Hastings and Rye Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Newsletter   4 June 2023
Why Can't We Talk About Palestine?
Propaganda, Censorship and the Israeli Lobby

A talk with Professor David Miller
Saturday 10 June 4.30 pm.
Venue to be announced

While support for Palestine is ever growing and has never been stronger, the Israel lobby has become more aggressive and hostile towards anyone involved with Palestine solidarity.

This campaign has been so effective that it has led to Palestinian solidarity activists getting sacked from their jobs, to the cancellation of meetings and to the expulsion from political parties. If this is not bad enough, probably the most serious result of this campaign is self-censorship, the fear of speaking up.

To be able to fight back against this powerful lobby, we need to fully understand it. So we are pleased to host Professor David Miller, widely regarded as the pre-eminent expert on the Israel lobby and the network it is part of.

No one will be surprised to hear that the lobby and its supporters have been gunning for Professor Miller and has tried its best to shut him up. In 2021 Bristol University gave into the pressure from groups such as the Zionist Federation, the Community Security Trust and the Board of Deputies and sacked him. Professor Miller has never given in and is fighting his dismissal with a pending industrial tribunal. More information at the Support David Miller website. Please share our Facebook event page widely.

We will be announcing the venue details (in Hastings) on the evening before the meeting through this newsletter and on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media. We will also send the details to everyone who registers. More information here:


Commemorating Nakba75

As part of our commemorating 75 years since the Nakba (the Catastrophe), we hosted, in conjunction with the Hastings mosque, two Palestinian speakers. Dr. Khader Abu-Hayyeh spoke of his time in 1948 as a little boy in Al-Lydd being ordered out of his house at the point of a gun by the Zionist militias, marching throughout Palestine seeking refuge, ending up in refugee camps for more than 20 years.

Yara Derbas of the Palestinian Youth Movement then shared her Nakba story. Her grandparents fled from the Zionists ending up in Lebanon refugee camps. Her grandfather was abducted by Israeli backed Falangist militias never to be seen again. Yara's mother still has the key to her home in Palestine and she showed the importance of each family keeping its Nakba story. While Israel wants Palestinians to forget, to be fragmented and separated, Palestinians quite clearly will never allow this to happen. We would like to thank members of the mosque and to Imam Ismail Yusef for the tremendous hospitality laid on for us.


Childrens' Madrasah

We took part in Palestinian Day at the children's madrasah at the Hastings mosque. Most of the older children spent time in the room displaying history and culture with Dr. Khader Abu-Hayyeh on hand to answer questions. Most of the younger children took part in painting and creating: they painted a giant collage of fruits that grow in Palestine and made Palestinian fishing boats.

We had poetry reading featuring Fadwa Tuqan, Ibrahim Tuqan, Mahmoud Darwish, Michael Rosen and Lowkey. Thankfully the technology worked for our hour-long Zoom link-up between the youngsters of Hastings and our friends in Al-Mawasi in Gaza. We also had traditional Palestinian children's stories. There was even face-painting and henna painting

It was a joy working with a group of children who were so responsive and willing to learn about all things Palestinian. A big thank you to everyone who took part for all your hard work. More photos here and here.


Our visit to the Siege of Elbit

A contingent of Hastings and Rye PSC members headed towards Elbit in Leicester to join the siege on days 18 and 19. Elbit produces the killer drones that are used against the captive population in Gaza. We found the whole experience really inspiring, particularly by the way that local people were supporting the siege. Throughout both days there was a steady stream of local people stopping to show support, leaving food, drink, medications and other supplies.

The police ordered us to take down our poster of solidarity from Hastings and Rye.
The activists shut the factory down during the first three days. But as the police were making mass arrests with proscriptive conditions - not allowing them anywhere near the factory - the number of activists became smaller. Though there was still a core group staying throughout the day and night.

While we were there, Elbit employees were let through the factory entrance and a large metal cage but there was no movement of goods. While the Siege of Elbit by Palestine Action went throughout May, local activists have been picketting the factory for two years and will continue doing so.

Our video reports: Day 18.    Day 19.
Visit by the Red Leicester Choir at the siege: 'Shut Elbit Down.'
At the siege of Elbit. 'Born on Nakba Day' by Muhammed El-Kurd from the book Rifqa, read by Hastings and Rye PSC member Katy.

