Photo: 1066 Drone Photography
Hastings and Rye Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Newsletter   11 September 2021
  In this newsletter we have...
  • Palestine on the Pier.
  • The Sanctuary Festival tomorrow (Sunday) 12pm - 6pm.
  • Prisoners' tunnel escape.
  • Understanding the politics of the Israeli state.
  • The young Israelis refusing to fight.
  • More news from and about the occupation.

    Palestine on the Pier - a celebration of Palestinian culture

    Photo: 1066 Drone Photography
    This ended up as the most extraordinary, beautiful, unforgettable event. With a turnout that was way beyond our expectations.

    Dance troupe Hawiyya gave a powerful, evocative and energetic performance, the musicians Jamal and Alaa had people up dancing on the decking with their brilliant Arabic folk songs, the storyteller Elias Matar took the audience on a journey into the imagination.

    We are so thrilled that the people of Hastings turned out in such large numbers to celebrate Palestinian culture in its many forms. We'd like to thank our partners Hastings Pier Entertainment Ltd for lending us such a great venue. We are grateful to all our sponsors and advertisers who supported our event and to everyone who gave donations in advance and on the day to pay for it.

    We'll write a fuller report later on with some great photos we're being sent. In the meanwhile, here's a short video made on the day: Palestine on the Pier.

    Here's a small taste of the event from the Hastings Observer: Hastings Pier Festival in Pictures.


    Sanctuary Festival on Sunday 12pm - 6pm

    Please visit our stand and say hello at the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Bohemia Road, Hastings TN34 1ET
    A whole range of artists, workshops, poetry performances and fun for kids. Entry is free but donations are welcome. Facebook event page.

    Information stalls

    Our weekly information stalls will resume Saturday 25 September 12 to 2 in Hastings town centre near Millets (weather permitting).

    Palestinian Prisoners' Tunnel Escape

    There were celebrations throughout Palestine at the break-out from the high security Israeli Gilboa prison. One of the prisoners Zakaria Zubeidi had been held in Gilboa since 2019 without charge or trial. He was the co-founder of the Freedom Theatre in the Jenin refugee camp. We hosted the Freedom Theatre of Jenin in Hastings in 2015. They performed their spectacular play 'the Siege' at St Mary in the Castle. Unfortunately 4 of the prisoners have been re-captured. We wish the remaining 2 safe passage.

    Gideon Levy writes in the publication Haaretz:
    'Their prison conditions are a disgrace, failing any test of humanity and human rights. Most of the six have already served 20 years in prison with no chance of a future. I know Zakaria Zubeida well. His story is a classic tale of victim and hero. "I never lived like a human being," he told me once. His father died when he was young. He was a teenager when his mother was killed by IDF forces in the window of her home. A few weeks later his brother was killed, and his house demolished by the Israeli army. Of all his friends in the Jenin refugee camp, who were immortalized in the wonderful 2004 documentary "Arna's Children," only he is still alive.

    Like Marwan Barghouti and other Palestinian heroes, he wanted peace with Israel, but under conditions of peace and honour. I hope Zakaria will escape to freedom. He and his friends are freedom fighters. Fighters for the freedom of Palestine. How could they be called anything else?'
    Gideon Levy: Yes, the Palestinian Prison Escapees Are Freedom Fighters.
    Six Palestinians escape from high-security prison through tunnel.

    Understanding the politics of the Israeli state

    We always say that the cause of the problems created by Israel is not religion but its politics. While the leaders of some political parties don't like to talk about Zionism, a knowledge of this political movement is essential to an understanding of why Israel behaves like it does. This is an article by Louis Allday which looks at the works of Fayez Sayegh, the principal author of the 1975 landmark UN resolution calling out Israel for operating 'a form of racism and racial discrimination.'

    Louis Allday reveals very clearly the formation of the Zionist movement, its history, its characteristics and strategies. He shows how these characteristics have made the forced removal of the indigenous population of Palestine central to the Zionist project. He also shows the essential role of foreign powers - first the UK and now the USA - in its implementation. A fascinating and informative article.
    Louis Allday: Fayez Sayegh.

