25 MAY 2016 in London
We put on a discussion between Gideon Levy, Ilan Pappe and Ruba Salih (Reader at SOAS, University of London) - all ODS supporters - at Westminster University to a capacity audience of 200 people. Running 2 and 1/2 hours, there was time for unrushed, emotionally moving words from all three and over a dozen contributions from the floor. See our entry under 'News'. The video of the entire evening is on YouTube: https://youtu.be/35JXout9ooc
24 MAY 2016 in London, House of Commons
Together with three other ODS supporters not formally affiliated with ODS England we arranged for Gideon Levy to meet with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Palestine. In attendance were Labour MPs Richard Burden, Andy Slaughter, Andy McDonald and Stephen Kinnock as well as SNP MP Tommy Sheppard, all officially two-state supporters who are very well informed and who evidenced open minds. As with others who followed Gideon's presentation with comments and questions, there was a tendency to argue that we should still hope for the two-state solution, which has its virtues. In addition to doubting the desirability - rather than merely the feasibility - of the two-state solution, Gideon maintained that Israel never did and never will agree to a Palestinian state: Where to go with this fact in our possession?
16 MAY 2016 in Cambridge
Together with the Cambridge U students' Palestine Society and the Cambridge branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign we sponsored joint talks by Awad Abdelfattah and Karl Sabbagh, moderated by Ruba Salih. See our News page. 53 people attended. While Awad stressed the unity of the Palestinian national movement, the need for the nationalist narrative in order to reach ODS, and the possibility that the relatively strong political position of the Palestinians in Israel means this part of the fragmented Palestinian nation can be crucial in the battle against Zionism. Karl listed and refuted many common objections to ODS; to the objection that many Palestinians who have fought for decades for a state of their own, losing limbs and the lives of friends and family on the way, will settle for the maximum possible, namely a state in the West Bank and Gaza, Karl replied that aside from disregarding all other Palestinians, such a project faces the question of how it can be both democratic and Arab-Palestinian.
NAKBA DAY 15 MAY 2016 in London
P21 Gallery was the place of joint talks by Awad Abdelfattah and Karl Sabbagh, moderated by Salma Karmi-Ayyoub, with 20 people in attendance. The small quantity did not impair the quality of the discussion. We thank Yahya and Omar for providing this wonderful venue. See our News page and the short report on our 16 May event in Cambridge.
The video of the entire evening is on YouTube:
Awad was accompanied by his wife Fathiyya, office manager of Adalah in Haifa, and while in England was able, through the efforts of a friend on the Executive Committee of
the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, to speak at least another 6 times: to the Labour Friends of the Middle East and Palestine, to Jeremy Corbyn and Seumas Milne personally, to the several North
London PSC branches in Hackney, to Lambeth & Wandsworth PSC and to Manchester PSC.
12 MAY 2016 in London
Together with the SOAS students' Palestine Society we brought Awad Abdelfattah from Nazareth and Karl Sabbagh from Oxfordshire to speak on ODS. 40 people attended, even during exam time. See our News page and the entry for 16 May below. Awad is Secretary-General of the Tajamoa/Balad Party, respresented in the Israeli Knesset by 3 members including Haneen Zoabi. While the party publicly cannot support ODS in so many words, Awad does. After all, the Party's founder Azmi Bishara advocated instead of the Jewish state 'a state for all its citizens', and is still paying for it in exile in Qatar. Karl wrote Palestine: A Personal History (2006, Atlantic Books), which contains indeed much personal history as well as arguments for ODS, and Britain in Palestine (2012, Skyscraper), an essential and brief history of British Mandatory rule in Palestine from around 1917 to 1948 which provided the text for an exhibition with the same title at Brunei Gallery.
14-16 MARCH 2015 IN LONDON
The British group Independent Jewish Voices in mid-March 2015 held a cutting-edge 2-day conference at Birkbeck College, London, entitled 'Equal rights for all: A new path for Israel-Palestine?' Although the stated framework was to get away from talking so much about solutions and instead develop the project of equal rights for all residents of historic Palestine, there was much intelligent discussion of one-state, two-state and bi-national solutions as well as of the usually neglected Right of Return. A critical report is at http://blakealcott.jimdo.com/blake-s-blog/ and on the IJV website, and an essay in the Middle East Eye at http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/shadings-zionism-1684507084.
8-9 NOVEMBER 2014 IN LONDON
ODS was repeatedly mentioned and discussed at the International Conference on the Impact of World War One on Palestine held by the Palestinian Return Centre, London, and the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, Doha, on 8-9 November 2014.
12 SEPTEMBER 2014 in Ar'ara in the Triangle (Israel)
Ilan Pappe gave a talk in Hebrew on ODS attended by almost 100 people in Ar'ara in the Little Triangle. The link to the video is on the Free Haifa site linked to just above.
6 SEPTEMBER 2014 in Ramallah
At the Retno Hotel from 11:30 there is a meeting of ODS people organised by our sister group the Popular Movement for One Democratic State. Its title: 'After the Aggression on Gaza'. Featured speakers were Mazin Qumsiyeh and Ilan Pappe, with ample room for everybody to say their piece. Greetings to all in Ramallah! We note that such meetings, in Palestine, open with a moment of silence in honour of the maimed, imprisoned and martyrs.
