This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We, the undersigned, endorse the call from the Welcome to Palestine 2012 Initiative for supporters of Palestinian human and national rights around the world to openly visit Palestine during Easter 2012. There is no way into Palestine other than through Israeli control points. Israel has turned Palestine into a giant prison, but prisoners have a right to receive visitors. Welcome to Palestine 2012 will again challenge Israel's policy of isolating the West Bank while the settler paramilitaries and army commit brutal crimes against a virtually defenceless Palestinian civilian population. We call on governments to support the right of Palestinians to receive visitors and the right of their own citizens to visit Palestine openly. The participants in Welcome to Palestine 2012 ask to be allowed to pass through Tel Aviv airport without hindrance and to proceed to the West Bank to take part in a project there for children to bene t from the right to education.
WELCOME TO Palest i ne
Khader Adnan simply wouldn't eat. He didn’t for an amazing 66-day stretch and put his life in great danger, and he deserves all of our respect and much more for doing so. Adnan risked his own life for the sake of others, he managed to galvanize the prisoner movement in their just struggle and he had single-stomachedly forced the Zionist regime to cave in. He didn't make them realize the truth or care about his well-being, but in light of the consequences of his demise they were simply left with no better choice but to release him with the same charges that he got arrested for - none whatsoever. Adnan demonstrated that effective resistance is sometimes also a simple act. Simple resistance done with great persistence may actually transform the situation and we have the opportunity to do just that, without putting our lives in danger, during the coming Easter. An initiative of many international solidarity activists who plan to arrive at the occupied West Bank all on the same day didn't sound like much to most people back in May 2011. Veteran activists I spoke to were sceptical, saying: "So they will come. So what?!" and it took some understanding of the Israeli psyche in order to envision what would happen next. All that the 500 visitors from abroad wanted to do on July 8th 2011 was to visit Palestine. More precisely, they wanted to visit their hosts in the occupied West Bank but decided not to lie their way in. Unlike the common practice, they decided ahead of time to say the truth at the Israeli border control on their way to Palestine; they decided to say that they intended to visit their hosts in Palestine and show their solidarity with them. It was a simple, even trivial act that caused mayhem in Israel and quickly propagated around the world. Israel reacted to this mission, titled "Welcome to Palestine", as if the country was under attack. A week before these extraordinary visitors tried to show up at the gate there were already signs of hysteria. Government officials and ministers talked about apprehending the troublemakers and criminals before they got a chance to do their deeds; they talked about readiness and being prepared for any sort of action that the troublemakers were planning, as if there were dangerous items carried in their checked and x-rayed luggage apart from thoughts of freedom. The Israelis were ready for each and every scenario but one - letting them in peacefully. The hysteria quickly caught on as roughly one thousand police, undercover police and other so-called security personnel swamped the airport. Signs had been put up prohibiting the use of cameras in the airport, as the ministry claimed these would be used "as weapons". The Minister of Internal Security stated that they would arrest any Israelis who intended to welcome the partners from overseas while still on route to the airport, not even at the terminal itself, where we planned to arrive carrying "Welcome to Palestine" signs in various languages. With so many police and threats being made, the media had to show up and they did - every single media agency covered the story as it was unfolding and my phone simply wouldn't stop ringing for
several days straight. This has been, by far, the most media attention inside Israel for the Palestinian cause or for exposing Israel's ethnic-supremacist character. April 15th 2012 will hopefully be bigger and better. Whether they let everyone in, which would be the sane thing to do, or whether they attempt to block solidarity activists in their countries of origin or in Israel/Palestine48, we will only benefit from it simply by exposing the situation for what it really is. An ethnic-supremacist state that has segregation as its underlying foundation, a state that systematically practises occupation, colonialism and apartheid against the Palestinian people must be challenged by the world and in doing so forced to change its ways. European airlines have unfortunately collaborated by selectively denying their ticket holders the right to travel. Some have even tried denying their travel between European countries. The French police chose to use tear gas against participants of the mission who were holding a sit-in at the Paris Charles De Gaul airport while insisting on their rights. We should remember, however, that all airlines ended up refunding those who were denied boarding the planes as well as suffering financial losses for the resulting delays. Whether the airlines are concerned about being complicit in Israeli crimes or not, they are definitely concerned about profit and their own reputation. On the next mission and the ones to follow we will make note of that. While the people at the top are not yet there, there is an ongoing public outcry expressed wherever we go, coming from people like you and I who have had enough of Israeli occupation and apartheid and demand that Israel will live up to its obligations under international law and respect universal principles of human rights. The BDS campaign, a Palestinian-led movement for equality, freedom and justice in Palestine is just about that and we will have the opportunity to stand up for these values during the April 15 mission. I hope that businesses, politicians and union workers will take a better stand this time around and listen to their public, listen to their hearts and listen to the Palestinians calling us to stand up for their rights. We'll be waiting for you with signs and open arms: Welcome to Palestine! Ronnie Barkan is a conscientious objector, longtime activist and co-founder of Boycott from Within, a group that includes Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel, who fully support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
The gathering will bring together Palestinian activists and solidarity campaigners from around the world to share, discuss and organise action to end the Israeli occupation, ensure Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel achieve equality and advance the right to return of Palestinian refugees.
The Forum will show the strength of international solidarity with Palestine, and present to the world a broad-based, global, and determined movement. It will also represent an opportunity to share campaign strategy and knowledge and improve the coordination of the movement.
The World Social Forum has for over a decade been at the forefront of resistance to a neo-liberal, corporate-driven version of globalisation. The Forum began in 2001 as an open, democratic, civil society alternative to the influential World Economic Forum which takes place annually in Davos, Switzerland and promotes a narrow business agenda. The World Social Forum has since grown beyond a position of opposition to become a crucial part of an alternative version of globalisation based on social justice. The very first Forum had 15,000 participants; more recent gatherings have involved over 100,000 people. An event on this scale focused on Palestine would be an immense contribution to promoting and progressing Palestinian national and human rights. Previous annual Forums have been hosted by Nairobi and Dakar, while on a number of occasions multiple venues across the globe were used simultaneously. Regional forums and thematic forums have also met. One of these themed off-shoots, the World Education Forum, took place in the occupied Palestinian territories in October 2011 and provided the impetus for organising the WSF Free Palestine. Palestinian solidarity has, however, been on the WSF’s agenda since its inception, with dedicated meetings within each of the annual gatherings focusing on Palestine. The WSF Free Palestine represents the growth of the Palestine solidarity movement internationally.
