UN International Human Rights Day marked at a Public Meeting organised in Birmingham 7pm Friday 10th December 2021
Three Palestine Action activists, dubbed the ‘Elbit Three’, have today been found not guilty of criminal damage charges in a trial taking place at Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates Court. The trial, which commenced on Friday 3rd December, saw Elbit Systems and the Crown Prosecution Service attempt to criminalise individuals who took a stand against the manufacture of drones and drone parts. The products manufactured at the site of the protest, the UAV Engines factory in Shenstone, Staffordshire, are key components for a range of Elbit’s combat drones, used extensively by Israel for bombardments of Gazan civilians.
Elbit Systems are Israel’s largest private arms company, supplying 85% of Israel’s drone fleet. Their Hermes drones, manufactured with UK-made components, are regularly deployed in bombardments of Gaza, with Elbit also supplying a range of surveillance equipment, armaments, and specialist military technologies for the Israeli military and police. Palestine Action have undertaken a campaign of sustained direct action against Elbit Systems – across their 10 sites in the UK – with this action in Shenstone having occured in January 2021, six months since Palestine Action launched. Despite many dozens of actions taken, and over £15,000,000 in damages caused (according to police), this is the first time that activists had faced trial, with all previous charges having been dropped in the run-up to trial dates.
The presiding judge, Judge Waites, stated that the Crown had failed to prove that convicting the defendents would be proportionate with their freedom to protest. He stated further points which included: Palestine is an important issue, the arms trade is an important issue, the defendants believed in what they were doing, and the location was specifically chosen. These are the points that Palestine Action has long stated: through targetted and deliberate direct action, individuals can make a measured impact on the lives of civilians in Palestine by disrupting and undermining Israel’s arms trade.
For more information, please read our full press release below and share this victory widely!
World leaders will meet in Glasgow in November at the global climate talks, COP26. The Palestinian contingent will be taking part as part of the organised decentralised mass mobilisations across the world, bringing together movements to build power for system change – from indigenous struggles to trade unions, from racial justice groups to youth strikers. In Birmingham, those campaigning for justice for Palestinians will be joining the rally in Birmingham at the Millennium point Please Join us. Palestinians are struggling to preserve their environment against the Zionist onslaught that not only threatens Palestinians but also threatens the environment for everyone living in the region
Speaker: Kamel Hawwash, Chair of National Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Chair: James Watkins, Chair of West Midlands Unite Regional Labour Liaison Committee.
There will be an opportunity for Questions and Discussion.
Unite members and non members all welcome!
Direct Registration on the Unite Zoom platform: https://bit.ly/2WtM0W0: Pre-registration is required and as usual you are asked not to share the Zoom link and passcode.
The motion that the Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms will be debated in the parliament on the 14th June 2021. West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign has organised an online meeting with members of parliament from Birmingham and surrounding constituencies to come and discuss the situation Palestinians are facing in their own homeland and why sanctions are necessary to help alleviate the hardships Palestinians find themselves in their own homes.
West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Meet your MP pre commons debate on Sanctions against Israel
Time: Jun 10, 2021 06:00 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting by following the link below
Or the Meeting ID: 895 9664 1124
Following is a copy of a letter you can copy and modify to send it to your member of parliament before the debate.
I am writing to you as a constituent to invite you to an online meeting that has been organized with all the members of Parliament representing Birmingham and surrounding constituencies. The meeting would want to discuss with their members of parliament their concerns over the enduring occupation and oppression of Palestinians and the scheduled debate in the Houses of Parliament to discuss sanctions that can be applied on Israel to force it to abide by international and Humanitarian laws that Israel is able to ignore with impunity so far. The Birmingham meeting is scheduled for 6pm the 10th of June 2021 before the parliamentary debate that is to follow on the 14th of June 2021.
You can visit the website www.westmidspsc.org for more information on the debate and Israel’s violation of international Humanitarian law.
Since its establishment, Israeli state violence towards the indigenous Palestinian population has never ceased. This includes a combination of warfare, territorial theft, and violent displacement of Palestinians who had been settled in these lands for centuries. The various UN resolutions attesting to the illegality of Israeli actions and the recent reports by Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem have documented this reality. Many of these violations amount to war crimes. While several countries are faced with immediate censure, Israel continues to enjoy full impunity for its actions. The latest in these atrocities include the attacks on the Al-Aqsa worshippers during Ramadan, the attempted illegal evictions of Palestinian residents in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, and the subsequent disproportionate and indiscriminate bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
In the latest attack on Gaza in May 2021, over 256 Palestinians including 66 children were killed. The Israeli government spokesman admitted that the recently supplied F35 fighter planes were used in the latest attack. British contribution towards the 50 F-35s would amount to £ 585 million. This and other arms supplies to Israel means Britain is very much complicit in the lethal attacks Israel launches on civilians living under an unwarranted siege of Gaza.
