November 24, 2014

London Palestine Film Festival 2014

The London Palestine Film Festival 2014 opens on Friday November 28.  Here's brief history of the festival from the sites, "about" page:
The first London Palestine Film Festival was held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in Spring 1999. In response to public interest, the organisers decided in 2004 to establish the Palestine Film Foundation (PFF) as a body dedicated to the coordination of the festival and to the archiving of audiovisual materials related to Palestine.

The PFF is a nonprofit initiative which seeks to develop an audience for and to encourage the development of a Palestinian cinema and cinema related to Palestine. It is managed by a network of academics, curators, filmmakers, and volunteers from Palestine, the UK and elsewhere.

In addition to the annual festival, the PFF coordinates film and video related tours, special screenings and film linked seminars throughout the year and across the UK. These activities allow the PFF to introduce innovative and important works of documentary and fiction to new audiences and to provide a forum for visiting artists to engage UK audiences with work that is otherwise seldom screened.

From 2012, the PFF began developing a new web portal designed to increase access to its expansive archive of film and video related resources. Funding is currently being sought for this new online platform for research, exhibition, and distribution, with the site expected to launch in summer 2013.

The PFF relies on charitable donations, partnerships, and funding to deliver its projects. Please consider making a secure donation to the PFF using the button at the left of this page.
And details of the current year's festival are here.

November 22, 2014

The World is my Country - Leon Rosselson in Covent Garden

From  
The Poetry Cafe
22 Betterton Street
Covent Garden
London
WC2H PBP
0207 420 9888
 
Fourth Friday takes place at the Poetry Cafe from 8pm to 10:30pm -ish on the fourth Friday of almost every month.

There is a bar, food and disabled access.

The nearest tube station is Covent Garden.
Admission £7 (£5 concessions).
 

Next fourth friday, 28th November, we consider pacifism in WW1: singer songwriter Leon Rosselson ; poets Jenny Lewis, Alan Brownjohn, Anna Robinson; singers Krysia Mansfied, Dan Kennedy

November 28thThe World is my Country. One key aspect of the First World War receiving little or no attention in this year’s commemorations is the history of the people and organisations that opposed it. We offer new insights on World War One and its objectors with poems and songs commissioned by Peace News and introduced by PN’s Emily Johns.  In addition, there’ll be great anti-war songs and more from acclaimed singer songwriter Leon Rosselson.       Jenny Lewis will be reading from her collection, Taking Mesopotamia, published this year by Carcanet and inspired by her search for her lost father—who led his troops  across the desert by starlight in the ill-fated Mesopotamian campaign of World War One and died in the Second World War when Jenny was a few months old. Jenny Lewis (below) trained as a painter at the Ruskin School of Art before reading English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. She has published three collections of poetry as well as two pamphlets with the Iraqi poet Adnan Al-Sayegh.  She teaches poetry at Oxford University. ‘Taking Mesopotamia in one slim volume mines a rich seam from the Epic of Gilgamesh via Welsh mining communities and the First World War to the most recent Iraq wars.’  (Poetry Society)


Items from the floor, especially on themes of peace and war, welcomed.

November 08, 2014

Opposing Zionism from the West Bank to the South Bank

Press report from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network:

No Israeli Funding of the Arts
Southbank, London, 5 November 2014.  A lively and colourful 50 person-strong protest outside the BFI (British Film Institute) condemned the BFI for hosting an Israeli-sponsored film festival only weeks after Israel committed mass-murder, killing 2100 people, including over 500 children during its 51-day assault of Gaza.



Called by a new initiative, No Israeli Funding of the Arts (NIFA) [1], protestors from all walks of life, including Muslim, Jewish and Israeli, chanted and spoke out against the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) because it had insisted on accepting Israeli funding – in the midst of Israel’s war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and incitement to genocide [2] – even when offered alternative funding.
Protestors spoke out against the presence of Secretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid, at this opening gala of the UKJFF – he had slandered opponents of Israeli funding of the film festival by implying they were guilty of antisemitism.  The tiny Zionist counter-protest used the same slur.
Protests against the film festival at the Tricycle last year called for it to reject Israeli funding, and this summer the Tricycle made its courageous decision to reject the tainted funding. Last night’s protest publicised that over 500 artists and theatre practitioners had publicly defended the Tricycle from the false accusation of antisemitism when it had offered to replace Israeli funding so that the film festival could take place there.
Public protest had already closed down an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe.  Besides the Tricycle, the Bristol Encounters Film Festival and artists from Sao Paulo Art Biennial had all rejected Israeli Embassy funding in this last period.
There will be further protests against the Israeli-funded film festival.


