Occupation Map

Occupation Map

Monday, 27 June 2016

Support Palestine - come to our fundraising party on July 10th

FUNDRAISING GARDEN PARTY SUNDAY 10TH JULY

From 4pm to 9.30pm

https://www.facebook.com/BrentStoptheWar  http://brentpsc.blogspot.co.uk/

Supporters are invited to our fundraising party in a beautiful Willesden Garden. Ticket price includes all entertainment and a deliciously varied buffet with plenty of vegetarian options as well as meat, fish, salads and desserts.

Performers include:

MC and Socialist Magician Ian Saville www.redmagic.co.uk

From the Lyrical to the Satirical with singer-songwriter Leon Rosselson www.leonrosselson.co.uk

Soula Ensemble performing Arabic music of many kinds:

Muwashah from the Arabic-Andalusian tradition, modern songs (Fairouz, Marcel Khalife) and Palestinian songs https://m.facebook.com/SoulaEnsemble/

Drinks, raffle and stall with Palestinian goods extra

TICKETS

From:

Brent Stop the War email brentstopthewar@gmail.com or ring Sarah on 07951 084 101

Brent and Harrow Palestine Solidarity Campaign email brent2harrowpsc@outlook.com or ring Martin on 0208 908 3913

OR BUY TICKETS ON EVENTBRITE HERE


Where?

A beautiful garden in Willesden Green - Address will be disclosed on payment, London, NW2
Contact Martin on mafran@globalnet.co.uk if you would like to help organise the event, provide some home cooked food or help on the day.

More from Brent and Harrow PSC  www.brentpsc.blogspot.co.uk

Monday, 30 May 2016

Latest news from Brent and Harrow PSC

HP DAY OF ACTION

Join us in Central London on Saturday June 4th 11am-2pm

All PSC Branches around the country are taking action on Saturday 4th June, as part of a co-ordinated Day of Action across the UK, with a common message and a common approach. The key focus is to raise public awareness of the Occupation and HP’s role.
  • HP is now a key target for the Boycott National Committee (BNC) and is part of PSC’s overall plan.
  • The objective of the Day of Action is to highlight HP’s deep participation in Israel’s brutal Occupation and its apartheid system and to encourage more and more people to sign the pledge not to buy HP products.
WHERE? See your B&H PSC email for details of Central London venue

The leafleting will take place between 11am and 2pm.

If you can take part please contact: mafran@globalnet.co.uk

Background
  • HP is the second largest investor in Israeli Information Technology (IT). Its technology and equipment facilitate both the illegal Israeli occupation and apartheid, especially through the development of its biometric system used for population and territorial control and surveillance of Palestinians both inside Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory.
  • The Checkpoints – HP's Basel system is installed at the Israeli military checkpoints in the occupied West Bank. This deprive Palestinians of freedom of movement in violation of international law. When the Presbyterian Church wrote to the company about this, it replied saying that this: ‘reduc(es) friction between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers at barrier checkpoints while expediting the passage process’.
  • The Israeli Military – HP provided the IT infrastructure for the Israeli Navy, thereby helping to enforce the blockade of Gaza, and supplies the computer systems for the Ministry of Defence.
  • The settlements - HP employs settlers in Beithar Illit and provides services and technologies to two of the largest in the occupied West Bank (Modi'in Illit and Ariel).
  • Biometric ID cards - occupied territories - HP facilitates Israeli control of the Palestinian population of the occupied West Bank with its biometric identification of Palestinian civilians. The ID numbers for these Green cards that bear the PNA insignia are assigned by Israel, which controls the Palestinian population registry.
  • Biometric ID cards – citizens of Israel - HP facilitates Israeli apartheid with the development of its biometric system that differentiates between Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel, among other ethnicities and religions. In other words, "this system takes to a new level of technology the stratification of citizenship rights."
  • Certainly in 2012, the HP Labs based at Technion University (Haifa) was its largest centre for research and development. (Technion itself is considered highly complicit in the Occupation and the Siege and attacks on Gaza being a base for research and development for a wide range of military equipment, with close links to Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Elbit Systems. (working mainly on surveillance and attack drones.
DATES CAMPAIGN LEAFLETING OF LOCAL MOSQUES - FRIDAYS
We are again leafleting mosques during Ramadan with postcards to persuade people not to buy Israeli dates. Leafleting takes place from 1pm on Fridays. If you would like to take part please contact Martin Francis on mafran@globalnet.co.uk The first leafelting is this Friday, June 3rd at Brent Central Mosque, Station Road, Willesden Green.

