Thursday, 7 May 2009

Cinema Palestino: Palestinian Film Festival - Sheffield 7th May to 4th June

Cinema Palestino

Sheffield Showroom Cinema

7th May - 4th June 2009

The Sheffield Showroom Cinema and Yorkshire Paletine Cultural Exchange have collaborated to put on Sheffield's first Palestinian Film Festival which will take place at the SHowroom CInema from Thursday 7th May until Thursday 4th June.

The festival will kick off with an opening talk entitled Palestinian Film: Cultural Resistence at Work, by Professor Haim Bresheeth, film maker, photographer and eminent thinker in the realm of film and culturual studiesm, now lecturer at University of East London, formerly head of the jury at the Israeli Cinema South Film Festival
cinemaPalestino is a season of films exploring issues that affect us all - falling in love, making a home, caring for a family, freedom. - but under the shadow of military occupation that distorts all aspects of daily life for the people of Palestine.

cinemaPalestino is a celebration of Palestinian culture through drama and documentary film - despite 60 years of unimagineable oppression, Palestinians have retained a vital, creative, and powerful identity.

For more information, and film list see:


Bill Lawrence, Showroom Cinema

Jonny Feldman YPCE

Students unite to support Palestinians - PSC Student day school report back

pic from Manchester University occupation

Palestine Solidarity Campaign Student Day School 2 May - report back

Students from across Britain met on Saturday 2 May to discuss solidarity with Palestine in the aftermath of Israel 's military onslaught and continuing blockade against Gaza .

The day school, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, brought together representatives of the recent student occupations in support of Palestine, with Muslim representatives including Federation of Student Islamic Societies and the British Muslim Initiative; Ken Livingstone; Jeremy Corbyn MP; the Viva Palestina convoy to Gaza led by George Galloway and Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

The meeting highlighted the contrast between the refusal of the National Union of Students National Executive to support any of the mass demonstrations against Israel 's attack on Gaza and the revulsion of the great majority of students at the slaughter of more than 1400 Palestinians, most of them civilians.

The day school was an important step in bringing together student activists to plan future campaigning activities in support of the Palestinians, and helping organise opposition to the NUS' leadership blocking action in support of Palestinians. The unity between Jewish and Muslim groups also showed that students are no longer prepared to put up with support for the Palestinians being labelled as anti-Semitic.

Discussion focused on the need to campaign for Israel to lift the blockade which it continues to impose upon the people of Gaza , for those responsible for war crimes to be brought to justice and for Israel to stop flouting United Nations resolutions and international law requiring respect for the rights of the Palestinian people.

More at Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Egyptian security crushes postal workers sit-in

From 3arabwy
Central Security Forces troops have stormed the Egyptian Postal Service building in Ramses Sq., around an hour ago, breaking the sit-in staged by 350 temporary postal workers.

The workers had been occupying their building since last Monday, demanding instatement contracts.

Security forces besieged the building yesterday, and took five workers to the Azbakiya Police Station accusing them of “theft” and “destruction of public property,” and threatened the rest of the workers of worse fate if the sit-in wasn’t disbanded. The workers refused, and insisted on continuing.
There are no arrests reported … but what happened today in Ramses is a message by the regime to the rest of Egypt’s workers and labor activists

Egypt state security in clampdown on anti-imperialist Cairo Conference

Bad news from the Cairo Conference Organisers in Egypt. Unfortunately the annual anti-imperialist conference will be cancelled this year. Despite their determined efforts to secure a venue, even to the extent of having reserved a second location and kept it unannounced, state security has managed to sabotage the conference by threatening any venue willing to host it.

There will be a fuller public statement shortly on behalf of the organising committee explaining the situation.

However, if activists decide that they still would like to travel to Cairo, if they have non-refundable tickets or for other reasons, the Cairo organising committee will be holding a number of coordination meetings for consultation and planning. There may also be other activities depending on the profile/interests of those who will be coming.

This is obviously a serious set-back for those organising in Cairo.

