Welcome to Palestine – Press Release

The Welcome to Palestine (WTP) Campaign decries the Israeli denial of entry via the Allenby Bridge to over 100 internationals who wanted to visit us in the occupied Palestinian Territories. Two previous WTP delegations tried to enter the occupied West Bank via the Ben Gurion airport in July 2011 and April 2012.

In both cases, Israeli authorities denied access en masse to hundreds of visitors whose only “crime” was declaring honestly that they are coming to visit people under occupation.  The Israeli authorities’ excuses were shown to be lies.  Even Israeli authorities admitted to fabricating lists to give to airlines used to deny international visitors from boarding.  Israel also continues to deny the Internationally-recognized right of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands.  By isolating the remaining Palestinians from the eyes of the international community, Israel confirms that it is an apartheid racist state.

At one point an Israeli position presented to the International media was that visitors could come through Jordan to go to the Palestinian Authority areas in the West Bank. The denial of entry today (Sunday, 26 August, 2012) at the Allenby Bridge border crossing from Jordan shows that the previous policies of siege and isolation continue. The siege on the occupied West Bank, just like the siege on Gaza, is immoral and illegal and must end.

Even prisoners are entitled to be visited. When governments fail to act, individuals act. We thus will continue to initiate more Welcome to Palestine campaigns. We insist on the freedom of entry. As Israel persists in these unjust policies, it is only fair to ask all countries to reciprocate by denying Israelis entry to these countries.

We will not give up, and we will keep trying.

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Press Release – Welcome to Palestine – August

Can you imagine Israelis banned from European countries because they criticize European policies? At the invitation of Palestinians International visitors will again challenge the siege of the occupied Palestinian territories this Sunday. Israel illegally prevents millions of Palestinians from returning to their country. But it also prevents normal visitation to those Palestinians remaining here. Recently four foreign ministers expected to attend a diplomatic conference in Ramallah were barred from entering through Jordan as they do with many visitors to the occupied Palestinian territories. Many Palestinians are also prevented from traveling abroad. For example, the chairman of the prisoner support organization Addameer, Abdullatif Gaith, a 71-year-old resident of East Jerusalem was ordered by Israeli “intelligence” to stay at home until 31 January 2013! Israel prevents Internationals from visiting their Palestinian friends.

Our previous two “Welcome to Palestine” campaigns were faced with illegal repression although their only supposed crime was admitting that they were visiting Palestine. Israel even went to the extreme of providing a fabricated list of 1,200 individuals to European airlines to deny them boarding, not one of those people was a security threat. Israel made Ben Gurion Airport into a virtual military camp with hundreds of extra security personnel to restrict entry to those they claimed were intent on disruption and trouble-making. The truth remains that Israel is violating international law by isolating the occupied Palestinian territories. European and American leaders are also responsible for these violations because they directly support Israel in its violations of human rights both diplomatically and financially. When governments fail to act, people act. Hence we will keep trying to visit Palestinian families and their associations. Even prisoners should have the right to receive visitors, shouldn’t they? This is why the next “Welcome to Palestine” mission, invited by the Governor of Bethlehem and several civil society organizations will take place from the 24th -31st of August. One hundred participants will be coming from several European countries as well as the United States, equipped with school stationery to give to Palestinian children and their eyes and their cameras to document life under colonial occupation and apartheid.

The delegates arrive in Jordan on the 23rd of August and will tour Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan for two days before crossing over Al-Awda Bridge (also called King Hussain Bridge) to the occupied West Bank. While in the West Bank, they will experience Palestinian life in different settings. This will consist of life in small villages, towns, and cities around the occupied Palestinian territories. While touring, they will receive presentations given by Palestinians depicting the struggles that they face. All are welcome to the opening ceremony of their visit which will take place in Jericho this Sunday at 8 pm.

