Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 18th bulletin

Bulletin no.233, 18th September 2011

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign exists to build a mass solidarity movement on Palestine. It is founded on principles of justice, human rights, and opposition to all forms of racism.

Any expression of racism or intolerance, or attempts to deny or minimise the Holocaust have no place in our movement. Such sentiments are abhorrent in their own right and can only detract from the building of a strong movement in support of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people. We welcome all those who share our aims to join PSC.

Our campaign is a positive one, working to ensure the freedoms enjoyed by people throughout the world are not denied to the people of Palestine. We seek to build a movement where all those who are in support of our core demands can take part. Join us, and let us create a world free of occupation, free of racism and where the human rights of all are protected.

Upcoming Events: Local
Oxford Ramallah Friendship Association Planning meeting – Oxford Tuesday September 20, 2011 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford Please come along and help plan our next projects.
Everyone welcome.

The Negev Bedouin story
Dr Awad el Farj, a prominent leader of the Bedouin community, will speak about the impact of Israel’s policies on its struggle for survival
7.30pm Tuesday 11 October
Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
Becky Worth, an Oxford student, will talk about her experiences of working with an a rebuilding camp in Palestine organised by this non-violent direct action group
7.30pm, Tuesday 8 November
Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford

The struggle against the colonisation of the Jordan Valley
This meeting will be addressed by Rosa of the Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign who will have recently returned from the area.
7,30pm, Tuesday 13 December
Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford

Saturday street stall: The OPSC Saturday street stall on Cornmarket Street is one of the main ways we use for raising the issue of Palestine with the public at large. It is an important activity for offering information leaflets to the public, inviting them to join PSC or leave their email for Oxford PSC updates. Generally we are there 11:30 to 13:30. Always a minimum of two people on shift. Please consider volunteering for a shift: it’s an opportunity to meet other PSC members, those wanting information and occasionally those wishing to challenge our views, even volunteering for one shift a year would help. Please email ali at if you're able to help.
PS ... If you can only do an hour or so, then that’s good too, email us for information and turn up on the day. Thank you to all who volunteered for vacant slots
Any help is much appreciated.

This Saturday we had, unusually in the last two years, two rather aggressive Zionists coming up to argue with us on the stall. (It is unusual because nowadays the majority of people in Oxford and visitors from abroad support the Palestinian cause). The best thing to do is keep calm and argue rationally without getting angry – remembering that many who now are on our side were once Zionists – see this link: .

Oct 5th 7-9pm What is happening in Palestine? St Anthony of Padua Parish Hall, 115 Headley Way, Oxford OX3 7SS.(near the JR) Speakers: David Scarpa and Ann Farr, who has recently returned from 3 months in Palestine as an EAPPI volunteer. Organised by Pax Christi and the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine. Everyone welcome. Further detail from Anne Dodd 01235 525997

Sunday November 13th 4-5.30pm, Friends Meeting House, St Giles, Oxford

Palestinian Voices
Helen Griffith spent three months on the West Bank witnessing the daily struggle of Palestinians under occupation by the Israeli army. She went as an “Ecumenical accompanier” and will give her testimony of that experience.

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) brings internationals to the West Bank to provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor and report human rights abuses and support Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace.

For more information see

Sing for peace and justice for Palestinians
The Sea Green Singers will perform songs of solidarity with Palestinians, celebrating their lives and resistance. The choir is a regular at events supporting peace and justice around Oxfordshire.

For more information see
Sunday November 13th 4-5.30pm, Friends Meeting House, St Giles, Oxford

Upcoming Events: UK/International
PSC Weekly Update here:
PSC Branch Forum, In Liverpool Saturday 24 September, 12noon to 4pm
At The Quaker Meeting House in Liverpool
22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT Map and directions: PLEASE NOTE: We will be operating a pool fare system, PSC will cover travel expenses above the average fare. Lunch will be provided. The PSC Branch Forum is open to all members of the PSC.
Boycott Israel Network residential weekend
I've been asked to pass on information about the
5th Boycott Israel Network Workshop:14th -16th October 2011 Coalbrookdale Youth Hostel,1 Paradise, Coalbrookdale, Telford, TF8 7NR.


The Trades Union Congress, representing 6.5 million workers in the UK, voted overwhelmingly today (14 September 2011) to deplore the 'anti-democratic law' passed by the Israeli Knesset banning individuals and organisations in Israel from calling for the boycott of Israel, and reaffirmed existing policy to 'work closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and the construction of the Wall'.

