Author Archives: Diana Safieh

The label of ‘terrorist’: a bid to discredit and silence opponents

By John Dugard The apartheid regime of South Africa initially sought to discredit its political opponents by labelling them “communists”. When the international community realized that the term was abused the regime resorted to labelling its opponents “terrorists”. This proved … Continue reading

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Why the UK’s blacklisting of Hamas hurts its own peace policy

A motion to label the entire Hamas movement as ‘terrorists’ is an attempt to score political points at the cost of a peacemaking strategy for Israel-Palestine. By Hugh Lovatt on +972, November 25, 2021 Following a brief debate, the British House of … Continue reading

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UK ban on Hamas will have ‘terrible chilling effect’, warns former minister

Crispin Blunt said he did not think the measure would ‘draw away violence’. By Martina Bet. Published in the Evening Standard, 25 November 2021. A ban on the Palestinian group Hamas will have a “terrible chilling effect” in the Israeli … Continue reading

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Israel moves to silence the stalwarts of Palestinian civil society

By Zena Agha, writing for The New York Times On Oct. 19, the Israeli Ministry of Defence singled out six of the most prominent Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations, using secret, and thus far insufficient, evidence to accuse them of being … Continue reading

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The banning of human rights defenders: Israel and South Africa compared

By John Dugard, writing for Mondoweiss, Nov 16, 2021. Even the apartheid regime in South Africa never outlawed human rights defenders in the manner that Israel just did when it declared six Palestinian organizations to be “terrorist organizations. Israel has … Continue reading

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What does Israel fear from this ‘terrorist’?

By Raja Shehadeh, writing for the New York Review of Books December 2, 2021 issue. The Israeli government smears human rights organizations—like Al Haq, the one I founded—rather than attempting to end the violations they bring to light. In 1978 … Continue reading

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Israel’s designation as “terrorist” of six Palestinian civil society organisations: letter of protest to the Foreign Secretary

European Parliamentarians, including British MPs and Peers, have written to the Foreign Secretary calling for Government action to dissuade Israel from three “red line” actions:– designating six Palestinian civil society organisations as “terrorist”– evicting Palestinian families from their homes in … Continue reading

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Q&A with Palestinian Director Farah Nabulsi

Online Q&A given in November 2021, following a screening of The Present. The Present can be viewed worldwide on Netflix and other streaming services. Farah Nabulsi is an Oscar nominated and BAFTA Award-Winning Palestinian British filmmaker, based in the UK.  … Continue reading

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The Balfour Declaration: Britain’s fatal mistake in Palestine by Eugene Rogan

Published on The Middle East Eye on 1 November 2021. This article is a condensed version of a talk that was given by Professor Eugene Rogan to the Balfour Project charity. The charity holds regular free webinars focused on Britain’s historic and continuing … Continue reading

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Jonathan Kuttab on Defending Palestinian human rights: what role for the U.K.?

Online talk given in October 2021 Jonathan Kuttab is a co-founder of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq and co-founder of Nonviolence International.  He is Executive Director of Friends of Sabeel North America. Download his book for free. Jonathan Kuttab: … Continue reading

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Gantz Declares Six Palestinian NGOs Terrorist Organizations

A joint statement by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called the decision ‘an alarming escalation,’ as the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ‘unequivocally condemned’ the move. Published in Haaretz on 22 Oct 2021 by Jonathan Lis. Israeli Defense Minister … Continue reading

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A message from B’Tselem

Last Friday, Israel’s new government crossed a line that no Israeli government has dared cross before, designating six Palestinian civil society organizations “terrorist organizations.” The shameful declaration says nothing about these organizations – but speaks volumes about the violence, brutality … Continue reading

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Israel ‘terrorist’ slur on Palestinian human rights groups

Statement by the Balfour Project On 22 October Israel’s Defence Minister designated six Palestinian human rights NGOs as ‘terrorist’. The aim appears to be to stem the flow of information about breaches of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. … Continue reading

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Facts on the Ground: Herbert Samuel and the Balfour Declaration, 1914-1925

: By Sahar Huneidi The twin issues of land and immigration are today, as they were in the early 1920s, the crux of the problem between Israel and the Palestinians. Herbert Samuel, first British High Commissioner in Palestine (1920-25), set … Continue reading

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‘Unpleasant’ War Crimes: The Secret Docs Israel Insists on Censoring

The list of historical documents reveals suspicions that Haganah soldiers committed murder, torture, theft and looting during the War of Independence By Ofer Aderet, published in Haaretz on 18 October 2021 On the morning of April 9, 1948, some 130 … Continue reading

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New report warns unequal status quo in Israel and Palestine will lead to more violence

A new report from international development and humanitarian organisation Christian Aid has highlighted the deep inequalities which divide Palestinians and Israelis across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory and threaten a further escalation of violence and loss of life if … Continue reading

