Activists who have launched a rooftop protest in Shenstone say they have done so “for the sake of human rights, justice and freedom”.
The members of Palestine Action scaled the UAV Engines site in the early hours of this morning (14th September), while others chained themselves to the gates of the factory.
They also poured red paint down the building in a move they said was to “symbolise Palestinian blood shed” as a result of parts made at the site being used in drones manufactured by Elbit Systems for use by Israel.
A spokesperson for Palestine Action said:
“The UK government has been complicit in the colonisation of Palestine for over 100 years.
“Now they continue to profit from, sustain and facilitate Israel’s apartheid regime.
“While our Government continues to turn a blind eye to Elbit Systems continuing to arm Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people, we too will continue to disrupt and take direct action for the sake of human rights, justice and freedom.
“We call on all those who stand against racism and for humanity to take action, join us and shut Elbit down for good.”
Palestine Action spokesperson
The protesters – who say they are part of a grassroots network of activists – say they have held 15 actions to target the work of organisations involved in the manufacturing of drones in the last month.
“These drones include the military drones Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 which were employed extensively during the 51 day attack on Gaza in 2014, which killed over 2,200 Palestinians including 500 children.
“UAV Engines produce the engines for Elbit drones.”
Statement on Court Decision on Sumarin Family Eviction from StopJNFCampaign
On Tuesday 30th June, an Israeli court ruled that the ownership of the Sumarin family home in Silwan, East Jerusalem, was legally transferred to Israeli state under the discredited Absentees’ Property Law, and that the eviction notice against the family was therefore valid. Further, the court ruled that if the family did not leave the property by August 16th then force could be used to dispossess them. This ruling clears the way for the eviction of the family. Eight years ago, Seth Morrison, former Director of JNF USA wrote: “I have learned that the action on the Sumarin home is not an isolated case. JNF has gained ownership of other Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and, in many instances, then transferred these properties through its subsidiaries to Elad, a settler organization whose purpose is to “Judaize” East Jerusalem. In my eyes, the expulsion of the Sumarin family is a violation of human rights. But it is also part of the systematic transfer of Palestinian property to ideological settlers who wish to put facts on the ground that hinder a lasting peace agreement.”
Seth Morrison reaffirmed his condemnation of the JNF this month. “The eviction of a family that owned the land before Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, is illegal under international law, a grave violation of the Sumarin family’s human rights, and part of Israel’s project to alter the demographics of East Jerusalem by driving Palestinians out, while giving financial and political support to illegal Jewish-only settlements.” The international community must act. From 16th August 2020, the Israeli authorities can forcefully evict the family. We call on human rights activists to:
Write to your MP and ask them to sign Early Day Motion 529.
Get your trade union branch, political party branch, or community group to endorse the
Put up messages of support for the Sumarin family on social media under the #JNFDontEvict
We are organising a protest in Sheffield in front of the Town Hall on Saturday 15th August 12 noon, bring a mask and stay separated. (The family is appealing to the supreme court against this decision. The court may allow an appeal or not. We will keep you informed.)
We also draw your attention to the request by the Sumarin Coalition to contribute to the costs of mounting an appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court ($40,000). The family also face a massive fine and may have to pay for their own eviction.
“While the JNF says it is only trying to protect its property, it is acting as a proxy for settler groups in this and similar cases. Months ago, a Palestinian family living on ground owned by the JNF near Bethlehem was evacuated following a request by the organization: several days later,a settler outpost was set up in the same spot. The practical effect of the JNF’s campaign against the Sumreens is that this family of 18, guilty of no crime and accused of no wrongdoing, may soon find itself without a home, bereft and bankrupt. ” Rabbi Michael Marmur.
Support the Sumarin Coalition – write a letter to the JNF Here
Join guest speakers and experts in a monthly webinar series to explore the role of the Jewish National Fund in the historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. From the Nakba to today, the JNF has been a key agent in the colonization of Palestine. We will also explore how the JNF has helped to forge the racist ideology of the state of Israel, financing a discriminatory system whilst, at the same time, being accorded charitable status across the world. The campaign against the JNF likewise reaches across the world – we invite you to join us , wherever you are, in this campaign for justice.
You will receive instructions on how to join via e-mail.
Saturday 2nd May: What is the JNF (Jewish National Fund)?
The JNF functions as an arm of the Israeli state, yet presents as a charity in scores of countries. Our expert guests will discuss the JNF as a pioneer of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and its ongoing activities to expel Palestinians from their homes. We’ll look at the JNF’s claims to act on behalf of Jews worldwide and show how this racist organisation can be challenged wherever you are.
Saturday 6th June: The JNF as a Pillar of Israeli Apartheid (1948-1967)
This webinar will reveal the part played by the JNF in this momentous period: the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the seizure of Palestinian land, the erasure of evidence of this land theft and the prevention of Palestinians’ Right of Return. With eminent authorities, we will also explore the ways in which the JNF helped to forge the racist ideology and practices of the emerging state of Israel.