Information stalls

Our stalls are every Saturday 12.00 noon until 2 pm (weather permitting) in the town centre. Please pay us a visit. Apart from a range of leaflets, pamphlets and stickers, we have keffiyehs from Hirbawi in Hebron, a range of T-shirts and Palestinian flag umbrellas. We also sell handicrafts from the Shu'fat Refugee Camp.

Roger Waters' Critics Are Smearing Him Because They Hate His Pro-Palestine Activism

Following an incredible campaign directed at Roger Waters (ex-Pink Floyd band), not only from the Israel lobby but from state actors and the corporate media, this article looks at the facts: that his shows "embrace solidarity in the face of state, racist, and political violence." That's clearly something that his opponents want to stamp out. Article here.
Roger Waters' statement on the controversy over his Berlin concert: Click here.
There are still a few tickets available at his 6 and 7 June performances at London's O2 arena. More information.

BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) news

G4S to divest from Israel

This is a major success of the #StopG4S campaign with the announcement of the world's largest private security company Allied Universal, which owns G4S, deciding to sell all its remaining business in Israel. Victory in G4S Campaign.

Belgian City of Verviers Cuts Ties with Israel's 'Apartheid Regime'

Verviers will refuse ties with Israel as long as the apartheid system persists and it continues with its violation of international law. The city vows to "strengthen its support for the Palestinian people."
Article here.

Brazil city ends ties with Israel

The Brazilian port city of Belem has been declared an Apartheid Free Zone.
Article here.

Tom Suárez: We need to stop confronting Israeli propaganda on Israel's terms

A useful article where Tom Suárez shows that as Israel's hold on the public is faltering, we shouldn't get bogged down by a narrative based on Israel's terms. "We need to throw Israeli charges back on the people making them." Article here.

One year after the Israeli murder of Shireen Abu Akleh

Article by a close friend of Shireen, Aline Hanna, giving a fascinating insight into her character and her life. Article here.

Israel-Palestine: Britain's new anti-BDS law must be opposed

The proposed legislation will ban local councils and other public bodies from making their own decisions in boycott and divestment campaigns. Article here.

What will Saudi-Iran rapprochement mean for the Palestinians?

This article shows that a shake-up in the regional order could provide new opportunities which could result in positive developments for Palestinians. Normalization was being used by Israel to undermine Palestinian leverage, marginalize their cause regionally, and pressure them to capitulate to Israeli demands. The changes in the region could change this. Article here.

Palestine Chronicle Reports from Gaza

Photos of the destroyed homes in the town of Jabaliya, north of Gaza, after the Israeli bombing during May. Article here.

Illegal settlers on the rampage attack Palestinians

Settlers "fired bullets at farmers, wounding at least five people. One of the victims is in a serious condition after being shot in the head by Israeli soldiers who accompanied the settlers." Article here.

Flag March in Jerusalem's Old City features arrests, racist chants

As in past years, marchers chanted racist slogans such as "Death to Arabs" and "May your village burn," a reference to the pogroms carried out by illegal settlers against Palestinians. Article here.

Palestine was destroyed in 12 months - but the Nakba has gone on for 75 years

Useful article by Ilan Pappé, detailing the history of the founding of Israel, and showing how the Nakba is not just an historical event but a continuing process of ongoing colonisation. Article here.

Nakba: Britain and the secret 1948 Palestine memos

The UK knew of mass killings and displacement of Palestinians in May 1948, but downplayed them and refused to intervene. Article here.

More news:

Ghada Karmi - Why is Israel so vital to the West?: Article here.

Israeli Settlers Allowed to Live in West Bank Firing Zone After Palestinians Were Evacuated: Article here.

Ramzy Baroud - Terrorists, Militants, or No Mention at All: How the Media Gets Palestinian Resistance Wrong Once Again: Article here.

Most Ashkenazi Jews are genetically Europeans, surprising study finds: Article here.

Syria kills terrorist ringleaders, confiscates Israeli weapons: Article here.

UK Conservative lawmakers create 'long overdue' pro-Palestine group: Article here.

Palestinian book launch scuppered by UK Zionists Yachad: Article here.

In Haifa, Israel sells Palestinian homes as luxury real estate: Article here.

In pictures: The city of Haifa before and after the Nakba of 1948: Article here.

West Bank: Hamas list wins key university elections: Article here.

Biden launches new plan to censor criticism of Israel: 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:

12 May 2023
28 April 2023
14 April 2023

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