Given the role Britain played in creating the problem it bears a moral responsibility to engage in actions to bring about justice for the Palestinian people.
I therefore urge you to take concrete steps against Israel’s systematic violations of human rights and war crimes committed against the Palestinians by imposing full-scale sanctions against Israel which should include:
1. Boycotting the Israeli regime on political, military, economic and cultural fronts.
2. Ending the arms trade with Israel.
3. Supporting the trial of Israeli officials responsible for war crimes in front of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in a similar way war criminals of former Yugoslavia and Rwanda were brought to justice.
It has become more apparent than ever that Israel is an apartheid state and will not willingly change itself. Outside measures are the only way that can meaningfully push Israel towards ending the aggression and respect Palestinian human rights.
I am hoping our members of parliament use the sanctions available to them to ensure Israel abides by International law. Also, I am hoping as a constituent you will be able to join us on the 10th June to discuss our concerns and how you hope to address them on the commons debate on sanctions.
I await your reply.
These are some of the Birmingham and surrounding constituency members of parliament you can write to. Please choose an mp who is your constituent as they are more likely to respond.
If you hear from them please let us know by emailing the response to firstname.lastname@example.org or put it on our facebook group
Above is a recording of the webinar West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign organized on the 23rd of May 2021.
The guest speakers included GUEST SPEAKERS included Haneen Zoabi, ex Knesset member and Rachel Beitarie, from Zochrot
This May marks 73 years since the Nakba, or Catastrophe, Israel’s foundational act of ethnic cleansing. In 1948 Zionist paramilitary forces eradicated over 500 villages and cities in Palestine, displacing 750,000 Palestinians and taking over 78% of the land of historic Palestine.
The Nakba did not end in 1948. Since its foundation, Israel has used its control of the land to enact policies and practises which continue to dominate and displace the remaining Palestinian people, forcing them from their homeland, while denying expelled Palestinians and their descendants the legally enshrined right to return to their homeland.
Whether in exile, under occupation, or as citizens of Israel, Palestinians face subjugation and discrimination, denying them their basic human rights. On the other hand, Jewish-Israelis enjoy full rights within a system of racial supremacy. This system of entrenched racism, existing over the whole of historic Palestine, amounts to the crime of apartheid under international law.
This important webinar hosted by West Midlands PSC, focused on hearing from Palestinian citizens of Israel. Find out what the Nakba means to them, how it has led to the apartheid reality of today, and how we can move to a future of freedom, justice and equality.
Haneen Zoabi a Palestinian politician who made history in 2009 when she became the first Arab woman to be elected to Israel’s parliament. She served as a member of the Knesset for the Balad party between 2009 and 2019. On 31st May 2010, Haneen participated in the Gaza flotilla, and was on board the Mavi Marmara.
Rachel Beitarie. Zochrot (“remembering” in Hebrew) is an NGO working since 2002 to promote acknowledgement and accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba.Time
Elbit is a private Israeli weapons company, operating in a wide range of areas including, aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communication, computers, intelligence and surveillance. The company also provides a range of support services.Elbit is the second biggest arms company in Israel and the biggest private arms company in Israel. Elbit’s biggest single customer is the Israeli Ministry of Defence (IMOD). In 2017, sales to the IMOD generated 19% of Elbit Systems 3,377.8 million USD revenue.In January 2018, the Israeli government’s approval the sale of its wholly owned weapons company, the Israeli Military Industries Ltd. (IMI) to Elbit. The 515 million USD deal is to be finalised in July 2018. Established in 1993, IMI is involved in the manufacturing of a range of weapons, munitions and military technology for the Israeli army. The company’s products are used by the Israeli army and exported internationally to 70 militaries and government agencies around the world.This latest Elbit purchase gives it a greater monopoly over the Israeli arms industry’s internal and external market.Elbit supplies 85% of UAVs used by the Israeli army. One of Elbit’s most famous UAVs the Skylark – an intelligence gathering drone, operational in the Israeli army since 2008 – which is used during military operations of house arrest in the occupied West Bank. The Skylark was used during the so-called “Brothers come home” Israeli attacks in June and July 2014, where scores of Palestinian civilians were arbitrarily arrested.During Israel’s deadly attack on Gaza in 2014, Elbit’s 7.5 Skylark, as well as its lethal UAV, the Hermes 900, were used. The Hermes 900, which was assembled jointly with L-3 Communication in a 120 million USD venture, can stay aloft for up to 24 hours at altitudes of up 18,000 feet and has an array of optical, infrared, and laser sensors that allow the operator to identify and track targets as well as to guide munitions in flight. The UAV carries two Spike-MR missiles, produced by the Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.Israeli media routinely reports of the crashing of Elbit’s Skylark UAV during intelligence gathering operations in Gaza. The anxiety-inducing buzzing of Israeli military UAVs has become a permanent soundtrack to the lives of Palestinians in Gaza
Coaches will leave the Central Mosque, 180 Belgrave Middleway, Birmingham B12 0XS on Saturday 22nd May at 8 am.