THE CURRENT DEBATE ABOUT ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE LABOUR PARTY - JUNE 13th
Julia Bard of the Jewish Socialists Group will lead a discussion on this at the next Brent Stop the War Meeting on Monday June 13th, 7.30pm Brent Trades Hall, 375 High Road, Willesden, NW10 2JR (Dollis Hill tube)

FUNDRAISING GARDEN PARTY SUNDAY 10TH JULY
Fundraising party in a beautiful Willesden Garden. Ticket price includes all entertainment and a deliciously varied buffet with plenty of vegetarian options as well as meat, fish, salads and desserts.
Performers include:
MC and Socialist Magician Ian Saville www.redmagic.co.uk
From the Lyrical to the Satirical with singer-songwriter Leon Rosselson www.leonrosselson.co.uk
Soula Ensemble performing Arabic music of many kinds:
Muwashah from the Arabic-Andalusian tradition, modern songs (Fairouz, Marcel Khalife) and Palestinian songs https://m.facebook.com/SoulaEnsemble/
Drinks, raffle and stall with Palestinian goods extra
Brent Stop the War email brentstopthewar@gmail.com or ring Sarah on 07951 084 101
Brent and Harrow Palestine Solidarity Campaign email brent2harrowpsc@outlook.com or ring Martin on 020 83913
When
Sunday, 10 July 2016 from 16:00 to 21:30 (BST) - Add to Calendar
Where
A beautiful garden in Willesden Green - Address will be disclosed on payment, London, NW2

Monday, 2 May 2016

PSC statement on antisemitism and the campaign for Palestinian rights

Members and supporters will be interested in this statement from national Palestine Solidarity Campaign in reaction to the current media furore.

 We are being contacted by members and supporters concerned with the misrepresentation of the campaign for Palestinian human rights by media and public figures.

In the past few weeks and months there has been increasing discussion of antisemitism. It is important that we set out the campaign for Palestinian rights is an anti-racist campaign, and that any attempt to connect or conflate antisemitism with the campaign for the rights of the Palestinian people is wrong, misleading and harmful.

Our aims set out that ours is a campaign based on the principles of peace, justice and international law.


Why does Palestine Solidarity Campaign focus on Palestinian human rights?

Many Palestinians live under military occupation; others are living as refugees, barred from returning to their homeland; others live in Israel as second class citizens .None have the rights we take for granted. We are campaigning for all Palestinians to enjoy the same basic rights to live in peace and freedom that we ourselves have – rights that all humans should be able to exercise.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign was set up in 1982 specifically to campaign for Palestinian human rights. We are the biggest campaigning organisation in the UK dedicated to campaign for the rights of Palestinian people.


Does Palestine Solidarity Campaign oppose antisemitism?


Yes, we do.

Jewish people have suffered many centuries of persecution in Britain, Europe and elsewhere. It is vital that we stand against antisemitism and all racism.

As an anti-racist organisation, we abhor racism directed at any group. Antisemitism – hatred of or discrimination against Jewish people on the basis of their religion or ethnicity – must be challenged wherever it is found.

We encourage political leaders to defend equality for all religious or ethnic groups and to fight racism in all its forms.


Is antisemitism the same as anti-Zionism?


No, it’s not. As the Jewish Socialist Group have said:

“Antisemitism and anti-Zionism are not the same. Zionism is a political ideology which has always been contested within Jewish life since it emerged in 1897, and it is entirely legitimate for non-Jews as well as Jews to express opinions about it, whether positive or negative. Not all Jews are Zionists. Not all Zionists are Jews.”

