Café Palestine 29 on Sat 30 October at 15:45 (UK)/17:45 (Pal) “The Keys to Return”; Human rights groups attacked; 2 film events

Cafe Palestine 29
Saturday 30th October
3.45pm (UK time) / 5.45pm (Pal time)

chaired by Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian
“Testimonies from Palestine:
The Keys to Return: Voices from ‘48′”

1. Café Palestine 29: “The Keys to Return: Voices from ‘48”
2. NGOs defending children and prisoners declared “terrorist orgs” by Minister
3. Films: “Slingshot Hip Hop” and “3000 Nights”
4. “Writing Palestine”: celebrate ten years of the Palestine Book Awards
5. “Ghosting Palestine: Hiding Health and Human Rights Violations” by Alice Rothchild
6. Café Palestine 28: Recording

1. Café 29  “The Keys to Return: Voices from ‘48” with Adam Haj Yahia, Hala Marshoud, Suheir Asad, Zeina Amro and Ali Mawassi

During the events of May, 2021, Palestinians who remained in their homeland, those defined as Palestinians of ‘48, spoke out against the state’s debilitation and ongoing uprooting, demanding that we openly discuss “The Keys to Return”. 

On Saturday October 30th, Café Palestine will come back to our series entitled “Testimonies from Palestine: Between debilitation and liveability”, chaired by Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian. We invite you to join us in learning from thinking and acting together with those who can share their reflections and experiences of the events of May 2021.  In this way, Café Palestine will continue exposing the structures of power that produce racialized exclusivity through the voices of amazing young activists, professionals, and scholars from Palestinian land dispossessed in 1948. The testimonies of our speakers will shed light on the ordeals of Palestinians in 48, with a focus on the 200 individuals that were arrested in May 2021, and those that are still awaiting their release. They will share stories of state brutality, and also narrations of power opening up new alternatives of liveability and hope.

Adam Haj Yahia is a Palestinian independent researcher, curator, and culture producer. His work seeks to challenge modern taxonomies and hegemonic historical and social narratives, by intersectional and interdisciplinary framings with regard to colonization, gender, sexuality, economy, art & culture, as well as the ontologies of  “authority” and “hierarchy”.

Zeina Amro is a part-time lecturer at Birzeit University and a researcher interested in exploring the mental health of societies experiencing political conflict and displacement. Her PhD dissertation, awarded by King’s College London, was entitled “Wellbeing in Displacement: Exploring the experience of young adult refugees from Syria in Jordan”. She is interested in exploring how the psychological dimensions of our lives are intertwined with the lived experiences of political conflict. She formerly worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University, where she did research related to the mental health of the Palestinian community including the families of political detainees, as well as youth and their participation in their communities.

Hala Marshood is a researcher in political economy and a feminist political organizer. At the moment, she is also a member of the advisory committee for the “Dignity and Hope” detainees fund, in support of the families of Palestinians arrested during the events of May.

Soheir Asaad is a political and feminist Palestinian organizer and a human rights advocate. Soheir received a Masters degree in international human rights law from the University of Notre Dame (US). She is the advocacy and communications team member of Rawa, the Creative Palestinian Communities Fund. She is also the coordinator of the Palestine Feminist Anti-Violence Movement (part of the Global Fund for Women). Previously, she worked in international advocacy for Palestinians human rights.

Ali Mawassi is a poet and Editor-in-Chief of Fus’ha, a Palestinian cultural magazine. He is currently studying for his PhD in cultural studies at Tel Aviv University.

نوفر خدمة الترجمة إلى اللغة العربية في مقهى فلسطين لمن يحتاجون إلىها، سيكون هناك  ملخص حصري ومتداول باللغة العربية للعرض والأسئلة والإجابات
إذا كنت تحتاج إلى الترجمة إلى اللغة العربية، أرسل رسالة إلى الإيميل التالي
ستتوفر الترجمة من خلال الانضمام إلى مجموعة في تطبيق الواتساب

The Cafe will open with live music at 3.45pm (UK time) / 5.45pm (Pal time)
The discussion will start at 4.00pm (UK) / 6.00pm (Palestine)
The whole event is expected to finish at about 5.30pm (UK) / 7.30pm (Palestine)  

ARABIC TRANSLATION AT CAFE PALESTINE: Throughout Cafe Palestine there will be a rolling Arabic text summary of the presentation, questions and answers available via Whatsapp. Please contact if you would like to be added to the Whatsapp Arabic translation group.

