Monthly Archives: February 2014

New Palestine Solidarity Campaign group in Hastings and St Leonard’s

Three weeks ago a dozen people met in the White Rock Hotel to form a new campaign group affiliated with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. The group is not yet officially affiliated with the national group, but accepts the PSC constitution and goals. A core group was formed to take the organisation forward, and build the infrastruture, including executive roles, websites, Facebook groups, etc. Join the Facebook page here.

A number of initial campaigns have been suggested, including a boycott of Arad water meters (see description of the issue below), and boycott of Sodastream products.

Within a week, the first event was held, as the group hosted a graduate of Al Quds University, which is located in East Jerusalem. Tarek Ahmed described the conditions under which students must study at Al Quds university must study. Al Quds is in Area C, which means that Israeli Occupation Forces have free movement, and often harrass students with tear gas and riot control tactics, even when no disturbances have happened.

Tarek visited a number of Hastings sites, including Pestalozzi Village, and the Mayor of Hastings.

Tarek Ahmed with mayor

 

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Occupation connected water meters being installed in Hastings

Southern Water has a programme of installing new water meters in Hastings. All, or significant portion of these, are manufactured by the Israeli company Arad Group.

Arad is known to do significant work in illegal West Bank settlements, like Ariel, and Barkan. (Both of these are in the same general region south of Nablus, as is Yatma). Arad also works with the Israeli state owned water organisation Mekorot. Mekorot operates and develops water infrastructure in the occupied West Bank. Mekorot supplies most of the water throughout Israel. In the West Bank, Mekorot is intimately involved in the system of water apartheid by which Israeli settlements are supplied with ample water, while Palestinians receive little water. The water situation of Yatma has been described in this blog before, also in this Unicef funded study.

The campaign to refuse Arad water meters has already been active in Brighton and Lewes. Barney Steele wrote in the Lewes Forum:

Arad is therefore an integral part of Israel’s apartheid water policies, which systematically deny water to Palestinian communities, whilst subsidising water supplies to illegal Israeli settlements.

As a result of these apartheid policies Israel takes more than 80 per cent of the water from the West Bank Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, while restricting Palestinian access to a mere 20 per cent.

In 2005, 150 Palestinian and Israeli civil society groups called upon organisations and people all over the world to:
“impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era . . .for the sake of justice and genuine peace”.

Join our campaign and ask for a non-Israeli meter.

Residents in Brighton have refused to have Arad meters fitted and have accepted the offer from Southern Water of alternative meters. You are entitled to refuse as long as you accept an alternative.
To request an alternative to an Arad meter, please phone Southern Water immediately on 0845 278 0845.

You may also need to inform installers when they appear in your street – they have been instructed not to install at houses that refuse.

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