Saturday 4th July: The JNF as a Pillar of Israeli Apartheid (1967-present)
Once established as a parastatal organisation, the JNF has continued to facilitate Israel’s apartheid system. This webinar will focus on the Naqab, and the JNFs role in contemporary land confiscation.
Saturday 1st August: From Prawer to the JNF 2040 Plan
The JNF was involved in ethnic cleansing of the Negev through the Prawer Plan. Now, the JNF has an ambitious 2040 Plan to settle 1.5 million Israelis in the Galilee and Negev through the development of hi-tech industries. In the Negev, where destruction of Bedouin villages continues, the 2040 Plan involves collaboration with IDF Technology Units, including the notorious Unit 8200 which spies on Palestinians.
September 5th 2020: Nexus of Forces Allied with the JNF
To advance the Zionist movement’s conquest of land strategy, the JNF has relied on extensive fundraising among Jewish communities abroad, allowing the Israeli state to shift more of its resources to its military sector. In this session we examine the methods deployed by Western governments, the JNF and pro-Israel lobby groups to shield the Israeli state from criticism and actions coming from the BDS movement. We aim to explain how the JNF and its extensions in various countries pass off ethnic cleansing as charitable and explore ways to oppose them.
October 3rd 2020: Greenwashing and the JNF
Environmentalists beware. The JNF, which was established for the purposes of colonial dispossession, and has been executing ethnic cleansing for over 100 years, has re-branded itself as the “oldest green organization in the world” and is infiltrating the environmental movement. From biodiversity conservation to energy generation, from water conservation to climate change, the JNF has been causing environmental devastation and greenwashing crimes against the Palestinian people.
Please note: the running order of the webinars after July may be subject to modification.
Salman Abu Sitta, groundbreaking Palestinian researcher and historian
Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement
Jonathan Cook, journalist based in Nazareth
Ilan Pappé, Israeli historian and activist.
Ghada Karmi, Palestinian doctor, author and academic.
Joseph Schechla, coordinator of Habitat International Coalition’s Housing and Land Rights Network.
Kholoud al-Ajarma, Palestinian activist
Aziz al Touri (pre-recorded), activist from al-Araqib
Shir Hever,economic researcher and author
The Stop the JNF UK campaign is part of an international campaign to end the Jewish National Fund ‘s role in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. It is made up of a coalition of activists from Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Scottish PalestineSolidarity Campaign and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.
We hope all our supporters are well in these difficult times.
We have just sent out a newsletter highlighting the Covid epidemic as it hits Gaza. Sadly the current link for sending money to Middle East Children’s Alliance, our preferred long time partners, will not work from this country. We urge all our members and supporters who wish to donate, please do it via Medical Aid for Palestinians
Regretfully, we have had to postpone a number of meetings due to Covid 19
Lowkey, tonight (Monday 16th March) , Postponed
Labour Party, Antisemitism and the Media, 7pm Wednesday 18th March Postponed
Professor Salman Abu Sitta, The Right of Return: Sacred, Legal and Feasible March 27th Postponed
Two events are low risk since they are outside and are going ahead (but check Facebook Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign) Wednesday 18 th March 12 noon Hallam Square Sheffield Hallam University Gathering to support Anti Israeli Apartheid Week, called by Palestine Solidarity Society
Saturday 28th March 12 noon Sheffield Town Hall – Palestine Land Day
All of us are thinking of the impact of Covid 19 on our network of friends, neighbours and relatives. We would like you also to think of the impact on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. They have a weak economy, few resources, a very weak health service and an unsympathetic occupying power. The impact on them will be far worse.
Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign welcomes that the UN has at last published a list of companies colluding in Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank. There are currently around 600,000 illegal settlers, part of a systematic policy to remove the Palestinian people from the land and expand Israel. Their number has been growing over the last 50 years. Some are economic settlers looking for cheap, state subsidised accommodation, others believe that they have a God given right to Palestinian land. The settlements exist because Israel is the dominant regional military power and is backed by the world’s only super power, the United States.
Stealing another people’s land is a throwback to colonial times. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, Britain intervened militarily, and when Russia annexed parts of Ukraine, Britain supported sanctions. By contrast, illegal Israeli settlements have been accompanied by mild rebuke but no sanctions. Consequently Israel has continued to expand with impunity and has been rewarded with aid and lucrative trade deals.
Now, the United Nations Human Rights Commission has produced a report that lists 112 companies that are active in these illegal settlements.The companies that profit from building and sustaining settlements, must be banned from trading in the UK. The UN’s list of complicit companies is far from complete but it is a start. It is time for everyone committed todemocratic values to rally behind Palestinian civil society’s call for boycotting all trade with Israel until it abides byinternational law and ends the oppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.