An important aspect of the World Social Forum’s activity is its refusal to agree upon and produce official resolutions or statements, preferring that the Forum provide an open space for the discussion and sharing of ideas, strategies and opinions. The Forum’s website adamantly states that the World Social Forum is not an organisation, or a group, or a body representing global civil society. Instead, it is made up of all the groups and individuals who participate within it. The World Social Forum Free Palestine therefore requires the participation of all groups and individuals concerned with Palestinian freedom. This event is a massive opportunity for the Palestinian solidarity movement to attract new supporters, organise, strategize and coordinate action, and put Palestine firmly on the world’s agenda. The World Social Forum Free Palestine will be no more and no less than the sum of those who participate within it. The call for activists from across the globe to convene in Porto Alegre is therefore not a call from a pre-existing institution to observe its proceedings or contribute in an outside capacity; rather, it is a call to make the World Social Forum what it could be - to create, energize, strengthen and further the aims of the Palestinian solidarity movement. We call on trade unions, Palestinian solidarity groups and all activists concerned with human rights and justice to: - Send a delegation to the WSF Free Palestine - Participate and organise in a UK-wide WSF Free Palestine mobilisation working group - Raise funds to support delegates Contact email: WSF-FreePalestineUK@mail.com
Fundamental Issues in Effective Palestine Solidarity – Summer 2012
A political space for debate and discussion in the Southern Highland village of Comrie - June 22 – 24 Organised by Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign: International law, human rights and the Palestinian struggle for freedom Zionism, Israel and the coming war in the Middle East Israel and Palestine after a year of Arab Revolutions The PA – another Arab dictatorship? Israel, the US and the EU Three-party UK consensus on Israel/Palestine? Political discussion makes us stronger, better able to deal with issues inevitably thrown up in any dynamic campaign. At these residential weekend discussions we agree and disagree; we explore the degree of consensus we can reach, and take note of the differences of opinion in our ranks. Register now £35 for two nights accommodation and all discussions: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (All meals provided for a donation)
Rab Paterson participated in the Stop the JNF delegation (December 28th 2011 – January 2nd 2012) as a representative of Midlothian Trade Union Council. The purpose of the visit to Israel/Palestine was to provide an overview of the issues affecting Palestinian land rights, the modes of illegal appropriation of Palestinian land and the role of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in supporting and maintaining Israel’s apartheid policies.
The village of Al Walaja presents a picture of Occupied Palestine in microcosm, suffering as it does the effects of displacement, land confiscation, demolitions, discriminatory laws, Jewish settlement, by-pass roads and apartheid walls. In 1948 the village endured a 48 hour bombardment by Israeli forces. Many villagers fled to Bethlehem, Jericho, Beit Jala or Hebron. Others moved from valley to valley in the vicinity of the village in an attempt to escape the Israeli forces. At the cessation of the war some villagers returned, setting up what they thought would be temporary homes in the caves on village lands. Many continued living in these cave homes for decades. Over the years there has been an unorganised return to the village. In the 1950s much of the village land was passed into the hands of the Jewish National Fund (JNF). In the late 1950s the JNF bulldozed most of the buildings in the village as well as the cemetery. After the demolition the JNF planted much of the land with pine forests. They also built on it the John F Kennedy memorial, with its extensive woodlands. Jewish settlements have also taken over large tracts of village land. The Israelis have drilled deep wells which have dried out the once plentiful springs in the area. Villagers are denied permits to drill their own wells and so are unable to irrigate much of their agricultural land. If they leave the land uncultivated, after 3 years it is acquired by the Israeli state. During the 1967 invasion the village was annexed by the Israelis. Villagers were issued with a variety of residence permits, often not corresponding to the area they were living in thus making them illegal residents in their own homes. In the 1970s the area was transferred from the administration of the occupation (administration imposed by Israel on areas occupied by their military forces) to the Jerusalem Municipality. The legal status of the area was further complicated by the Oslo accords which placed part of the village in Jerusalem, part in Area C (under direct Israeli control).
Stop the JNF Al Walaja
The villagers are presently fighting for their property in the Israeli courts. Because of the complexity of the land allocation, if the villagers do win their case, they still will not have legal access if their land is in a differently designated area to their residency permits. Most villagers have been given the status of ‘present absentees’ by the Israelis. This means that they are physically present but legally absent. If they are successful in the courts they will then fall under the Absentee Land Laws and their land will be confiscated. The village primary school is one of 94 buildings in the village that have had demolition orders placed on them by the Israelis. In order to build in East Jerusalem and in Area C (the 70% of the West Bank controlled by Israel) Palestinians must apply for a permit from the Israeli authorities. The vast majority of demolition orders are issued because a building has been built without a permit. Under Israeli zoning policy Palestinians can build in just 13% of East Jerusalem and only 1% of Area C. Most of these areas are already heavily built up. More than 94% of all Palestinian permit applications are rejected. This means that when a family expands or a community wants to build infrastructure to meet basic needs, the choice is between building without a permit or not building at all. There is presently an empty valley in a semi-circle round the village. This land is still owned by the village and Israeli companies have made unsuccessful attempts to buy it. There are plans for another Jewish settlement in the area. Completion of the wall which is being constructed around the village will make confiscation of this land easier. Completion of the wall will cut off the village lands. Where this has occurred elsewhere, obstructed access has led to lands not being cultivated and after 3 years being confiscated. As well as the wall the village is cut off by a by-pass road built by the Israelis and on which the villagers are not allowed. When the wall is completed it will entirely surround the village. When this happens, entry and exit will be controlled by the Israelis. It is feared that many of the villagers will then leave because of the difficulties of regularly getting to and from work and the difficulties their children will face in getting to and from school through the Israeli checkpoint. The village also depends on medical facilities in Bethlehem. Access to these will also be problematic once the wall is completed. The situation in Al Walaja exposes the myth that the wall is for security purposes. Presently the village is within walking distance of the Knesset and the main shopping mall in Jerusalem but there have been no security issues in the area. Despite this millions are being spent on building a wall the real purposes of which appear to be the stealing of Palestinian land, removal of Palestinians from the land and making the lives of those Palestinians remaining as difficult as possible. Get involved in the campaign against the JNF, visit: Stop the JNF Campaign, www.stopthejnf.org, email@example.com