2.      Breaking News: Israel’s Defence Minister attacks our Palestinian partners

Just as Israel smears the non-violent grassroots Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign as a form of ‘terrorism’, now Benny Gantz, Israel’s Defence Minister, has slandered six civil society associations in the same way. Among them are Defence of the Child International-Palestine, and Addameer, which advocates on behalf of Palestinian political prisoners. Both document the violation of the rights of minors (and both of which we are proud to have hosted at our Café Palestine events). Al Haq, another target of the Israeli Defence Minister, is Palestine’s oldest human rights organisation, (co-founded by lawyer and writer Raja Shehadeh). (Links to all six organisations can be found at the end of this mailing.)

B’Tselem, the most prominent Israeli human rights organisation, immediately issued a statement declaring that this “is a move that characterizes totalitarian regimes”. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty have issued a joint response denouncing this as an escalation of attempts to crush Palestinian civil society, adding: “The decades-long failure of the international community to challenge grave Israeli human rights abuses and impose meaningful consequences for them has emboldened Israeli authorities to act in this brazen manner.”

Appeasement of Apartheid in Palestine/Israel takes many forms. One is for international donors and Governments to bow to Israeli pressure to cut off funding to groups advocating for Palestinian rights. Another is providing cover for Israel’s war crimes and crimes against international law. It is perhaps testimony to Israel’s fear that it is trying to silence those who reveal the truth about the Occupation. It is evidence too of its dread of facing independent scrutiny by the International Criminal Court.

We need to reflect on how to respond to this egregious assault, working together to protect these organisations, their work and their staff. We encourage everyone to engage their elected representatives, and to rally colleagues and friends to this end.

3.      Film Events

a) Slingshot Hip Hop (2008): Saturday 23 October 5pm (UK) 7pm (Palestine) Saturday 23rd October

The Palestine Museum presents a screening of a wonderful depiction of the birth of Palestinian Hip Hop, telling the stories of young Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank and 48 employing music as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by occupation and poverty. From internal checkpoints and separation walls to gender norms and generational differences, this is the story of young people transcending the borders that separate them. Info here, booking here

b) 3000 Nights (2015): Friday 29 October 6pm-8pm (UK) 8pm-10pm (Palestine)Although set in the 1980s, this film has immense contemporary relevance. It focuses on the experience of Palestinian women political prisoners. In Mai’s own words, she wants to show “not only the pain and suffering, but also the sense of community, resilience and creativity of the Palestinian women prisoners that empowers them to endure and maintain hope.” Journalist and writer Victoria Brittain will chair a conversation between Director Mai Masri, Professor Hamid Dabashi and  Sahar Francis, lawyer and General Director of Adameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association in Ramallah. (Sahar spoke about political prisoners in Israeli gaols at Café Palestine 23).Watch free prior to online Discussion: Information here, and Book here 

4. “Writing Palestine”: book launch27th October 6.30pm (UK) 8.30pm (Palestine)Victoria Brittain features again in this item, as co-author of a book celebrating 10 years of the Palestine Book Awards. Dr Yasser abu Jamei, of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, will be one of those taking part in this event to mark ten years of the Palestine Book Awards. Other guests include Ilan Pappé, Ramzy Baroud and Haifa Zangana with many others. All proceeds from this book will be donated to Medical Aid for Palestinians and the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme. Information here, booking a free place here

5. “Ghosting Palestine: Hiding Health and Human Rights Violations” by Alice Rothchild

In the light of Gantz’s attempt to crush Palestinian civil society, Alice Rothchild’s article takes on a particularly chilling character. In this example of the professions’ betrayal of their ethical responsibilities the journal Scientific American censors an op ed piece written in response to the May massacre in Gaza entitled ‘As Health Care Workers, We Stand in Solidarity with Palestine’. Alice Rothchild, physician, documentary film maker and member of Jewish Voices for Peace, begins:“Journals in the medical, social, and political sciences have begun to highlight an appreciation of structural racism, and the personal and public health costs of bigotry and chronic stress. For oppressed populations, understanding these forces is critical to the establishment of basic human rights, including the right to health in its broadest sense: access to health services, clean water, sanitation, nutrition, housing, education, employment, and freedom of movement. International human rights law requires states to support these rights and calls out governments, groups, or individuals who violate these principles. However, there is one area of scholarship where these insights often do not apply, and that is Palestine…” Continue reading here…

6. Recording of Café Palestine 28 

The recording of Café Palestine 28 with Asrar Kayyal, Educational Psychologist
“Violent crime in a colonial context: understanding the rise in homicides in the Palestinian community in the lands occupied in 1948” is available here