Palestine Post

Dear members.

Please find a letter from our Vice Chairman John Kelly, above. A version of this  has been sent also to all Lib Dem MPs, MEPs and Peers.

We gained half a dozen new members at our York Conference stall 8 – 9  March: Chris Davies MEP visited, as did David Ward, Ibrahim Taguri, Lib Dem PPC  for Sarah Teather’s constituency, Baroness Brinton, and we had a drop-in photo call from Nick Clegg: ‘‘carry on campaigning..’’

It is to be hoped that Clegg is more aware of the Middle East situation than the Prime Minister, who last week, expressed sympathy for Israel’s ‘‘vulnerability’’ and  promised economic packages and trade benefits to all…. and incredibly, to the women of Gaza,  £1.5 million to fund  ‘‘skills training’.  Well, who needs drinking water, electricity, protein, or medicine if you can sign on for skills training?

Read the Conservative Friends of Israel weekly briefing for a flavour of his speech:

http://www2.cfoi.co.uk/Briefings/WeeklyBriefing/

You can send a message to Number 10  via the PSC website below.

http://t.ymlp298.net/ewqhyaxaumwheakahmaiausywb/click.php

more detail on his proposed commercial ‘’partnerships’’ from the Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/12/david-cameron-israel_n_4946536.html

Perhaps Cameron should have read Al Shabaka’s policy brief on: “The Palestinian capitalists that have gone too far.’

This argues  ‘While most Palestinians living under Israeli occupation are struggling to survive, a powerful group of Palestinian capitalists are thriving and growing in political, economic and social influence, and deal with Israelis as a “normal” business partner rather than an occupying power.’’  The money pouring into Ramallah will do nothing to end the Occupation.

executive summary here:

http://al-shabaka.org/node/709

and full paper below:

http://al-shabaka.org/policy-brief/economic-issues/palestinian-capitalists-have-gone-too-far?page=3

At a meeting yesterday, convened by Martin Linton of Palestine Briefing, it was agreed that following the government’s [less than satisfactory] guidelines on trading with settlements we should push them by asking further questions on individual companies,  along the lines of: has HMG informed x company of its business advice? Interestingly Marks and Spencer when questioned on its Ahava products has stated that they will not stock any settlement product.  Christian Aid, War on Want and Oxfam are all working in this field and are to hold a joint seminar soon.

https://www.christianaid.org.uk/whatwedo/middle-east/take-action-to-ban-israeli-settlement-produce.aspx

Meanwhile as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine  becomes THE story, and the world’s eyes swivel, Israel indulges in a little more killing than the ordinary, everyday. The Jordanian citizen,  a judge, as it happens, whom the IDF shot dead at the Allenby Bridge on 11 March, has made big news. Below seems the most credible eyewitness story.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.579537

No international fury sadly on the other five people shot that day, one minding his father’s goats on a hillside.

The Israeli Human Rights Organization, B’Tselem has this press release on Israel’s young victims:

http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20140311_soldiers_ambush_stone_throwers_using_lethal_force

So good news that 50 High School students have written to the Israeli government saying they will refuse military service. Commentators see this as striking fear into the government. Could 50  become 500 or 5,000?

http://972mag.com/how-can-you-tell-that-israeli-refuseniks-are-scaring-the-system/88360/

Could I recommend a very, very good blog, written by a friend and former medical colleague of Jenny Tonge, Peter Garcia Webb, who now lives in Australia and wants to enlighten those living under his extreme right-wing government? His latest post is on the Gazan fuel crisis. He is always bang up to date, minutely researched and accurate.

http://petergarciawebb.com/2014/03/07/israels-choice-peace-jewish-state/

Finally a brief moment in the Lords, you might enjoy, where it appears that Lord Turnberg, accidentally exposes Israeli propaganda.

1.Lord Turnberg: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East was prevented by Hamas from taking advantage of Israeli expertise and equipment in building a water desalination plant in Gaza. [HL5560]

Baroness Northover (LD): The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East reports that it has no knowledge of any offer from the Israeli government to provide technical expertise or equipment to build a water desalination plant in Gaza. The UK Government is concerned about the availability of fresh drinking water for Palestinians in Gaza. According to the UN, over 90% of the water from the Gaza aquifer is unsafe for human consumption without treatment, and the coastal aquifer is set to become too polluted for use by 2016.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/140310w0001.htm#14031010000297

Sally FitzHarris,

Secretary Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine