News

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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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. … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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UK parish asks British help in case of Palestinian woman

The parishioners of the church of St. Philip and St. James, in Leckhampton, Cheltenham, in Gloucestershire, are writing letters to their MP concerning the case of Layan Nasir, a young Palestinian woman who was seized and incarcerated by Israeli forces … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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Responses to the HRW report on Apartheid and Persecution of Palestinians

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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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 … Read more here 

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Essays on Equality, Rights and Responsibilities

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Israel, Palestine and International Law

Sir Vincent Fean, Chair of the Balfour Project Trustees and former Consul-General in Jerusalem, and Professor Adam Sutcliffe, Professor of European History at King’s College, London, and member of the steering group, Independent Jewish Voices, have issued the following statement … Read more here 

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Israeli-Palestinian peace relies on this essential truth being grasped

This piece, by John McHugo, a Balfour Project Trustee and head of its Fellowship Programme, was published by The Independent. As the dust settles on the latest Israel/Palestinian conflict, and the blood of innocents and perpetrators dries indifferently, the great fear is … Read more here 

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Israel-Palestine: in search of the rule of law by Sir Vincent Fean in the Arab Digest

Written by Sir Vincent Fean for the Arab Digest Just when you think it can’t get any worse – it does. Déjà vu, only worse.  It is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, as I used to describe it in my time as … Read more here 

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Bishop Christopher Chessun, Balfour Project Patron, in Jerusalem

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Shameless: Ministers are now attacking our public authorities for respecting human rights in Israel and Palestine

By Richard Burden There was a time when some politicians would argue that human rights were nothing to do with business; that it was perfectly legitimate for UK companies to profit from trade with regimes overseas however badly those regimes … Read more here 

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Sir Vincent Fean on Sky News, 14 May 2021

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Sir Vincent Fean, Chair of Balfour Project, on BBC, 12 May 2021

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Instagram Censoring

I have received reports that some Instagram users in Jerusalem are facing censorship, presumably by Instagram itself, which is owned by Facebook. Palestinians have reported that recently, when they write Instagram messages about the wave of evictions of Palestinian families … Read more here 

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UK-European statement condemns Israeli settlements, East Jerusalem evictions

The Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK issued this statement on Israeli settlements on May 6. We urge the Government of Israel to reverse its decision to advance the construction of 540 settlement units in the Har … Read more here 

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UK backs Palestinian elections, including in Jerusalem, at UN Security Council

Excerpt of Statement by British Ambassador Jonathan Allen at the Security Council briefing on the Middle East on 23 April 2021 Mr President, following elections held in Israel on 24 March, we look forward to working with a new Israeli … Read more here 

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson Confirms UK Opposition to ICC Investigation into war crimes in Palestine

The Balfour Project read with sadness and dismay the concluding words in the Prime Minister’s letter to the Conservative Friends of Israel of 9 April 2021. These words assert that “Palestine is not a sovereign State” and that the investigation … Read more here 

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‘Biased changes’ in GCSE textbooks on Middle East history

A group of academics, the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, has uncovered what it describes as bias that has been introduced into British GCSE textbooks on Middle East history. BRICUP found hundreds of changes in two books published … Read more here 

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The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism

The Balfour Project opposes all forms of racism, bigotry and discrimination, including antisemitism. We commend the recent Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism; one year in the making, by international scholars in antisemitism and related fields from Europe, the USA, Canada and … Read more here 

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ANTISEMITISM: a defining moment

Julia Bard looks at the Jerusalem Declaration and assesses its potential to re-set the political dial Published in the Jewish Socialist, 3 August 2021. I know they said there would be no exams this year, but here’s a question just … Read more here 

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Palestinian peace must rest on international law

By Mary Robinson, published in The Financial Times on 15 March 2021. ICC decision to investigate Hamas and Israel has implications for both sides. BP Trustee, author and international lawyer John McHugo writes: For far too long, political leaders have shied … Read more here 

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Working towards a two-state solution

Introduction to UK Government statement to the UN Security Council of 26 February 2021 The latest statement by the UK to the UN Security Council, at its regular meeting on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict on 26 February, deserves attention – for … Read more here 

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Requesting the UK government’s urgent intervention against the dispossession and forcible transfer of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, East Jerusalem

Letter from Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights to Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, Minister of State fo rthe Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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The British Government position on Jerusalem

The British Government has now replied to the six recommendations in the Balfour Project statement “Israel-Palestine: equal rights for a lasting peace” which concluded our 27 October conference on Jerusalem. We are indebted to our patron, Rt Revd John Pritchard, … Read more here 

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Over 80 UK parliamentarians call on Israel to stop the dispossession of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, or face diplomatic consequences

Published by CAABU, 9 February 2021. Over 80 British parliamentarians representing all parties, in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, wrote in a letter to the British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab that the British government must … Read more here 

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Church leaders call on Israel to give vaccine access to Palestinians in West Bank/Gaza

Two distinguished patrons of the Balfour Project signed the communique below from the Holy Land Coordination (HLC):Rt Revd Declan Lang, Catholic Bishop of Clifton and Chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Dept. of International Affairs andRt Revd Christopher Chessun, Anglican … Read more here 

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We are Israel’s largest human rights group – and we are calling this apartheid

By Hagai El-Ad, published in The Guardian, 12 Jan, 2021 The systematic promotion of the supremacy of one group of people over another is deeply immoral and must end One cannot live a single day in Israel-Palestine without the sense … Read more here 

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Indonesia is no saviour: against normalisation with Israel

By Gilang Al Ghifari Lukman, published on New Mandala on 11 JAN, 2021 Recent reports of potential normalisation between Indonesia and Israel have received varied reactions in the respective countries. In his three-month marathon toward normalization, U.S. President Donald Trump … Read more here 

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Seeking cooperation in order to achieve a two-state solution – Ambassador Barbara Woodward

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East. Published 21 December 2020 Thank you, Mr President, and thank you to Special Coordinator Mladenov for his briefing. As others have done, I’d … Read more here 

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