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Liverpool Friends of Palestine is affiliated to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), which campaigns for justice for Palestinians.

Balfour window display at NfN 001Balfour window display at NfN 002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This window display at News from Nowhere bookshop marked 100 years since the British Government's 'Balfour declaration'

 

 

Welcome to the website of Liverpool Friends of Palestine.

 

On other pages you will find out more about what we do. You’ll also find some recommendations of books, films and so on and some links to other organisations. There’s a ‘basic history’ in the ‘Palestine’ section and there’s even a quiz to test your knowledge!

Elsewhere on the net, we have a Facebook page and you can just follow this link. You can also follow us on Twitter at @Livfop.

On this page we list some events coming up shortly, at which you are welcome to join us:

 

DECEMBER

Thursday 7th, 1 to 2pm - Carols for Palestine: Join us in Clayton Square to sing out for Palestine and collect money for our solidarity work with the West Bank village of Bil'in.

Thursday 14th, 4 to 5pm - Carols for Palestine, second instalment.

Wednesday 20th, 5 to 6pm - Carols for Palestine, third and final instalment.

 

JANUARY

Saturday 6th, 12 noon to 2pm - our monthly stall will be outside HSBC on Whitechapel. We will be highlighting HSBC's role in financing the Israeli arms trade. Stop by an help for half an hour.

Wednesday 10th, 7pm - our monthly meeting is at the UNITE building Jack Jones House. Agendas etc go out separately to members.

SETTLEMENT POLITICS

It feels a long time ago that the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 2334 on 23 December last, declaring settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem  to be a 'flagrant violation under international law'. You can read the full text of the resolution HERE. But it remains a matter of record thanks to the United States abstaining rather than vetoing it.

However, it is business as usual when Israel's settler-led government passes legislation that allows for legalisation of settlements built on stolen Palestinian-owned land and starts on further settlement activity. There is plenty of international condemnation but United States silence gives a green light to further house demolitions and land-grabbing in East Jerusalem and all over the West Bank.

 

A YEAR OF ANNIVERSARIES

2017 has been a year of anniversaries for the Palestinians. It is 100 years since the British government issued the 'Balfour declaration' that promised the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine; 70 years since the United Nations outlined its partition plan; 50 years since Israel occupied the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza and 10 years that Gaza has been under siege. There's a strong statement from over 250 European organisations that calls on the EU and European states to 'make 2017 the year that the rights of the Palestinian people become a reality'. The full statement and list of signatories is HERE.

 

THE BEAUTIFUL GAME

If you need any reminding of why racism has no place in sport, watch THIS TRAILER for the documentary 'Forever Pure' on the Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem. It is a withering critique of a club that prides itself on having no Arab players.

Elsewhere in the footballing world, the Israeli FA has been under pressure to exclude six of its member clubs that are based in illegal settlements. See HERE for a detailed investigation by Human Rights Watch. A ruling from FIFA (the international federation) has let them off the hook but the issue remains live.

As Israeli football clubs take part in European competition, so the protests follow them. The biggest demonstration was at Celtic Park where demonstrators held Palestine flags aloft in defiance of UEFA officialdom (and later raised over £150,000 for Palestinian charities).

Celtic Park Aug 2016

 

On the home front, one of our members is the manager of the under-18 team Liverpool Palestino FC who wear the jersey with pride

 

Liverpool Palestino FC Sept 2017

Liverpool Palestino FC


MOST MORAL ARMY AND ITS SUPPORTERS

An incident between a Palestinian civilian and an Israeli soldier on 24 March last year left both injured. As the Palestinian man lay immobile on the ground, another soldier shot him in the head. Palestinians would say this is nothing new and indeed the other soldiers there did not bat an eyelid. But this time the shooting was filmed and the youtube clip (HERE) went viral. Cue senior Israeli politicians agreeing that this soldier must be punished to preserve the army's integrity.

The soldier, one Elor Azaria, was charged with homicide. But while he awaited trial (detained in an open prison) he became a folk hero. You can see HERE a disturbingly large and vociferous rally held in his support on 19 April 2016 in central Tel-Aviv. Cue the same Israeli politicians criticising the prosecution! The most important quotes are linked from THIS ARTICLE. After he was convicted and sentenced to (only) 18 months imprisonment, even Prime Minister Netenyahu joins the widespread calls for a pardon. His appeal was unsuccessful but the army reduced his sentence to 14 months anyway. As so often, extremism is becoming the Israeli norm.

ATTACKS ON THE LABOUR PARTY

The vigorous witch-hunt inside the British Labour Party may at last be over for now. The immediate target has been Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, but the longer-term aim still is to expand the definition of 'antisemitism' to include any criticism of Israeli apartheid. A disciplinary rule-change put forward with much bluster by the so-called Jewish Labour Movement has been quietly abandoned.

Maybe the report from the party's Chakrabarti inquiry has been more useful than Israel's supporters would have liked. It was published (on time!) on 30 June last year and the full text is HERE.  See also HERE a basic Q and A from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Some of the most thorough submissions to the inquiry appear on the website freespeechonisrael.org.uk.

None of this stopped the same accusations arising at Labour's conference this year. This article is long but it is worth a read as showing how desperate the supporters of Israel have become.

THE ISRAEL LOBBY

Labour apologists for Israeli apartheid were well and truly caught out by THIS DOCUMENTARY made by Al-Jazeera. A six-month investigation by an undercover reporter produced compelling footage of an Israeli embassy official openly discussing setting up pro-Israel groups and 'taking down' politicians up to and including a Government minister. Needless to say there were cries of outrage about the programmes but all the complaints made to Ofcom have been dismissed.

More recently it is the turn of the Conservatives. Development Secretary Priti Patel visits Israel, meets several Israeli government officials and comes back with plans to divert British aid money to help Israel's war effort against Syria (by funding hospitals in the occupied Golan heights). Whoops, the story gets out and she has to resign. Was she acting alone?

PALESTINIAN CHILD PRISONERS

Israel's treatment of Palestinian children is an international disgrace. In 2012 the UK government sponsored an investigation which made over 40 recommendations. These have been almost entirely ignored and a planned follow-up trip by the same legal team was refused entry.

On 6 January last year there was a very full and informative debate on the subject in Parliament's Westminster Hall (THIS is the link, scroll down to page WH77). Of our local MPs, Peter Dowd (Bootle) expressed outrage at the blindfolding of nine-year-olds when arrested. Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside) made more than one intervention in favour of the Israeli state.

On 21 July the House of Lords debated this motion: "That this House takes note of the conditions in which Palestinian children are living and the impact on their health and wellbeing". There were a number of sympathetic contributions including from Baroness Jenny Tonge. You can read the official record HERE.

ETHNIC CLEANSING

Our recent leafleting has highlighted the Israeli plans to demolish the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran: you can read a bit more about it HERE. But the forced removal of Palestinians from their homes is also happening in the West Bank as THIS STATEMENT from the United Nations shows.

 

CURRENT  PETITIONS

Gaza - the PSC's petition to lift the long-running Israeli siege of Gaza is HERE.

PayPal - the services of Paypal are available to Israeli settlers but not to Palestinians. The petition HERE tries to put that right.

Google maps - the petition HERE asks google to put Palestine literally on the map!

 


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