[1] See No Israeli Funding of the Arts letter to all the cinemas hosting the UKJFF here.
[2] Russell Tribunal on Palestine

November 06, 2014

DEMAND “NO” TO ISRAELI SPONSORED FILM FESTIVAL

From the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
 
Protest the Israeli-funded UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) taking place between 6-23 November in cinemas in Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham.


NO ISRAELI FUNDING OF THE ARTS
DEMAND “NO” TO ISRAELI SPONSORED FILM FESTIVAL


Protest @ BFI Southbank
Thursday, 6 November 6.45-8pm
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
Tubes: Waterloo (South Bank exit), Embankment and Charing Cross
bring your banners, placards, megaphones & chants!


The Israeli Embassy is a sponsor of the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF).  Only a few weeks ago the Israeli state again slaughtered the people of Gaza: over 2100 killed, over 500 were children.
Palestinians look up at the remains of an Italian apartment block that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike overnight in Gaza City on August 26, 2014. An Israeli air raid in Gaza killed two Palestinians as Israel pursued its campaign to stop rocket fire by Hamas militants from the enclave, medics said.
Destroyed flats, Gaza City
We welcomed that the Tricycle took a stand against the festival’s funding by the Israeli Embassy during Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza.  Over 500 artists and theatre practitioners publicly defended the Tricycle.
Disgracefully, the BFI Southbank is helping to re-brand Israel – it’s hosting the opening gala night of the festival.  Secretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid – who slandered the Tricycle by implying antisemitism – said he would attend.  The Israeli ambassador is also expected.
Israel’s apologists attacked the Tricycle to try to distract the public from Gaza while children were killed in their homes as they slept, with their parents as they fled, in UN shelters where they were told they would be safe, in hospitals, in mosques, while playing football: by bloodied tanks, F16s, drones, bunker busters, sea-to-land missiles, remote-controlled machine guns . . .
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (Sept 2014) found that Israel committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and incitement to genocide.
Join our BDS protest against collaboration with mass-murderers




Public protest closed down an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe.  The Tricycle, the Bristol Encounters Film Festival, artists from Sao Paulo Art Biennial all rejected Israeli Embassy funding.
See our No Israeli Funding of the Arts (NIFA) letter to all the cinemas here.
Contact your the cinemas by phone, email, website, leaflet or street protest, and let them know what you think of them hosting an Israeli-funded event. Call or write to the local press or call-in radio. (All cinema contact details are here.)

October 31, 2014

Jewish Chronicle forced to tell the truth, shock!

Here's a heart warming tale of how the Jewish Chronicle was forced to be honest not once but twice.

Check out the Palestine Solidarity Campaign for full details but here's a taste:

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has demanded that The Jewish Chronicle reissue a correction to a story which made false claims about Palestine Solidarity Campaign and our director, Sarah Colborne.

The demand came after The Jewish Chronicle (JC) failed to adhere to an agreement made with the PCC that the original correction would remain on the homepage of its website for two days and two nights.  After uploading the correction onto its UK News page on 23rd October, the JC then removed it later the same afternoon.

A week later, following intervention from the PCC, the JC is today (30th October) once again carrying the correction. This time, the link to the correction is on the homepage as agreed, and will remain there until 1st November.

The JC’s original story, which resulted in our complaint to the PCC, was published online on 17th July on its homepage, and was headlined Pro-Palestinian group says its supporters made antisemitic comments.

This was a completely false headline, and attributed comments to Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Director, Sarah Colborne, which were never made.

So here's the JC's link as it appears on its homepage,  The Palestine Solidarity Campaign which doesn't give much away.  And here's the correction as it appears when you click on the link:

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign

In an article published on July 17 headlined 'Pro-Palestinian group says its supporters made antisemitic comments', we stated that the Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Sarah Colborne, had said that demonstrations against the Gaza conflict "had been used by people to 'peddle hatred and intolerance' towards Jews".

Ms Colborne had not said that. In fact, what she had said was: "The Palestine Solidarity Campaign opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and racism directed against Palestinians whether living in the West Bank and Jerusalem, or as citizens of Israel." We are happy to set the record straight.

Last updated: 11:17am, October 30 2014
If they're so happy to set the record straight why did they hide the link when they did?

October 29, 2014

More Saying No to Brand Israel

An email from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network:


NO ISRAELI FUNDING OF THE ARTS
DEMAND “NO” TO ISRAELI SPONSORED FILM FESTIVAL


Protest the Israeli-funded UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) taking place between 6-23 November in cinemas in Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham.