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Palestinian Woman Remanded on Bail

Human rights case that a UK church took up The young Palestinian woman, Layan Nasir, whom Israeli security forces arrested at her Ramallah area home in a dawn raid last July, has been remanded on bail by an Israeli military … Continue reading

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The roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

‘Fair Observer’ talks to Avi Shlaim, professor emeritus of international relations at St. Antony’s College, Oxford By Abul-Hasanat Siddique & Avi Shlaim September 16, 2021 The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has waxed and waned for several decades. The roots of it stem far beyond the … Continue reading

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All parties to Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be open to further dialogue – GOV.UK

Statement by UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council Briefing on the Middle East. Delivered at the UN on September 29, 2021 Madam President, the United Kingdom welcomes recent engagement between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian leadership, including … Continue reading

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New perspectives on Israel-Palestine for new audiences

Article on the Balfour Project Fellows published in Arab Banker Magazine, Autumn 2021 Two years ago, a British charity, the Balfour Project, began sponsoring groups of students to explore and report on key areas of the asymmetrical conflict between the … Continue reading

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Balfour Project Policy on Racism

The Balfour Project opposes and condemns racism and racial, religious and ethnic prejudice of all types. We believe in the promotion of a society that is tolerant and understanding of all races, cultures, and faiths. In particular, and bearing in … Continue reading

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Preventing further escalation of violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Statement by UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council briefing on the Middle East Delivered on 30 August 2021. Let me start by once again reinforcing the need to prevent a further escalation in violence in Israel and the … Continue reading

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Hannah Weisfeld of Yachad on Ending the Occupation for the good of all

Online talk given in September 2021 Hannah is the director and a founder of Yachad. Yachad works to mobilise British Jews in support of a political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She previously chaired the Jewish Social Action Forum for … Continue reading

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Connecting Parliaments in Europe for Israeli/Palestinian equality

By Julie Elliott MP Europe is neighbour, friend and trading partner to both Israel and Palestine. Economically, the EU/Israel Association Agreement matters greatly to Israel, affording free access to its biggest market. The same terms apply to the UK/Israel Trade … Continue reading

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Sir Vincent Fean on Palestine/Israel: Britain’s role, then and now

Online talk given in August 2021 Sir Vincent Fean was a member of the British Diplomatic Service between 1975 and 2014. His last post was as Consul-General, Jerusalem (2010-14). Before Jerusalem, he was Ambassador to Libya, and previously High Commissioner … Continue reading

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BALFOUR IN THE LEVANT, SPRING 1925. Orates in Jerusalem, Tours Palestine, Flees Syria

By William M. Mathew. A. INTRODUCTION: A JEWISH ITINERARY B. NEW YORK TIMES REPORTS – PALESTINE STRIKE ON BALFOUR STARTS TOMORROW. CESSATION OF WORK TO BEGIN ON HIS ARRIVAL (24 March 1925) STRIKE AS BALFOUR REACHES PALESTINE. JERUSALEM SHOPS SHUT. … Continue reading

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Responses to the HRW report on Apartheid and Persecution of Palestinians

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Tinderbox Q&A with Gillian Mosely, Robert Cohen and Tim Llewellyn

Click here to visit the official Tinderbox website for information about future screenings. THETINDERBOX – TRAILER from Tinderbox Film on Vimeo. Panel discussion with director of Tinderbox Gillian Mosely, Amos Trust trustee Robert Cohen and Balfour Project executive committee member … Continue reading

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Sophie Bridger on Education Under Occupation – Eyewitness Testimony from the West Bank

July 2021 Sophie Bridger served as a Human Rights Monitor with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel in 2019. During her time in the West Bank, she observed numerous human rights violations, and witnessed the impact of ongoing … Continue reading

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Ban Ki-moon: US should back a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

This is not a dispute between equals that can be resolved through bilateral negotiations The writer is a former secretary-general of the UN and deputy chair of The Elders It is time to acknowledge that the longstanding approach taken to … Continue reading

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Lord Cope – Speech to British Palestine Police Association Centenary Dinner

Speech given at Middle Temple Hall, 2 July 2021 It is great to be here to celebrate the centenary of the Palestine Police so energetically organised by Ralph Cairns.  I wish the BPPA many happy returns.  The Crusader Kingdom of … Continue reading

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Policing the Holy Land 1920-1948

This booklet has been published by the British Palestine Police Association (BPPA) for the centenary of the Palestine Police which carried the main burden of law and order during the British Mandate.  The Force was at first mainly locally recruited with British senior officers, … Continue reading

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Mapping Palestine: an online exhibition

Click here to read coverage in The National News. The majority of Britons today are ignorant of Britain’s colonial role in Palestine and its impact on the current reality. This is one of the key reasons why some people are … Continue reading