Antisemitism is hatred or discrimination against Jewish people on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. It must be opposed and defeated.

Zionism is a political ideology that seeks to create a Jewish state that privileges Jewish Israelis above Palestinians, and that seeks to establish a permanent Jewish majority. While some seek to define Zionism as the right of Jewish people to self determination, the Zionism of the Israeli state has resulted in the denial of basic human rights to Palestinians.

The foundation of the state of Israel in 1948 was accompanied by the forced expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and the destruction of approximately 500 Palestinian villages and towns. Zionism, as enacted by the state of Israel, rejects Palestinians’ right of return, their right to self-determination, and their demand for equality.

The Israeli state privileges the right of Jewish citizens above Palestinian citizens. More than 50 Israeli laws discriminate on the basis of ethnicity. The racist nature of the Israeli state is unacceptable and must be challenged.

To confuse – whether deliberately or otherwise – legitimate criticism of the Israeli Government with antisemitism only serves to undermine the struggle against racism.
 

Why are you concerned about whether or not antisemitism is confused with anti-Zionism?


The UK Government has recently made efforts to revive a discredited definition of antisemitism (the EUMC definition) which explicitly incorporates criticisms of Israel within a definition of antisemitism. This has been supported by many of the Israeli government’s defenders in the UK.

If adopted, this definition would deny people the right to challenge the racism of the Israeli state – which privileges the rights of Jewish citizens above those of non-Jews.

We must protect our right to stand up against the dispossession of a people and to oppose the continuing oppression of Palestinians, whether living in the occupied territories, resident as second class citizens in Israel or living elsewhere as refugees. The racism intrinsic to the state of Israel must be amongst the forms of racist oppression that are opposed globally.

We oppose any attempt to limit legitimate debate or to prevent us from campaigning for the Palestinian people being able to access their full political and civil rights.


 
Why do you describe the campaign for Palestinian rights as anti-racist?


We believe in equality for all.

The Israeli Government subjects Palestinians to discriminatory treatment on the basis of their ethnicity. We want Palestinians living under occupation, as refugees and Palestinian citizens of Israel to enjoy the same rights as Jewish Israelis.

We support Palestine in a framework of human rights and justice, and we campaign for the implementation of international law.


 
Where is your evidence that pro-Palestinian human rights campaigning is under attack?


In 2010 an influential Israeli think tank, the Reut Institute, launched a report whose main recommendations have been accepted as policy by the current Israeli Government. The report identified the global boycott divestment and sanctions campaign as the biggest strategic threat to Israel and proposed a process of rebranding BDS activists as racists and extremists. Pro-Israel groups in the UK have taken the strategy forward and found willing allies within the current UK Government.

In January of this year, the Government introduced guidance which aims to prevent Councils making procurement or investment decisions based upon companies’ complicity with Israel’s occupation and human rights violations.

In 2015 the Board of Deputies of British Jews lobbied to have an international conference at Southampton University on Zionism and International Law closed down. Under pressure the University postponed the conference citing police advice that the safety of attendees could not be guaranteed.
Cambridge University was threatened with legal action for allowing a protest in which a mock checkpoint was erected to illustrate the daily realities of life for Palestinians living on the West Bank, on the grounds that to stage such a protest represented an attack upon Jewish students.
To conflate antisemitism with the right to challenge the Zionism of the Israeli state is a form of McCarthyism (political suppression) which degrades political discourse, diminishes the fight against racism and undermines free speech and democratic rights. This should be of concern to all of us no matter our faith, ethnicity or political standpoint.



Is boycotting Israel antisemitic?


No, it’s not.

We support the Palestinian-led call for a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign which uses effective-yet-peaceful means to pressure Israel to end the occupation and ensure Palestinians have the rights we take for granted. It is civil society holding countries and companies accountable for their actions.

The Palestinian call for boycott (BDS) states:

“We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.