Students in Scotland have been leading the way in sparking international solidarity actions with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners, leading hundreds through the streets of Glasgow to march to the BBC to highlight the prisoners’ struggle and the mainstream media silence in the UK. John Bennett, one of the organisers of the student protests, sets the courageous actions of Hana Shalabi and her comrades into the wider context of Palestinian resistance and solidarity. As news emerges that Hana Shalabi, after 43 days on hunger-strike is to be released and banished to Gaza for a period of 3 years, it is important to attempt to further analyse this development. First of all, everyone who stands against injustice and supports resistance should salute the bravery of Hana Shalabi who endured a gruelling 43 days of hunger-strike to resist the Zionist occupation with the only weapon she had. Over the last few weeks Israel became increasingly determined to prevent Hana from dying in their prisons, even threatening to break international law and ethical medical practices by force-feeding her. In the end they were able to present release to Gaza as a qualified victory for Hana to accept. Adameer (Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association) have accused Israel of coercing Hana in her most fragile mental state and we have to consider this view when evaluating her decision. We also have to be clear and honest, this is no complete victory for Hana as Gaza is arguably a prison in itself and the Israeli policy of using it as a dumping ground for Palestinians from the West Bank must be condemned. As with Khader Adnan, however, we need to ask exactly what Israel fears from a dead hunger-striker; when the regime has shown through its racist ideology (mirrored by and large by an Orientalist Western media) that Palestinian life is cheap and killing Palestinians is just a matter of course. In the context of a now cohesive international solidarity network, in the aftermath of the Arab revolutions and along with the rise of social media as a tool for disseminating and sharing information globally, Israel is desperate to deny a new generation of Palestinians any new iconic symbols of resistance. The analogies and comparisons with Bobby Sands and the 1981 H-Blocks hunger-strikes in the North of Ireland are entirely valid. Sands’ death not only unleashed a wave of international solidarity with the Irish Republican cause but by the time the 10th hunger-striker Mickey Devine had died, a new generation of activists had been mobilised and Sinn Fein became a major political force. When the Israelis found themselves staring into the eyes of Khader Adnan they saw grim determination and steadfastness and they blinked first and backed down. When they looked into the eyes of brave Hana Shalabi, they saw 33 others on hunger-strike behind her and her now iconic image in scores of cities around the world. Once again, they blinked first. There are those who disagree of course; who hold that Hana should not have accepted this deal. They argue that it represents defeat and acceptance of Israel’s policy of exiling people to Gaza and those political debates should be heard. This view is a narrow one, framing this as a personal struggle between Hana Shalabi and the Zionist state. As Hana has stated herself (as did Khader Adnan), this was never the case, this was always wider than that. Hana stood not only for all those held under the draconian ‘administrative detention’ orders but against the very occupation and Zionist project itself. Hana was fighting for the liberation of the Palestinian people. When we use this wider analysis, particularly here in Scotland where solidarity actions are intensifying, it is quite clear that Hana was already victorious in several ways. Firstly, she had
WE ARE ALL HANA SHALABI
already become that iconic figure that Israel feared her death would make her. As the case of Scotland shows she has already inspired and galvanised a new generation of Palestine activists. One only need look at the youth and energy in last Saturday’s march through Glasgow for the proof of this. The Palestinian resistance has entered a new phase in which it enjoys almost un-paralleled popular support; an international solidarity. The Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement spans the globe and its networks of grass-roots activists are scoring punitive victories against Israeli economic and financial interests on an almost weekly basis. The three aims of this approach reject the apartheid two-state Bantustan reality of the PLO/PA negotiated Oslo agreement and address each segment of Palestinian society. Demanding an end to the occupation of all Arab lands seized in 1967 and dismantling of the apartheid wall, BDS addresses the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and the Golan Heights. Demanding full and equal rights for Palestinian citizens living in current-day Israel, it challenges Zionism head-on. The third and most central demand is the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Put together, this rights-based approach amounts to the end of the Zionist project and positions the Palestinian struggle, perhaps for the first time firmly as a struggle against racism, colonialism and ultimately imperialism. Its legitimacy and acceptance as an anti-racist movement rests on its ability to end Zionism’s post-war hegemonic appearance. This in itself rests on the movement’s ability to reveal to the world the true and often openly vile racism of Zionism and the apartheid nature of that ideology in practice. The true face of the Zionist state and its occupation is apartheid; discriminatory and dichotomous land-ownership laws and legal systems, ethno-religious separation policies and infrastructure and control of movement. To lay this bare is to reveal not only the ugly face of Israel but the true nature and indeed cost of imperialism. This is the first, but major, step; the crisis of capitalism’s erosion of living standards in the West has laid bare its own contradictions and unleashed forces of resistance even within the society of Israel’s main imperialist backer, the US. Austerity in Europe and the Arab revolutions are posing serious threats to the hegemonic order, central to which is Israel. Within Israel itself, we see a fragmented society unable to sustain the uneasy marriage between the capitalist elites and religious right. Extreme maximalist Zionism has emerged as a force and is akin to some 1980s Latin American right-wing dictatorship. The tiny but brave Israeli anti-Zionist left are facing increasing and worrying levels of repression. There are some among Israel’s policy-making circles who are all too aware of these forces at play and the fact that they are unable to rein-in the likes of Lieberman whose fascistic Zionist movement is in fact aiding the Palestinian’s in digging Zionism’s own grave. This is evident in the minimalist (or soft) Zionists increasingly pushing the two-state solution as the only way to save Zionism and the Israeli state. So the strategy the Palestinians have devised is clear: reveal to the world the objective fact that Israeli democracy is in fact Israeli Apartheid and position the resistance at the centre of the dynamics that this will unleash. Khader Adnan recognised a key moment and people began talking about the apartheid policy of administrative detention; Hana Shalabi seized that moment and as others joined her on hunger-strike people began to shout. It’s yet unclear how the hunger-strikes will play-out but one thing is clear: another serious chink in the armour of Israeli democracy has been smashed open and Israel has only two options to deal with the apartheid policy revealed by the hunger-strikes: end the use of this policy or legalise its usage against Israeli Jews. Neither option is in any way appealing to Israel and the cul-de-sac they are in is all too evident. A Palestinian H-Blocks moment around this issue with Hana Shalabi its iconic and unifying figure in death posed a serious threat to Zionism itself.
