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Leila Sansour showed an extract of her new film "The road to Bethlehem" which was launched at the Dubai film festival in December 2011 and  has not yet been released in the UK. She also showed some slides about Bethlehem.

Leila comes from a Christian family in Bethlehem. After some years abroad she awakened to the problems of the Occupation and since 2002 has devoted herself to this.
She directed a film "Jeremy Hardy vs the Israeli Army" (2003) covering his visit with the ISM in 2002 which was shown on TV here and obtained very good reviews (contact us or Open Bethlehem for copies).

In 2005 she  started an NGO "Open Bethlehem" ( http://www.openbethlehem.org/ ), an international public relations campaign set up to address the state of emergency in Bethlehem which she continues to direct (donations welcome).

She  spoke eloquently about the fall in population, especially of Palestinian Christians, in what has become a small very enclave confined to the built-up area and surrounded on all sides by the Wall and by new illegal settlements. Palestinians wanting to go in or out are obliged to pass through a single narrow pedestrian hole in the wall, where they are subjected to searches and long delays. Foreign tourists come another way in buses run by Israeli-based companies and have little interaction with the city. The people survive largely on subventions from foreign donors (EU UN etc) as normal commercial activities are quasi impossible - almost all the shops have closed in recent years.

There were many questions, and she was warmly applauded and thanked for her presence.

George

 

The image at the top is of how the wall annexing Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem has affected Palestinian lives. The link below takes you to a presentation about this.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=qm3gP0Pp-PU

 


Join us for an evening about Bethlehem.
Leila Sansour will be showing clips from her new documentary which
will soon go on national release in the UK.
Bethlehem can play a crucial role in bringing change to the Middle
East.
She will be talking about what it meant to  document 5 momentous
years in the life of Bethlehem and about ways that people can get
involved in the efforts to save the city from strangulation.

 

 

St Nicolas Church Hall,
Bury Street, Guildford
Tuesday, January 31st at 7.30pm

 

Watch the trailer at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcqKYq7-EiI
More about the Open Bethlehem Campaign at: www.openbethlehem.org.

 


 

Hosted by Debby and Paul  in Godalming, the objective was to raise funds for PSC. Splendid dishes were brought by the many who attended and it was a delightful evening. A generous total of £172 was donated, including some book sales, which it was agreed would be sent to PSC by the treasurer.

 


 

The meeting was organised by the Surrey University Palestinian Society supported by the Surrey Islamic Society and WS PSC and held at the university. About 55 people attended.

Ilan Pappe is the reputed Israeli professor of history who was forced out of Haifa University in 2007 because his views were contrary to Israeli dogma and he supported the academic boycott of Israel. He is now at Exeter University.

Beginner’s Guide to Palestine on 3 November


This was the first meeting organised by the recently formed Surrey University Palestinian Society together with the Islamic Society, held at the university.
Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and was based in Palestine from 2004 - 2007. Here is a link to his website if you are interested: http://www.winstanleys.org/. He is the editor with Frank Barat of “Corporate complicity in Israel’s occupation” (Pluto Press 2011). This is a very useful summary of the evidence presented at the London Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in November 2010. A database at http://www.whoprofits.org contains much of the detailed information.
About 40 people attended and it was a basic background on what had happened in Palestine and how it all began. It was mostly aimed at people who wanted to know more about the situation who were not familiar with the facts.

 

 

The Life of a Palestinian in Israel on 2 December

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was organised at short notice by the Palestinian Society jointly with the Islamic Society and also held at the university.

Masaud Ghanayim, an Israeli MP, and Sheikh Ahmed, of the Islamic Movement party in Israel, both spoke of the conditions of life for the 1.5m indigenous Palestinians who had remained in Israel after the formation of Israel in 1948 and the expulsion of 800,000 other native Palestinians.