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


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

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