Public protest closed down an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe. The Tricycle, the Bristol Encounters Film Festival, artists from Sao Paulo Art Biennial all rejected Israeli Embassy funding.

IJAN is centrally involved in the No Israeli Funding of the Arts (NIFA) initiative. See NIFA’s letter to all the cinemas here.

Contact your local (or even distant) cinema by phone, email, website, leaflet or street protest, and let them know what you think of them hosting an Israeli-funded event. Call or write to the local press or call-in radio to tell them what you think of their Israeli rebranding. (All cinema contact details are here.)

One of the opening gala nights is at the London BFI on 6 November (see below) we will protest their collaboration with the slaughterers of the Gazan people.


Protest @ BFI Southbank
Thursday, 6 November 6.45-8pm
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
Tubes: Waterloo (South Bank exit), Embankment and Charing Cross
bring your banners, placards, megaphones & chants!


The Israeli Embassy is a sponsor of the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF).  Only a few weeks ago the Israeli state again slaughtered the people of Gaza: over 2000 killed, over 500 were children.
Palestinians look up at the remains of an Italian apartment block that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike overnight in Gaza City on August 26, 2014. An Israeli air raid in Gaza killed two Palestinians as Israel pursued its campaign to stop rocket fire by Hamas militants from the enclave, medics said.
Destroyed block of flats, Gaza City
We welcomed that the Tricycle took a stand against the festival’s funding by the Israeli Embassy during Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza.  Over 500 artists and theatre practitioners publicly defended the Tricycle.
Disgracefully, the BFI Southbank is helping to re-brand Israel – it’s hosting the opening gala night of the festivalSecretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid – who slandered the Tricycle by implying antisemitism – said he would attend.  The Israeli ambassador is also expected.
Israel’s apologists attacked the Tricycle to try to distract the public from Gaza while children were killed in their homes as they slept, with their parents as they fled, in UN shelters where they were told they would be safe, in hospitals, in mosques, while playing football: by bloodied tanks, F16s, drones, bunker busters, sea-to-land missiles, remote-controlled machine guns . . .
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (Sept 2014) found that Israel committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and incitement to genocide.
Join our protest against collaboration with mass-murderers


October 15, 2014

Saying No to Brand Israel

From the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

NO ISRAELI FUNDING OF THE ARTS


IJAN is centrally involved in the No Israeli Funding of the Arts initiative – we want everyone we are in touch with to know that the Israeli-funded UKJFF (UK Jewish Film Festival) is taking place this year (6-23 November) in cinemas in Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham.
We have written to all the cinemas – see our letter below – and we are asking that you contact your local (or even a distant) cinema by phone, email, website, leaflet or street protest, and let them know what you think of them hosting an Israeli-funded event. (All cinema contact details are at end of this email.) Call or write to the local press or call-in radio to tell them what you think of their not caring for the Jewish films, only for the Israeli rebranding (see below).
Check the UKJFF calendar to find when each cinema is hosting UKJFF films.  The opening gala night is at the London BFI on 6 November – we are planning to protest their collaboration with the slaughterers of the Gazan people.
Note: IJAN workshop, From Gaza to Ferguson @ Anarchist Bookfair, 18 Oct, 3-4pm
NO ISRAELI FUNDING OF THE ARTS
LETTER TO CINEMAS HOSTING THE UK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL


We are writing to you as one of the cinemas hosting the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) 6-23 November, 2014, to ask that you reconsider.

Who we are
We are a diverse group, including Israeli and other Jewish people, most of us local to, and often in the audience of, the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, northwest London. In 2012 local residents leafleted the cinema to oppose its hosting of the Israeli-sponsored UKJFF; in 2013 we protested outside the Tricycle when it again hosted the UKJFF. (The protests were called by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.)

Tricycle / UKJFF
This year, many including ourselves, welcomed the Tricycle’s stand against the festival’s funding by the Israeli Embassy during Israel’s 50-day slaughter on Gaza.
The Tricycle had offered the organisers of the UKJFF replacement funding so that the film festival could go ahead at the Tricycle.  But the UKJFF refused their offer and to dissociate itself from the Israeli government – the priority was Israeli sponsorship, rather than the film festival.  Is the UKJFF merely a means to a political end, to give Israel a humanist image?

Who attacked the Tricycle
The Government’s Chief Whip, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the Israeli Ambassador, each publicly attacked the Tricycle for having refused Israeli sponsorship.  They slandered the Tricycle by accusing it of antisemitism; as did donors and local councillors who threatened to withdraw funds and involve the Charity Commission.

