Organisation in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council since 2015

  London- Friday 21st July 2017   This week lobby group Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) celebrated the UK Government’s decision to fund “coexistence projects” between Israelis and Palestinians. According to LFI’s website “The Department for International Development has pledged up to £3 million per year for the next three years to support people-to-people projects which bring Israelis and Palestinians together. UK support for such projects had been cut from £150,000 in 2015/16 to zero in 2016/17.”[1]   LFI’s chair Joan Ryan MP welcomed this decision saying “LFI is delighted that the government appears to have listened to our calls on this important issue. Our five-year campaign for greater coexistence funding was based on the premise that bringing Israelis and Palestinians together will promote reconciliation, trust and understanding between the two peoples which is vital in underpinning any successful peace process.”[2]   Masked under the language of “coexistence, peace and reconciliation,” seems clear that pro-Israel advocates within the Labour party have no intention to end the ongoing military occupation, apartheid regime and settler colonialism Israel is unleashing on Palestine and its people. These efforts under the guise of “coexistence projects” do not advance a genuine “peace process” but are intended to normalise Israel’s regime of oppression.   A beneficiary of this new Government plan is the Non Governmental Organisation One Voice, which the Electronic Intifada run article in 2013 on them titled “Israeli fake peace group One Voice reveals its anti-Palestinian bigotry in Facebook graphics”.[3] As the article uncovers the group uses the “peace” language to disguise in racist agenda. In a shocking graphic on their website they label all of Palestine and parts of occupied Syria as “Israel.”   Others have described One Voice as: “one more project that brings Palestinians and Israelis together, not to jointly struggle against Israel’s colonial and apartheid policies, but rather to provide a limited program of action under the slogan of an end to the occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state, while cementing Israeli apartheid and ignoring the rights of Palestinian refugees, who compose the majority of the Palestinian people.”[4]   Coexistence projects are indeed important, but building a coexistence that does not address the injustices of the situation, namely Israel’s oppression and domination of Palestinians since 1948, will only normalise the unequal relationship between the settler oppressors and the indigenous oppressed. Until this unequal relationship is not addressed, these efforts championed by the Labour Friends of Israel are only a way to deflect attention from the ongoing crimes of the Israeli government. [1] Labour Friends of Israel. (2017). Major victory for LFI’s coexistence campaign. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Jul. 2017]. [2] Labour Friends of Israel. (2017). Major victory for LFI’s coexistence campaign. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Jul. 2017]. [3] The Electronic Intifada. (2017). Israeli fake peace group One Voice reveals its anti-Palestinian bigotry in Facebook graphics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Jul. 2017]. [4] What is normalization? | +972 Magazine. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Jul. 2017].
  London, 7 July 2017 The London-based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) hailed on Thursday a report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) rejecting Israel’s self-proclaimed sovereignty over Occupied Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque.     PRC beleives UNESCO’s decision represents another slap on the face of Israel’s counterfeit narratives and confirms Palestinians’ inalienable sovereignty over Occupied Jerusalem.     PRC pushes for translating the decision, along with its historical and legal assets, into action so as to defend Jerusalem and the Islamic and Christian places of worship against Israel’s Judaization schemes and sacrilegious excavations.   UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee convened in Krakow, south of Poland, on Tuesday where it approved the wording of a proposed resolution denying that Israel is the sovereign power over Jerusalem and condemning it for conducting archeological excavations in the Old City. The proposal was submitted to the UN body’s Cultural Committee by Arab states. Ten member-states voted in favor of the bid, three voted against it.   
  London 30 June 2017 The London-based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) on Thursday called on UN-run bodies to take urgent action vis-à-vis the calamitous state of affairs in the besieged Gaza Strip.   Speaking in memorandums sent to the Member-States of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), UNRWA Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Michael Lynk, PRC staff members said they are deeply concerned over the exacerbated situation in Gaza.   PRC sounded the alarm over the tragic health situation, itself exacerbated by the acute power crisis and the inability of sick civilians to receive treatment abroad. Over recent days, four babies were pronounced dead in the besieged enclave as a result of the crisis. The list of casualties included toddlers Mus’ab AlAr’ir and Baraa Mohamed, who breathed their last at the under-equipped AlShifaa Hospital.   PRC held Israel, as an occupying power under international law, responsible for the dire situation endured by two million people in Gaza. The situation has gone far worse due to the decade-long siege imposed on the enclave as part of a larger tactic of collective punishment against the Palestinians in Gaza.   PRC condemned an Israeli decision to cut back power supplies to Gaza at the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA), run by Mahmoud Abbas. PRC said it believes the move, implemented in contravention of common sense and law, has terrifically affected the health situation in the strip.   PRC urged the PA and the Israeli occupation authorities to immediately backtrack on the decision and lift the noose around Gaza’s neck.   PRC leveled heavy criticism at the PA and the Israeli authorities for preventing sick toddlers from receiving life-saving treatment outside of Gaza.   PRC is a London-headquartered organization that advocates Palestinians’ infringed rights. It is in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council since 2015.