20 AUGUST 2014 in Cambridge UK
Along with the Cambridge Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Cambridge Stop the War Coalition we co-hosted an evening of talks and action-planning in Cambridge on 20 August, 2014 at Emmanuel Reformed Church. Triggered by the large turn-outs at weekly vigils and protests at Market Square since the beginning of the Gaza massacre of summer 2014, the evening was to provide background information to newcomers and see what further, especially local, actions are realistic (one was chosen - to be announced).
Our dependence on BDS, as our strongest tool aside from standard lobbying of parliamentarians and media work, was acknowledged. Most speakers and audience members seemed to agree that the boycott must be of Israel, generally, not for example merely 'companies complicit in the occupation of the West Bank'. Cambridge is an ideal place to pursue the academic boycott (see PACBI).
One Palestinian speaker eloquently painted the absurdity of Zionism's concept, actions and impunity and wished for the day when the Israeli state becomes exactly as obviously shameful as was South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s. Although she perceives the uselessness of Palestinian politics, she strongly endorsed ODS.
A speaker from Gaza described the difficulty of daily life in Gaza both in times of massacre and destruction - we hope his friends and family are safe - as well as in 'normal' times. In tune with the other speakers and the 80 people present, he urged us to always include the Right of Return in our thoughts and plans of action.
Several speakers close to the Socialist Workers Party emphasised the colonial nature of Israel and the need to see the struggle as part of struggles both for democracy in the Arab world and against capitalist imperialism. Several attendees advocated more radical and media-attractive actions, in the tradition of civil disobedience that might even lead to arrest.
As the speaker from the Stop the War Coalition said, we are searching for solutions; otherwise we will meet again here in 2 years during another Gaza or West Bank slaughter.
17/18 MAY in Zürich - international ODS conference
See our detailed report and, below, the flyer.
27 MARCH 2014, Anti-Apartheid Week in Cambridge
Barrister in the field of criminal law Salma Karmi, London, and political scientist and long-time ODS advocate Dr Samir Abed-Rabbo, Dallas, spoke to an audience of about 50 people at Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge, on the Right of Return. It is an indispensable, non-abrogable part of (historical) justice for Palestinians and is upheld by ODS 100%. UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of 11 December 1948 states this right and was dedicated to UN Mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, who was assassinated by Zionist militants on 17 September 1948, just days after his report stating that return of the hundreds of thousands of expelled Palestinians was imperative. The right is to ownership of land and property taken during the ethnic cleansing that began in 1948, the right to return to Israel as full citizens, and the right of full compensation for economic losses incurred since dispossession.
2 DECEMBER 2013 in Cambridge
Authors Ghada Karmi and Ilan Pappe spoke to an audience of 90 people at St Catherine's College, University of Cambridge. After a short welcome by rormer Master of the College, ODS supporter Sir Terence English, the case for ODS was presented and about 45 minutes then devoted to comments and questions. ODS would bring justice and equal rights, but Dr Karmi, who was expelled from Jerusalem in her youth and has fought the Palestinian fight for decades, not only justified ODS but went further to sketch some ways to achieve it. Historian Pappe, who lives both in England and Israel, called for Israeli Jews to acknowledge the wrongs done to Palestinians. This requires an ethically courageous and upright stance which, as became clear to the audience, is exemplified by this modest speaker.
90 people attended this event, as recorded on these 3 vimeos by Stuart Platt:
Ghada Karmi's talk: http://vimeo.com/81804045
Ilan Pappe's talk: http://vimeo.com/81804044
The comments, questions and answers: http://vimeo.com/82574350
Both speakers are affiliated with the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK, where Dr Pappe is also Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies.
3 DECEMBER 2012 in Cambridge
At Pembroke College we had 3 speakers who support ODS: Dr Jacob Norris, historian and author of Land of Progress (2013, Oxford U Press), Karl Sabbagh, author and TV producer, and Sir Terence English, a surgeon who did the first heart transplant in the UK and who has given many trauma seminars in Gaza and the West Bank. 35 people attended and launched a solid discussion.
9 NOVEMBER 2011 in Cambridge
In the Keynes Room at King's College Ghada Karmi spoke on ODS to 80 people, mostly students. It was just before the Cambridge studies voted to sever university ties to Veolia. Ghada impressed not only with her analysis but with her fairness and her statement that the Palestinians are a forgiving people. To one comment that history is full of injustice and the Palestinians should let bygones be bygones, the room rejected this advice. To another comment that the Jewish people - actually, those in central and eastern Europe - had suffered so greatly and deserved a safe haven, it was pointed out that two wrongs don't make a right.
Below is a picture of our Awda Key now standing near York, UK, waiting for a permanent home in a public space. It stands 3m high and is made of steel. The base is made of concrete and from above configures the star of David. It is the property of ODS in Palestine Ltd and bears the title 'Higher State'.