News

WitchHunt: A film by Jon Pullman

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

REVIEWS

“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

THE FILM

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.

Continue reading WitchHunt: A film by Jon Pullman

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A New Nakba

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

#BoycottEurovision2019

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!

Together Against Trump

On June 4th we will be back on the streets of London as part of the mass demonstration against Trump’s visit to the UK. Once again, we will be organising a large and vibrant Palestine bloc on this demo – more details coming very soon!

Christmas 2018 and Bethlehem Besieged. Still

‘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

Continue reading Christmas 2018 and Bethlehem Besieged. Still

Mark Mandela’s centenary & commit to supporting BDS

‘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.

In 2012, Mandela’s party, the African National Congress (ANC) which is also the ruling party of South Africa, formally endorsed and adopted as part of its official policy, the Palestinian call for Boycott,Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

The BDS Movement in the USA  is growing year on year as well as across Europe

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Martin Luther King Jr

’Only through hardship, sacrifice, and militant action can freedom be won…’’

Nelson Mandela

Its time to MAKE APARTHEID HISTORY – Once and For All.

Find out more

Read Solidarity, People Power and 10 years of BDS

Read 10 things you should know about BDS

https://waronwant.org/stop-arming-israel

 

1948-2018: a 70 YEAR COMMEMORATION OF the NAKBA

MAKE APARTHEID HISTORY

1948-2018: a 70 YEAR COMMEMORATION OF the NAKBA

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.

May 14-20th

https://www.palestinecampaign.org/events/70-celebration-contemporary-palestinian-culture/

@70: A CELEBRATION OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN CULTURE

A week-long festival of theatre, dance, films and talks commemorating the Palestinian experience of dispossession and loss of a homeland.

May 19th

https://www.palestinecampaign.org/events/icahd-2018-uk-annual-conference/

Israeli Committee Against House Demolition UK Annual Conference

May 20th

https://www.palestinecampaign.org/events/psc-returnconf/

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.

ABOUT MAH

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.

KEEP IN TOUCH!

MAH on Facebook and Twitter

 

Centenary of 1917 Balfour Declaration: 100 years of settler colonialism and parallels between the apartheid nature of Israel and South Africa

Marking the centenary of 1917 Balfour Declaration

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.

You can read more in our MAH article ‘Balfour Declaration –Settler Colonialism 100 years on https://makeapartheidhistory.org/2017/04/27/balfour-declaration-settler-colonialism-100-years-on/.

Marking Mandela Day 18 July 2017

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.

Find out more here

https://www.facebook.com/%D9%85%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%B2-MahraJazz-1733078293387662/

And donate here! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mahrajazz-haifa-alternative-jazz-festival#/

MAKE APARTHEID HISTORY –ONCE AND FOR ALL.

To help you understand more about why apartheid applies to Israel, our MAH video page has a number of short films where Palestinians, Israelis and South Africans explain why.

https://makeapartheidhistory.org/video-gallery/

Make Apartheid History – NAKBA events

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.

bds-spain
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.

Balfour_portrait_and_declaration

Read our recent MAH article ‘Balfour Declaration –Settler Colonialism 100 years on https://makeapartheidhistory.org/news/

NAKBA anniversary events in May
PSC NAKBA Diary of UK wide events, films, talks
https://www.palestinecampaign.org/events/nakba-week-events/

London Events

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
Book here

Keep in touch!

MAH on Facebook and Twitter

Balfour Declaration-Settler Colonialism 100 years on

From Balfour to the present day: a century of colonialism in Palestine

This year’s November 2nd marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration of 1917. It signifies 100 years of suffering of the Palestinian people and the colonisation of their land.

In 1917 the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote a letter to the wealthy British banker and Zionist Lord Rothschild, in which he declared :

“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

This short letter had no legal status, but was later incorporated within the terms of Britain’s Mandate for Palestine. Thus it became one of the most significant documents leading eventually to the creation of the state of Israel and the on-going quagmire of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

From the outset the Declaration was controversial, and almost all the opposition came from within the Jewish community itself, because very few Arabs were even aware the existence of such a proposal. The Declaration was seen largely as a means for diverting Jewish immigration from Britain to Palestine. The most prominent British Jewish politician of the day, Sir Edwin Montagu, opposed it vigorously. Later, when the language of the Balfour Declaration was included in the Mandate for Palestine, the House of Lords voted to reject this in a motion passed by 60 to 29, on the ground that the Declaration was opposed to the “wishes of the great majority of the people of Palestine”.

Balfour himself wrote in 1919

“in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country …. The Four Great Powers are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.”

The Balfour Declaration of 1917, Colonial Settlement and Apartheid

“Neither the Balfour Declaration nor the Mandate ever specifically concede that Palestinians had political, as opposed to civil and religious, rights in Palestine. The idea of inequality between Jews and Arabs was, therefore, built into British – and, subsequently, Israeli and US – policy from the start.”

