Working in partnership to ramp up our campaign to end the demolition of Palestinian homes
Annie O’Gara and Sharen Green: Stop the JNF and Protecting Palestinian families,
Hilary Smith: Boycott Israel Network and Sheffield PSC
Tom Anderson: Stop the Demolitions
Teresa Bailey: UK Palestine Mental Health Network
Linda Ramsden: Director ICAHD UK
Chair: Dr Monica Wusteman, ICAHD UK
This was the third in our series of webinars in which we joined with our partner organisations to present progress in our campaigns against house demolitions and the displacement of the Palestinian people from their land.
Since 1947 more than 130, 000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in Israel and the OPTs. In 2020 alone, 865 demolitions displaced 1014 people from their homes and this year so far sees no let-up in this particularly cruel form of oppression committed by the state of Israel against the Palestinian people.
In the weeks prior to the webinar, a series of events seemed to have brought about a distinct shift in the climate of opinion on Israel’s actions in the media and elsewhere. The focus on its apartheid regime in the recent Human Rights Watch report, the mob violence by right wing extremists in East Jerusalem followed by the bombings in Gaza all, once again, brought Israel’s crimes in to the spotlight but, unlike before, there seemed now to be an increased willingness to expose and condemn them. Since world governments still firmly stand with Israel, this change in mood must be because of increasingly effective pressure from civil society and the efforts of activists like ourselves- a fact which will spur us on to find ways of expanding our campaigning capability and devising ways of working even more effectively together
In this webinar, our partners – Stop the JNF, Protecting Palestinian Families (PPF) and Stop the Demolitions- brought us up to date on progress with their campaigns. There was once again a focus on the complicity of the British company JCB in Israel’s demolition and displacement programme. PPF updated us on the impressive coalition of organisations that they have built up in their campaign to persuade the NSPCC to end its association with JCB, and Stop the Demolitions reported on other initiatives targeting JCB’s complicity in house demolitions. Stop the JNF reviewed the JNF’s activities in East Jerusalem and the legislative basis used by the settlers to dispossess Palestinians from their homes and The UK Palestine Mental Health Network reported on their work on the understanding and treatment of the consequences for mental health of living under Israeli occupation. There was a strong emphasis throughout on how ICAHD UK members and supporters can increase their contribution to these impressive and imaginative campaigns