For more information contact

More (in Arabic) here

ADL crazies pressured UCSB to act against pro-Palestine professor William Robinson

History professor attended meeting where Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman pushed UCSB to act against sociology professor

Corrected version. Please distribute widely.

Date: May 2, 2009

Contact: Daniel Olmos, (818) 468-8894,

Alba Peña-Leon, (626) 665-9212,

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Harold Marcuse, associate professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said he attended a March 9 meeting on campus where Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman pressured university officials to investigate charges of “anti-Semitism” against sociology professor William I. Robinson.

Marcuse said Foxman discussed the charges against Robinson for nearly an hour with about a dozen faculty members and university officials, including Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Young and the executive dean of the College of Letters and Science, David B. Marshall.

“When the meeting started, Foxman quickly launched into what I would call a rant about what he said was an anti-Semitic email that professor Robinson sent to his class,” Marcuse said. “We then had an open discussion about Foxman’s comments and the charges against Robinson. In my recollection, that was the only thing we talked about at the meeting. Nothing else was discussed.”

Marcuse said the meeting lasted about an hour, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

During Foxman’s presentation and the ensuing discussion, Foxman demanded that Robinson be investigated for introducing materials critical of Israeli state policies in a course on globalization in January.

The materials included a photo essay that Robinson forwarded to students from the Internet and that had been circulating in the public realm. The photos juxtaposed images of Israeli treatment of Palestinians during the recent military invasion of Gaza with Nazi abuses during the holocaust. Two students took offense at the images and withdrew from the course, prompting the Anti-Defamation League to pressure the university to investigate Robinson for “anti-Semitism.”

Cynthia Silverman, director of the ADL’s Santa Barbara office, accompanied Foxman to the meeting on campus.

Marcuse said the meeting was organized by Leonard Wallock, associate director of the Walter Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life. Wallock sent an e-mail invitation to Marcuse on Feb. 24 to attend a luncheon with Foxman, although Wallock didn’t mention any specific agenda items in his e-mail.

When the meeting began, religious studies professor and Capps board member Richard Hecht introduced Foxman. Hecht said Foxman was there to discuss the situation of Jewish students on campus, at which point Foxman launched into his “rant” about the Robinson email, Marcuse said.

At one point, Foxman apparently thought Michael Young was the university chancellor, Henry Yang.

“Foxman was talking directly to Young, chastising him that he should have been reprimanding Robinson,” Marcuse said. “Young had to clarify that he was not the chancellor and that he had nothing to do with overseeing faculty.”

When the meeting was opened to discussion, a number of faculty members intervened. “One professor rose in support of Foxman,” Marcuse said. “He was vehemently on Foxman’s side.”

Marcuse intervened to say that he could envision using an e-mail like the one sent by Robinson in his own courses to examine similarities and differences between Nazi policy in occupied Poland and Israeli policies in Gaza.

Eventually, Hecht intervened because it appeared Foxman was chastising the attendees for doing nothing about Robinson, Marcuse said.

“Hecht said not to blame the faculty members or Young because the incident was being handled through normal channels,” Marcuse said. “That’s when the meeting broke up.”

Marcuse’s statements contrast with the official university response to press inquiries about the Foxman meeting.

University spokesman Paul Desruisseaux told the Chronicle of Higher Education that David Marshall intervened in the meeting to say an investigation was already underway in response to two students’ complaints, and that it would be inappropriate to continue to discuss the Robinson case. At that point, Desruisseaux said Marshall ended discussion of the subject.

Marcuse said many, if not most, of the meeting participants appeared to have no knowledge of the Robinson incident prior to the event.

Marcuse also said he didn’t recall anybody at the meeting stating that it was “inappropriate” to discuss the Robinson case.

“There was quite a bit of discussion and exchange of ideas,” Marcuse said. “One colleague rose in staunch support of Foxman, I made my comments, and so did many others. It went on for awhile.”

It’s unclear if Foxman’s pressure had any impact on university officials. However, the Academic Senate has opened a formal investigation of the charges against Robinson.