This is her victory, the unimaginable suffering of her 43 days on hunger-strike inspired 33 others to join the strike and collectively they represented a new intifada capable of challenging the very foundations of Zionism and mobilising the Palestinian youth movement hitherto repressed by the Israelis and the collaborators in the PA. This is her victory. Hana has energised the new generation of international solidarity activists and inspired them into more effort and more sacrifices for the Palestinian cause. She is our Bobby Sands and this is her victory. She may be going to the bigger prison that is Gaza but she has exchanged the cold Israeli dungeon with the cold face of her oppressors her only company for the warm embrace of community, solidarity and resistance of her people in Gaza. This is her victory. As a women she has emerged as a figurehead at a time when Arab women assert themselves once again at the forefront of the resistance, challenging internal chauvinism and external Orientalism. This is her victory. Even in exile in Gaza, she lives and as Ali Abunimah hopes, could become like Winnie Mandela in exile, a roaring and leading voice of the struggle. This is her victory. Hana al-Shalabi, you cultivate hope, we salute you and we thank you for leading the way. Hana al-Shalabi, this is your victory.
The wind is blowing around Edinburgh’s West End. Outside the Co-op, a group of activists are encouraging shoppers to ask the management to implement an ethical purchasing policy by boycotting Israeli trade in goods from the occupied Palestinian territories. All sorts of conversations ensue, at least one of which begins, “Why is everyone against Israel? Don’t you think it’s a bit anti-Jewish, I mean, what about Tibet or Burma? Why don’t you organise a boycott to support the people there?” It’s a good question, to which the answer is both short and rather lengthy. The short answer is that everyone is not against Israel. Research shows that mainstream media show a consistent bias towards Israel (www.glasgowmediagroup.org). And there are indeed boycott campaigns in support of the Tibetans and Burmese. A longer answer involves considering the question in more detail. The first point to note is the ease with which protesting against Israel is conflated with being anti-Jewish. The argument derives its logic, partly from Israel defining itself as the Jewish State, but equally from the importance European politicians attach to distancing themselves from the legacy of the Nazi Holocaust. Many Israeli politicians are well aware of the effect on someone’s career of being labeled an anti-Semite and exploit this fact ruthlessly whenever they can. What they forget is that millions of ordinary men and women fought in WWII to defeat fascism. Those men and women were determined to make a better world and reject fascism’s message of hate. Throughout the years, it is the people on the street who have made racism in general and anti-Semitism in particular, unacceptable. Today it is ordinary people like us, organised in our trade unions and professional associations, who campaign to ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust are not forgotten. We are the ones who have successfully challenged right-wing revisions of the Holocaust which attempt to question the numbers killed or the very existence of extermination programmes. We have ridiculed their pseudo-academic studies and driven them out of any public forum of debate, exiling them to the internet ramblings of neo-Nazi grouplets. So activists for social justice, trade unionists etc. continue to campaign for Palestinian rights, not because we are anti-Semitic but because we aren’t, and we stand on the shoulders of the generations who organised and fought for a better world before us.
Many of us can remember organising and taking on the Hitler-loving fascists of the National Front in the 1970s. Today, as we occupy our town centres once again, this time to block the progress of the Hitler-loving Scottish (and English) Defence League, we look on bemused as among the racist placards we see the occasional flag of Israel and the Star of David. Politics can be a dirty game and Israeli supporters involved in the far-right campaigns against Muslims are a disgrace to the memories of the Nazis’ victims. Those who accuse us of anti-Semitism can be divided into roughly two groups. One is calculating and prepared to use any lies to further their own interests (the Israeli elite benefit from favoured relations with the EU and billions of dollars in aid from the USA). The other consists mainly of Jews brought up on a diet of scare stories about how non-Jews are, by definition, anti-Jewish and ready at a moments notice to turn on their Jewish neighbours. In these stories, it appears as if the only history of Jewish people in Europe is one of fear and persecution and a longing for the chance to return to Jerusalem (see Tanya Gold’s fantasy piece in the Guardian of 16/1/12). The complexity of history is blacked out by the Zionist censor’s pen leaving only the narrative that Jews are unsafe anywhere except behind the heavily fortified yet moveable borders of Israel. Thus for example, the role of Jews in the great social movements against oppression is hidden; so too, the history of how ordinary people overcame their rulers’ attempts to divide and rule. Who knows the story of the Jew, Leon Trotsky, elected to represent Russian workers in St Petersburg in 1905, despite the Tsar’s deliberate strategy of organising police-led massacres of Jews? Who knows the story of Marek Edelman, Jewish fighter in the Warsaw ghetto and then urban guerilla in the 1944 fight to liberate Poland? Edelman was a hero both to Jews and Poles – and he rejected the idea that Polish people were naturally anti-Semitic, just as he rejected the idea that Israel should, could or ever would be a true homeland for the Jews. The popularity of solidarity activities for Palestinian rights cannot be attributed to anti-Semitism. However, it is true that today Palestinian solidarity attracts more people than many other campaigns. Why? There are a number of reasons. The most important lies in the fact that despite real social justice appearing, at times, an unattainable dream, Palestinians resist, and do so against an enemy of unbelievable military superiority. There may be greater tragedies around the world, dictators who murder in greater numbers, but the fact of Palestinian resistance is a beacon of hope. In the same way, the resistance of Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress inspired an earlier generation of solidarity activists who campaigned on campuses, in workplaces and camped out for years in Trafalgar Square. Likewise the resistance of the Latin American democracy movements in the 70s and 80s could count on solidarity campaigns the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. Examples of defiance inspire us all. In all of today’s great uprisings against the Arab dictators the cause and spirit of Palestine solidarity has been present. Palestine solidarity is quite simply inspired by Palestinians’ refusal to disappear.
To exist at all is to resist.
