Palestine

Caryl Churchill to lead Palestinian carols at Bloomsbury church

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2009

Protesters will demonstrate outside a Baptist church which is hosting a carol service organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

The PSC will be holding its annual Christmas concert at the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in Covent Garden next month.

The service, which has not been advertised on the church’s website but has been listed on the PSC site, will include seasonal readings from playwright Caryl Churchill, whose play, Seven Jewish Children, caused controversy earlier this year.

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Analysis: PA will not declare independence alone

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 19, 2009

Israeli politicians were up in arms this week over the stated intention of the Palestinian Authority unilaterally to declare an independent state in the near future.

Unilateral steps on the Palestinian side will be met by similar moves from Israel, they ominously warned, hinting at possible annexations of parts of the West Bank, as they did in east Jerusalem after the Six-Day War in 1967. Such a declaration, they promised, would mean an end to any diplomatic process with the Palestinians.

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EU: A Palestinian state is ‘premature’

By Jessica Elgot, November 17, 2009

The European Union has said that Palestine is not ready to be recognised as a full state by the UN.

The current holder of the EU presidency, Carl Bildt of Sweden, said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels that conditions were not yet right for Palestinian statehood.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said they had decided to seek recognition of the Palestinian state from the UN because of the failure of recent peace talks.

The proposal is an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and with June 1967 borders.

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Palestinian unions say Israel boycott would harm them

By Leon Symons, November 12, 2009

The leader of Palestine’s equivalent of the TUC has told a delegation of British trade unionists that they are not interested in general boycotts of Israel.

Shaher Saeed, general secretary of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), told representatives of seven unions that the organisation had so little interest in the subject it had never discussed boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and therefore had no policy on the subject.

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Abbas resignation 'could kill peace plan'

By Ben Lynfield, November 12, 2009

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (right) has been deluged with requests from foreign heads of state to reconsider his decision not to seek another term in his office, while his own people seem indifferent.

Mr Abbas said last week that he “does not wish” to run in the January 24 elections, blaming Israel’s expansion of settlements, the US “favouring” the Israeli position and Hamas foiling national reconciliation efforts.

It was not immediately clear if the step was anything more than a ploy to muster American pressure on Israel.

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Palestinian cave man fights 'eviction'

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2009

A Palestinian man who lives in a cave near Jerusalem has been threatened with eviction by the Israeli authorities.

Abdel Fattah Abed Rabbo, 48, claims he was brought up in the cave as a child. Now he has moved back to the steep hills between Jerusalem and Bethlehem to stake his claim to his five acres in Al Walajah.

Mr Abed Rabbo’s family, including his ten children currently live in a refugee camp in Bethlehem.

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Jenny Tonge lashed over fascist link

By Simon Rocker, October 29, 2009

An anti-fascist group has demanded that Baroness Tonge withdraws from a pro-Palestinian conference in December which is also due to be addressed by a far-right Hungarian Euro-MP.

The ‘Nothing British About the BNP’ group challenged the Liberal Democrat peer over the planned participation of Kristina Morvai, leader of the nationalist Jobbik party in the European Parliament.

But Nasim Ahmed, researcher for the Palestinian Return Centre, denied that Mrs Morvai was “among invited guests” and said it deplored her “extremist” party.

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Israeli Arabs 'would not live in a new Palestine'

By Nathan Jeffay, October 29, 2009

A clear majority of Israeli Arabs do not want to be part of a Palestinian state, according to a new survey.

Some 64 per cent are against a settlement with the Palestinians which would involve redrawing borders in order to put some Israeli Arab towns in Palestine.

The majority explain that jobs and living standards are better in Israel and six per cent say they reject the idea because they have a separate identity to Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza.

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Palestinians barred - but don’t blame Israel

By Leon Symons, October 22, 2009

When two Palestinian academics failed to reach a ground-breaking conference in London on the psychological effects of the Middle East conflict, Israel — for once — was not to blame.

Furious organisers of the conference at Birkbeck College, Sites of Conflict: Psycho-political Resistance in Palestine-Israel, held British consular officials in Jerusalem and Amman responsible for delays spanning six weeks which left the two unable to travel.

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How the Palestinians stoked, then stopped, a new intifada

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 15, 2009

Everything seemed to be in place for a third intifada. A bogged-down peace process, extreme politicians eagerly egging on their cohorts, rumours of Zionist plots to destroy the Temple Mount mosques, huge piles of rocks aimed at the heads of Jews at the Western Wall and all the religious fervour of Ramadan and the High Holy Days.

But in the end, the Jerusalem riots of the past couple of weeks petered out. Despite dire warnings from some former police officers and defence experts, a third uprising against Israel failed to ignite.

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