Author Archives: Diana Safieh

A warning for Christians – from the birthplace of Christ

The Rev. Munther Isaac speaks from inside the walls of beleaguered Bethlehem Munther Isaac is a Palestinian Christian pastor and theologian. He is pastor of  the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. He is also the academic dean of Bethlehem … Continue reading

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UN committee votes to ask International Court to decide on Israel ‘annexation’ of OPT

The United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee (on Decolonisation) has voted 98-17 on a resolution to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on whether Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory is illegal on the grounds that its … Continue reading

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Israel Embassy move would ‘breach 1961 Vienna Convention’

Letter to UK Foreign Secretary from 27 international law experts says ‘there is nothing to review’ by Professor Iain GM Scobbie, Chair of Public International Law, and Director of the Manchester International Law Centre, University of Manchester

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Embassy move dropped

Britain’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has dropped the idea of “reviewing” the location of the UK Embassy in Israel, as suggested by his predecessor Liz Truss. Her proposal was to consider moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a … Continue reading

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“Oh little town of Bethlehem” – Palestinian Christians, Reality, Challenges and Prospects – Revd Dr Munther Isaac

Wednesday 7th December 3pm UK time The world turns to Bethlehem during Christmas, but they have a fairytale image of the little town. However, this is a real community with real challenges. This webinar gives an insight into the reality … Continue reading

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Will Sunak persevere with the Boycott Bill to outlaw local councils’ ethical investment decisions?

By Richard Burden, Balfour Project Trustee Britain has a new Prime Minister and at least some different faces in Cabinet from those who were there a few weeks ago. Although headlines are understandably dominated by questions about the approach the … Continue reading

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Commission of Inquiry finds Israeli occupation unlawful under international law

Andrew Whitley, Chair of the Balfour Project, writes: A brand-new report from a UN Commission of Inquiry into grave breaches of human rights and international humanitarian law in Palestine and Israel will present a moral (and legal) dilemma for the … Continue reading

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Danielle Bett (Yachad): Five elections in three years, is Israel moving backwards or forward?

26 October 2022 Danielle Bett is Yachad’s Director of Communications. Prior to joining Yachad, Danielle worked as the Jewish Leadership Council’s Scotland Manager. She has worked on several interfaith and antiracism initiatives. She’s also worked closely with the Israeli community … Continue reading

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Advocacy: Email your MP

Reckless folly: our Government must not move the UK Embassy to Jerusalem10 October 2022 #StandWithThe618 August 2022 Unlawful Israeli army assault on Palestinian human rights organisations in Ramallah18 August 2022 Email your MP to help #StopE11 August 2022 Save Masafer … Continue reading

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Liz Truss under pressure to drop ‘reckless’ UK Israel embassy move

14 October 2022, Financial Times The Financial Times, with its long record of incisive Middle East reporting and careful editorial judgment, has added its voice to those urging the British Prime Minister to reconsider her stated inclination to review the … Continue reading

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The Balfour Project Origin Story

While Roger and Monica Spooner were in Jordan for a holiday in 2008, as guests of Jordanian friends, they visited an exhibition of the McMahon-Hussein correspondence, in Aqaba. The text was displayed in Arabic, and the Spooners asked their host … Continue reading

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Reckless folly: our Government must not move the UK Embassy to Jerusalem

Prime Minister Liz Truss has announced a “review” which may lead to the British Embassy in Tel Aviv moving to Jerusalem. The “review” itself is extremely unwise. No reason for it and no timescale have been given. It would be disastrous … Continue reading

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UK apology sought for British war crimes in Palestine

The Balfour Project comments that Israel inherited, deployed after 1948 and still deploys, in the occupied Palestinian territory. many of the British defence emergency regulations, including arrest without trial, military courts  house demolitions, armed attacks against civilian targets and the … Continue reading

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Embassy move to Jerusalem

Britain’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has dropped the idea of “reviewing” the location of the UK Embassy in Israel, as suggested by his predecessor Liz Truss. Her proposal was to consider moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a … Continue reading

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Truss and Jerusalem

By William Law Published in the Arab Digest, a subscription newsletter which can be joined here. Arab Digest  provides high quality information, a discerning news filter and expert analysis suitable for business leaders, diplomatic strategy, academia and journalism. Summary: the … Continue reading

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Balfour Project Newsletters

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Prime Minister’s Promise to ‘Review’ Moving the UK Embassy to Jerusalem

Prime Minister Liz Truss has told the Israeli Prime Minister that she will ‘review’ the location of HM Embassy to Israel. Below is a well-argued letter to our Foreign Secretary explaining why this would be wrong. The letter is written … Continue reading

