, I would support adopting the key aspect of the resolution on Anti-Semitism in line with what has been adopted by the Labour Party – see pages 11-12 of the Race and Faith Manifesto 2017.
 
You will see that the party has adopted only the formal 40 word definition, and not the accompanying guidance and examples which are included in the resolution to be put to the Council. These conflate criticism of Israel with Anti-Semitism, and need to re-considered, as they could restrict freedom of expression that is legally protected. 
 
West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign is already finding difficulty in booking venues in the city. If this resolution is adopted it would be likely to make it even more difficult for us to promote discussion on legitimate Palestinian rights and aspirations. 
I have grave issues with three particular aspects of the resolution  
    Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is  a racist endeavour. (No faith as a whole has rights of self determination. People living in a particular country jointly have the right of self determination. Muslims, Christians or Hindus do not have the right of self determination in the countries they live in. Instead all faiths have the right to practice their faiths where they live. Palestinians claim they are victims of racism in Israel. They should be able articulate their claims without being accused of Anti-Semitic) 
 
    Applying double standards by requiring of it behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation. (We are free to criticize the behaviour of all countries that violate internationally accepted standards. Not been critical of similar behaviour by another state does not make the critic an anti-Semite)
 
    Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.(If any state uses methods or laws that has historical precedence than we should be able to point it out without being accused of Anti-Semitism.)
I would ideally urge the Birmingham City Council to suspend the adoption until the various communities in Birmingham are consulted on the issue.  Failing that, removing the three objections pointed out above would answer our concerns. 
West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign as part of the National Palestine Solidarity Campaign prides itself in taking a lead against all forms of racism including Anti-Semitism.  PSC aims – Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Thanks 

Centenary Protest 4th November 2017 – Coaches from Birmingham

Protest: Balfour Declaration -100 Years

Balfour Declaration…. 100 years..
National mobilisation –  Coaches leave Birmingham around 8 am.
 
Coventry Friends of Palestine are putting on a coach to London for the national Rally
There will be limited seats available on a first come first served basis.
£10 waged, £5 unwaged and children under 14 (unless can sit on a lap, then free)
Pick up will be from Coventry Swimming Baths, Pool Meadow. 9am and we will return approx 6/7pm to the same place.
Coach will leave from Walsall Abu Bakr Mosque 150-156 Wednesbury Road Walsall
Coach will leave from Birmingham Central Mosque 180 Belgrave Middleway, Birmingham B12 0XS at 8:15 am on Saturday the 4th November – ,
 
Coach will also leave from Carrs Lane Church Carrs Ln, Birmingham B4 7SX at 8:30 am on Saturday the 4th November
 
National Demonstration in London for Saturday the 4th November. Coaches will be arranged to take us from Birmingham to the National Protest.
 
The charges are 15.00 waged and 10.00 unwaged
To confirm your seat on the coach please deposit the money into our account when done please text me on 07721 427690

Our account details are

Unity Trust Bank, account no 20364276 sort code 60-83-01
Use your mobile number as reference where possible.
Please pay as soon as you can to confirm your seats. Early booking would allow us to book additional coaches if needed. 
Thanks

Palestine: Time for Action In a Year of Anniversaries

 

The author, Chris Khamis is a British Palestinian who has been active in the Palestinian solidarity and labour movements for many decades.

The article was first Published in The Organiser Newsletter of Momentum supporters and Trade Unionists in Birmingham

This year, 2017, is a year of significant but unpleasant anniversaries for
Palestinians. It is 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, usually seen as the origin of the Israel/Palestine conflict, which said that the British Government “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” thereby promising a land they didn’t own and where Jewish people were a small minority to the Zionist movement, supported at the time by a minority of Jewish people worldwide.

It is also the 60th anniversary of the Six Day War when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian territories which remain under occupation to this day.

At a personal level, this year is the 69th anniversary of the newly formed Israeli state telling my late father that he could not return from his studies in Britain to the town near Nazareth where he was born and brought up.
They told him he was a refugee, ignoring his valid study visa on his British Mandate of Palestine passport. Unfortunately, my father was a Palestinian Arab; if he had been Jewish from any part of the world he would have
had the right to enter Israel. My father’s predicament was just one of the same faced by over 700,000

Palestinian Arabs who fled the fighting in 1947 and 1948 or who were driven out by Zionist forces. All have been denied the internationally recognised human right of refugees to return to their homeland. Palestinian
refugees now number perhaps 7 million, many living in poverty in refugee camps.

The refugees’ and my father’s predicament goes to the nub of the Israel/Palestine conflict. The Zionist answer to a vicious, mainly European history of antisemitism culminating in the Holocaust was to create a state where Jewish people had rights denied to others of a different ethnic or religious background, even if these people had been living there for hundreds of years. In response to racism, Zionism proposed and delivered a state which discriminated and continues to discriminate on racist grounds. It’s as simple as that. And the consequences, not just for Palestinians
but for Jewish Israelis and for Jewish people around the world who still face antisemitism, have not been pleasant.

Solving the conflict is not so simple. Israel’s continued building of settlements in the Occupied Territories and brutal treatment of Palestinians who live there is perhaps well known, less is written on the plight of Palestinian refugees, on discrimination faced by Palestinians who are Israeli citizens or the attempts at ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Jerusalem. International institutions and the western powers occasionally issue condemnations but have singularly failed to stop the medieval siege of Gaza, the growth of settlements in the West Bank that is making the concept of a two-state solution a non-starter, the increasing discrimination against Palestinian Israeli citizens and the rising racism in the Israeli population.

That is why we need the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This non-violent movement was launched by 170 Palestinian civil society groups in 2005. Inspired by the success of a similar campaign against apartheid South Africa, they called for BDS until Israel:
1. Ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantles the Wall.
2. Recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
3. Respects, protects and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

These are demands for basic human rights backed by international law,yet for being active in this movement, I am denied the right by recent Israeli legislation to visit my Palestinian relatives and my father’s grave.And in a display of amazingly twisted logic, there are people who claim that BDS is anti-Semitic. (So the campaign against apartheid South Africawas anti-White?)

The Israel/Palestine conflict has gone on for too long. Too many people have died and too many continue to suffer. Britain has an historic responsibility to try and find a just, peaceful and sustainable solution based on human rights and democratic principles. We need to pressurise our government to live up to its responsibilities but we can also do something by supporting the BDS movement.

 

#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