The Guardian reports (10th December) President Macron’s comment that recent US moves on the status of Jerusalem are a threat to peace. They are much more than that.
In recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Donald Trump seeks to achieve through a declaration what Israel has been trying to do for fifty years through force of arms: to erase Palestinians, as a political and cultural presence, from the life of their own city.
The Palestinian people of Jerusalem are already subject to municipal discrimination at every level, and a creeping process of ethnic cleansing. In addition to the continuing policy of house demolitions, in the last fifteen years, at least thirty-five Palestinian public institutions and NGOs in occupied East Jerusalem have been permanently or temporarily closed by the occupying forces. Cultural institutions have been a particular target.
At the same time Israeli authorities and entrepreneurs have spent millions in clearing Palestinian neighbourhoods to create ‘heritage’ projects that promote a myth of mono-ethnic urban identity, said to stretch back 3000 years.
We reject Trump’s collusion with such racist manipulation, and his disregard for international law. We deplore his readiness to crown the Israeli military conquest of East Jerusalem and his indifference to Palestinian rights.
As artists and as citizens, we challenge the ignorance and inhumanity of these policies, and celebrate the resilience of Palestinians living under occupation.
From Balfour to the present day: a century of colonialism in Palestine
This year’s November 2nd marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration of 1917. It signifies 100 years of suffering of the Palestinian people and the colonisation of their land.
In 1917 the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote a letter to the wealthy British banker and Zionist Lord Rothschild, in which he declared :
“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
This short letter had no legal status, but was later incorporated within the terms of Britain’s Mandate for Palestine. Thus it became one of the most significant documents leading eventually to the creation of the state of Israel and the on-going quagmire of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
From the outset the Declaration was controversial, and almost all the opposition came from within the Jewish community itself, because very few Arabs were even aware the existence of such a proposal. The Declaration was seen largely as a means for diverting Jewish immigration from Britain to Palestine. The most prominent British Jewish politician of the day, Sir Edwin Montagu, opposed it vigorously. Later, when the language of the Balfour Declaration was included in the Mandate for Palestine, the House of Lords voted to reject this in a motion passed by 60 to 29, on the ground that the Declaration was opposed to the “wishes of the great majority of the people of Palestine”.
Dear Make Apartheid History supporter,
Thank you for signing up to our MAH e-list – and we’re delighted to share details of our latest MAH activity with you.
It’s our online Palestine Advent calendar which goes live today, Tuesday 1st December 2015.
Our calendar has 24 star symbols and each day a star will be unlocked to release new content, right up until 24th December and will largely carry videos & info-graphics.
Make Apartheid History (once and for all) is the follow up to Bethlehem Unwrapped and is an international project that brings together creative individuals, organisations and networks from around the world – starting with Palestine and the UK; South Africa and USA – for a programme of popular events connecting civil rights, anti-apartheid and Palestinian solidarity movements. Commencing summer 2015 and culminating summer 2016.
Following on from our first public event at London’s Southbank in July, our Make Apartheid History campaign picked up again this month by marking two moments.
Here is a selection of Make Apartheid History videos. Make Apartheid History (once and for all) is an international project that will bring together creative individuals, organisations and networks from around the world – starting with Palestine and the UK; South Africa and USA – for a programme of popular events connecting civil rights, anti-apartheid and Palestinian solidarity movements. Commencing summer 2015 and culminating summer 2016.
TPNS works with film-makers and in house freelancers to produce all MAH short video made in the UK. We also co-devise our key MAH short films with our lead partners in Palestine – OPGAI and PSCC – who produce the Palestinian content.
Here is the YouTube playlist of the whole selection:
Some highlights are:
Launched in 2015 – a year that marked:
- 10 years since the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
- 25 years since Mandela’s release
- 60 years since Rosa Parks sat down
- 800 years since Magna Carta
It’s time to ‘Make Apartheid History’ starting Mandela Day, Sat 18th July, 2015
Make Apartheid History, the follow-up to Bethlehem Unwrapped, launched online on Saturday 18th July, and we held our first event at London’s Southbank with a programme of poetry and prose linking civil rights, anti-apartheid, and Palestinian solidarity movements.Edited highlights of performances by Paterson Joseph, Miriam Margolyes, Kika Markham, Leila Sansour, Jeremy Hardy and Sam West are here.