Make Apartheid History (once and for all) is an international project that will bring together creative individuals, organisations and networks from around the world – starting with Palestine and the UK; South Africa and USA – for a programme of popular events commencing summer 2015 and culminating summer 2016.
In 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (resolution 32/40 B). On that day, in 1947, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine (resolution 181 (II))
In resolution 60/37 of 1 December 2005, the Assembly requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights, as part of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November, to continue to organize an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights or a cultural event in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN.
The resolution on the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People also encourages Member States to continue to give the widest support and publicity to the observance of the Day of Solidarity.
MAH supports BDS wholeheartedly and the call for the UN to investigate Israel as an apartheid regime in the way it investigated South Africa. Here UN diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi says #UNInvestigateApartheid – and explains why.
Even though I’m just a grassroots activist, I felt if the mainstream media or other production companies with a budget aren’t prepared to take this on, then someone has to, and that appears to have been me. Jon Pullman
“Everyone who opposes antisemitism should see this film. Everyone who opposes all racism should see it – and every Labour party member and trade unionist must see it.” Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake)
“This impeccably-executed film exposes with chilling accuracy the terrifying threat that now confronts democracy, and the depressing intractability of the Israel-Palestine situation.” Mike Leigh (Peterloo, Mr Turner)
“(WitchHunt) packs a powerful punch, telling a story we just aren’t hearing at the moment.” Peter Kosminsky (Wolf Hall, The Promise)
“(WitchHunt) raises questions about how antisemitism is defined, important for the Labour Party, the media and all of us.” Caryl Churchill (Escaped Alone, Serious Money)
“Anyone who speaks or writes in the public domain about antisemitism and the current state of the Labour Party has a duty to see this film and address the issues it raises.” Avi Shlaim, historian
In 2015, while the far right was gaining ground around the world, socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the UK Labour Party in a landslide victory. Accusations of antisemitism within the party immediately began to circulate. Well-known anti-racists and left-wing Jews, such as Jackie Walker, were amongst the chief targets.
WitchHunt sets out to investigate the stories and the people behind the headlines, examining the nature of the accusations. Is this a witch hunt, as some claim? If so, who is behind it, and what is the political purpose of such a campaign? Has the media failed in its duty to fairness and accuracy in reporting on such serious allegations? Through a series of interviews, analysis and witness testimony, WitchHunt explores the connections between the attacks on Labour, the ongoing tragedy of Palestine and the wider struggle against race-based oppression. It argues that if it is to mean anything at all, the fight against racism must be a shared one that includes all peoples.
Today we join with all those who commemorate the Nakba; the catastrophe that began in 1947 which saw Zionist militias destroying over 500 Palestinian villages and towns and driving 750,000 Palestinians into exile, and you can read PSC’s account of this history here. But history continues to play out in the same way for Palestinians today as Israel continues to demolish Palestinian homes and villages, colonise the West Bank and East Jerusalem with illegal settlements, deny Palestinian citizens of Israel equality under the law, and deny Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homeland.
Palestinians face what many are calling a “New Nakba” – annexation of the settlements in the West Bank; no Palestinian capital in Jerusalem; Palestinians left trapped in network of disconnected Bantustans, permanently denied the right to determine their own lives as a people. Alongside this will be an attempt to persuade the word to redefine the status of refugee so that it is removed from the descendants of those expelled in 1948, thus leaving the majority of Palestinian people cut off from their homeland in a permanent exile.
But the global solidarity movement for Palestine grows daily. The thousands who marched for Palestine on Saturday were inspired by Ahed Tamimi’s address to them. The march and the speakers sent a clear strong message of UK support to the Palestinian people.
On this Nakba Day, please support PSC campaign calls below.
#DeactivateAirbnb for one day
Stand for justice and #deactivateAirbnb on 15th May, Nakba Day.
Join the international day of action against Airbnb’s decision to continue listing holiday homes in illegal Israeli settlements. Every settlement home is a war crime built on stolen Palestinian land.
Click here to deactivate your Airbnb account for one day
On Saturday, as Israel invites the world to drown out the Palestinian call for justice with the Eurovision Song Contest, we will be hosting a “Not the Eurovision: Party for Palestine” gig in central London featuring a whole host of incredible artists including Lowkey, Wolf Alice, Mic Righteous and more. This gig will be linking up with concerts around the world as part of the Watch Globalvision initiative. We are down to our last batch of tickets, so don’t miss out and buy yours here now!