Spaces are limited on the coaches so to avoid disappointment please register early. Also, if people book early we may be able to arrange additional coaches if people book early. Those travelling on the coaches will be socially distanced. For each passenger, the full cost will be £20.00 To book your place deposit the full amount in our bank account as detailed below. Please use reference DEM followed by last 5 digits of your mobile number and email email@example.com with your name and the reference. For subject of your email use Palestine London Demo. Please include your phone number with the email. Your seat will be confirmed by email.
our bank details are: Bank Name Unity Trust Bank Acct Name West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Sort Code 60-83-21 Account Number 20364276
ASSEMBLE 1PM AT VICTORIA EMBANKMENTIMPORTANT:
If you have coronavirus symptoms do not attend. Wear a mask, use hand sanitiser, keep social distance.Israel is relentlessly bombarding the population of beseiged Gaza, many refugees from Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948. So far, more than a hundred Palestinian civilians have been killed, including children.In addition, Israel is pushing ahead with attempts to ethnically cleanse Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, occupied Jerusalem. The plans to forcibly dispossess the families is part and parcel of Israel’s attempt to alter the demographic balance of the city, by ethnically cleansing Palestinians, while simultaneously providing financial and political support for illegal Jewish-only settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.As Palestinians protest in Jerusalem against these evictions, and Israel’s ongoing programme of ethnic cleansing, Israeli forces have responded with brutality, including an assault on worshippers at Al Aqsa Mosque.In Israel itself, Palestinian Citizens are being subject to violent armed mobs, attempting to drive them from their homes.This violence is part and parcel of Israel’s regime of institutionalised racist discrimination against the whole of the Palestinian population, amounting to the crime of apartheid.The UK government must take immediate action and stop allowing Israel to act with impunity. It must demand an end to current proceedings to evict these families, and start holding Israel accountable for all its actions ,which contribute to the crime of apartheid.This includes through implementing sanctions, including an immediate military embargo to cut the supply of deadly weapons to Israel, and banning the import of goods from Israel’s illegal settlements.In the face of Israel’s brutal crimes, we can’t remain silent, we must remain on the streets!Come together on the streets to demand our government sanction Israel now!STOP ARMING ISRAEL! STOP BOMBING GAZA, FREE PALESTINE!
Emergency Rallies for Jerusalem have been called in many places including in Birmingham for 3pm Sunday the 9th of May 2021 outside Waterstones
On Tuesday the 11th of May, there will be a rally outside Downing Street 11th May, at 6pm in Downing Street. See information below. If you have the capacity to organise something in your town/city, do let us know. The rallies is being supported by Stop The War, Muslim Association of Britain, Friends of Al Aqsa and Palestinian Forum in Britain.
PLEASE SHARE both these events FAR AND WIDE
🚨 LONDON: EMERGENCY RALLY FOR JERUSALEM 🚨TUESDAY 11TH MAY // 6PM // 10 DOWNING STREET
Israel is attempting to ethnically cleanse Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, occupied Jerusalem. Four of the Palestinian families face the prospect of being evicted next week.In the face of Israel’s brutal crimes, we can’t remain silent! Come together on the streets to demand our government take action.SAVE SHEIKH JARRAH, FREE PALESTINE 📣https://www.facebook.com/events/893450637983161/
Other protests are being planned. A vigil will be taking place in Victoria Square outside the Council House 10:30 am Saturday the 15th May 2021 as part of the Nakba day event please watch this space for further details.