Professor Edward Said

Israel/Palestine, created as a consequence of British Colonialism, was formed in a similar to the South African state and both have segregation, ‘apartheid’ at their heart. Looking through this lens, Palestinians are learning lessons from the South African struggle.

In a commemorative lecture to the late Egyptian scholar and writer Abdelwahab Elmessiri, Ronnie Kasrils said:

In 1976 he (Elmesseri) wrote Israel and South Africa: The Progression of a Relationship, one of the earliest works to compare Zionism with Apartheid. (Abdelwahab M. Elmessiri (1976), Israel and South Africa: The Progression of a Relationship, (New Brunswick, NJ: North American).

He observed: “Despite differences between Israel and South Africa from the perspective of their initial formational period, subsequent historical developments ensured that the similarities between the two settlement enclaves outweighed the differences and gave them a higher explanatory power.”

He pointed out that both began from different origins as settlement enclaves. These were to serve Western interests on multiple functional levels in exchange for support and protection.

He compared Britain’s aims in creating the Union of South Africa in 1909 and the Balfour Declaration of 1917: “The Zionist state is a settler enclave like any other. It is by no means a coincidence that the Balfour Declaration and the South Africa Act of Union of 1909 [was] affected in large part by the same handful of politicians (including) … and General Smuts. In implanting and backing white settlers in South Africa and Zionist settlers in Palestine, the British Empire was founding two little pockets of settler-colonists who would owe allegiance to the imperial metropolis and would serve as bases of operations when the need arose.” (Elmessiri (2007), “From functional Jewish communities to the functional Zionist State,” p. 153.)

… Arthur Koestler summed up Balfour’s perfidious legacy as follows: “One nation promised a second nation the land of a third nation.” And that was grabbed with ferocious barbarity in 1947-48.

The year 1948 was one of the darkest for both the Palestinian and South African people; truly an annus horribilis. For South Africans May 1948 marked the election of the apartheid government and the prelude to a 46-year maelstrom for the African people. For the Palestinians May 1948 marked the Nakbah – the catastrophic dispossession and ethnic cleansing at the hands of the rampant Zionist project. (Ilan Pappe (2007), The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, (Oxford: Oneworld).

Over 750,000 Palestinians were forcefully expelled from a land they had inhabited from antiquity; with some 500,000 managing to remain behind in spite of the terror unleashed by Zionism. Whilst apartheid South Africa has been replaced by a democratic unitary state, the suffering endured by the Palestinians worsens year by year.

The apartheid character of Israel was noted by Dr (Hendrik) Verwoerd in 1961: “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel like South Africa is an apartheid state.” (Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg, November 23, 1961.)

Professor John Dugard, former Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in the Palestinian Territories, wrote

Of course, the regimes of apartheid and occupation are different. Apartheid South Africa was a state that practiced discrimination against its own people. It sought to fragment the country into white South Africa and black Bantustans. Its security laws were used to brutally suppress opposition to apartheid. Israel, on the other hand, is an occupying power that controls a foreign territory and its people under a regime recognised by international law – belligerent occupation.

However, in practice, there is little difference. Both regimes were/are characterised by discrimination, repression and territorial fragmentation (that is, land seizures).

Israel discriminates against Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in favour of half a million Israeli settlers. Its restrictions on freedom of movement, manifested in countless humiliating checkpoints, resemble the “pass laws” of apartheid. Its destruction of Palestinian homes resembles the destruction of homes belonging to blacks under apartheid’s Group Areas Act. The confiscation of Palestinian farms under the pretext of building a security wall brings back similar memories. And so on. Indeed, Israel has gone beyond apartheid South Africa in constructing separate (and unequal) roads for Palestinians and settlers.

Apartheid’s security police practiced torture on a large scale. So do the Israeli security forces. There were many political prisoners on Robben Island but there are more Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

Apartheid South Africa seized the land of blacks for whites. Israel has seized the land of Palestinians for half a million settlers and for the purposes of constructing a security wall within Palestinian territory – both of which are contrary to international law.

Make Apartheid History

Starting by recognising that Israel, like the former South African state, is an apartheid state, it becomes clear there will not be a ‘solution’ to the Israel-Palestine conflict until the Apartheid ends. The Anti-Apartheid Movement of the yesteryear was integral to the end of the South African apartheid. The international BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel) movement is going from strength to strength. Together, through international solidarity and pressure o n many inter-connected fronts (academic, cultural, economic) we can rise to the call by Palestinian civil society for BDS and, finally, Make Apartheid History once and for all.

HC Lin/TPNS/MAH 04/17

Read More

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2015-07-27-whither-palestine-part-one/

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/11/britain-destroyed-palestinian-homeland-161102054348710.html

http://www.balfourproject.org/the-balfour-declaration-1917/

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/201111395153781378.html

http://www.balfourproject.org/balfour-and-palestine/