Benefit for Palestine raises £1,000

A full house at our Come Dine for Palestine benefit for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)

Alaa (oud and vocals) and Jamal (percussion) performing at our Come Dine For Palestine event.

We thought the idea of celebrating Palestinian culture along with raising money for MAP might be a good idea. It couldn't have been more successful - tickets were sold out 10 days before the event; on the night there was an amazing atmosphere, with a great crowd, many of whom joined in dancing to the music.

The evening was such a success that we have been inundated with requests to organise another one next year!

The menu included: falaffel, houmous, labaneh, muskhan, hilbeh cake, maklouba, mujadara and tabbouleh. Many of these dishes and desserts have been cooked in Palestinian homes for hundreds of years.

Our musicians for the night, Alaa (oud and vocals) and Jamal (percussion) are part of the Brighton-based Best Foot Music project. Many in the audience had to get up and dance - at one point we had a part-conga part-dabke dance around the hall led by our chef!

Hastings and Rye PSC Chair Katy gave an inspiring talk showing that the need for solidarity with the Palestinians has never been more important than at the present. She pointed out the long standing historic injustice suffered by the Palestinians for which Britain bears a great deal of responsibility. The UK Government approves arm sales and lends legitimacy to a regime which is in perpetual breach of international law.

She spoke of the people of Gaza who are collectively imprisoned by the illegal 12 year blockade, and of the Israeli attacks on the Great Return demonstrators killing more than 300 with tens of thousands maimed. "UN investigators say the intentional targeting of peaceful civilians, of medics, children, journalists and the disabled may amount to war crimes."

Katy then spoke of the excellent work that MAP carries out in the West Bank, Gaza and in Lebanon.

Solidarity goes hand in hand with the Palestinian-led BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement. So it was fitting that Councillor Leah Levane then led the audience with a rousing version of 'the Boycott Song.'

We are pleased to report that the event raised £1,000, bringing the total that we've sent to MAP since our branch was formed to £7,873. We would like to thank everyone involved, particularly our incredible chef YaYah and his team, musicians Jamal and Alaah, everyone who gave raffle prizes and Deputy Mayor James Bacon for drawing the raffle prizes. September 2019.

Deputy Mayor James Bacon drawing the raffle prizes ably assisted by our young volunteers.