‘I wouldn’t want to put this out on the 24th. I believe that Christmas Eve is a time to feel happy. But, today, I wanted to remind everyone of the situation in my hometown of Bethlehem. In the streets of western cities many will be singing of Joy and Goodwill to all. It makes everyone feel they know a thing or two about morality. Sadly, as this map shows, morality, is a much more complicated affair and it doesn’t come in a pre-packaged box even at Christmas.’
Leila Sansour, Producer/Director of Cinema Documentary Open Bethlehem
‘The Triple Evils of economic exploitation, racism and militarism are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated (and), all-inclusive…’’
Martin Luther King 1967
Today July 18th we mark the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.
In 2018 the world marks anniversaries of three inter-linked movements that spanned the 20th and into the 21st century.
Civil Rights, Anti-Apartheid and Palestine Freedom Struggles
Mandela Centenary 1918-2018
Palestine Nakba -‘Catastrophe’ 1948.
MLK Assassination 1968
All three struggles faced King’s ‘triple evils’: racism and far right organising; bearing the brunt of a massive security and military establishment; economic exploitation. But the power of effective domestic and international solidarity economic, academic, cultural and sporting boycotts is also a critical part of their shared story.
In 1948, the same year as the Palestinian Nakba which saw zionist militia ethnically cleanse more 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland and destroy more than 500 palestinian villages, South africa formally adopted the apartheid regime.
“Apartheid was an extension of the colonial project to dispossess
people of their land. That is exactly what has happened in Israel and the occupied
territories; the use of force and the law to take the land. That is what apartheid
and Israel have in common.’’
Ronnie Kasrils, the Jewish South African cabinet minister and former ANC guerrilla, Jerusalem, February 2009.
“Expelling people from their homes is a war crime. As well as preventing them from returning. Israel didn’t just commit a war crime in 1948 but continues to commit one to this day.’’
Salman Abu Sitta, Author of Atlas of Palestine 1948
MANDELA, the ANC & the PLO
June 1961 Letter From Underground, Nelson Mandela wrote:
“The histories of our two peoples, Palestinian and South African, correspond in such painful and poignant ways, that I intensely feel myself being at home amongst compatriots’’
“We identify with the PLO, because just like ourselves they are fighting for the right of self determination.”
“Yesterday’s South African township dwellers can tell you about today’s life in the Occupied Territories… More than an emergency is needed to get to a hospital; less than a crime earns a trip to jail… If apartheid ended, so can the occupation. But the moral force and international pressure will have to be just as determined. The current divestment effort is the first, though certainly not the only, necessary move in that direction.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
CIVIL RIGHTS FREEDOM RIDERS INSPIRE THE PALESTINIAN MOVEMENT
MARTIN LUTHER KING & MANDELA
In 1955, at the age of 25, young Memphis pastor Martin Luther King was asked to become the churches lead on the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It took more than a year, but it was successful in its aim to desegregate the buses. Economic boycotts were to become a critical tool in King’s strategy – right up to the end. In his final ‘mountaintop’ speech, the night before he was murdered, he was calling for the boycott of Coca-Cola.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr City Temple London 7th December 1964
Clearly there is much in Mississippi and Alabama to remind the South Africans of their own country… great leaders, like Nelson Mandela and Robert Sobukwe, are among the many hundreds wasting away in Robben Island prison… It is in this situation, with the great mass of South Africans denied their humanity, their dignity, denied opportunity, denied all human rights; it is in this situation, with many of the bravest and best South Africans serving long years in prison, with some already executed; in this situation we in America and Britain have a unique responsibility, for it is we, through our investments, through our governments’ failure to act decisively, who are guilty of bolstering up the South African tyranny…. If the United Kingdom and the United States decided tomorrow morning not to buy South African goods, not to buy South African gold, to put an embargo on oil, if our investors and capitalists would withdraw their support for that racial tyranny that we find there, then apartheid would be brought to an end. Then the majority of South Africans of all races could at last build the shared society they desire.
BOYCOTT DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS
This movement is led by Palestinian civil society and inspired by the South African apartheid movement and boycott effort. It calls for BDS until Israel complies with international law with regard to occupation of land, discrimination against Palestinians and refugees right of return. Ending Israeli apartheid is at its heart.
Israel was founded 70 years ago today, on 14th May 1948. Palestinians commemorate the next day, 15th May, as their ‘Nakba’ – day of catastrophe.