Who defended the Tricycle
Support came from National Theatre director, Nicholas Hytner, acclaimed director Lenny Abrahamson; over 500 artists, including prominent theatre directors and playwrights, some of whom affirmed “We artists have a right to boycott” (letter to the Stage); and note the artists’ solidarity page: “The Tricycle Theatre is Not Anti-Semitic.

In July, Scottish artists, including National Poet Liz Lochhead, signed an open letter in The Herald protesting an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe. After vociferous public protest, the show closed after one performance.

Following the Tricycle’s refusal of Israeli funding, the Encounters Film Festival in Bristol and artists from the 31st Sao Paulo Art Biennial in Brazil also refused Israeli funding.

What Israel’s apologists did
While crying antisemitism, Israel’s apologists used their attack on the Tricycle to try to distract the public from Gaza: from seeing Israeli politicians, religious authorities, journalists and the public, calling for mass rape, mass murder, even genocide of Palestinians; from the bloodied tanks, F16s, drones, bunker busters, sea-to-land missiles, remote-controlled machine guns, that blasted schools, hospitals, mosques, blocks of flats, children playing football; and from the 2,200 Gazans killed -- over 500 children, and half a million displaced.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine found evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and also incitement to genocide.

What happened to the Tricycle
Even while Gaza was being destroyed, the Tricycle was forced to retreat.  But actress Maureen Lipman, advocating for the UKJFF admitted that they knew the depth of the community’s support for the theatre’s stand, announcing that the festival was unlikely to go back to the Tricycle any time soon.

That stand reaffirmed that the arts are social and political.  It was welcomed by anti-racists everywhere. And please note: both the local council and the Arts Council ruled out loss of funding.

What we want you to do
The assistant manager of the Everyman cinema insisted that “refusing to host any arts festival on political grounds will cause more harm than good.” (Email, 10 September 2014.) The Everyman’s is not a principled position – it is complicity and appeasement.  It is the argument of those who refused to boycott South African apartheid.

Who knows better than Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a proponent of cultural boycott, who said, “We in South Africa know about oppression and occupation and know about the power of BDS” (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions)?

We ask that you take direction from the anti-racist, non-violent, Palestinian-led BDS movement.

We ask that you refuse to host the UKJFF – not because it is Jewish, of course, but because it is funded by the Israeli Embassy.  The embassy’s job, especially in London (the boycott “hub”) is to promote what it calls Brand Israel – state-sponsored propaganda, designed to camouflage Israeli brutality within a smokescreen of culture, including film festivals.

We ask that you side with the victims and survivors of the assault on Gaza – not be part of the cover-up of war crimes being committed against them.



CINEMAS HOSTING THE UKJFF
Glasgow
Venue              CCA (Centre for Contemporary Arts)
Address           350 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JD
Email               gen@cca-glasgow.com
Telephone       0141 352 4900

Venue              Glasgow Film Theatre
Address           12 Rose St, Glasgow, Lanarkshire G3 6RB
Email               jaki.mcdougall@glasgowfilm.org (Chief Executive)
Telephone       0141 332 6535 
Leeds
Venue              MAZCC
Address           311 Stonegate Road, Leeds LS17 6AZ
Email:              enquiries@ljwb.co.uk
Telephone       0113 268 4211

Venue              Seven Arts Centre
Address           31(a) Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3PD
Email               info@sevenleeds.co.uk
Telephone       0113 26 26 777

London

Venue              Arthouse Crouch End
Address:          159A Tottenham Lane, N8 9BT
Email               info@arthousecrouchend.co.uk
Telephone       020 8245 3099

Venue              BAFTA British Academy of Film and Television Arts
Address           195 Piccadilly, W1J 9LN
Email               info@bafta.org
Telephone       020 7734 0022

Venue              Barbican
Address           Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
Email               film@barbican.org.uk
Telephone       020 7638 4141

Venue              BFI Southbank
Address           Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT
Email               director@bfi.org.uk
Telephone       020 7255 1444

Venue              Ciné Lumière
Address           17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT
Email               box.office@institutfrancais.org.uk   
Telephone       020 7871 3515

Venue              Curzon Mayfair
Address           38 Curzon Street, W1J 7TY
Email               manager.mayfair@curzon.com

Venue              Odeon Muswell Hill
Address           Fortis Green Road, N10 3HP
Telephone       0207 321 6237 (conferencing & events)

Venue              Everyman Maida Vale
Address           215 Sutherland Avenue, W9 1RU
Email               maidavale.manager@everymancinema.com
Telephone       0871 906 9060 

Venue              Everyman Hampstead
Address           5 Holly Bush Vale, NW3 6TX
Email               hampstead.manager@everymancinema.com
Telephone       0871 906 9060 

