Category Archives: Uncategorized

Welcome!

Welcome to the Friends of Palestine Society at the University of Warwick!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

When the Palestinian people are liberated, it will have been through politics and diplomacy, not militancy. Too much blood has been spilt in the Occupied Palestinian Territories already, violent protests here will only undermine our cause. The Palestinians will always be outgunned, the IDF is one of the most effective and well-funded militaries in the world. We believe that the way to defeat anti-Palestinian Zionism is through engaging our enemies in the political arena, because we will win on the pure and simple facts.

We are working on a number of excellent projects that will keep us busy and you interested for the year to come so we always welcome a pair of hands-or even a single one-to come and help us. Unlike other societies, we place a huge emphasis on members’ support, collaboration and ideas. Ultimately, this is a society belonging to all of us, so it would be great if you all get involved beyond the freshers’ fair!

World refugee day

On the Occasion of the  World refugee day yesterday, let’s all remember that the Palestinian refugees remain the largest and longest standing refugee problem in the world.  Find below the press release from the Badil Resource Centre for Palestinian residency and refugee rights:

Statistics released by UN agencies on the occasion of the 2009 World Refugee Day testify to the fact that Palestinian refugees are the largest and longest standing refugee population world wide. They lack access to just solutions and reparations, including return, because Israel and western governments continue to deny or belittle the scope of the problem and make no effort to respect and implement relevant international law and best practice.

According to a forthcoming Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons for the years 2007-2008 produced by Badil, at least 7.6 million Palestinians have been forcibly displaced since 1948 as a consequence of Israel’s systematic policies and practices of colonization, occupation and apartheid. That figure represents 71 percent of the entire worldwide population of 10.6 million Palestinians. Only 28.7 percent of all Palestinians have never been displaced from their homes. (click here for information pdf)

The great majority of the displaced (6.2 million people – 81.5 percent) are Palestinian refugees of 1948 (the Nakba), who were ethnically cleansed in order to make space for the state of Israel and their descendants.  This figure includes 4.7 million Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations (UNRWA) at the end of 2008. The second major group (940,000 – 12.5%) are Palestinian refugees of 1967, who were displaced during the 1967 Arab-Israel war and their descendants.

More attention and concern should be given to the phenomenon of forced displacement of Palestinians because it is ongoing.

Steadily growing populations of internally displaced Palestinians (IDPs) are the result of ongoing forced displacement in Israel (approximately 335,000 IDPs since 1948) and the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967 (approximately 120,000 IDPs since 1967). Badil’s Survey identifies a set of distinct, systematic and widespread Israeli policies and practices which induce ongoing forced displacement among the indigenous Palestinian population, including deportation and revocation of residency rights, house demolition, land confiscation, construction and expansion of Jewish-only settlements, closure and segregation, as well as threats to life and physical safety as a result of military operations and harassment by racist Jewish non-state actors. Israeli governments implement these policies and practices in order to change the demographic composition of certain areas (“Judaization”) and the entire country for the purpose of colonization.

Data about the scope of ongoing forced displacement of Palestinians is illustrative and indicative, because there is no singular institution or agency mandated and resourced to ensure systematic and sustained monitoring and documentation. The total number of persons displaced in 2007 – 2008 is unknown. UN agencies, however, confirm that 100,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes in the occupied Gaza Strip at during Israel’s military operation at the end of the year; that 198 communities in the OPT currently face forced displacement; and that 60,000 Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem are at risk of having their home demolished by Israel.

The Palestinian refugee question has remained unresolved and forced displacement continues, because Western governments and international organizations have been complicit in Israel’s illegal policy and practice of population transfer and have failed to protect the Palestinian people. Indicators of the severe gaps existing in the protection of Palestinian refugees and IDPs are seen in the recent crises in Iraq – where thousands of Palestinian refugees became stranded on the Jordanian/Syrian and Iraqi borders, Lebanon – where 27,000 Palestinians refugees of the Naher al-Bared camp are still waiting to return to their 2007 destroyed camp, and Gaza – where over 1,400 Palestinians were killed and 100,000 displaced, most of them 1948 refugees).

On this World Refugees Day, Badil calls upon all those concerned with justice, human rights and peace to:

  • Challenge Israel’s racist notion of the “Jewish state” and immediately halt its practices of displacement, dispossession and colonization;

  • Strengthen the global Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in order to ensure that Israel other states become accountable to international law and respect their obligations;

  • Improve the mechanism of international protection so that all Palestinians receive effective protection from, during and after forced displacement, including the right to return as part of durable solutions and reparation;

  • Ensure that the Palestinian refugee question is treated in accordance with international law and UN resolutions in future peace negotiations, including return and reparation.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Final Term Events

We hope everybody’s enjoyed their break and the final term doesn’t find you in too hectic a program. We’ll be minimizing the number of events we’ll be running due to the pressure of exams on members, but you can expect some events and a trip to london during the Nakba demonstrations in mid May. We’ll also be letting you updated on any new events held with other societies.

Israeli war crimes investigation in Gaza

The Guardian has produced a 3 part investigation into war crimes in Gaza. The 3 parts focus on the use of human shields by the IDF, attacks on hospitals, ambulances and medical facilities, and the use of military drones on civilians. We’ve started a new Videos page in Resources, to include smaller clips and videos, and the 3 videos have been archived there. You can also view each of them in this post. Another documentation of Israeli war crimes, one amongst the far, far too many…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thank you to everybody who attended the charity dinner Monday

We’d just like to thank everybody who showed up on this Monday’s charity dinner. The event was a huge success, with all tickets sold out, and the room completely filled up. With much of the world aparrently ‘moving on’, seeing such a massive response from all of you, each helping in their own way, has been incredibly uplifting.

 

In solidarity, and keep remembering Gaza… nobody needs to tell you how to help if you keep caring.

Site updates

We’ve updated much of the site- there’s new sections in the Resources pages for images, first hand accounts, expert analysis etc, new preliminary information about PSW, and a new article about using the blog at its best potential

 

We’ve also expanded our links database.

One World Week Stalls today

 

It is One World Week and today (Thursday) is *Middle East and Africa Day*from 10AM to 4PM. There will be market stalls in the Union, selling Palestinian scarves, hijabs, pashminas, halal sweets, and much more. After lunch, there will also be an arabic calligrapher where you will have the opportunity to have your name written in Arabic. All proceeds made from the two stalls will go to Gaza through the Disaster Emergency Committee or other charities.

Please come along to Union and do bring your friends!

Event: Market stall

Date: Thursday 29th Jan 09

Time: 10am – 4pm

Venue: Union – 1st Floor

 

Tagged ,

Welcome to the New ‘Friends of Palestine Society’ Blog

After gettings tons and tons of requests from our member base, it is finally here! The Friends of Palestine blog is up and running, so be sure to check here often for society updates, new, articles, events etc. 

 

Feel free to contact us with any ideas you have, questions, requests and comments of any kind. Our contact details can be found in the ‘Society’ page. If anybody wants to publish with us on the blog, send us an email and let us know!