Mike Orr, Scottish PSC, St Andrews branch Find out more about the Co-op campaign: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Israel Attacked Gaza: Bibi Stirring Trouble
The first Israeli missile sped down to its target, scorching the Gaza earth and everything in between. Palestinians collected the body parts of two new martyrs, while Israeli media celebrated the demise of two terrorists. Zuhair Qasis was the head of the Popular Resistance Committee. He was killed alongside a Palestinian prisoner from Nablus, who had recently been freed and deported to Gaza. Then, another set of missiles rained down, this time taking Obeid al-Ghirbali and Muhammad Harara. Then a third, and a fourth, and so on. The death count began on March 9 and escalated through the day. The Hamas government urged the international community to take action. Factions vowed to retaliate. In these situations, Western media is usually clueless or complicit. Sometimes it’s both. The Israeli army was cited readily by many media outlets without challenge. The first round of attacks was justified based on a claim that Qasis was involved in the planning of an attack that killed seven Israelis last year. The Israel army did not even bother to upgrade that claim – which had already resulted in the killing and wounding of many Palestinians. Even Israeli media had drawn the conclusion that the attack then originated from Egypt, and no Palestinian was involved. Al Jazeera reported that some of the victims were decapitated, a familiar scene in most of Israel’s unforgiving atrocities. Expectedly, Palestinians fired back. “The national resistance brigades, the DFLP’s armed wing, the Al-Aqsa brigades, and the armed wing of the PRC, the An-Nasser Salah Ad-Din brigades, have all claimed responsibility for rocket fire,” reported Maan news agency. The incessant Israeli provocations would not have been enough to end the months-long truce. Palestinians know that Israeli provocations are often, if not always, politically motivated. This time however, the people killed were leaders in al-Muqawama, the local resistance parties. Neither Hamas’ might nor diplomacy could persuade Gaza’s many factions to hold their fire. Israel knows this fact more than any other party. This is why it sent such unmistakably bloody messages. Israel needed Palestinians to respond, and urgently so. But why did Israel decide to ignite trouble again? To answer the question, one needs to make a quick stop in Washington. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had recently tried to articulate a case for war against Iran there. Unlike the successful effort to isolate, strike and invade Iraq in 2003, the Iran war campaign is not going according to plan. The Israelis are desperate to see Iran’s nuclear facilities bombed by American bunker buster bombs – some of which weigh up to 13600 kg. Israel’s former head of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, assured the ‘free world’ – a term often manipulated by Netanyahu – that a bombing campaign can succeed if it’s followed by the right measures. “Iran, like Iraq and Syria before it, will have to recognize that the precedent for military action has been set, and can be repeated,” he wrote (as cited in CNN, March 9). There is growing consensus in Israel that ‘something has to be done’ – at least to set back Iran’s uranium enrichment by few years, per the assurances of deputy director of the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies, Ephraim Kam. Republican candidates in the US, and even President Obama himself, agree. Obama, however, despite his groveling at the recent AIPAC conference,
dared to question the timing and the way in which Iran must be brought to its knees. The US president is becoming increasingly isolated within Washington because of his stance on Iran. It is election year in the US, and Israel knows that a window of opportunity will not be open for long. “Netanyahu won a crucial battle in Washington this past week. No one brought up the Palestinians. Netanyahu has quite masterfully shifted the conversation to the subject of Iran,” wrote Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic (March 9). He is right, of course, but only within the context of ‘peace process’ and conflict resolution. The Palestinians were mentioned in a different context, and repeatedly so. Ephraim Kam, for example, expected that thousands of rockets would rain on Israel from Hizbollah, Hamas and Iran itself. The Associated Press quoted Vice Prime Minister Dan Meridor as saying, “The whole of Israel (is vulnerable to) tens of thousands of missiles and rockets from neighboring countries. If there is a war…they are not just going to hit Israeli soldiers. The main aim is at civilian populations” (Feb 20). Per this logic, the only way to prevent rockets from reaching Israel is by attacking Iran. An independent Israeli commentator, Yossi Melman, predicted that a weakened Iran “would undoubtedly have an impact on Hamas and Hezbollah” (CNN, March 9). Yes, the Palestinians were infused plenty in Israeli war rhetoric. They were liberally presented as the jackals who would pounce on vulnerable Israel. Who would dare challenge this tired victimization narrative? Who would have the audacity to point out the fact that Israel has the region’s strongest army, equipped with hundreds of fully-functioning nuclear heads, while Palestinians fighters – who had until recently respected the truce, although Gaza’s siege was never lifted – are armed with light weapons? No one in the mainstream media, of course. But then, as the supposed threat has reached an all-time high, Hamas spokesperson in Gaza, Fawzi Barhoum, told AP: “Hamas weapons and the weapons of the Palestinian resistance, in general, are humble weapons that aim to defend and not to attack, and they are to defend the Palestinian people…that does not give us the ability to be part of any regional war.” Hamas has its own calculations independent of Israel’s war momentum. But losing Hamas would jeopardize the very equation Israel has been constructing for years. The ‘radical camp’ must remain intact, as far as Israel is concerned. No political polarization caused by the so-called Arab Spring will be allowed to endanger the Israeli narrative: the radicals, the evil alliance, the threat facing the ‘free world’ and all the rest. Great resources were spent on spinning the perfect story to justify a preemptive war. Then, on Friday, March 2, less than two days after Barhoum made his comments of ‘humble weapons’, heads began to roll in Gaza. Literally. And the media machine resumed its work unabashed. “Gaza Rockets fire disrupts life in Israeli south,” read a headline in Israel’s Haaretz. “IDF strikes Gaza terror targets following rocket barrage,” declared another in the Jerusalem Post. It’s war all over again. Israeli civilians run to shelters. Sirens blare. US media reports the fate of ‘besieged’ Israelis and Palestinian ‘terrorists’. It matters little to them that it was Israel itself that stirred the trouble, broke the truce, and fanned the flames. Ramzy Baroud is a syndicated columnist to many leading English language newspapers around the world; his articles are often translated to various languages including Arabic, French, Italian and Turkish. http://www.ramzybaroud.net/
Graveyards and Picnic Benches: a Visit to Canada Park
I made my first visit to Israel/Palestine at the end of 2011 as part of an international Stop the JNF delegation; a group which included individuals from the UK, France, Austria, the United Statesand Canada. The purpose of the delegation was to learn more about the role of the Jewish National Fund, for example, its role in the planting over the remains of Palestinian villages where populations were driven out by Israeli forces in 1948 and its role today in planting forests encroaching on the lands of the beleaguered Bedouin population in the Negev, where those in villages such as Al-Araqib fight on bravely in the face of demolition order after demolition order (the current count is 35 demolitions since July 2010, in order to make way for the JNFs Ambassador’s Forest). To see with your own eyes puts into sharp focus the meaning of “Unrecognised Villages”. Amongst the many experiences that have stuck with me and the haunting tales of encircling “security” walls and disappearing water resources, one has remained even more firmly impressed on my mind than the others. I never would have guessed that visiting a forest could make me feel physically ill, but Canada Park is no ordinary forest. The day before our tour of Canada Park the group visited Ramallah, where we had the privilege of meeting refugees from the village of Imwas. They recounted memories of attending the village school, and showed us photographs of themselves and their families in what was once a thriving village. They explained that Israeli forces had tried to capture the village, part of a strategic hillpoint called the Latrun Salient, in 1948 but had failed. In 1967, with a further
300,000 Palestinians being forced from their land, the IDF did not make the same mistake. Villagers were ordered to march to Ramallah, shots fired above their heads. The message was clear: don’t come back. The houses, mosque, church and schools of Imwas, like nearby Yalyu and Beit Nabu, were bulldozed to rubble.
In 1973 Canada Park, with the help of 15 million Canadian dollars, was established. A forest planted around gravestones and the rubble of houses. The message once again was clear: you have no right to return. There is no need to rely on the imagination to get a sense of a once vibrant village turned into a recreational forest. Photos of the village were taken in 1958, 1967, 1968 and 1988; together they tell the story of a thousand words. The fact that they are taken from the exact same vantage point hits the message home, coupled with the poignancy of the notation...“Girls’ school was here”…“Mosque was here”… “Church was here”… Saeed, the son of one of the villagers ethnically cleansed in 1967, showed
us around the old village. He showed us desecrated graves; a clump of indigenous cacti that remains, surrounded in a sea of JNF pine trees. He showed us where his father’s house had once stood. Towards the end of our visit to Canada Park I came across a view that will stick with me for life: the old graveyard of Imwas and just 5 metres away a shiny new picnic bench. We reached an end of our tour and tried to stomach lunch. As I stood there watching our Canadian-Jewish comrades playing hide-and-seek with the daughters of Saeed I knew that I would never again doubt the 100% justness of the Palestinian cause and the solidarity movement. I knew then that I could no longer listen to arguments about two peoples who “can’t get along”. This is not about “seeing things from the other perspective”. This is not about security. It is about a huge wrong committed in 1967, just one of hundreds and thousands of that year, and of 1948, and every year in between and since. It is about the greenwashing of ethnic cleansing and a propaganda machine aimed at justifying and erasing crimes against humanity. It is about right and wrong. It’s about graveyards and picnic benches. Dave Black, Scottish PSC, Aberdeen branch, email@example.com
Disarm the Zionists - Stop the JNF’s Scottish shoot: Demonstrate 11th May
Venue: Cowan’s Law, nr Glasgow - firstname.lastname@example.org for details
Every day brings news of more Israeli atrocities in Palestine: killings, house demolitions and Palestinian families thrown into the street. The racist JNF (Jewish National Fund) is at the heart of the grim action, either planting trees to cover up the ruins of ethnically cleansed villages or even taking part directly in evicting Palestinian families to make way for Jewish settlers. Anger in the UK at the JNF’s crimes is rising. Their fund-raising activities now take place in secret in London, while scores of Members of Parliament are calling for an investigation into JNF activities. Provocatively, the JNF is now organising a fund-raising charity shoot at a venue called Cowan’s Law near Glasgow on May 11th. This shooting event is intolerable considering that the JNF works with the murderous Israeli military and paramilitary forces to ethnically-cleanse unarmed Palestinians. Stop the JNF UK calls on supporters of Palestinian rights from across the UK and all those disturbed by the Israeli policy of shooting unarmed Palestinians to come to Cowan’s Law on Friday May 11th to ensure this provocation does not take place. When peaceful Palestinian demonstrators march on Israeli guns to oppose Israeli dispossession and colonisation, we can do no less here in the UK when those who would finance the crimes have a disgusting “charity shoot.”
Friday 11th May, from 6pm Plant-a-Tree in Palestine Fundraiser
Augustine United Church Centre, George IV Bridge
We invite you to join us for a night of food and entertainment at the Augustine Church Sanctuary, Edinburgh, 6-10pm on Friday May 11th 2012 (the evening of the Stop the JNF protest). Tickets cost £20. To find out more or to buy a ticket please contact Dave at email@example.com Plant-a-Tree in Palestine is a new project established in 2011 with the aim of raising awareness of the tree planting activities of the JNF, and providing an effective means of solidarity with Palestinians resisting the demolition of their homes and theft of their land. It is a joint project of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall), the Palestinian Farmers Union, and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. The first planting action took place on January 2nd 2012, with all the partners joining forces alongside local residents and youth activists in Tulkarem, Occupied West Bank. One hundred and eleven trees were planted, representing the 111 years of the JNF’s existence, with each tree being named after a different Palestinian village destroyed in 1948. The action was a success, receiving positive news coverage within Palestine and abroad, and raising awareness of the JNF’s activities within the local communities. It was therefore decided to build the project in 2012, culminating in 3 or 4 similar planting actions in late 2012 and early 2013.
Stop the JNF Conference 12th May:
Venue: Augustine United Church Centre, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh - £10 / £5 to register email firstname.lastname@example.org
Speakers on the role of the JNF in ethnic cleansing in Israel/Palestine, the struggle against the JNF in the UK, JNF greenwashing, the “Plant a Tree in Palestine” project,and more. Full details will be announced on the website www.stopthejnf.or
No British funds for apartheid, colonisation and ethnic cleansing
Stop the JNF Campaign (UK) www.stopthejnf.org email@example.com
What’s Palestine to do with me?