For more information about the Robinson case, visit the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom Web site at

Letters of support for William Robinson

Scholarly Organizations



Community Members

See the images at the centre of the controversy here

Arab countries to boycott financial regulator meeting in Tel Aviv

By Zainab Fattah and Tal Barak Harif (Bloomberg)

May 7 (Bloomberg) -- Arab states will shun this year’s IOSCO conference of global regulators after the organization decided to host it in Tel Aviv, the United Arab Emirates’ chief regulator said.

The International Organization of Securities Commissions, which includes more than 100 country members, will hold its annual meeting starting June 8 in Israel’s business center.

“I think most Arab countries won’t attend if the meeting is held in Israel and we are no different,” Abdullah al- Turaifi, chief executive officer of Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority, said in a telephone interview from Dubai today. “Many members objected to the meeting in Israel especially after the events in Gaza and there was talk of moving it elsewhere.”

Palestinian resistance fighter dies on 'special mission'

The Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, stated on Thursday that one of its fighters was killed on Wednesday evening during what the brigades described as a “special mission”.

The Brigades identified the fighter was Tal’t Ismail Al Afify, 23, from Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

It said that Al Afify was killed “while conducting a special Jihadist mission”.

In its statement, the brigades said that Al Afify and three other fighters were on a mission when contact was lost with them, and that the three fighters are still missing.

The Israeli army did not comment on the report.

In other news, one woman, identified as Randa Shalloufa, 35, was shot and wounded by military fire as she was working in her land near the Gaza International Airport, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Thanks to the Middle East International Media Center

Medical sources at Abu Yousef Al Najjar Hospital in Rafah described the injury of Shalloufa as mild.

Fatah and Israel unite to undermine Palestinian Parliament

A senior leader of the Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement on Thursday accused Israel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement of blocking the work of the Hamas-dominated parliament (pictured above).

"The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) was disabled after Israel arrested 40 of its Hamas-affiliated members," said Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader based in Gaza.

He added that Hamas' bitter rival Fatah "rejected Hamas' plans to obtain authorization from the detained lawmakers to vote on their behalf."

"Fatah proposed a safety network which means that it can withhold any law or decision that Hamas parliamentary block makes," Zahar said, adding that Fatah prevented Hamas from keeping its majority in the parliament.

Israel arrested the West Bank-based Hamas legislators in 2006 after the Islamic movement captured an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid near the Gaza Strip. more

Call to Europe's Palestinians: step up defence of the right of return

GAZA, (PIC)-- The higher committee against the siege salutes Palestinians living in Europe for their insistence on their right of return to their homeland and is asking them to intensify media efforts to counter the Zionist propaganda campaigns.

Ahmed Al-Najjar, the committee's spokesman, said in a press release on Monday that the insistence of Palestinians living in Europe on the right of return gave additional strength to the besieged people of Gaza.

He asked western countries, especially the Europeans, to stand by the right of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes from which they were forcibly evicted and to abide by the UN resolutions in this respect.

Najjar asked Palestinians living outside the occupied homeland to redouble their efforts in backing their brothers and sisters in occupied Palestine especially through the media to refute Zionist allegations and to form pressure groups to explain the real image of the Palestinians' suffering under Zionist occupation.

He urged all freedom loving peoples of the world to organize relief convoys to the Gaza Strip to alleviate the suffering of its inhabitants.

Bethlehem being strangled by illegal Israeli settlers

The Israeli military occupation around Bethlehem is severely restricting its growth, undermining its economy and compromising its future, according to a UN report.

The combined effect of Israeli annexation, the West Bank barrier, settlements, settler bypass roads, closed military zones and Israeli nature reserves, has left only 13% of the 660 sq km Bethlehem governorate available for Palestinian use, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs says.

While there are about 175,000 Palestinians living in the Bethlehem area, there are now at least 86,000 Israelis also living there in 19 settlements, and their number is growing, even though settlements on occupied land are illegal under international law. Two-thirds of the governorate is under full Israeli security and administrative control. more

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs website