March 2013 – September 2014
Sumud Palestine has come a long way since the inaugural meeting attended by over 60 people in February 2013. Following her return from the annual planting programme organised Joint Advocacy Initiative Keep Hope Alive Olive Tree Campaign of the East Jerusalem YMCA and the YWCA of Palestine, Angela Glendenning launched the NSOTC in March 2011. Since then the NSOTC has sponsored 364 olive trees and the NSOTC haw morphed into Sumud Palestine.
The Keep Hope Alive Campaign aims to plant 10,000 olive trees every year; one million trees and thousands of acres of farmland have been destroyed in Occupied Palestinian Territory since the beginning of the Intifada in 2000. Angela, Pat Mood, Marian Flynn joined a harvesting programme in October 2012 and Cina Zacune joined the same programme in 2013 and again in 2014, this time accompanied by supporter Fi Paton and her sister.
Sumud Mental Health project has sponsored five distinguished psychologists, all leaders in the field of Cognitive Behavioural Therapies, to travel to the West Bank conduct training workshops for mental health professionals at the Palestine Counselling Centre in Ramallah. An impact assessment is being prepared.
Currently Sumud is facilitating Palestinian professionals to establish the Palestinian Association for
Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies. Mohammed Mukhaimar presented the association’s membership application to the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies during its annual congress at The Hague in July 2014 and the Association welcomed Palestine into membership. This is a considerable achievement for Mohammed, Sumud , the Palestine Counselling Centre and mental health workers in the West Bank.
Through the UK-Palestine Mental Health Network Sumud Palestine is becoming well-known having been largely responsible for organising a boycott of the Annual congress of the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies in Jerusalem 2015.
Other activities and meetings include:
Two annual commemorations of the Naqba
The first included readings, a poem and a screening of The Great Book Robbery, a film which shows the
story of 70,000 books that were looted by the newly created state of Israel.
Pat Mood contributed this moving comment on the commemoration:
A candle burned in solidarity as supporters of Sumud Palestine commemorated 65 years of the Nakba with readings of poetry and historical accounts of the Deir Yassin massacre. The film ‘The Great
Book Robbery’ told how families fleeing in haste were forced to leave behind 1000s of cherished books. Some disappeared into private hands but many were gathered by Zionist
forces and are now stored in the Jerusalem library, classified and labelled ironically ‘Abandoned Property’.
Although owners can be identified there appears to be no intention to return them. Images of pre-Nakba
Palestinian family portraits, scenes of evictions, refugees walking along dusty roads illustrated personal accounts from Ghada, Rudiana and Mohammed of their own families’ disrupted lives and displacement to refugee camps. Their sense of Palestinian identity, a longing to share this with their children and the restrictions they continue to experience in travel and in returning to their homeland left an unforgettable impression. I feel more committed than ever to campaigning and spreading the message.
Israeli Committee against House Demolitions
An open meeting to introduce the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions and show a short film, My Neighbourhood, in which a Palestinian
teenager living in Sheikh Jarrar in the heart of East Jerusalem describes the experience of witnessing half his grandmother’s home being taken from
her by settlers and the impact on him when Israeli young people initiate weekly protests against house demolitions in which even Netanyahu’s sister-in-law takes part! ? A screening of ‘An Israeli Soldier’s Story was a stark reminder of the trauma and corruption
many young Israelis experience as a result of military service in the Israeli Defence Force.
In the film, Eran Efrati talks vigorously and movingly of growing up with an awareness of the Holocaust – his grandmother was a survivor still suffering nightmares – which was heightened by a school visit to a concentration camp in Germany. As a result he grew up determined never to find himself on the wrong side. Serving in the IDF in the West Bank he discovered that was just where he was. Discharged in 2009, he joined Breaking the Silence, an organisation of veteran Israeli soldiers working to raise awareness of the daily reality in the Occupied Territories.
An open meeting to inform and stimulate a commitment to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign
Cina and Jim Zacune opened their lovely Staffordshire Moorland garden and sold plants to raise funds in in 2013 and 2014.
The second Naqba commemoration was a sponsored walk around Rudyard Lake prefaced by a short statement by Mohammed Mukhaimar and reading of ‘Still Waiting’ by Rafe ef Ziadah.
A Black Armband Sponsored Walk around Keele University to mark the signing of the Balfour Declaration in November 1917 and to raise funds.
5 Broken Cameras
A screening in Leek of the award winning film, “5 Broken Cameras” at the invitation of the Foxlowe Art Centre.
Screenings of “5 Broken Cameras” in Stafford organised by Tony Pearce to drum up local support and at Trinity Church in Leek. John Fisher then Mayor of Leek, was present at the Foxlowe screening wanted to share the film with church members.
Mohammed Mukhaimar attended a screening of “5 Broken Cameras” at the Keswick Film Festival to answer questions from a lively Sunday morning audience.
An open meeting to view and discuss a film, ‘The Gatekeepers,’ in which six former chiefs of the Israeli security service, Shin Bet, talk about their careers meeting out death and destruction to Palestinians. Not an easy film to watch but these ‘talking heads’ conclude that a state predicated on fear is not sustainable and that while they may be winning the war they are losing the peace.
Vigil and Protest against Israel’s “Operation Preventive Edge” onslaught on Gaza.
This was a joint effort between Sumud Palestine and Rauf Mirza. Around 200 people gathered in Hanley on a wet Saturday morning; 160 signed a petition calling on Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire MPs to demand that Israel ended its brutal occupation of the West Bank, its siege of Gaza, the collective punishment of Palestinians and that Britain impose sanctions and stop the arms trade with Israel. £500 was raised for Medical Aid for Palestinians; the local media recorded the protest and the following week Angela Glendenning was interviewed for 30 minutes on BBC Radio Stoke.
To sustain a focus on Gaza and recruit new supporters a meeting was called a few days after the Vigil at the Borough Arms Hotel. The hotel has generously allowed Sumud Palestine to use a meeting room with refreshment on several occasions.
At the request of student who wished to invite her friends to learn more of the background to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza, an additional meeting was organised. Quite a number of new people attended both meetings but the student and her friends failed to materialise at the requested meeting! It proved difficult to generate much discussion so the film ‘My Neighbourhood’ was shown.
National meetings and demonstrations Supporters have taken part in demonstrations in London and Birmingham organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign as well as a Mass Lobby of Parliament and annual meetings of the PSC the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions.
Local meetings Sumud Palestine has provided a speaker for 16 local meetings.
Thank you Sumud Palestine’s core supporters and those who have attended meetings and taken part in events and protests to demonstrate their support for Palestine and have enabled Sumud Palestine to plant itself in local and national consciousness.
For further information
E: email: Angela GlendenningT: 01782-616368
32 Dartmouth Avenue, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire ST5 3NY
FAIR NEWS: Monitoring the Media’s coverage of Palestine and Israel
Co-ordinated by Amena Saleem at the Palestine Solidarity Office, Fair News recruits volunteers to systematically monitor main BBC news programmes: Radio 4: Today, World at One, PM and the World Tonight – for instances of bias or inaccuracy in programmes relating to Israel or Palestine. Fair News also monitors the Middle East section of BBC Online and programmes such as News night and Panorama.
Volunteers are assigned a specific programme and monitor the programme live on the same day every week or listen on iPlayer at a convenient time and alerts Amena to any instances of bias and/or inaccuracy relating to Israel or Palestine. Once alerted, Amena listens to the programme on iPlayer and brings together complaints and emails these to volunteers who have agreed to write a complaint and send this to the BBC. In this way the BBC is made aware that its audience will not ignore or let the BBC get away with pro-Israel bias. It is hoped to gradually influence the BBC’s coverage of Israel/Palestine.
Volunteer monitors keep Amena updated on the outcome of their complaint which is taken to BBC Trust level if possible. Fair News has had significant success with complaints being upheld by the BBC Trust. As a result of volunteer monitoring of these BBC programmes, Amena has been able to write articles exposing the BBC’s bias towards Israel.
These are available on the Electronic Intifada and can be found on:
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer monitor, writer or both please contact Amena at: Amena
Saleem. Fair News – Monitoring the Media’s Coverage of Palestine and Israel, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
T: 020 7700 6192