Linking together for human rights

CADFA update February 2021

 

CADFA update February 2021
CADFA is locked down like the rest of us – in both UK and Palestine – but there are still many useful ways to be involved.
Right now, we would be very grateful if you would write to your MP on the issue of UK volunteers in the IDF (model letter below*) and sign and share our petitions.

If you have a bit more time perhaps you can join one of our small, friendly working groups – see below.Look out for our next CADFA volunteer meeting on Thursday 25th Feb – here

In Abu Dis currently… (pictures on right are from January in Abu Dis – tear gas in the streets, a house messed up by night time army invasion)

Vaccine apartheid
The world’s current vaccine wars are shocking but nowhere underlines the situation of haves / have-nots as much as Palestine where the Israelis including the West Bank settlers are among the most vaccinated to date and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza the least. We were happy to hear that the vaccination roll-out has started in Palestine but still they don’t have enough.  COVAX have now promised Palestine about 20% of the vaccine it needs, some time during February – and Israel has at last agreed started to supply vaccine for health workers – but Palestine needs more vaccine. The UK government is beginning to talk about sharing its big quantities of vaccine with the world and we ask them to both pressure Israel to help and provide some vaccine for Palestine themselves.

We would be grateful if you would

  • Sign the vaccine petition here
  • Share it and raise the subject as much as you can
  • Write your own letter to the FCO on this subject if you can
  • Join our small group working to raise the vaccine issue

Problems with water 
People in Abu Dis have problems with water at the moment although it is winter (and the regular problems are in the summer). Adjacent Israeli settlements have plenty of water for swimming pools and watering grass, but the Israeli occupation allows Palestinians very much less, and has different rules about the depth to which they can dig for water, etc.  Israel acts as an occupier (having moved its army into the area and subjecting Palestinians to military law) but refuses to admit to this situation, building huge settlements on the land and moving hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers in – against international law. Currently the main water pump for Abu Dis is broken jand it is too expensive for the local water company to fix, causing problems for every family in Abu Dis. As an (having moved its army into the area and subjecting Palestinians to military law) but refuses to admit to this situation, building huge settlements on the land and moving hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers in – against international law. Currently the main water pump for Abu Dis is broken and it is too expensive for the local water company to fix, causing problems for every family in Abu Dis. As an occupying power, Israel should also ensure that the occupied people have access to water supply, but they take no responsibility.

House invasions and imprisonment by the Israeli army – extensions to administrative detention (imprisonment without trial)
We were happy to hear of the freeing of of Ismail Khalaf from administrative detention (some of you signed a petition for his release at the time that he was on hunger strike last year) but at the same time Mohammed Salah and Huthaifa Badr were both given extensions to their terms. Once again Huthaifa Badr has become a father while he is in prison with no hope of a trial and no fixed date for his release.  Just as for months when his first baby was born,he has not been able to see or hold the little girl.

If these prisoners have a case to answer, the Israelis should bring them to trial. If not, they must be released  – Administrative detention is a violation of human rights.

We would be grateful if you would

  • Sign our petitions for Mohammed here and Huthaifa here
  • Share them and raise the subject as much as you can
  • Join our small group working on the prisoner issue

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The family of Ahmed Eriqat – who was killed by the Israeli army last June – are still trying to get his body returned to them for burial.

We would be grateful if you would

  • Sign our petition here 
  • Share this and raise the subject as much as you can.

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Shocking recent news.
ANOTHER YOUNG PALESTINIAN KILLED – THIS TIME BY A UK CITIZEN – PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR MP

We would be grateful if you would

  • Send this model letter below to your MP (or write your own)
  • Join a small group working on this issue 