Personal reflections on activism for Palestine in a rural area. Liam Griffin - January 2012
Fishing boats and car ferries, seals and seagulls, chip shops and curry houses, , but!... but perched on the edge of the Atlantic, and by international standards far from the centre of world politics, Oban hardly springs to mind as a hot-bed of democracy. And yet, this seaside town is home to a group of residents who refuse to see the People of Palestine subjected to Zionist occupation, land theft and a creeping genocide, which ensures that Israel, their oppressor, is self-condemned to live in an illusory bubble of military security, condemned as a pariah state by both Jew and Gentile. The group firmly believes that the historical and current policy of the United Kingdom with regard to the State of Israel, dictates that individual UK citizens have not only a democratic right to voice an opinion and work to right the wrongs of the past and present, but a democratic duty to do so. Burke’s adage is as true now as when he wrote it in the 18th century: all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. So, how does a disparate group of folk, including a retired solicitor, commercial translator, fishermen, ferry boat captains, shopkeepers and the like work to contribute to alleviate this catastrophe? Two by-words, of course, are to the fore: always “non-violent” and always “legal.” Because of my links with the group, I have helped man a stall at such public gatherings as the Highland Games, a garden fete at a grand castle and at the Town Hall’s Christmas Fare. At these functions Palestinian goods are sold to the public, ethically sourced from bona fide importers. Of course, such activity attracts discussion, question and answer. We have designed and printed a lively handout which clearly sets out our objectives, the reasons for those objectives, how we intend to achieve them and how any interested non-members can join with us in our work. Public Meetings some 3 or 4 times a year have seen such speakers as Barry Levine of Scottish Jews for a Just Peace and Daoud Nassar of Tent of Nations come and tell their story. Theresa McDermott, who has sailed to Gaza with the Peace Convoy and who, as an international observer, has manned Gazan fishing boats which are illegally attacked by the Israeli Defense Force was a particularly poignant commentator, linking Oban’s seaboard vista with Palestine’s own maritime aspect.
The BDS conference in Glasgow motivated me to cycle to the venue from Oban, raising £1200 in sponsorship. My file of sponsors was an eclectic one, the donation list showing sponsorship from a Stirling football club was immediately preceded by a donation from a member of the U.K. House of Lords and immediately followed by one from a local Oban businessman. To some, strange bedfellows: but bedfellows nevertheless in the cause of Democracy. (The fund was equally divided between Scottish Jews for a Just Peace, Scottish Friends of Palestine and Oban Concern for Palestine.) More tellingly than fund raising for a worthy cause, the bike ride was well publicised in both the local newspaper and especially on local FM Radio. En route, live link-up on-air by mobile phone saw the interviewer posing searching questions, providing an excellent opportunity to bring the Palestine situation to the local public forum. Charitable Oban townsfolk organised the donation of a set of volley ball sports clothing delivered to the youth of the village of Jayyous on the West Bank by an Oban man, working in Palestine as a volunteer at the time. Of course, not all activity resulted in a successful outcome… Lengthy correspondence with Scottish Water PLC over this publicly owned utility’s engagement with Veolia proved inconclusive, the behemoth organisation ignoring my requests for information or answers to my questions. A request to our local Council to fly the Palestinian Flag among the flags of many nations displayed in Oban throughout the summer ended up in a telephone ping pong match, the politicians referring me to the legal people, they in turn referring me back to the politicians. However, this particular battle has not been totally lost and the effort continues. Early Day Motion 1677, sponsored by MP Jeremy Corbyn, was circulated among my network of friends and acquaintances, at least some of whom took the opportunity to lobby our own MP, Mr Alan Reid, encouraging him to sign up to the Motion. However, so far, he has he has seen fit to reply in the negative. We lobby on! And so into 2012:- membership of a formal group… Oban Concern for Palestine has involved me with others aware of the situation in Palestine. These enthusiastic folk, among other activities, plan to raise funds for the proposed visit to Scotland by some Palestinian youths who are bagpipe players. The proposal is to bring the youths at our cost to Scotland on a working holiday, so that they can play their music within the Gaelic culture, attend piping “workshops” and thus improve their own musicianship, and take home the message to Palestine, that even a wee town perched on the edge of a great ocean stands in solidarity with their homeland. Of themselves, such individual actions may seem inconsequential. However it has been said that no part is too great or too small, no one is too old or too young to do something. Eventually a multiplicity of such actions will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. When that day dawns, may we see a Just and lasting Peace of Equals for Israel/Palestine… till then? Boycott! Divest! Sanction! Any opinions or statements made in this article explicit or implied are entirely the personal opinions or statements of Liam Griffin, the author, and no way reflect those of any other party(ies).
…but we will keep going
I returned back from London longing to get back with my comrades on the front lines. I have been blaming them all for having too much action without me the past 2 months. The emotions, laughs, tears, anger, and pride I survived in my first week back home was more than I imagined. First Friday back home I head to Nabi Saleh. A town resisting occupation on a daily basis. I went there longing to meet all my friends, sorry, not friends; all my family who we shared together weeks of injuries and arrests. Just to go back home at night and start planning for the next Friday. This Friday in Nabi Saleh started the same way it did for the past 2 years. It was actually the second anniversary of the beginning of the recent wave of popular resistance in Nabi Saleh. It was also the 24th anniversary of the first Intifada (Uprising). In the past 2 years, 13% of the residents of Nabi Saleh were arrested. More than 30% of the residents were injured. The children of Nabi Saleh do not play Counter Strike on their computers like your children. They live the real thing.
Mustafa Tamimi 1983-2011
Nabi Saleh under attack- as usual
The “Scream” weapon was waiting for us. They want to make us deaf. The whole world is deaf, what is the difference? Then very shortly toxic gas everywhere. The gas was unbearable. It was shot in big amounts. but by now we are used to it. But make no mistake, the Israeli Occupation Forces uses the gas canisters like someone using the toothpick to poke someone’s eye. The gas canisters were shot directly at the level of our bodies. They are used like big aluminium bullets. After weeks of this we got used to jumping around it. But this week was different. Three UN cars entered the town to go hide in a house far away from where the attacks were happening. They were here to monitor. I am still trying to figure out how this monitoring process works. We were on the mountain overlooking the stolen spring before we heard the loud shouts, “The Bulldozer! The Bulldozer!“ Israeli Occupation Forces were invading the town with armoured bulldozers and three armoured jeeps. We ran back to the street to stop the bulldozer. All we have to face the army are our open chests and stones. And soon enough the bulldozer was turning around to its base. The stones of Nabi Saleh were much stronger than the U.S.-sponsored armours. But the day was far from an end.