International Media Contact: Paris, Nicolas 00 33 6 73 38 24 84 or 00 33 6 80 88 71 54 (English and French)
Local Media Contact: Bethlehem, George (970) 599833888 of from local number 0599833888 (Arabic and English)
Welcome to Palestine

http://www.bienvenuepalestine.com

http://www.palestinejn.org

email: media@palestinejn.org

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Action: Call Airlines to stop being sub-contractors to Fascist Israel

Dear AlI,
Many peaceful supporters to the successful Palestinian campaign “Welcome to Palestine 2012″ were denied access to their flights going to Tel-Aviv. As a result I have decided to boycott those airlines that yielded to the pressure coming from the Israeli apartheid regime. Thus I urge each one of you to send your complaints to those airlines and let them know that you are excluding them from all your future travels. Let us show them that their uncalculated and biased actions did not pass unnoticed. If Israel uses its cash power to terrify those airline companies, then let them know that we hold equal if not greater power!!
For your convenience I have included below some links through which you can have a direct access to the complaints section on their websites and send your complaints directly to those airlines:
Below is a complaint I have sent to Air France, you can read their reply to me as well (I have removed my personal details in case you wanted to forward this e-mail.. Please send your complaints, it makes a HUGE difference!!! Together we are stronger!
Thank YOU for taking part in this!
Note: Please forward and remember to delete email addresses when doing so.
Air France:
Swiss Air:
Brussels Airlines:
Lufthansa
Jet2
http://www.jet2.com/Answers.aspx?Questions=9 (unfortunately they don’t have an online complains section, but you can either phone them up or write them)
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Air France
 Dear Mr……,

In application of the Chicago convention, Air France like all others airlines, has to refuse to board any passenger declared non admissible by the destination country (Israel).

On all flights to Tel-Aviv, the Israeli authorities systematically control the passenger list. No aircraft is allowed to fly to Israel without their approval.

On flight AF4384 Nice-Tel-Aviv on 15 April, the Israeli authorities asked to question one of the passengers. As the passenger’s response did not satisfy the Israeli authorities, the passenger had to be disembarked at their request.

Like all other airlines and in application of the Chicago convention, Air France complies with the legislation in force in the countries where it operates.This also minimizes inconvenience to passengers during disembarkation.

Thank you for your understanding.
Best regards

The Air France Web Support Team

Société Air France, Société Anonyme au capital de 1 901 231 625 Euros, immatriculée au registre du Commerce et des Sociétés de Bobigny sous le numéro d’identification 420 495 178.

Siège social: 45 rue de Paris 95747 Roissy CDG Cedex

Le message d’origine suit : ————————

Title…………………………….. :

Last name…………………………. :

First name………………………… :

E-mail……………………………. :

Do you have an Air France or KLM card?.. : No

Your message………………………. : I am writing you this message to let you know that I was very much disturbed by the actions you took against supporters of Palestine who wanted to fly from France to Israel with Air France and were denied access to their flights! As a consequence to your hostile measures taken against peaceful supporters to the suffering Palestinian people, I decided never to consider Air France in any of my future travels and I will spread the word out about your blind support to the apartheid state of Israel, hoping this would give you a chance to review your non-civilized actions and make you reconsider similar future ones!

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Welcome to Palestine 2012: Israeli apartheid exposed

Welcome to Palestine is an initiative that aims to highlight Israel’s cruel and brutal siege of the West Bank and the complicity of Western governments and of corporations in helping Israel maintain its illegal occupation through violations of Palestinian human and national rights.  Welcome to Palestine 2012 (WtP2012) achieved these aims with the participation of hundreds of internationals who are now more determined than ever to join the Palestinian struggle for justice and to intensify the campaign against Israeli occupation, colonisation and apartheid.

This year some 1200 internationals, men, women and children, booked their flights to Tel Aviv airport and prepared for their visit to Palestine.  They were responding to an invitation by Palestinian organisations in Occupied Bethlehem to participate in a programme that included the renovation of a children’s school.  Dr Victor Batarseh, Mayor of Bethlehem, appealed for international support for this initiative.  The only difference between the WtP2012 participants and the hundreds that travel to Palestine every year to express their solidarity with Palestinians is that they intended to tell the truth at Tel Aviv airport – the purpose of their travel was to visit Palestine.

Israel’s response to this peaceful initiative exposed its fear of peaceful travellers transiting Tel Aviv Airport to access Bethlehem in Palestine;  hundreds of internationals were prevented from boarding flights as a result of threats made to airlines, and participants who landed at Tel Aviv were imprisoned without charge.

The Israeli government has made a strategic mistake by extending its illegal siege of Palestine into international airports.  Participants responded with protests that lasted hours.  Pressure on airlines resulted in some changing their policy of refusing refunds to those denied boarding.

In Tel Aviv Airport Israeli activists waiting to welcome travellers were swamped by uniformed police and arrested for using the words ‘Welcome to Palestine’. Israel’s claim to be a ‘democracy’ was exposed yet again as a lie.

Extensive local and international media coverage increased awareness of the spread of Israeli apartheid from Palestine to European airports, through racial profiling and extensive political blacklisting.

Welcome to Palestine 2012 was endorsed among others by Ronnie Kasrils and Archbishop Tutu, both veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.  Since 15th April, elected representatives of many participants, particularly those imprisoned by Israel for wishing to visit Palestine, have been pressing governments to condemn Israel’s actions and the complicity of airlines.

Investigations have begun into the nature and source of Israel’s ‘McCarthyite’ lists sent to airlines.  Trade unions whose members – nurses, teachers, community workers – were denied boarding or imprisoned by Israel, expressed their strong support for the goals of the initiative.  In Paris, CGT’s Roissy-CDG union branch representing airport staff rejected “the complicity of the French authorities in this violation of the freedom to travel”.

As a salute to the steadfastness of Palestinian political prisoners, WtP2012 participants in Givon Prison refused food on Palestinian Prisoners Day on 17th April as those who were refused boarding took part solidarity actions in cities across Europe.  These actions are an expression of the strength and depth of international solidarity that exists for the Palestinian people.  The participants of WtP2012 will continue to join international actions against Israeli occupation, colonisation and apartheid and will intensify our campaigning for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

Welcome to Palestine 2012 Campaign websites

http://bienvenuepalestine.com
http://palestinianspring.palestinejn.org
http://www.righttoenter.ps
http://welcometopalestine.info
http://bienvenidosapalestina.jimdo.com/
http://bienvenuepalestine.ca/

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A statement fron the European jews for a just peace: Welcome to Palestine

Against the rogue state of Israel, its allies and accomplices:

Once again the State of Israel demanded and obtained that the French state and other European states, as well as major airlines (including Air France), that prevent friends of the Palestinian people to answer the call of the mission”Welcome to Palestine” and go to the West Bank for visits and a peaceful program under international solidarity

International solidarity very natural, which is almost unanimously considered obvious in the case of another country.
Israel had already dictated the requirements for a first mission to “Welcome to Palestine” last July and had intervened violently during the same period to prevent the flotilla of boats to Gaza to go to show solidarity with the people under siege.
Over a thousand people of all ages and all backgrounds, are prohibited to travel, in complete violation with a fundamental right: freedom of movement.

And a significant portion of those who were able to reach Tel Aviv, including thirty people from Lyon, is currently incarcerated in Israeli jails because they refuses to be expelled.

This is very serious. The State of Israel wants to ban mere citizen of going to see that this state imposes a life unbearable for the Palestinian people in the West Bank, that it submit since a long time the Palestinian to a control and a colonial military repression in various forms.
It wants to prevent these citizens may testify to the courage of the Palestinian people and its resistance.

What is equally serious is that European states including France and airlines are running, and express direct support to the colonial policy and to the apartheid policy and ethnic cleansing of a State which has a constant impunity andcriminal policy which endangers the world peace.

In Israel itself, a current of opinion is mobilized: the pacifist anti-colonialist came to welcome visitors to Tel Aviv airport, part of the press and intellectuals denounce the cynicism of their government’s repressive measureswithout foundation ”to taxpayer expense.”
We hope that this movement matures.
Israel wants to impose a blockade of all of Palestine!
Our response to this policy is to develop the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against the State of Israel as itinfringe international law!

The national office of the French Jewish Union for Peace, April 16th 2012

French Jewish Union for Peace - 21 ter rue Voltaire, 75011 PARIS

Phone number : 06 26 25 97 33 · e-mail : contact@ujfp.org · Site : www.ujfp.org

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In Lyon : occupation of the prefecture

About a hundred demonstrators occupied Tuesday for more than an hour the Rone prefecture in Lyon, in solidarity with themission Welcome to Palestine participants trapped by the Israeli apartheid regime.

Israel has jailed some fifty participants in the mission, including some of the Lyon area.

Our imprisoned comrades demanding the basic right to travel, and to respond to the invitation by our Palestinian friends to visit Bethlehem in the occupied territories.