Dear [Your MP}
UK citizen working in Israeli army killed a Palestinian youth
I understand that Palestinian families are always scared for their young people and worried about their safety in the face of violence by the Israeli army.  I have heard from CADFA, a human-rights charity, that last week a Palestinian youth was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier (this time a seventeen-year-old in Haris village in the West Bank), leaving a family and a village heart-broken, but- because this has often happened before – with no expectation that Israel will take any serious action in relation to this incident or to prevent the next one.
This time it turned out (from the Jerusalem Post) that his killer was a UK woman who had joined the Israeli army as a volunteer.
I am writing to you to ask how this is possible?   And what will the British government  do in this case? Having killed this boy, the woman in question can surely not return to the UK with no questions asked?
And more generally, how can we be allowing UK citizens to take up arms in the West Bank to enforce an occupation that breaks international law and a situation that is regularly described as apartheid?
We would be grateful if you would raise this with the FCO and urge the government very strongly to make it illegal for UK citizens to serve in the Israeli army that is regularly involved in such activities.
Yours sincerely (etc)
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More info on CADFA and on Palestine from cadfa.org/resources/
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We welcome people from Britain and Palestine to join our work… wherever you are from in Britain or Palestine.
CADFA’s original homes were of course Camden and Abu Dis, though we have always had members from beyond (No walls!) . But in the last few years our work has often stretched beyond Camden and Abu Dis, and now with lockdown and meetings on Zoom we have been happy to welcome energetic people from all over England, Wales and now from Scotland too, as well as from all over Palestine. In fact we have had people from India and the US (as well as from Palestine of course) in our recent meetings. We are very happy to work with partner groups as well as individuals and would love you to come along to our VOLUNTEER MEETING (see events below) or to ask us for a speaker.

YOUNG people aged 18-25 Our current project with Soapbox in Islington (making podcasts) is open to young women between 18-25, takes place on Monday late afternoons and we would love to hear from you.
WOMEN’S links One of the lovely things about lockdown for the women in Palestine and the UK who have been involved is the consistent link between us on Zoom. We are making new projects and welcome new friends.
UNIVERSITY links and SCHOOL links  We have enjoyed bringing Palestinian students to the UK on Zoom to meet UK students. We have more dates in the offing and are happy to go (on Zoom) to new places.
CAMDEN group  As our work has spread wider than Camden we are making a special group for our local area.
Brunswick STALL and CAFÉ PALESTINA (Kentish Town) are currently on lockdown but happy to hear from future volunteers
ENGLISH CLASSES for Palestinians – We welcome volunteer teachers with relevant experience to do a once-a-week class with a small group from Palestine (currently mainly university students)
NEW INITIATIVES at Dar Assadaqa, Abu Dis – SPEAKING OUT courses in English for Palestinians… Working to make a VIRTUAL Dar Assadaqa (watch this space)
FUNDRAISING GROUP   Out of necessity we are restarting our fundraising group and welcome new people and good ideas.  (and of course please join as a member if you are not, yet!)
Do you know anyone who would like to be a SPONSOR of CADFA?
LEGACIES – We were very grateful to a member who recently left us a legacy in his will. We wonder if any of you would be in a position to do the same.
DESIGNER We’re considering making CADFA T shirts and maybe stationary, to raise money. If this is something you are good at, please do get in touch!

We would be grateful if you would
  • Join up with one of these initiatives listed above
  • Tell people about the events listed below
  • Ask us for a speaker for your local group
  • Join CADFA if you are not already a member

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ZOOM EVENTS :

PALESTINE 4 BEGINNERS Our next monthly session  will be on Thursday 18th February https://www.facebook.com/events/2988824511345881

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ARABIC IN PALESTINE
 – This special way to start or develop your Arabic with Palestinian language partners and visits to Palestine is now one of the Café Palestina Arabic courses – please see…https://cafepalestina.co.uk/i/arabic-courses
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CADFA VOLUNTEERS’ MEETING –
 Come along if you already volunteer with us or if you are interested in volunteering! Zoom meeting on  Thursday 25th Feb at 7pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/440830183631536/
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VIRTUAL VISITS between Palestine and UK. 
It is interesting to us that since our energetic visits this summer in both directions, virtual visits have been taken up by other organisations – because they are a good idea! Ours draw on the useful aspects of our real visits in the past sixteen years, and we are proud to take people across Palestine to meet a range of people and across the UK to see places and also speak to a range of audiences. Let us know if you’re interested.
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ACTUAL VISITS…
 Like the rest of the world we have to get through Covid before even considering the future, but we do hope our great visits will happen again. In the meantime we are active and open to good ideas and able to organise talks to inform people of the human rights situation in Palestine in our events or with speakers to your events.

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This picture  and some of the others in the CADFA calendar are from an Abu Dis demonstration calling for the release of Huthaifa Badr in summer 2019. (The beautiful pictures in this calendar are by Sarah Sanders and there are still a few copies of the calendar – and lots of lovely things from Palestine – available from cafepalestina.co.uk)

 

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