The assault on Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria continues amidst outcry from activists and aid agencies around the world.
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has been unable to deliver aid, leaving the camp with no food, no water and little medicine. Chris Gunness of UNRWA described the situation in the camp as “beyond inhumane”, with people living on 400 calories a day, desperate and starving but unable to leave.Most of the Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk are originally from the northern part of Palestine, mainly from Safad, Haifa, and Jaffa and were violently forced out of their homes during the Nakba. UNRWA has documented the history of Palestinian refugees.
Yarmouk residents waiting for UNRWA food distribution with destroyed buildings either side of them.
PSC insists on a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian refugee crisis. Palestinians in Yarmouk are unable to return to their homeland because Israel denies them that right, granted to them by UN Resolution 194. PSC calls on the international community to exert pressure on Israel, through sanctions, to abide by international law, end the occupation, end the siege on Gaza, and allow all Palestinian refugees, including those in Yarmouk, the right to return.
It is clear that without urgently applied sanctions, there will be no end to the suffering of the Palestinian people.
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Academics fight back against Southampton conference cancellation
Organisers of the cancelled Southampton University conference are taking legal action against the University.
The legal challenge put forward by the organisers will focus both on the university’s
capitulation to the pro-Israel lobby, and on the false pretext of
“health and safety” concerns. PSC is supporting the organisers and issued a strong statement against the cancellation.
The University has also received a number of letters from academics protesting their decision, including a number of letters from professors at Southampton. The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) has called the cancellation “unprecedented”. Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, chair of BRICUP, said “in living memory no academic conference at a UK university has been cancelled due to external political pressure.” He added: “Southampton’s decision sets an atrocious precedent that must be reversed. If not it deserves to be treated as a pariah by the rest of the academic community.” Academics have noted that this is a demonstration of how “free speech” has strict limits when it comes to Israel.
Suleiman Sharkh, one of the organisers and a Palestinian who grew up in Gaza, explained his personal connection to the conference and why it remains a significant academic topic: “International law was responsible for our misery,” Sharkh explains. “It was used to legalize the theft of our homes and it continues to be used to legalize the ongoing oppression of my people by the State of Israel. The questions asked by the conference are therefore questions that I have been asking all my life. They are important questions that need to be answered.
Sign the petition calling for the University to allow the conference to proceed:
Over the past week we have had a massive boost to our #VotePalestine campaign, with over 2000 more messages sent to candidates around the country. Keep it up!In fact we would like you to help us with another push, as we now have less than a month to make a major impression on all candidates and political parties in the UK.
Please take immediate action:
Chase your local candidates if they have not yet responded
forward us all the responses you have, if they are not yet listed
please share the link with all your friends, colleagues and family, and ask them to take action and to share in turn:
If you have received a response from your candidate and it is not shown, please email it to: [email protected] – we will be adding new information throughout the campaign – so keep checking! Take action now!
PSC at NUT Conference 2015
This year again Palestine was centre stage at the National Union of Teacher’s annual delegates conference in Harrogate during the Easter weekend.
Dozens of NUT delegates flocked to the PSC stall to sign the petition asking for sanctions on Israel, as well as finding out about our current campaigns and to purchase some essential PSC merchandise.
The PSC fringe meeting took place on Easter Monday at lunchtime, and opened with the short educational film launched at the conference featuring Saleh a boy from Hebron, a resource which is part of a joint campaign between NUT and Edukid. The film is available on the charity’s website: www.edukid.org.uk/countries/palestine/videos/
The very well attended meeting featured an impressive line up, including (by Skype) Ahammad Anis, the General Secretary of the General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT), as well as Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary who spoke of the need for action for Palestine and asked all teachers to support PSC’s #VotePalestine campaign to lobby candidates at the general elections – more information www.palestinecampaign.org/vote-palestine/
The President of NUT, Philippa Harvey also spoke of her recent visits to Palestine, and East London teacher Kiri Tunks, and representative of Action for Palestinian Children shared with the meeting the ongoing human rights breaches against Palestinian children at the hands of the Israeli army and settlers in the occupied territories.
Bernard Regan, member of the national executive committee of PSC, spoke of the current situation and the need for actions, notably to target complicit companies in the occupation and war crimes like Hewlett Packard – www.palestinecampaign.org/case-hewlett-packard/
The meeting, expertly chaired by Dave Harvey, Chair of the NUT International Committee, drew to a close with a contribution by Nadim Makhalfa, International Officer of the GUPT (by Skype), reminding us that we need to continue to work and campaign against the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Palestinian singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer
Tamer Abu Ghazaleh is a restless and inventive performer and promoter of
a wide range of music and artistic activity and a leading figure in
modern Arabic culture.
Come along to hear Tamer live in the UK, accompanied by a number of talented Egyptian musicians on the following dates:
The tour is supported by PSC – Book your ticket now!
Shocking fact from UNRWA: “More than 7 months after the ceasefire announcement in Gaza not a single totally destroyed home has been rebuilt.” Watch a video with an important message from Gaza: “we are still under the rubble.”
Khalida Jarrar imprisoned
Israeli forces seized the Palestinian legislator’s home in the middle of the night last week, and now she is to be held without charge or trial for six months. Under the system of administrative
detention, Israel can extend Jarrar’s time in jail as it pleases,
without ever bringing charges against her. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association says Jarrar’s arrest is “part of the systemic targeting of Palestinian
political figures in order to criminalize their work and to silence them
and stop them from practicing their roles in defending and supporting
the Palestinian cause.”
Saturday 11 April – Peterborough PSC Public Meeting
Central Library, 36-40 Broadway,, Peterborough Read More
Saturday 11 April – Public Meeting: Israel, the Election, Islamophobia and the Potential for Change
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