At 11:30, a police armada had invested the outskirts of the prefecture, as well as indoor, denying access to the users.

Watch, also, this video of the evacuation muscled of our comrades, with kicks generously distributed by police to a man down!

http://youtu.be/4v0Ey_RtHOE

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Media release: British women imprisoned by Israel refuse food to highlight chronic torture and abuse of Palestinian prisoners

 

 

Media Release
17 April 2012

On Palestinian Prisoners Day five British women imprisoned by the Israeli government for their part in ‘Welcome to Palestine 2012’ are refusing food in support of the demands of Palestinian political prisoners.  Some 3,500 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel started a hunger strike today demanding rights to family visits and education, an end to isolation and an end to administrative detention, a procedure under which detainees are held without charge or trial.  Khader Adnan, who ended his protest hunger strike in February after 67 days, is due to be released today.  There are currently three Palestinian political prisoners who have been striking for more than 40 days.  In total Israel holds 4,610 political prisoners, including 6 women and 203 children.

International actions are taking place today including a march in Glasgow and protests in Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.  This morning students in Glasgow occupied BBC headquarters to highlight lack of media coverage of the Palestinian hunger strikers and international support for their cause.

The five women, from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Manchester, Dumfries and Glasgow, were taken to Givon prison on landing at Tel Aviv airport on Sunday.  They were amongst 1,300 international participants of the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ initiative that sought to highlight Israel’s blockade of the West Bank and attempts to isolate Palestinians.  The visit is supported by the Mayor of Bethlehem and over 25 Palestinian civil society organisations.  Before departure from Manchester airport Joy Cherkaoui, who works for Dumfries and Galloway Council, explained that “the goal of the initiative is not to demonstrate at Ben Gurion Airport but to proceed peacefully to Bethlehem, where our Palestinian hosts are waiting to greet us.  There is no way into Palestine except through Israeli-controlled airports or checkpoints.”

Lynn Leitch, 61 year old retired teacher said that it was important for her to participate in the initiative to “challenge the actions of the Israeli Authority and bring its actions to the attention of people and governments around the world”.  Midlothian Trades Union Council, for whom Lynn is due to represent at next week’s STUC Annual Congress, published a statement supporting the participants and condemning the “actions of the Israeli government in effectively imprisoning an entire nation”.  Today Aberdeen Trades Union Council also sent a message of support for local doctor, UCU member and Aberdeen University lecturer Karolin Hijazi.  Nurse and UNISON member Terri Mclaughlin from Glasgow and humanitarian peace activist Paveen Yaqub from Manchester are joined by French women imprisoned by Israel in refusing food in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners.

In addition to the five women, four British men are being held at Givon prison near Tel Aviv.  Anthony Radcliffe, 69-year old retired teacher from Chesterfield, said he “become more aware of human rights abuses since retirement and have become more politically active since then”.  Jim Henry, retired nurse from Ayrshire, Rob Redford from Chesterfield and Arif Shah from Birmingham were all taken by Israeli police to prison on Sunday.

None of the internationals detained have been told what laws they have broken and the reasons for their treatment.  On Sunday Israel deployed 650 police officers at Tel Aviv airport and sent instructions to airlines to blacklist and deny boarding to hundreds of ‘Welcome to Palestine 2012’ participants flying from Canada, Paris, Geneva, Brussels, Istanbul, London and Manchester.  Fourteen participants from the UK were denied boarding while others from Scotland and Wales have already been deported.  An official from Israel’s Foreign Ministry admitted yesterday that Israel had “given the other side a victory on a silver platter” and that “direct damage has been done to tourism and to Israel’s good name”.  Uri Avnery of Israeli peace group Gush Shalom, some of whose activists were arrested on Sunday as they waited to welcome participants, said “had the government set out to exhibit to the world the image of an ugly Israel – oppressive, aggressive, nationalistic, tolerating no criticism – then today was a huge success”.