Venue              JW3
Address           341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET
Email               info@jw3.org.uk
Telephone       020 7433 8988

Venue              LJCC (London Jewish Cultural Centre)
Address           Ivy House, 94-96 North End Road, NW11 7SX
Email               admin@ljcc.org.uk 
Contact form   http://www.ljcc.org.uk/contact/ 
Telephone       020 8457 5000

Venue              Odeon South Woodford
Address           60/64 High Road, South Woodford, E18 2QL
Telephone       0207 321 6237 (conferencing & events)

Venue              Odeon Swiss Cottage
Address           96 Finchley Rd, NW3 5EL
Telephone       0207 321 6237 (conferencing & events)

Venue              Phoenix Cinema
Address           52 High Road, East Finchley, N2 9PJ
Email               management@phoenixcinema.co.uk 
Telephone       020 8444 6789

Manchester
Venue              Cornerhouse
Address           70 Oxford St, Manchester M1 5NH
Email               info@cornerhouse.org
Telephone       0161 228 7621 

Venue              Cineworld Didsbury
Address           Parrs Wood Entertainment Centre, Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 5PG
Contact form   https://www.cineworld.co.uk/contact  (250 words max.)
Telephone       0208 742 4010 

Venue              Menorah
Address           198 Altrincham Rd, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 4RZ
Email               filmclub@menorah.org.uk
Telephone       0161 428 7746

Nottingham
Venue              Broadway Cinema
Address           14–18 Broad St, Nottingham NG1 3AL
Email               info@broadway.org.uk
Contact form   http://www.broadway.org.uk/contact/steve (Chief Executive)
Telephone       0115 9526 611

October 14, 2014

Was UK Parliament Palestine vote justified or will the moon fall out of the sky?

I just found this poll on the Jewish News site:

Is the vote on recognition of a Palestinian State justified, or rewarding terrorism?

 Now look at the results so far:
Is the vote on recognition of a Palestinian State justified, or rewarding terrorism?
 
 
 
I've been quite indifferent to the whole thing but the various Zionist responses I've seen have made it worthwhile.

The Jewish Chronicle is also worth a look at.

October 08, 2014

Zionists panic over Palestine vote in UK Parliament

Here's a motion to be debated in the UK Parliament on Monday 13 October:
this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.
There hasn't been much news about the debate and I have to say I don't feel particularly moved by it but then Ive never claimed to support the so-called two state solution.  But Zionists here in the UK have gone into collective panic.

The first thing I noticed was a post to Harry's Place by a chap called Stephen Hoffman.  Actually that's where I got the text of the motion from.  Here's what Zionists are suggesting should be done to neutralise the motion:
At end, add’, on the conclusion of successful peace negotiations between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority.
which of course means, this House believes that the Government should never recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.

Now the original motion is pretty weak and open to interpretation.  A state of Palestine alongside Israel could be in Syria, Jordan, Egypt or Lebanon.  But according to the Jewish Chronicle,
The [Zionist] activist said MPs backing the motion had been "very clever. The motion is very blandly worded and could be interpreted as being supportive of a two-state solution, which all key groups here support".
Yup, it's certainly bland but how could the words "recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel"  be open to any interpretation other than support for a two state solution?

Ah I know, the JC very smartly avoiding quoting the motion so here it is again just in case Marcus Dysch (who else?) happens to pop by:
this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel
Bad news for one staters like me but why is the JC so down on it it won't even show it to its readers?

October 01, 2014

Max Blumenthal reports back from the Russell Tribunal on Gaza

From the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Max Blumenthal reports back from the Russell Tribunal on Gaza



5pm, Saturday 4 October
INCA CGIL [Italian Trade Union Centre]
124 Canonbury Road, N1 2UT
Nearest station: Highbury & Islington [Victoria line & Overground] Buses: 4, 19, 30 & 43, 271, 277 or 393
[get off at Highbury & Islington] [get map]
Admission free.  Meeting is only for people who object to the Israeli onslaught of Gaza
Max Blumenthal is an author, a journalist and an activist. He's in London for a few days and it is a great opportunity to hear him.

He was on the ground during the most recent Israeli slaughter of Gaza. His latest book "Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel" covered the realities of the Israeli society.

Watch
video of his testimony at the Russell Tribunal last week, 24 September.

Read a recent article describing what he saw in Gaza after the ceasefire last month.

And see 11 min video of shocking Israeli racism:  "Israel's New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land".  


Facebook Event for this meeting
Organised by: Islington Friends of Yibna
 Islington_Yibna@Yahoo.co.uk