  London – 2 June 2017 The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) received a reply over a letter sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of Britain as regards the Israeli blockade on Gaza and the Palestinian prisoners’ cause.   FCO stressed the firm commitment of the British government to the promotion and protection of human rights and compliance with international law.   “We have a regular dialogue with the government of Israel with regard to the implementation of their obligations under international law and regularly and robustly raise our serious concerns on issues relating to Israeli actions in the OPTs,” FCO reply read.     FCO also raised concerns over Israel’s unwarranted implementation of administrative detention as a routine practice and a punitive measure in a barefaced contravention of international law.   “We continue to call on Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law and either charge or release detainees,” the letter went on.   FCO reiterated the government’s concerns over the continued inter-prison transfers of Palestinian child and adult detainees by the Israeli prison authorities in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.   The British Foreign Office pushed for the full implementation of changes and for better treatment of Palestinians in Israeli jails. It further advocated for the mandatory use of audio-visual footages of investigation processes, a reduction in the use of single hand ties, and for the Israeli Authorities to inform more consistently detainees of their legal rights.   The Foreign office stressed the need for a durable agreement to address the terrible situation in Gaza, vowing to continue to urge the concerned parties to take urgent steps to ensure Gaza’s reconstruction and economic recovery. A few days earlier, a memorandum was sent by PRC to FCO to urge the British government to opt for serious and practical steps to address the calamitous state of affairs in the blockaded Gaza Strip and to speak up for Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails.  
  The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) recommends you to get in touch with your local general election candidates to find out their views on Palestine/Israel. Kindly forward us their response at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. // to help us lobby for Palestine. Here you can find your local candidates standing in the General Election on June 8th. See below some questions PRC suggests you ask your local candidates:    * The UK government should clearly have accountability, justice and equality as its core principles in regards to policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.    * Do you agree that any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must include the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland, as stipulated in international law and in UN resolution 194?    * Do you agree that the failure to progress towards and deliver a two-state solution requires Britain to re-shift its foreign policy under the guidance of a rights-based approach?    * Do you agree that Britain should acknowledge the historical responsibility for the creation of the Palestinian refugee crisis in 1948 that continues today?    * Do you agree that offering an apology to the Palestinians for issuing the Balfour Declaration (1917) and Britain's failures to protect them during the Mandate years (1922-1948) is the moral and just approach?    * Do you agree that HMG celebrating or marking the centenary of Balfour Declaration in November 2017 will inflame an already tense situation in the region? Make sure to forward us their response at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. //
  The Nakba – literally meaning ‘catastrophe’ in English – refers to the disaster that befell the Palestinian people in 1948 when around 750,000 Palestinians were expelled out of their land, forcing them to leave behind hundreds of destroyed towns and villages.   However, this violent displacement of the Palestinian people was not the end of their suffering – it was the beginning.   69 years later, the 750,000 refugees that were forcibly exiled from their own homes now total over 5 million. Most of them remain stateless, languishing in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.   A significant number of these refugees also relocated to the Gaza Strip, which is currently under siege. Israel controls its land borders, its airspace and its sea, leaving Palestinians within the Strip effectively trapped in the world’s largest open-air prison. The United Nations has predicted that Gaza will become uninhabitable by 2020 due to Israel’s deliberately asphyxiating blockade.   Some of the Palestinians who were able to remain now live as second-class citizens within the State of Israel. Their rights and freedoms are severely restricted and they face systematic, institutionalized racism, something which can be demonstrated by the over 50 existing Israeli laws which discriminate against them.   Finally, Palestinians in the West Bank, many of whom are also refugees from 1948, live under an illegal military occupation which gravely violates their basic human rights and exposes them to life-threatening violence and unjust detention on a daily basis.   The Palestinian Nakba is not an incident which occurred many decades ago. It is an ongoing, systematic process in which Israel continues to deny Palestinians the most basic of human rights.   Not only does Israel refuse to recognize the right for Palestinian refugees to return to their lands, a right which is enshrined in International Law, but it also continues to illegally seize Palestinian land to build Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It continues to discriminate against Palestinians in a system of Apartheid. It continues to strip Palestinians of their rights to freedom of movement, freedom of speech, education and housing.   Today marks 69 years since this Nakba began, but it also marks the 28th day of the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike. The steadfastness and fortitude demonstrated by the protesters – who are demanding basic rights such as medical treatment, family visitation and an end to detention without trial - is microcosmic of that of the Palestinian people.   69 years later, Palestinians continue to resist and they will do so until there is justice.   Photo: UNWRA   i. Pappe, I. The 1948 Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Journal of Palestine Studies. 36:1. Autumn 2006 (pp.6-20) ii. United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA in Figures. 2015. Available from: iii. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Report on UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people: Developments in the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. United Nations 62/3, 2015, Geneva. Available from: iv. Nikles, R. The Adalah database of 50 discriminatory laws in Israel. Mondoweiss [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2017 May 15]. Available from: v. UN General Assembly. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations, 217 (III) A, 1948, Paris, Art. 13. vi. Hassan, B. Mass hunger strikes tests Palestinian unity. Electronic Intifada [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2017 May 15]. Available from:
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