Sunday, October 29, 2017

NGO Action News

Middle East

·         On 2 November, 7amleh-Arab Center for Social Media Advancement and Forum Civil Peace Service are hosting in Bethlehem the conference “Social Media for Social Change”.

·         The next conference of the Debate for Peace programme, bringing Palestinian and Jewish high school students from all over Israel together to participate in Model United Nations conferences, will take place on 2 November at Bashaer High School in Sakhnin.

·         On 25 October, B’Tselem and Hamoked Center for the Defence of the Individual issued the joint report “Unprotected – Detention of Palestinian Teenagers in East Jerusalem”.

·         In a brief “Unremitting collective punishment against Palestinians” released on 23 October, Al Haq denounced that families of Palestinians accused of perpetrating attacks against Israelis were subject to punitive measures such as the confiscation of money and personal property.

·         On 4 October, Defence for Children International (DCI)-Palestine expressed concern that teens detained in Gaza were highly vulnerable to abuse.

North America

·         On 12 November, Just Vision will present in New York a new documentary “Naila and the Uprising”, featuring the role of women leaders during the first Intifada.

·         On 11 November, the Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine and the Trans Arab Research Institute are organizing in Cambridge, Massachusetts the conference “Balfour’s Legacy: Confronting the Consequences”.

·         On 9 November, Iyad Burnat will discuss at Hunter College in New York the practice of nonviolent action led by the Popular Committee of Bil’in.

·         Between 8 November and 2 December, “Open Bethlehem”, a documentary feature by filmmaker Leila Sansour, will be screened in different locations across the United States.

·         On 7 November, Fayrouz Sharqawi, Advocacy Coordinator with Grassroots Jerusalem, will speak at the New Jerusalem Fund in Washington, D.C.

·         On 29 October, Sheila Katz will speak at a Cambridge Friends Meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on “Connecting with the Enemy: A Century of Palestinian-Israeli Joint Nonviolence”.  

·         On 23 October, Nadim Nashif, member of Al Shabaka-The Palestinian Policy Network, issued a policy brief “Surveillance of Palestinians and the Fight for Digital Rights”. 

·         On 21 October, the National Lawyers Guild International Committee organized a conference “Parallel Liberation Struggles: Lessons in Resistance” exploring similarities in the situation of Palestinians, African Americans and Native Americans.


·         The Association Belgo-Palestinienne is inviting interested citizens to take part in a field visit to Israel/Palestine which will be conducted in February 2018.

·         Between 23 and 28 October, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign is hosting journalist David Cronin as he tours Ireland to launch his new book “Balfour’s Shadow: A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel”.


·         On 23 October, the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) National Committee reported that the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) trade union representing millions of farmers, which is affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), had joined the global BDS movement.

Division for Palestinian Rights
Department of Political Affairs
United Nations

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Monday, October 23, 2017

U.S. Uninsured Rate Rises to 12.3% in Third Quarter

Gallup News
October 20, 2017
U.S. Uninsured Rate Rises to 12.3% in Third Quarter
By Zac Auter

The percentage of U.S. adults lacking health insurance rose in the third quarter of 2017 to 12.3%, up 0.6 percentage points from the previous quarter and 1.4 points since the end of 2016.

The uninsured rate, measured by Gallup and Sharecare since 2008, had fallen to a record low of 10.9% in the third and fourth quarters of 2016. However, the 1.4-point increase in the percentage of adults without health insurance since the end of last year represents nearly 3.5 million Americans who have entered the ranks of the uninsured.

Several marketplace factors could be contributing to the growth of the uninsured rate since 2016. Some insurance companies have stopped offering insurance through the exchanges, and the lack of competition could be driving up the cost of plans for consumers. As a result, the rising insurance premiums could be compelling some Americans to forgo insurance, especially those who fail to qualify for federal subsidies.

Uncertainty about the healthcare law also may be driving the increase. Congressional Republicans' attempts to replace the healthcare law may be causing consumers to question whether the government will enforce the penalty for not having insurance.

The uninsured rate has increased at least one point among all key demographic subgroups since late 2016, except for those aged 65 and older. The growth has been concentrated mostly among middle-aged Americans, racial minorities and lower-income Americans.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Anger as UK university allows Balfour 'celebration'

However, for 

The University of Manchester says it allows third party events but does not endorse them [Al Jazeera]

The University of Manchester says it allows third party events but does not endorse them [Al Jazeera]

by Shafik Mandhai  
15 Oct 2017

A British university has drawn criticism for its decision to allow a Balfour
 Declaration "celebration" organised by a pro-Israel group.
The Manchester Balfour 100 event will be held at the University of Manchester's main campus later in October and is part of a broader series of events to mark the anniversary of the declaration made by then British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour on November 2, 1917. 
For supporters of the Zionist cause, the declaration marks the first major milestone leading to the creation of Israel in 1948. 
The university's decision has been slammed by both academics and students
"Having the celebration of the Balfour declaration on campus is totally disrespectful to students of Palestinian origin," said Ayham Madi, a Palestinian studying at the university, adding: "Many people lost their homes, land and their lives." 
The cybersecurity student said a hundred years later, Palestinians continued to feel the impact of the declaration and that he felt "great pain" that the university has allowed the event to take place.
"My grandfather owned land in Palestine and it was taken away from him with no right to do so, my father was born in a refugee camp and spent most of his life in one," he said, continuing:
"I lost an aunt due to the bad conditions inside a refugee camp and I have another aunt who lives under occupation and I have never seen her in my life.
"All this is as a result of the Balfour declaration." 
In a letter to leading English Zionist, Lord Walter Rothschild, Balfour promised British help in creating a "national home" for the Jewish people in Palestine.
The letter conditioned British assistance so that there be no "prejudice" against the rights of existing non-Jewish populations living in the area.
After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during the first world war, the UK became the dominant power in the region and established Mandate rule in Palestine. 
University of Manchester academic Nick Thoburn said he was "dismayed" that the institution had allowed the event to take place on its campus, which he said commemorated the moment Britain, "with its imperial chauvinism and entitlement, knowingly gave the green light to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine".
"Lord Balfour (declared), chillingly, that Zionism was 'of far profounder import than the desire and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land'," he said.
"That this could be a cause for celebration, hosted in whatever way by a British university, when the consequences then and now have been so devastating ... is indicative of the contempt that Israel and its advocates hold both for Palestinians in the region and in exile," he added.
'Double standard'
Al Jazeera contacted the university to confirm whether the event was taking place at one of its venues.
A university spokesperson said :"The University allows some of its premises to be hired by third parties for external events, provided that the events in question comply with the University's Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech," adding: "This (Balfour 100) event is one such commercial booking and it has no connection to, nor is it endorsed by, the University."