These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonisation of all land occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognising the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

Boycott is a tool human rights defenders have used throughout history. It is a non-violent, global and traditional form of protest used to oppose oppression. It is not racist to refuse to buy, decline to invest in or stop supplying goods, arms or services to companies and institutions that are knowingly supporting breaches of human rights and international law.

We proudly continue in the tradition of civil and human rights activists before us. If it was good enough for Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Nelson Mandela; boycott is good enough for us.

Rather than attack those defending human rights, the UK Government should be challenging Israel for its actions that breach international law.

It is not the place of politicians to tell citizens what we can or can’t boycott, nor to limit our freedoms to campaign for equality and justice. The job of the government is to uphold international law – and it is precisely because the government has failed to take any effective action against Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights that more and more people are joining the campaign for Palestinian rights.

We will continue to hold politicians to account for what they say and do to help promote Palestinian rights. We will continue to campaign for full rights of Palestinians and demand our right to do so.

PSC is part of a growing global movement in support of Palestine, proudly refusing to do business with Israel’s occupation, colonisation, and discrimination.



Isn’t there too much focus on Israel and not enough on other countries that deny human rights?

We support human rights and international law. Just as there are campaigns focused on other human rights issues, we are dedicated to campaigning in solidarity with Palestinians who have asked for the support of citizens around the world.

Judged by the actions of their governments over many years, Israel isn’t interested in peace. By erecting more and more settlements on Palestinian land it is in the process of building Palestine out of existence. The situation is urgent and deteriorating.

Our government is not only ineffective in opposing Israel’s human rights abuses, but by allowing financial links between Israel’s illegal settlement colonies and British businesses, it is complicit in these breaches. By blocking and attacking the rights of British people to support Palestinians’ peaceful call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, the Government is assisting Israel in its crimes.

It is not only our right to boycott those who aid and abet this occupation and colonisation of Palestine – it is our duty.


Link to the Q&As on Palestine Solidarity Campaign's website :
http://www.palestinecampaign.org/qa-on-antisemitism-anti-zionism-and-bds/

Friday, 19 February 2016

Labour friends of Palestine condemn government attack on BDS

This statement was released today by Labour Friends of  Palestine and the Middle East:
 

This week the Cabinet Office (17/2/2016) published new government guidelines intended “to stop inappropriate procurement boycotts by public authorities.”

Principally aimed at the Palestine supporting BDS campaign it intends to remove the freedom from local authorities and other bodies to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco and other products.

The change in policy has been condemned by politicians, charities, campaigning and church groups and in the press. Many pointed out that these rules, as intended, would have blocked many groups from supporting the campaigns against Apartheid South Africa.

A spokesperson for Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn MP stated:

People have the right to elect local representatives able to make decisions free of central government political control. That includes withdrawal of investments or procurement on ethical and human rights grounds.

During the General Election LFPME asked candidates to sign up to our 6 election pledges, one of which was - ‘Illegal Settlements: Call for a complete freeze on illegal settlement growth in order to save any hope for a viable two state solution, and end all trade and investment with illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.’

Boycott campaigners have reacted to the new guidelines as simply re-stating existing policy, which will not stop groups from following an ethical procurement policy that discriminates against companies based on their human rights record or compliance with international law.

Grahame Morris MP Chair of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East said:

We have reached a contradictory situation in which we in the International Community economically sustain a major obstacle to peace—the illegal settlements.

Settlement products are the proceeds of crime. They are illicit goods, the product of a brutal occupation and the exploitation of the occupied and their resources. By trading with those who produce them, we financially encourage them.

