Well done to the comrades over at GU !
Many people, including us, admired Ken O’Keefe’s anti-war, anti-imperialist stance on the war and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and his bravery in the face of Israel’s murderous attack on the Mavi Marmara aid ship to Gaza. However, none of this can excuse the unacceptable nature of his comments last week.
On his recent tour of UK universities, Professor As’ad Abu Khalil (aka the Angry Arab) rightly asserted that “the cause of Palestine is too important, and too precious, to be tainted with anti-semitism.” Professor Abu Khalil is of course correct, however we abhor anti-semitism not only for the damage it could do to Palestine solidarity activism, but because like all forms of racism it is immoral, inhumane, and grotesque. We stand against all forms of racism, including Zionism.
We are proud to be part of the struggle against Zionism, and part of the the ever-growing global civil society movement against the apartheid state of Israel and its inhumane treatment of the Palestinian people. We note that the Palestinian struggle for freedom, equality, and return brings together people of all ages, religions, ethnicity, social backgrounds, ideologies and nationalities, united in their commitment to fighting injustice and racism.
We believe that the student movement here in the UK has become very strong because it reflects and upholds these beliefs and values. We believe this is reflected in the phenomenal success our groups have had in aiding the growth of the BDS movement here in the UK.
It is therefore vitally important that we allow no opportunity for anti-semitism, along with all other forms of racism, to enter our groups or campaigns.
We believe the basis of unity with the Palestinians should be that of;
- Supporting the three aims of the Palestinian call for BDS; Ending the Occupation of all Arab lands seized in 1967 and dismantling the Apartheid Wall, granting full and equal rights to Palestinian citizens of Israel, and recognizing and facilitating the Right of Return of refugees as enshrined in UN resolution 194.
- Recognising our responsibility as advocates/representatives of the Palestinian cause and BDS movement on our campuses, and respecting the great sacrifices the Palestinians have made in their resistance: sacrifices we do not have to make.
- Challenging and combating all forms of racism,in and outwith our campaigning both on campus and in our communities, including anti-semitism and Islamophobia.
In line with these principles, we wish to openly state that Ken O’Keefe is not welcome to speak on our campus. We urge Middlesex University Free Palestine Society to distance themselves from his comments, and condemn them as anti-semitic.
We invite our fellow student Palestine activists to add their societies names to this statement.
Glasgow Caledonian University Palestine Society
Leeds University Palestine Society
Dundee University Action Palestine
Edinburgh University Students for Justice in Palestine
Glasgow University Palestine Society
Liverpool University Friends of Palestine
The Palestine Society at Glasgow Caledonian Univerity organised a very last minute solidarity action in response to the appeal for a global day of action in solidarity with Khader Adnan and the 100’s of other Palestinians held without charge on ‘administrative detention’ by Israel.
Glasgow University Palestine Society naturally came on board and together and at very short notice, despite the Glasgow winter weather we put on a good visual action at the steps of the Royal Concert Hall on Glasgow’s busiest shopping precint, Buchanan St at 5pm.
We held-up posters of Khader Adnan and distributed hundreds of leaflets to passers by informing of Khader Adnan’s grave condition in his 59th day of hunger strike and the system of ‘adminisrative detention’ which when highlighted opens-up, however small mores chinks in the facade of ‘liberal democracy’ which masks Israeli apartheid.
We absolutely condemn Israel who appear content to let this man die, our hearts go out to his wife and family and to the man himself we can only salute him for his sumud and his bravery.
Room M137 George Moore Building
Join us for the main Glasgow Caledonian event of Israeli Apartheid Week 2012.
We will have a panel discussion with three young Palestinian activists who will be in Scotland especially for that week.
The three fantastic speakers are:
Aghsan is the media coordinator with Stop the Wall, the Palestinian campaign against the Apartheid Wall. Aghsan is also active in the independent Palestinian youth movement that campaigns around BDS and against normalisation. http://www.stopthewall.org/
– Wassim is from Haifa and is active with various youth movements and organisations inside 1948 Palestine
– Wassim is currently living in Belgium, where he works for a number of campaign groups and NGOs working on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign
Murad is a young Palestinian activist working with Adameer, the Palestinian Prisoner Human Rights and Support Assoication
The speakers will also be talking at Glasgow University, Edinburgh University, Dundee University, and St Andrews University.
Organised by the Federation of Student Palestine Societies
Further details of the event, and our other activities will be released soon
Glasgow Caledonian Palestine Society are delighted that Eden
Springs no longer provide water anywhere on our campus.
Mayanot Eden (The Israeli parent company of Eden Springs UK)
extract water from the Salukia spring and bottle in the illegal Israeli settlement
of Katzrin, both in the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights. That Eden Springs UK and Eden Europe provide locally sourced
treated water in no way absolves them of the crimes of the parent company and
for us they are the same company.
As an Israeli company, even if it was not involved in these
terrible crimes, Eden Springs must, we believe, be boycotted and divested from
under the precepts of the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott,
Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it adheres to International
law by: Ending the Occupation of all Arab lands & dismantling the Apartheid
Wall, Granting full and equal rights to Palestinians in Israel and acknowledging
and facilitating the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees under UN
We view this not only from the perspective of the crimes
against the Golani Syrians or the principles of BDS but the dual, often
inter-connected impact of illegal settlements and Israeli control of vital
water resources on the life of Palestinians (in terms of water) the Gaza Strip
and the West Bank. Every time we saw that Eden Springs logo we would think of
Palestinian Bedouins in the Jordan Valley clinging to survival in absence of
water re-routed to the settlements, our friends in Aida Refugee camp going
weeks or months without water and the situation we are aware of in Gaza.
Statement from student president:
“I am delighted to see that the hard work and diligence
of both students and University staff has led to the removal of Eden Springs
from the GCU campus. The campaign began in the 2007-08 Academic Session when
students introduced the motion to Student Parliament, effectively mandating the
Executive Committee to put pressure on the University to cancel its contract
with Eden Springs for the supply of drinking water and coolers. Since then successive
Executive Committees and the Palestine Society have been lobbying for the
removal of the supplier whose Israeli parent company, Mayanot Eden markets and
distributes the water from the Golan Heights, an area of Syria, illegally
occupied by Israel since 1967 and move to more environmentally sustainable
piped-in water. The success of this campaign demonstrates the deep commitment
of GCU students and staff to global justice, ethical procurement and environmental
Glasgow Caledonian University
We thank Matte for his statement and would add thanks to his
predecessor, who on the back of the occupation of nearby Strathclyde Uni during the Gaza massacre (from which they got rid of Eden Springs) got a motion through parliament to get Eden out of the Student Association building with immediate effect as well as to campaign for campus-wide removal. We’d also thank last terms president for keeping this going and giving some legitimacy,
if you like, to the Palestine Societies campaigning.
President: and on behalf of:
Glasgow Caledonian University Palestine Society
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