A Man Down
“Ambulance, Ambulance!” The screams I heard as I saw a man wearing a white shirt falling down metres in front of me. I ran towards him. I knew it was serious. Those brave men never call “ambulance” even when they’re bleeding. I could not recognise the man. His face was covered with blood. His eyes looked like a blood fountain. I tried to put my Kuffiyeh and Palestinian flag lightly on the source of the wound to stop the bleeding. In seconds he has already lost a lot of blood. “Ambulance! Ambulance!”. I was screaming this time. The young man was lying still on the floor barely breathing. No ambulance was there. We tried to stop a passing-by car to rush him to a hospital. An orange ford (mini-bus) stopped. As I was taking my hands off him to give way to the guys to carry him to the vehicle, he took his last breath. He gasped a last deep breath. It was not an option. He had to survive. He was carried to the Ford and I walked away. Where? I do not know. I was just walking up the street. When I reached Abu Hussam’s house, the UN delegation where standing at the door. Abu Hussam and others had already heard someone was injured. I was holding my Kuffiyeh and Flag. I told everyone what happened. “I did not recognise him - his face was full of blood,” I said. “I think he is 28 years old, that is what I heard.” “I do not think he will survive,” I whispered reluctantly. “It is Mustafa!” someone said. And memories rushed through my head. I saw the rainy days of spring when we used to climb mountains and hills to avoid the IOF checkpoints blocking the entrance to the town. I saw the day I finally managed to reach the town after an hour of hiking through the mountains. I was limping. I was not injured, but my shoes were torn. I headed to Mustafa’s house where I took a nap on a mattress near him. I had my tea and cigarette. Mustafa got me his shoes to wear. He refused to take them back at the end of the day. Mustafa was a gentle brave man. His smile greets activists as soon as they reach the town. He was not much of a football p l a y e r though.
He used to miss easy shots when we played football waiting for noon to start our protests. Hours of memories rushed in seconds. I walked back down to the street. Tears and screams were all around. For the first time, they were not tears from soldiers’ gas. The soldiers have kidnapped Mustafa’s body. They are giving him medical assistance, they say. My friend and popular resistance comrade was shouting at the smiling soldiers. She was in tears. I cannot remember seeing her that way. She is a strong brave woman. I have seen her angry. Just not in tears. I pulled her away and took her up to Bilal’s house. “They did not let his sister see him,” she said with tears drowning her eyes. “They were pushing her around smiling and gloating. They cannot be human.”
Waiting for the News
Four people from Nabi Saleh got permits to go to a hospital near Spring Hill “Tel Aviv“. We drove to the hospital hoping for the best. I was living in denial. I saw him gasping his last breath. I have seen it in movies before, never in person. I could be mistaken. I am not a doctor after all. A dozen Jewish activists who carry Israeli citizenships, four family friends, my friend and I were waiting for news. We wait for hours to get to see a doctor who can update us on Mustafa. We receive a call saying that Israel Radio have announced Mustafa’s death. But suddenly the news just disappeared off the media. After hours of waiting, a doctor finally agreed to meet us. He claimed that they were going to operate on Mustafa in a few minutes. He detailed us on his situation. His talk was assuring. Some of us left. A few activists from Tel Aviv stayed with the family. Or was it just a show pulled together to make us leave? It is just human nature, wanting to believe the good news no matter how unreal it seems. I soaked my Kuffiyeh and flag in water. Mustafa will live after all. Or that is what I wanted to believe. At 11pm I received some disturbing news from a friend. They did not operate on Mustafa. They will operate in the morning. I slept, still in denial. I told myself, he cannot die, he will live. And I slept. In the morning, I switch on my laptop before I open my eyes. First tweet on my twitter wall, “It was confirmed now, Martyr Mustafa Tamimi died.” I was sitting on my bed for an hour, following tweets, hoping I can read: “Correction: Mustafa is alive, his operation succeeded.” But that was not going to happen. They did not operate on him in the first place. They took his body just to postpone his death till the morning. They wanted to suck the tension out. They wanted to add a line to the news, “and we treated him in our hospitals.” But a beast is a beast even if it was wearing a mask.
The pain of it was unbearable. He is the first martyr in Nabi Saleh since the beginning of the popular resistance two years ago. We could have turned the pain of his loss into determination. But the society Fayyad and Abbas have created in Ramallah just made the pain worse. A hero gave his life defending, not only his town, but also the honour of all the Palestinians. Only few participated in the mourning of Mustafa in Ramallah. A lot more were standing by mocking the women screaming their voices off, mourning their loss. What has changed? Thousands used to march the streets, all shops used to close when a martyr fell for the freedom of Palestine. What has changed? I saw the Israeli activists in tears. They felt like they lost one of them. He is one of them. “Them”, who resist apartheid and occupation day after day. They bled together. They got shot together. They got arrested together. This is the co-resistance. Those Israeli and International activists were more sincere in their tears than those sitting on their red sofas in Ramallah. Wait, I do not think the latter have shed tears. I do not think they cared even. They are too busy selling us out. On Sunday, driving to Nabi Saleh for the burial, IOF enforcement was everywhere. Soldiers were loading the gas canister launcher over one of the jeeps. I imagined them saying, “no one cares, we can gas you day and night, and all that you can get is ink on paper.” They were right. They did attack us with gas after all. But gas was not enough for them. They also skunked the village. They beat the women. I commented not because I think IOF beating a woman is any different than beating a man. But because only the women had the courage to face the soldiers. Almost. As usual. A tough day, with several injuries and arrests, and we are back home. Just to continue the cycle of resistance. We are back next week. We will keep going. The soldier who murdered Mustafa will not be punished. He will probably get promoted as usual. But we will keep going. The PA tried to turn the funeral into a speeches festival. They stand against us. They stand against everyone that resists. But we will keep going. Today it is Mustafa. Tomorrow it is one of us. But we will keep going. And freedom will prevail.
My friend Mustafa. I hope you can hear me. My eyes are drowning in tears as I write this. Tears of shame. The shame that it was you not me. But I promise you this, I will not stop until Palestine, ALL Palestine, is Free. Or on the day I join you in heaven.
December 12, 2011 http://palestineyouthvoice.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/but-we-will-keep-going/ Maath Musleh (follow on Twitter: @MaathMusleh)
DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY
ST ANDREWS Contact firstname.lastname@example.org FIFE Contacts fife@Scottishpsc.org.uk