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The legal vacuum Britain created: how Britain failed its sacred trust of civilisation towards the Palestinian people – John McHugo

Talk given at Abandoning Palestine conference, May 2022. I After the First World War, Britain wanted Palestine for its own imperial purposes: to strengthen its control of the Suez Canal, to provide a land bridge from Egypt to Iraq, and … Continue reading

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On Impunity and Exceptionalism: Will Israel Be Held Accountable to International Law? – Dr Ramzy Baroud

November 2022 Palestinian author and journalist Dr. Ramzy Baroud discusses the reasons behind Israel’s lack of accountability to international law. While many countries, especially in the Global South, are held accountable to United Nations resolutions and to international humanitarian laws, … Continue reading

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Opportunities for Encounter: Christian pilgrimage and beyond

6pm UK time Wednesday 12th October 2022 THIS WEBINAR WAS NOT RECORDED, BUT PLEASE VIEW THE HANDY LIST OF RESOURCES PROVIDED. Thousands of Christians visit the Holy Land each year with a deep desire to “walk where Jesus walked”. But … Continue reading

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Statement by Daniel Levy, President, US/Middle East Project, to the UN Security Council, Thursday 25 August 2022

I would like to thank the Council and the Chinese presidency in particular for allowing me to share some thoughts with you today. The events of earlier this month covered in detail by Special Envoy Wennesland are as concerning as … Continue reading

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Tory leadership contenders demonstrate alarming bias toward Israel

By Susie Becher in The Times of Israel, published on 29 August 2022 Click here to read this article.

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The situation on the ground demonstrates the urgent need to make progress towards a Two-State Solution

Statement by UK Ambassador James Kariuki at the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East Let me start by welcoming the two-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords this month. The Abraham Accords are a historic milestone that … Continue reading

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Israeli Raids on Palestinian Civil Society Organizations: The Costs of International Inaction

When: Thursday, August 25, 2022 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT Where: Zoom Webinar Join legal and policy experts to hear how Israel’s measures to terminate the work of six prominent civil society organizations engaged in documenting violations of international … Continue reading

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Statement on planning application for new settlement in the West Bank

On 12 September a planning committee in the West Bank will consider an application from the Israeli Defence Ministry for a large new settlement project in the E1 area of the West Bank, to the east of Jerusalem. In response … Continue reading

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Screening of Boycott followed by Q&A with director Julia Bacha

6pm UK time Tuesday 18th October 2022Tickets £10 If you are a Friend of the Balfour Project, meaning you are a regular giver, or if you sign up here before this event, you will receive a free link to the … Continue reading

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Book Review: How the PLO dropped the ball during the Oslo process

The Olive Branch from Palestine, The Palestinian Declaration of Independence and the Path Out of the Current Impasse, with a foreword by Noam Chomsky, University of California Press, 2022. 291 pages, by Jerome Segal Review by Menachem Klein As hopes … Continue reading

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#StandWithThe6

by Jonathan Kuttab 18 Aug 2022 on Friends of Sabeel North America. Last night, Israeli forces raided the offices of all six civil society organizations that it previously labelled as “terrorist organizations,” including Al Haq. Israel ransacked the offices and … Continue reading

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Israel Raids Outlawed Palestinian Rights Groups’ Offices in West Bank

Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared six Palestinian human rights groups terrorist organizations in 2021, however, several European countries claim Israel had failed to prove these allegations. By Hagar Shezaf, Jack Khoury and The Associated Press on Aug 18, 2022 in … Continue reading

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Britain, Israel and Jordan in the 1948 war

Introduction by Avi Shlaim for the Balfour Project to his paper in The Journal of Palestine Studies By Avi Shlaim From 1920 to 1948 Britain held the mandate over Palestine. From the beginning, Britain pursued a pro-Zionist policy which facilitated … Continue reading

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Episcopal Church in Ramallah raided by Israeli military

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Unlawful Israeli army assault on Palestinian human rights organisations in Ramallah, 18 August – proposed action

Dear Supporter, Early on 18 August the Israeli army raided the offices of seven Palestinian human rights and humanitarian organisations in Ramallah. The army also broke into a church. The Israeli Government seeks to suppress the Palestinian right to peaceful … Continue reading

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We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I by Raja Shehadeh

A Palestinian Memoir Profile Books, £14.99, 152pp Review by Tim Llewellyn This is a slight book physically, but boiling with emotion recollected in less than tranquillity, a son’s difficult voyage in time to try to connect with, understand, explain and … Continue reading