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What Israelis Aren’t Being Taught in School, and Why

The Education Ministry has for many years been guilty of replacing historical facts with political views about key aspects of the formation of the state. We must regain control of our educational system. Published in Haaretz in January 2016. By … Continue reading

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‘Serious concerns’: UK education row as Israel-Palestine textbooks pulled

Published by Liz Lightfoot in The Guardian on 8 June 2021. The government has warned schools to ensure a balanced presentation of opposing views on the conflict between Israel and Palestine, which claimed more than 250 lives last month and sparked a … Continue reading

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Eugene Rogan – Neither Pro-Zionist nor Pro-Arab but Pro-Empire: A Re-assessment of British Policy in the Palestine Mandate

Eugene Rogan is Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at Oxford University, where he has taught since 1991, a Fellow of St Antony’s College and Director of the Middle East Centre. He took his B.A. in economics from Columbia, and … Continue reading

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Call by 55 former European leaders: Protect the Independence of the ICC

Written 31 May 2021′ We welcome the support that European leaders have expressed for the ICC and its unique mandate of advancing justice following war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Consistent support for the ICC and promotion of its … Continue reading

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A message to the PM

MPs send No.10 the Balfour Project call for the strict application of international law, including via the ICC, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

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Pearson caught in Middle East history textbook scandal

Pro-Israel bias and misrepresentation of the Israel/Palestine situation has been a feature of much of mainstream media for some years. Now GCSE textbooks, published by Pearson and Hodder, have come under intense attention from pro-Israel advocates. As a result, Hodder … Continue reading

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BBC sparks outrage after removing content following pressure from pro-Israel lobby

Published in the Middle East Monitor on 2 June 2021. The BBC has removed a series of educational videos about Palestine and the origins of the ongoing Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing, following pressure from a pro-Israel lobbyist organisation, UK Lawyers for … Continue reading

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Why Israeli progressives have started to talk about ‘apartheid’

By Michael Sfard, an Israeli human rights lawyer, in The Guardian, 3 June 2021. Michael Sfard was a keynote speaker at our conference entitled ‘Israel/Palestine: in search of the rule of law’ in May 2021 and his talk can be … Continue reading

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Briefing to the 8782nd session of the Security Council, May 27, 2021

Posted May 31, 2021 by Rashid Khalidi in MR Online. The events of the last few weeks have provoked worldwide recognition of realities on the ground in Occupied Palestine, realities of systemic discrimination, of oppression, and of settler colonialism. People have responded to … Continue reading

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Israel, Palestine, and Law

Balfour Project statement, 26 May 2021 Equal rights under the law are the foundation stone of all democracies. Israel views itself as a democracy. But many in Israel and around the world, including in Britain, were dismayed by the Knesset’s … Continue reading

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Why the rule of law matters – Rt Hon Baroness Hale of Richmond

Speaking at the Balfour Project online 2-day conference “Israel/Palestine: in search of the rule of law” on 25/26 May 2021. Click here to view the other speakers at the conference. Sir Vincent Fean: Good day, everybody. And welcome to our … Continue reading

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Conference conclusion with Lord Alderdice and Andrew Whitley

Speaking at the Balfour Project online 2-day conference “Israel/Palestine: in search of the rule of law” on 25/26 May 2021. Click here to view the other speakers at the conference.

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Parliamentary panel – Jack Straw, Wayne David MP, Layla Moran MP, Joanna Cherry QC MP, moderated by Lord Alderdice

Speaking at the Balfour Project online 2-day conference “Israel/Palestine: in search of the rule of law” on 25/26 May 2021. Click here to view the other speakers at the conference. Lord Alderdice: Wayne David is Member of Parliament for Caerphilly … Continue reading

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Can international law prevail in Israel/Palestine, and if so, how? The role of the UK – Rt Hon Jack Straw

Speaking at the Balfour Project online 2-day conference “Israel/Palestine: in search of the rule of law” on 25/26 May 2021. Click here to view the other speakers at the conference. Andrew Whitley: I would like to now introduce Lord Alderdice, … Continue reading

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4 case studies from Issam Younis, Hagit Ofran, Sahar Francis & Nada Kiswanson

Speaking at the Balfour Project online 2-day conference “Israel/Palestine: in search of the rule of law” on 25/26 May 2021. Click here to view the other speakers at the conference. Michael Lynk: And I think it is now my happy … Continue reading

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International Law: indispensable in the search for a just Middle East peace – Prof Michael Lynk

Speaking at the Balfour Project online 2-day conference “Israel/Palestine: in search of the rule of law” on 25/26 May 2021. Click here to view the other speakers at the conference. Andrew Whitley: Good afternoon and welcome, everyone. My name is … Continue reading

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