Halifax Friends of Palestine works to raise awareness here in Calderdale in West Yorkshire about the campaign for justice and peace for all the Palestinian people. Ignored by the rest of the world for many years, the plight of the Palestinian people, like that of the people of South Africa under apartheid, is increasingly seen as a mainstream human rights issue, with which people of good will everywhere need to be seriously concerned. Our organisation was launched at a public meeting held in Halifax in June 2006, addressed by the Revd. Bruce Kent, (national patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign) and Musheir al Farra (who is from Khan Younis in Gaza, and is now Chair of Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign). Our movement has grown steadily since then, with several hundred local people now receiving our regular weekly e bulletin, following us on Facebook and Twitter and supporting our various activities.
These have included:
· Regular town centre stalls in Halifax
· Programmes of discussions, talks and films
· Palestinian cultural events including concerts by the renowned Palestinian singer, Reem Kelani, the “Discover Palestine” festival in 2010, the Palestinian Women’s Tour of 2012 and the “Recipes of Resistance” events for International Women’s Day in 2014
· Actions in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign called for by Palestinian civil society – currently focussed on the campaign to get Sainsbury’s to stop trading with Israeli companies operating on stolen Palestinian land.
· Impromptu protests against repeated Israeli attacks on Gaza
· Lobbying of Calderdale Council and local MPs in support of Palestinian human rights.
· Fund-raising events in aid of Medical Aid for Palestinians
We meet once a month at the Orange Box youth centre next to the Piece Hall in Halifax. We are affiliated to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and work closely with other support groups especially in the North of England. Any surplus funds are donated to Medical Aid for Palestinians.