END

Notes to Editor:

1.      Welcome to Palestine 2012 (UK group)

Sofiah MacLeod
00 44 (0) 131 620 0052
00 44 (0) 7931200361
press@welcometopalestine.info

Mick Napier
00 44 (0) 131 620 0052
00 44 (0) 7958002591

2.      Some 1,200 Palestinian prisoners go on open-ended hunger strike, http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/some-1-200-palestinian-prisoners-go-on-open-ended-hunger-strike-1.424811

3.      Addameer Monthly Detention Report – 1 April 2012: http://www.addameer.org/etemplate.php?id=458

4.      Profiles and updates of detained UK participants: http://www.welcometopalestine.info/index.php/participant-profiles-uk-us

5.      March for the Karamah Hunger Strikers – March for Palestine:http://www.facebook.com/events/353500491364265/

6.      Students occupy BBC for Palestinian Prisoners on hunger strike!:http://weareallhanashalabi.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/students-occupy-bbc-for-palestinian-prisoners-on-hunger-strike/

7.      Profiles of UK participants denied boarding: http://www.welcometopalestine.info/index.php/2012-articles/19-participant-profiles-uk-us

8.      Israeli official: 40% of names on Shin Bet fly-in blacklist were not activists:http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israeli-official-40-of-names-on-shin-bet-fly-in-blacklist-were-not-activists-1.424470

9.      The aggressive conduct at the airport exhibits to the entire world the image of Israel as a police state:http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/events/1334512665

13.  World Social Forum: Free Palestine invitation to Welcome to Palestine participants
http://www.welcometopalestine.info/index.php/key-documents-wtp-2012/14-invitation-to-welcome-to-palestine-participants

15.  Israeli government response:
- Israel security forces gear up to deflect pro-Palestinian ‘fly-in’ protest, http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-security-forces-gear-up-to-deflect-pro-palestinian-fly-in-protest-1.423446
- Hundreds of police to await ‘fly-in’ activists at terminal, http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/hundreds-of-police-to-await-fly-in-activists-at-terminal-1.423877
- Shin Bet questions Israeli activists linked to upcoming ‘fly-in’ protest, http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/shin-bet-questions-israeli-activists-linked-to-upcoming-fly-in-protest-1.423871
- Israel warns airlines, deploys forces ahead of Sunday ‘Flytilla’ protest, http://www.timesofisrael.com/police-prepare-for-welcome-to-palestine-flying-protest-by-warning-airlines-and-deploying-forces/

 

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Prisoners day and Invitation – WTP2012 Press releases

Today is prisoners’ day in Palestine.  Everyone from the Galilee to the Negev and from Jericho to Rafah remembers the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of political prisoners held over the years and stands in solidarity with the thousands still held.  It is a special prisoners’ day because many of our prisoners are on hunger strike today and because many are joined by hunger strike of visitors who are imprisoned simply because they declared they wanted to visit us in our large prison in the West Bank.  Nearly fifty prisoners, most of them from France are in Givon Prison and are joining the hunger strike in solidarity with our prisoners and also to demand they be allowed to visit us in Bethlehem as part of the Welcome to Palestine Campaign.

Welcome to Palestine (WTP) Campaign invites you to a conference on Friday April 20, 2 – 8 PM at the Peace Center in Bethlehem.  The conference is to take stock of our story, our successes and to mobilize for future actions.  We will show a brief film (Roadmap to Apartheid) then discuss together strategies and tactics of popular resistance including:

-Brief history of popular resistance

-Solidarity campaigns such as WTP (with report from one of the participants on their experiences)

-Media tools including social networking,

-Boycotts Divestment and Sanctions

-Right to Enter

-Mobilizing youth and women

-Role of Israeli activists

-Unifying and simplifying our message

The conference main languages will be Arabic and English.

Space is limited to 150 participants so please register early by sending an email to media@palestinejn.org with your name and contact information.

Welcome to Palestine 2012 Campaign websites
http://bienvenuepalestine.com
http://palestinianspring.palestinejn.org
http://www.righttoenter.ps
http://welcometopalestine.info
http://bienvenidosapalestina.jimdo.com/
http://bienvenuepalestine.ca/

==================

On Political Prisoners

http://popular-resistance.blogspot.com/2011/10/political-prisoners.html

As they always say, success has a thousand fathers, failure is an orphan ;-) so there is now dissent in the ranks of the Israeli apartheid regime
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4216490,00.html
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israeli-official-40-of-names-on-shin-bet-fly-in-blacklist-were-not-activists-1.424470

Gideon Levy in Haaretz. Israel is paranoid about pro-Palestinian activists

Israel will not stand idly by as thousands of activists prepare to arrive on Sunday; it will not miss an opportunity to look ridiculous in the eyes of the world