    Puma Day of Action Saturday 18 September

    Puma sponsors the Israeli Football Association (IFA). The IFA operates in illegal Israeli settlements on land stolen from Palestinians. Every settlement is a war crime under international law - pushing indigenous Palestinian families off their land, robbing natural resources, and denying Palestinians their right of movement. By sponsoring the IFA, Puma is complicit in supporting these crimes. Details to follow.

    £9,000 target met!

    At our 'Rise Up For Palestine' demonstration in May (against Israel's bombing of Gaza, its attacks inside Al-Aqsa mosque and the ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah) we made a collection for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) - which came to £536. We worked out that, since our branch has been going, we only had a few hundred pounds to go before we had collected a total of £9k. So at our information stall two weeks ago we passed that target. So thanks to everyone who has contributed over the last few years. MAP is a great organisation - it's on the ground right now in Gaza helping hospitals and health professionals respond to the crisis.

    Our main goal is to support the fight for justice for Palestine, support for BDS and raise awareness of the nature of apartheid in Israel. But we do raise funds for groups like MAP, ICAHD and DCI-P. So thanks again everyone.

    MAP Appeal: Summer camps supporting Gaza children traumatised by violence and blockade
    Life under 14 years of blockade and repeated military assault has taken a severe toll on the mental health of young people in Gaza. MAP Appeal.

    Shahar Peretz.
    The young Israelis refusing to fight

    18-year-old Shahar Peretz is one of a growing number of young Israelis who would rather go to prison than carry out military service with the IDF (Israeli Defence Force). "I won't agree to take part in the occupation and the violent, racist policies of Israel."

    Shahar signed the 'Shministiyot Letter.' The public refusenik letter is the first of its kind to go beyond the occupation and refer to the expulsion of Palestinians during the 1948 war: 'We are ordered to put on the bloodstained military uniform and preserve the legacy of the Nakba and of occupation. Israeli society has been built upon these rotten roots, and it is apparent in all facets of life: in the racism, the hateful political discourse, the police brutality, and more.

    'War or jail': The young Israelis refusing to fight.

    The 'night confusion' protesters in Gaza

    After gaining strong popular support in Beita, occupied West Bank, the 'night confusion protests' are now taking place in Gaza, where protesters gather along the fence separating the besieged strip from Israel, calling for an end to the Israeli blockade.
    Video:The 'night confusion' protests calling for an end to Gaza's blockade.

    St Leonards Festival

    Thanks to everyone who came to say hello. We had a really busy day - with a non-stop stream of visitors.

    We collected large numbers of signatures on the petition '2-way arms embargo NOW,' and gave out lots of 'Boycott Israeli apartheid' stickers.

    Our posts on social media got a very good response - with more than 25,000 hits on Twitter.

    Send a Message to Ben and Jerry's

    Ben and Jerry's announced it will stop selling ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Send a message of support to the Board of Directors and staff for their stand for Palestinian rights. SumOfUs message.

    The Ragged Trousered Troubadours

    We will have a stand at the event - please come and say hello. Sunday 19 September 3-7pm. The Conquerors March, Stonestile Lane, Hastings TN34 2RA. Facebook event page.

    More news and comment:

    Ramzy Baroud: 'Blood for Blood:' On Jenin and Israel's Fear of an Armed Palestinian Rebellion: Article here.

    How Owen Jones justifies Labour's purge of socialists and the question of Rezső Kasztner: Article here.

    Hastings and Rye PSC online membership and donations

    Becoming a member of Hastings and Rye PSC is an important way of supporting our work.The annual subscription is £10 waged, £5 unwaged. We now have an online membership payment form. It can also be used to renew membership. The work of Hastings & Rye Palestine Solidarity could not continue without the generous donations from members of the public. If you would like to support our work without becoming a member please visit our shop page here and see the right hand column: Donate to Hastings & Rye PSC.

    Recent Hastings and Rye PSC newsletters:

    29 August 2021
    9 August 2021
    9 July 2021

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