Those settlements are built on the foundations of immense suffering—that of the Palestinians who have seen their homes destroyed, have been expelled from their own land and are living under brutal oppression—yet we make the illegal settlement enterprise profitable for the occupying power.
That seems to me a gross injustice.
Commenting about the BDS movement, Mr Morris added:
 

We should not have to boycott settlement goods; we should not be allowed to buy them in the first place. I am appalled that the government are more focused on preventing boycotts and disinvestment from the illegal settlements rather than attempting to end settlement trade.
This undermines their commitment to international law, human rights and resolving the conflict.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

'Denied Entry' film fundraiser for Palestine Trauma Centre, Gaza






Brent Friends of Palestine fundraiser for Palestine Trauma Centre Gaza, Friday 4th March 7-9.30pm  Interfaith Centre, (Anne's & St Andrew's Churches) 125 Salusbury Rd, NW6 6RG Directions:  LINK

"Perspectives on Palestine" film "Denied Entry" by award winning film maker Kate Jangra,

Introduction by Kate Jangra followed by discussion with Panel
Panel: Kate Jangra, 
Dr.Mohamed Altawill  Director of the PTC ,
Freya Aquarone sociology student involved in developing and running music projects in Palestine.

Refreshments

Transport: Queens Park Bakerloo line and Overground  and Brondesbury Park Overground and 206 bus. Free parking after 6.30

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

PSC take legal action against Co-op Bank for closing accounts

PSC along with 20 local groups working for Palestine (including 10 PSC branches) have had their bank accounts unilaterally closed by the Co-operative bank. The reason? The Co-op bank say they've changed their "risk appetite". Apparently Palestinian human rights are too "risky" for the Co-operative bank.

Well we're not having it. Today we've launched a legal case against the Co-operative bank calling this what it is - discrimination.  As well as taking legal action we need you to stand with us and show the Co-op bank that campaigning for Palestinian human rights shouldn't be punished.

If you have an account with the Co-op bank, write to tell them you're closing it because of their actions

So many of us opened our accounts with the Co-operative Bank because they market themselves as an ethical alternative. Professing their moral high ground in their ethical policy they proclaim to act with "honesty and transparency," to treat their "customers fairly" and to believe in "promoting human rights and equality". Well there is little evidence of any of these principles today.

They have chosen to close the accounts of 20 organisations working for human rights and equality for Palestinians - and they have offered no honest or transparent explanation, only citing the banking jargon "risk appetite".

It is quite clear the Co-operative Bank no longer cares about human rights - the Palestinians suffer incursions on their human rights day in, day out at the hands of an occupying military force that continues to violate international law. In the UK we have a great tradition of solidarity organisations coming together to stand against human rights violations throughout the world - this is something that the Co-operative Bank should support, not punish.

To those who still bank with the Co-op because of their ethical principles - it seems they have turned their bank on their ethics, so we are asking you to turn your back on them.

Close your Co-op bank account and write to them to tell them why.

For suggestions of alternative banks, visit www.moveyourmoney.org.uk. While their ethical banking page still lists the Co-op (don't worry we're writing to them about this) they do offer other alternative options.

Moving bank account is a big decision - and we know it can be a real pain! But we need to show big businesses they can't profit off of fake ethics. If they believe in human rights and equality - that includes Palestine too.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Palestinian medical experts refused entry to UK for conference - please write to your MP

From PSC 

Dear friend

The UK Government is facing fierce condemnation from campaigners for refusing permission for Palestinian medical experts to attend an academic conference.

Five Palestinian medical experts had their visas refused by the British Authorities.
Anecdotally it appears that an increasing number of Palestinians are having their visas to the UK refused by the British Government.

Write to your MP and ask them to protest against this decision and to call for a review of our visa arrangements with Israel and Palestine

One of those denied entry was a psychologist from Bethlehem. An Israeli from the illegal settlement of Har Homa - about half a mile from Bethlehem - would have been able to enter the UK freely without even applying for a British visa.

It is not as easy for UK citizens to visit Israel as it for Israeli settlers to visit the UK. The UK Government is failing to publicly protest against British citizens being prevented from entering Israel and the Palestinian territories. And the Israeli Parliament is threatening to pass a law banning supporters of boycott  from travelling to Israel or - in effect - the occupied territories.

Write to your MP today and ask them to protest against:

Palestinians being prevented from travelling to the UK, with reference to these medical experts prevented from attending this academic conference

Israeli settlers being given free rein to travel to the UK

The growing threat of UK citizens being denied entry to the occupied Palestinian territories to see the situation for themselves
Please write to your MP today and ask for your MP to protest.