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/israel-is-paranoid-about-pro-palestinian-activists-1.423894

Video from Belgium
http://www.dewereldmorgen.be/blogs/palestina-solidariteit/2012/04/15/meer-dan-zestig-activisten-geweigerd-op-vluchten-van-brussel
http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/binnenland/120415_protest_luchthaven_israel

Video of arrest of Ronnie at the airport by “thought police” in the police state
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJxvOUqJ3n8

Edinburgh airport
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGxoqFfRIT4

“The only Democracy in the Middle East” immediately arrests someone ewho carries a drawing by a child and another who was waiting to be interviewed by TV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C46AWybKSVo

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8207

Stories

http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/sights-that-the-flytilla-activists-weren-t-allowed-to-see-1.424717
http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/15/world/meast/israel-aerial-flotilla/index.html
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&view=bsp&ver=ohhl4rw8mbn4
http://www.english.rfi.fr/europe/20120416-Israel-blocks-hundreds-from-welcome-palestine
http://www.dhnet.be/infos/monde/article/391868/des-manifestants-de-welcome-to-palestine-n-ont-pas-pu-embarquer-a-bruxelles.html
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israeli-official-40-of-names-on-shin-bet-fly-in-blacklist-were-not-activists-1.424470
http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=24696&CategoryId=3

MPs support WTP
http://www.welcometopalestine.info/index.php/support/30-mps-support-welcome-to-palestine-initiative

On Israel TV: WTP already a huge success
http://pulsemedia.org/2012/04/13/welcome-to-israel-2012/

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Welcome to Palestine 2012 – solidarity with Palestinian prisoners

Israel successfully projected its power into airports across Europe and North America to stop people boarding aircraft in their home countries to visit Palestine. To achieve this, Israel certainly resorted to criminal means, hacking into personal emails.

It was, however, at a cost. One among many similar voices in Israel was the Foreign Ministry official who said that “We insulted hundreds of foreign nationals due to our concerns, and gave the other side a victory on a silver platter… direct damage to tourism and the reputation of Israel.”

Israel’s harsh blockade of Palestine continues, part of the enforcement of what even the British Government calls an illegal occupation.

Send a letter to your MP to raise issues in Parliament and elsewhere concerning:

  • Israel’s power to spread propaganda lies unchallenged by the UK Government in order to control who embarks at UK airports. The British Government should demand that Israel produce “statements by radical pro-Palestinian activists indicating that they intend to arrive on commercial flights from abroad, in order to disturb the peace and confront security forces at Ben Gurion International Airport.” http://bit.ly/HQWnjO

    This baseless claim was used to deny boarding to UK citizens in UK airports.

  • Israel’s ability to deny access to British citizens’ access to Palestine while the UK Government:
  1. has changed legal procedures to remove universal jurisdiction and protect Israeli officials who previously feared prosecution in Britain for war crimes
  2. routinely turns a blind eye to UK-based Zionists who serve in the Israeli army, contrary to the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870

The Welcome to Palestine 2012 participants, 9 from Britain including 5 Scots, in Givon Prison will be refusing food from tomorrow in solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strikers and to demand their right to transit Israel to go to Palestine.

March for the Karamah Hunger Strikers – March for Palestine

https://www.facebook.com/events/353500491364265/

ASSEMBLE GEORGE SQUARE, GLASGOW TUESDAY 6PM 17/4/2012 to March to BBC HQ Pacific Quay

On Palestinian prisoners day, Tuesday 17th of April, the Palestinian prisoners movement will launch the Karamah (Dignity) hunger strike. They will place the true oppressive nature of the Israeli state under the spotlight once again. In a courageous move, highlighting the steadfastness of Palestinian resistance to occupation, 1600 prisoners will embark on an indefinite hunger strike demanding their basic rights as political detainees.

The magnitude of the 1600 Palestinian prisoners embarking on the Karamah hunger strike must be met with a significant international response. This means mass mobilisations to question the impunity of the Israeli state and our own governments involvement.

As the resistance of the prisoners escalates, our actions in turn must escalate.

On the 17th April, we will begin the escalation by marching for the liberation of Palestine and the dignity of the hunger strikers.