The new policy also 'calls on all unions on the basis of this policy to review their bi-lateral relations with all Israeli organisations, including Histadrut'. The motion was proposed by Unite the Union , and an amendment was proposed by the PCS.

Hugh Lanning, Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and Deputy General Secretary of the PCS Union which moved the amendment, said:

'Today British trade unions have decided not to buy into the Israeli occupation - not to buy goods from firms or work with organisations complicit with Israel 's illegal occupation, settlements and wall.

' Israel must be made to honour international law. The UN, Obama and the EU should be making Palestine a reality not blocking their freedom.'

Hugh Lanning continued: 'Companies are paying the price for their complicity with Israel 's crimes. Agrexco, infamous for exporting produce from Israel and the illegal settlements, has gone into liquidation. Veolia has lost contracts worth millions of pounds. It is time for companies and organisations to recognise that they must end their complicity with occupation and war crimes. The trade union movement was a central pillar of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa . And today, trade unions in Britain are taking the same principled stance - supporting peace and justice, and opposing racism and apartheid.'

For the full text of the motion and amendment:

For the latest news from Palestine see
see also

Other Items:

Student’s freshers' pack, and useful material available here . For all students.

An interesting post by the conservative scandal monger Guido Fawkes:Note how the BBC is willing to be led by the nose: After his story earlier in the week about pro-Israel lobby group BICOM, Guido was tipped that their CEO Lorna Fitzsimons, the former Labour MP, was in some serious trouble. He was tracking down an email that was accidentally sent out on Monday to some of BICOM’s media list instead of the intended recipients – the donors. Annoyingly Ephraim Hardcastle beat him to it this morning and reveals how Lorna blurted to the world that she has been:
“…liaising with BBC and Sky to ensure ‘the most objectively favourable line was taken…I briefed Jonathan Ford, the Financial Times leader writer for his upcoming leading article… BICOM had regular contact with the Editor at Large of Prospect magazine, David Goodhart, helping to inform him about the forthcoming UN vote on Palestinian statehood…”

Please sign the petitions on the national PSC website:

An e petition to the UK government on the issue of Palestinian statehood.
‘This House believes that the British government should recognise Palestine as a state and support its admission to the UN in September 2011.’
The link to the e-petition site is here:

-But here is some of the argument against it: Bantustans and the unilateral declaration of statehood
I would welcome opinions on this important argument, and will put the strongest arguments on our website.

Re. Palmer report and the continued closure of Gaza
Dear Foreign Minister,
As international humanitarian, development, human rights and peace-building organisations, we are writing to you in response to the report of the Panel of Inquiry led by Sir Geoffrey Palmer and established by the UN Secretary-General. Given the common misconceptions about the Palmer report’s findings, we ask you to ensure that its claim that the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip is lawful is not misunderstood to mean that the entire closure regime imposed on Gaza is legal. We also ask you to step up efforts to ensure an immediate and unconditional lifting of the closure...
Instead of only easing the restrictions, Israel should be required to comply with its international legal obligations and lift its closure on Gaza fully and immediately. This means allowing exports as well as imports, subject only to legitimate and proportionate security checks, and allowing Palestinians to travel between Gaza and the West Bank, which are internationally recognised as a single territorial unit. It also means ensuring Palestinians’ access to arable land currently located inside the “buffer zone” imposed by Israel within Gaza’s perimeter and allowing Palestinian fishermen access to their coastal waters.
Sincerely, See enclosed PDF file

From West Surrey PSC:
We recently had a speaker, Susan Lourenco, of MachsomWatch talk at a public meeting in Guildford. MachsomWatch produced a powerful documentary film, Kalandia - A Checkpoint Story, in 2009. Unfortunately she only had 3 copies available at the meeting so one of our members, George, has started producing these DVDs on their behalf. We are selling them for £8.00 incl. postage and £5.00 of that goes to MachsomWatch. We believe the film would be a very useful tool for meetings as well as for general sale.

I have attached a detailed synopsis of the film but a brief one can be viewed here -

You can view a trailer of the film here -

The DVDs can be purchased from our website -

If you would prefer to purchase via post then you can contact George at -

Machsom Watch is a group of Israeli women, peace activists from all sectors of Israeli society, who oppose the Israeli occupation and the denial of Palestinians' rights to move freely in their land. Since 2001, they have conducted daily observations of Israeli army checkpointsin the West Bank, along the separation wall and beyond where Palestinians are often harassed and humiliated. You can read more about them at -

Kind regards
John Murphy
West Surrey PSC

Please send items to go in the bulletin to David Hillman on: And please send any comments or criticisms to me at the same address