Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 50 Number 36, September 19, 2020 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Justice For Palestine

Stand with the Palestinian People

The Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign organised an action in Brighton's city centre on August 8.

Justice for Palestine! is the demand of people around the world. The resistance of the Palestinian people to colonisation, annexation and occupation and their struggle for justice, return and liberation throughout Palestine, from the river to the sea, has support throughout the world.

The Days of Resistance for Palestine between August 7 and 9, for example, brought together many thousands in support of the Palestinian people and their right to resist.

In London, The Days of Resistance kicked off with a powerful direct action on August 6, organised by new British network Palestine Action at the office of Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems in London. Activists covered the reception area and outside the Elbit offices on the 6th floor in paint, using stencils and spraying graffiti stating "Shut Elbit Down", "Tested on Palestine, used in Kashmir" and "We will be back". They declared, "Your profits are covered in Palestinian blood!" Elbit supplied 85 per cent of the Israeli military's drones used in the bombardment of Gaza in 2014 and markets them to the world based on their "success" in use against Palestinian civilians.

In London, The Days of Resistance kicked off with a powerful direct action on August 6.

"We will not stop, and we will continue to escalate our actions until Elbit Systems' complicity in war crimes and apartheid here in the UK are shut down," Palestine Action organisers declared.

On August 8, Protest for Palestine and Victory to the Intifada organised a demonstration in Kensington as part of the Days of Resistance. Protesters also expressed solidarity and support for fellow liberation struggles, with speakers from the West Papua movement showing solidarity with Palestine and building joint struggle at the protest.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! protest and stand highlighting solidarity with the Palestinian resistance, especially the Palestinian prisoners in Glasgow.

In Manchester, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! organised a protest and stand highlighting solidarity with the Palestinian resistance, especially the Palestinian prisoners. Activists gathered in Piccadilly Square to distribute information, highlight anti-imperialist struggle and build solidarity with the Palestinian people, including campaigns to boycott complicit British corporations like Marks and Spencer.

In Liverpool, they organised a stand and protest action in a busy area of the city, joining the Days of Resistance with a call for freedom for Palestine and all revolutionary political prisoners around the world. In Glasgow, participants cheered: "Long Live Palestine! Victory to the Intifada! Freedom for all Palestinian political prisoners! Zionism is racism!" They highlighted the cases of Palestinian prisoners, including Ahmad Sa'adat and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah. The action also highlighted the struggle of Irish political prisoners and those being persecuted by British imperialism in Ireland, demanding justice for Liam Campbell, Ciaran Maguire and Zack Smyth.

In Brighton, the Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign organised an action in Brighton's city centre on August 8 for the Days of Resistance. Participants carried massive Palestinian flags and banners declaring: "No Annexation, No Occupation" and "Justice for Palestine". They highlighted the cases of Palestinian political prisoners and human rights defenders jailed by Israel, calling for freedom and justice for Palestine.

Several additional actions also took place on August 8, with XR Peace organising a workshop on annexation and resistance in Palestine as part of a peace and solidarity fast remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Knighton, Wales.

Open Letter

More recently, British Palestinians sent an open letter to the Labour Party, signed by many distinguished Palestinians in Britain. The letter reads in part:

We write as British Palestinians. Many of us are members of the Labour Party, some are not.

We have previously expressed our fears of how the space to publicly bring the facts of the Palestinian people's history and ongoing dispossession into the public domain was under severe threat.

Then, as now, our concerns were rooted in a clear opposition to anti-semitism believing that, alongside all forms of racism, it should not be tolerated within the Labour Party, the Palestinian solidarity movement, nor broader society.


We believe that an internationalist Labour Party has a special responsibility to redress the ongoing injustices against the Palestinian people, denied their right to self-determination during the British Mandate because of the role Britain played as a colonial power leading up to the 1948 Nakba, when Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes.

We welcome commitments made by the party, at recent party Conferences, including rejection of Trump's so-called "deal of the century" and any proposed solution not based on recognition of the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and to return to their homes as enshrined in international law.

We welcome the call by the Leadership team for a ban on settlement goods in response to Israel's proposals to annex further swathes of Palestinian lands, including illegal settlements.

[...] Respect for Palestinian rights is not incompatible with the struggle against racism and anti-semitism; in fact, it is integral to that struggle.

We are extremely concerned by any conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-semitism. Zionism is a political ideology and movement that has led to our dispossession and that sustains a state that discriminates against us and denies us our collective rights whether as victims of military occupation, unequal citizens of the Israeli state or living in exile as refugees denied the right of return to our homeland. Benjamin Netanyahu recently described the proposed annexation of further swathes of the West Bank, a proposal rightly condemned by the Labour Party, as " another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism". We cannot but reject this ideology and to deny us the right to do so is a form of anti Palestinian racism


In 2018 the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the British Palestinian Policy Council made submissions to the NEC that called upon the Labour party to confirm its unequivocal commitment to the principles of freedom of expression as outlined in Article 10 of the Human Rights Act. They called upon the party to recognise the right of Palestinians to legitimately describe their experiences of oppression including by reference to terms such as settler-colonialism or apartheid. These submissions joined warnings of the threats posed by the IHRA examples to core Palestinian rights and to freedom of expression from Palestinian civil society as well as over 80 BAME organisations, including Black Lives Matter UK, prominent members of the Jewish community, leading lawyers and academic experts on anti-semitism and the Institute for Race Relations.

We reiterate our call that the right of Palestinians to accurately describe our experiences of dispossession and oppression, to criticise the nature and structure of the state that continues to oppress us and to openly criticise the ideology of Zionism which informs the actions, policies and laws of that state, be upheld both as a right of a people under oppression and as a right of freedom of expression respected and supported by the Labour Party leadership. Furthermore, the rights of other British citizens to respond to calls for action including via the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement to address that oppression, should also be supported and upheld.


Dr Hafiz Alkarmi - Chairman of the Palestinian Forum in Britain
Iyas Alqasem - Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) exec and founder and trustee of Hope and Play charity for Palestinian children.
Omar Al-Qattan - Businessman and Philanthropist
Sawsan Asfari - Executive director of the Galilee Foundation
Tamara Ben-Halim - Human Rights Advocate
Zaher Birawi Chairman - Europal Forum
Selma Dabbagh - Author
Professor Izzat Darwazeh - UCL
Professor Kamel Hawwash - University of Birmingham
Feras Abu Helal - Editor-in-chief, Journalist
Nadia Hijab - President, Palestinian think tank
Ben Jamal - Director PSC
Dr Ghada Karmi - Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter
Dr Ahmad Khalidi - St Antony's College, Oxford
Chris Khamis - Labour International
Omar Mofeed - Ealing central and Acton constituency Labour Party ( CLP)
Adnan Sabbah - Lawyer
Atallah Said OBE - Former Chair, British Palestinian Policy Council
Ali Saleh - President of the (Association of the Palestinian Community in the UK (APCUK)
Kareem Samara - Composer/Musician
Aimee Shalan - Humanitarian and human rights advocate
Professor Suleiman Sharkh - University of Southampton

For full letter, click here:


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