The intifada that is stirring in the Zionist jails must resonate beyond the prison walls and we demand that the BBC end their complicity through their silence of the Palestinian prisoners.

In response to the Palestinian call for a international day of solidarity this demo is called for by ‘We Are All Hana Shalabi’ / Students Palestine Societies in Scotland.

Supported by:
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al Aqsa Scotland, Scottish Palestine Forum, Youth Against Settlements (Hebron, Occupied Palestine), Stop the War Coalition, Glasgow Lebanese community

*UPDATE* ALSO PROTESTS IN:
Aberdeen: St Nicholas Square: 5pm
Edinburgh: St Andrews Square: 5.30pm

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Welcome to Palestine: 40 French prisoners in Israeli jails

About forty French participants of the mission Welcome to Palestine, and a dozen other internationals, were jailed Monday morning at Givon (near Tel Aviv), because they refused to be deported on their arrival, and not because they committed any offense or crime, quite the contrary.

According to the score that we could perform on the night of Sunday to Monday, there were 27 men and women who arrived in Tel Aviv on an Easyjet flight from Geneva, and 10 or 11 others arrived on board an Air France flight from Nice.

Some have managed not to get caught with their mobiles, and were able to sendto the outside world (to us, to relatives in France) a few new SMS: the morale is high. They maintain their right, elemental, to be able to travel in occupied Palestine and they are prepared, if necessary, to declare hunger strike, especially because this Tuesday April 17th is a day of general mobilization of thousands Palestinians languishing in the jails of the apartheid regime.

Example of an SMS received on Monday morning at 10 h30

“We are 13 girls in Lyon, Scottish 4, 2, Nice, Marseille 2, 3 in Paris, one of Quebec, one of Corsica, and they still don’t let us call without giving us any explanation . We all go on a hunger strike as long as we cannot call. And tomorrow we will all go on a hunger strike with the Palestinian women prisoners. “

Already, the draconian measures taken by the government and the Israeli secret service to prevent the thousands of volunteers to reach Palestine (only half a dozen have managed to win Bethlehem, to our knowledge) has turned into diplomatic and political disaster for Netanyahu and his clique.

We owe this to the overzealous Secret Service which have been unable to determine with any credibility in what the volunteers were “dangerous extremists pose an existential issue for Israel,” have raked wide, very wide, in the composition of their blacklists.

Haaretz reveals that for hundreds of passengers whose identities have been stalked for weeks, the Shin Bet has not been able not only to establish that they represented any “danger” to Israel, but even in some cases any militant activity in the service of the Palestinian cause!

The sweep operation did not spare a member of the Board of Directors of the powerful German pharmaceutical company Merck (Merck Darmstadt) who came in Israel in order to sign an agreement for scientific research! He found himself black-listed!

Better, a French diplomat and his wife who must start working at the French consulate in Jerusalem this summer. The couple was planning to look for an apartment in Jerusalem, but the night before their departure, they received an email from the airline, Lufthansa, saying that their tickets were canceled because they were banned from enter Israel!

In fact, what happened Sunday with a passenger on Air France, puted off her flight from Nice to Tel Aviv because she had responded negatively to a questionnaire from the airline asking if she was “Jewish” or ” Israeli “, gives a fairly clear picture of the exclusionary strategy developed by the Israeli spy agencies. When the passenger is not “racially pure”, is eliminated.

Even if it means to go after passengers with the “right profile”. Still in Nice, Sunday, members of our delegation witnessed the misadventures of a transient non-member of the mission who have been inquisitorial questioned by the Air France staff. Her crime? This woman, Jewish French citizen, had the air of an Arab, because of her surname and the complexion of her skin, which is not surprising since that many of the Jews in France are from the Arab world, especially North Africa. And when the employees of Air France have sought to hide behind the racial instructions they had received from Israel, the Jewish passenger replied indignantly, “Well, now I do not like this country.”

Wherever passengers, hundreds, were denied boarding, there were vigorous protests, , Brussels, Geneva, Mulhouse, Rome, Paris, Nice, etc. … We report the news on these sites http://www.bienvenuepalestine.com andhttp://www.europalestine.com, as well as our twitters @ touspalestine, @ Europalestine1, and on the Facebook page.

Friends and members of the mission, stay tuned for more, and all initiatives which will be announced.

WELCOME FRANCE PALESTINE MISSION

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