This Arabic term refers to the mass expulsion of Palestinian Arabs from British Mandate Palestine during Israel’s creation (1947-49) when between 750,000 and one million Palestinians were expelled and made refugees by Zionist paramilitaries, and subsequently Israeli forces, during Israel’s creation in 1947-49.
Brian Eno is a supporter of Palestine . He was born on the same day as the founding of Israel. Here he speaks to MAH of his support for Palestine and in particular, his reasons for backing the BDS campaign.
NAKBA 2018 -CALENDAR EVENTS
Every May, along with so many other organisations and projects around the world, Make Apartheid History commemorates the ‘Nakba’. MAH is recording both ICAHD and @70 cultural events.
The PSC Right of Return conference – @70: Palestinian Refugees and the Right of Return – aims to provide the tools and education necessary for activists in the UK to continue to campaign for the right of return of Palestinian refugees, as enshrined in International law.
Make Apartheid History has an extensive video gallery from a wide range of contributors. MAH connects civil rights, anti-apartheid and Palestinian struggles. This year, 2018, has three momentous anniversaries: 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, 70 years since the Nakba and 50 years since the murder of Martin Luther King.
In November 2017 we marked the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. It was to usher in 100 years of settler colonialism in Palestine. The parallels between the apartheid nature of Israel and South Africa – both settler colonial projects in their origins – are clear.
Palestinian campaigners have long condemned the Balfour Declaration as a pledge issued by a British government that gave away land it did not own.
In 2017 the British Government rejected a Palestinian request for an apology over the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Instead, it celebrated the centenary.
Here is our latest MAH film:
It explores exactly how and why the origins of Israel and South Africa have parallels and how it was that they both came to have ‘apartheid’ at their heart.
Throughout July, Make Apartheid History is promoting the UK Tour of the utterly brilliant one man show AND HERE I AM, directed by Zoe Lafferty, performed by Ahmed Tobasi and based on his life story. On Mandela Day, we will screen a selection of MAH films at the Edinburgh dates 17/18 July.
This outstanding play and performance is part of the Shubbuk Festival and as was deservedly well reviewed by the Guardian.
And this Mandela Day We also join the effort to help raise awareness and funds for MahraJazz Festival – the first-ever Palestinian music festival to take place in Haifa (Palestine) on 24-26 August – 31-2 September. MahraJazz is a non-profit, volunteer based event which aims to reach a wider Palestinian audience as well as through radio broadcasting. Most importantly, it also offers an alternative for international musicians to divert from performing for Apartheid Israel and contributes to the importance of the Palestinian effort to boycott Israel.
As the pressure to close down the BDS movement by Israel increases, so the movement gets stronger and the success of the campaign grows. Companies are now responding (albeit reluctantly) to the boycott effort; artists are being made more and more aware of the cultural boycott; and the academic boycott has been highly effective at raising awareness of the injustices perpetrated on Palestine by the Israeli government and military.
Barcelona has just joined the list of cities now supporting the BDS movement, along with the European Union and the governments of Sweden, Ireland and Netherlands.
Every May, along with so many other organisations and projects around the world, Make Apartheid History commemorates the ‘Nakba’ – meaning “catastrophe” in Arabic. It refers to the mass expulsion of Palestinian Arabs from British Mandate Palestine during Israel’s creation (1947-49) when between 750,000 and one million Palestinians were expelled and made refugees by Zionist paramilitaries, and subsequently Israeli forces, during Israel’s creation in 1947-49.
This year, we are also marking the tenth year of the blockade of Gaza; the 50th anniversary of the Israeli military occupation in Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank; and the centenary of the notorious Balfour Declaration.
Monday 15 May 7.30pm NAKBA SONGS OF EXILE. Curated by Bethlehem Unwrapped Producer Justin Butcher. A fabulous line-up of singers and performers from many parts of the world, including Palestine, and covering the musical spectrum from classical to folkloric.
Venue: Priory Church of St John, Clerkenwell
Programme & tickets here
Thursday 18 May 7.30pm CAMOUFLAGE A new play by Ahmed Masoud. Camouflage is about the experience of a Palestinian refugee trying to flee the conflict in Syria, a young girl in Ramallah who is in denial of the situation, a boy in Gaza falling in love for the first time and an aspiring actor in Haifa who has to come to terms with the unjust society he lives in. The play has been written to mark the 50th anniversary of the Israeli military occupation in Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank
Venue: Amnesty International 25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA
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