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Workshop on teaching the history of Israel-Palestine in schools

On Saturday, 25 June, the Balfour Project hosted an online workshop to encourage more schools to teach this subject. Ninety attended, of whom 25 were practising teachers, 18 of them currently teaching the subject. Over a hundred have viewed the … Continue reading

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WATCH ONLINE: Raja Shehadeh: To Absent Fathers

In 1985, Raja Shehadeh’s father Aziz was murdered in a pre-meditated knife attack. The circumstances of the crime are the subject of his Strangers in the House. Today, through his new memoir, Shehadeh sheds a different light on the father-son relationship … Continue reading

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‘Strangers in My House’: Letters an Expelled Palestinian Sent David Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

Sami Saada was expelled from his apartment in Haifa and in an attempt to reclaim the property sent letters to Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. The letters went unanswered, but found their way into a new book. By Sheren … Continue reading

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Urging all parties to ensure the ceasefire in Gaza is durable and prevents further violence: UK statement to UN Security Council

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the Security Council briefing on the situation in Gaza The United Kingdom joins fellow Council Members in welcoming the ceasefire in Gaza announced last night (August 8, 2022). We express our thanks to Egypt, … Continue reading

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UNRWA struggles to meet $100m funding shortfall amid UK budget cuts

Severe cuts to Britain’s aid budget leave the agency that provides relief to Palestinian refugees struggling to carry out basic services From the i July 31, 2022 Palestinian refugees are facing three-minute doctor consultations and classes of up to 50 children … Continue reading

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Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of peace, security and prosperity

Statement by British Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council open debate on the situation in the Middle East, July 26, 2022 Thank you, President. And, I thank also Deputy Special Coordinator Hastings for her briefing. I’d also like … Continue reading

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Email your MP to help #StopE1

Dear Supporter, Illegal Israeli settlements are the biggest threat to Palestinian rights – their rights to their land, to their livelihoods, to self-determination – including the right to sovereign statehood. The Israeli authorities are advancing plans to build a new … Continue reading

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‘Apartheid’ is not sufficient: an interview with UN Human Rights Commissioner Miloon Kothari

UN Human Rights Commissioner Miloon Kothari explains why Apartheid is not enough to explain the root causes of the Palestinian crisis. By David Kattenburg, first published on Mondoweiss on 25 July 2022. Joe Biden’s trip to Israel, occupied Palestine and … Continue reading

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Informing and influencing the Westminster Parliament

The Balfour Project and CAABU (Council for Arab British Understanding) co-sponsored an event in the House of Commons on 13 July, hosted by David Jones MP (Conservative). Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, spelt out what the UN Agency does to … Continue reading

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The relentless theft of Occupied Territory

How the Bennett-Lapid Government ruled over the West Bank The presence of left-wing parties in the coalition did little to hinder the ‘change government’ from continuing construction in the West Bank and destroying Palestinian residences By Hagar Shezaf, published in … Continue reading

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UK charities call for immediate end to closure of Gaza after 15 years of collective punishment and imposed fragmentation

Caabu is among 16 organisations to have signed onto this statement, calling for an immediate end to the closure of Gaza after 15 years of collective punishment and imposed fragmentation. 20th July 2022 Since June 2007, consecutive Israeli governments have … Continue reading

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The follies of Biden’s Middle East trip

The president’s July visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia picked up where his predecessor’s regional policies left off. By Daniel Levy, published on Responsible Statecraft on 12 July 2022. President Biden’s trip to the Middle East is in danger of … Continue reading

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Fellowship Training Programme

The training programme outlines the skills-based and knowledge based workshops that Fellows will attend as part of the Fellowship programme. See the 2022-23 training programme below.

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Children in Gaza need hope

“Gaza is hell on earth for children.” Those are the words of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres. This report from Save the Children explains why.In Gaza, as elsewhere in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the abnormal has … Continue reading

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Human Rights Watch: torture of Palestinians by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza

Here is a disquieting report by Human Rights Watch and Lawyers for Justice. It examines breaches of Palestinian human rights by Palestinians – those in authority in the West Bank and Gaza. Like all Human Rights Watch reports, it is … Continue reading

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The Human Factor followed by Q&A with the director Dror Moreh

Tuesday 20th September at 6pm. The epic behind-the-scenes story of the United States’ 30-year effort to secure peace in the Middle East. Recounted from the unique perspective of the American mediators on the frontlines. Tickets: £10, Free for Friends of … Continue reading

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Team

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