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

 

 

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:

 

SEPTEMBER

Till October... As part of the Biennial art festival the Oratory building of the Anglican cathedral has a 20-minute film running on a loop. Rubber-Coated Bullets is made by Lawrence Abu Hamden. It draws on the trial of two Israeli soldiers accused of shooting dead two Palestinian demonstrators on the West Bank. The blurb says it is 'a work about aesthetics, politics and the potential violence inherent in both noise and silence'. Actually it shows how Israeli soldiers can shoot Palestinians and get away with it.

Sunday 25th to Wednesday 28th - Labour Party Conference in Liverpool

The Labour Party's annual conference in Liverpool has, as always, a number of fringe meetings. The following events are outside the conference precinct and should therefore be open to all:

Sunday 25th, 5 to 7pm - The Chakrabarti forum, organised by Momentum in the BlackE on Great George Street, discusses the antisemitism witch-hunt in the Labour Party.

Sunday 25th, 7.30pm to 9pm - Free Speech on Israel fringe meeting in the Novotel on Hanover Street.

Monday 26th, 12 noon to 1pm - The fringe meeting of Palestine Solidarity Campaign is on the theme of Israeli West Bank settlements. In the New Statesman 'hub' at the South-East corner of the Albert Dock.

 

OCTOBER

Saturday 1st, 10am to 4pm - a day conference explores ways to commemorate next year's centenary of the Balfour declaration. Organised by the Balfour Project, tickets are £26 / 16 and can be booked HERE. See the Basic History page on this site for a quick intro to the Balfour declaration of 1917.

Wednesday 5th, 7.30pm - our regular monthly meeting is in the Methodist Rooms above News from Nowhere bookshop. Agendas etc go out separately to members.

Saturday 8th, 12 noon to 2pm - our monthly stall is at the bottom of Bold Street, with leaflets and a petition to sign. Come and help out for half an hour.

 

THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT

Olympic opening 2016 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 There were six Palestinian competitors in the Rio Olympics:

Mayda al-Sayed – Womens marathon- 67th in time of 2:42:28

Mary al-Atrash – Swimming – Women’s 50m freestyle - ranked 62nd in time of 28:76

Ahmed Gebrel – Swimming – Men’s 200m freestyle - ranked 47th in time of 1:59:71

Mohammed Abukhousa – Athletics – Men’s 100m - qualified from preliminary with 10:82 but stretchered off after first-round 11:89

Simon Yacoub – Judo – Men’s 60 kg - eliminated in first round

Christian Zimmermann – Equestrian - eliminated

As always, these competitors did not have it easy. Many items of equipment were held up by Israeli officials and they had to buy replacements in Brazil. The head of their team Issam Qishta was not given a permit to leave Gaza.

In the Paralympics, Palestine had just one entrant: Husam Azzam contested the mens shot-put F53. He came 8th out of 10 contestants with a seasons best of 6.34m.

Out of the Olympic limelight, meantime, it is business as usual. The Palestinian beach football team is, not surprisingly, based in Gaza. Their team was due to compete in the Asian beach games in Vietnam in mid-September but the Israelis have refused the entire team permission to leave.

 

NAKBA DAY - 15 MAY

'Nakba', or 'Catastrophe' is the Palestinian term for the Israeli military campaign that ethnically cleansed large parts of Palestine and turned 750,000 inhabitants into refugees. The date of 15 May is marked each year and we recently held a demonstration on Church Street (see pictures below). On the national stage, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK said this:

“The Nakba is ongoing as long as the occupation continues and as long as the Right of Return is not implemented according to UN Resolution 194 which enshrines the right of return and compensation for Palestinian refugees. Almost one hundred years since the Balfour Declaration, 7 million Palestinian refugees still suffer displacement and dispossession.

There is increasing awareness among the British people of the great injustice done to the Palestinians which continues to this day. They understand it was a direct consequence of the British Government’s creation of Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people. Today the British Government continues to turn a blind eye to Israel’s blatant violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The British nation, however, is principled and has a great sense of fairness. I appeal to them to call on their government to work to rectify the great wrong done to my people,"

 

Nakba 2016 B

Nakba 2016 A

 

G4S TO QUIT PALESTINE - THEY SAY

The big security company G4S say they have decided to sell up and get out of Palestine. They have been centrally involved in the Israeli state's control of the Palestinians, so this must be classed as a big move. You can read more about it HERE. PSC and some British trade unions want to be sure and are pushing for some further answers in an open letter that you can read HERE.

 

MOST MORAL ARMY AND ITS SUPPORTERS

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

The soldier, one Elor Azaria, is charged with homicide. But while he awaits trial (detained in an open prison) he becomes a folk hero. You can see HERE a disturbingly large and vociferous rally held in his support on 19 April in central Tel-Aviv. Cue the same Israeli politicians now criticising the prosecution! The most important quotes are linked from THIS ARTICLE. As so often, extremism is becoming the Israeli norm.

ATTACKS ON THE LABOUR PARTY

A vigorous witch-hunt has been going on inside the British Labour Party. The immediate target is quite clearly Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, but the longer-term aim is to expand the definition of 'antisemitism' to include any criticism of Israeli apartheid. The party's officials for their part have been either running scared or promoting the hysteria, suspending members without any idea of what to do next.

It may be that a similar 'definition creep' will also find its way into Government policy as THIS ARTICLE from the Institute of Race Relations explains.

Maybe Jeremy Corbyn's inquiry will instil a sense of order into the debate. The inquiry report was published (on time!) on 30 June 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.

We believe that support for the Palestinians requires opposition to all forms of racism. We see Israel's treatment of the Palestinians as a form of apartheid racism, which we will continue to oppose without apology.

ANOTHER PROPAGANDA STUNT

Liverpool University has been caught out promoting an Israeli propaganda tour. Lecturers have been told to circulate an invite to postgraduate students to join a 'unique project' with all expenses paid. "The aim of the project is to take 180 people aged between 22 and 35 years, from all walks of life, from all over the UK to Israel in November for 5 days on a fact-finding tour with the hope that on their return they will advocate on behalf of Israel. We wish to target mature Masters students or Research students".

This was all too much for one student who replied "Should the University really be promoting the attempts of a foreign state to whitewash its policies of ethnic cleansing, discrimination, military occupation, theft of land and resources, imprisonment (including of children) without charge or trial, torture, family separation and attacks on civilians?" 

 

WORLD OPINION

You may be following how US Presidential candidates have been falling over each other to proclaim their support for the state of Israel. In contrast, you will find HERE a report of a recent session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

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 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.

 

MOHAMMED AL-QEEQ

This Palestinian journalist was finally released on 21 May from 'administrative detention' (without trial and even without charge) by the Israelis. You can read more about him HERE and a petition addressed to the European Parliament is HERE. The BBC's silence on the plight of a fellow-journalist was highlighted by a projection on to Broadcasting House in London which you can see HERE. By the time of his release he had spent six months in detention.

 

CURRENT  PETITIONS

The Co-op Bank - you may have seen that the Co-op Bank has declared it will not hold bank accounts for organisations that link in any way with Palestine. Organisations like Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which have banked with the Co-op Bank as a point of principle, are having their accounts closed. THIS PETITION invites the Co-op Bank to change its policy.

#Free Abu Sakhar - among the many Palestinians held by the Israelis in 'administrative detention' is a circus performer Abu Sakhar. He has been held in prison without charge or trial since 14 December. Details about the campaign to free him are HERE. Amnesty International also have an action alert which you can find HERE.

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

 


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