Café Palestine 29; Networks’ Joint Statement; Gaza Children’s Mental Health

This week’s Café takes place in the shadow of Israel’s latest assault on Palestinian civil society, and this will be reflected in our discussion. A Joint Statement on these developments has been issued by the Palestinian Global Mental Health Network and the other MH Networks (see below).

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. Statement condemning Israel’s designation of six prominent Palestinian NGO’s as “Terrorist Organisations”
3. Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility statement
4. Makan Course for Activists: Advanced Debating
5. Gaza Children’s Mental Health:  “Under Siege & Under the Bombs”

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.

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)

 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 

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. Statement condemning Israel’s designation of six prominent Palestinian NGO’s as “Terrorist Organisations”

The Palestine Global Mental Health Network, together with the France-, Ireland-, UK-, USA- and South Africa-Palestine Mental Health Networks have issued a joint statement condemning Israel’s latest attempt to crush Palestinian civil society. This can be found at this link, and the text is copied at the bottom of this email. Please share widely. 

3. Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility statement
The designation of Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organisations must be rescinded

4. Makan Course for Activists: Advanced Debating
18th November (closing date 1st Nov):
 Further details here.

5. Gaza Children’s Mental Health:  “Under Siege & Under the Bombs”Saturday, Nov 6, 2021 (3pm-4:30pm UK, 6pm-7:30pm Palestine)

The UKPMHN is proud to be co-sponsoring this online event, that will include panellists Dr Yasser Abu Jamei, (Gaza Community Mental Health Programme), Dr. William Slaughter, (Gaza Mental Health Foundation/Harvard Medical School), and Dr. Jasem Humeid, (Gaza Ahli Hospital Psychology Program). It will be moderated by Dr. Rukhsana Chaudhry, (G. Washington Univ. Clinical Psychology; Dir. of American Muslim Health). The main sponsor is the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace.

To Register click here or to go this link:

See the attached conference flyer: please circulate as widely as possible.

Gaza Children’s Mental Health, Under Siege & Under the Bombs

Statement condemning Israel’s designation of six prominent Palestinian NGOs as “Terrorist Organisations”

We write as mental health and allied professionals to alert all our colleagues to the consequences of the Israeli Defence Ministry’s egregious designation of six Palestinian human rights organizations as terrorist organizations. This action, taken on 19 October 2021, targeted Al-Haq, Human Rights Organisation, Addameer Prisoner Support organisation, Defence for Children International Palestine, The Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Bisan Centre for Research and Development and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. All of these are organisations which carry out indispensable work both in protecting and supporting Palestinian adults and children who are subjected to daily abuse, violation and land theft and in collating and disseminating such abuses and publicising them to the wider world. 

The consequences of such a designation are chilling in the extreme both for Palestinians themselves but also for all those who support them. It effectively criminalises the work of these six NGOs, allows the Israeli government to close their offices, seize their assets, arrest their staff and prohibit funding or other forms of public support both within Palestine and internationally. It represents yet another attack on the very fabric of Palestinian civil society. 

The Ministry of Defence ruling on 19 October is the culmination of a long campaign both by Israel and its allied bodies abroad to undermine the work of these organisations and to diminish their capacity to bear witness. To give just one example, the Israeli sponsored ‘NGO Monitor’ and the UK Lawyers for Israel have conducted a campaign of defamation against Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P) causing them to use precious funds in libel action. When faced with their unevidenced smears these bodies have had to back down

UK Lawyers for Israel recants allegations of DCIP material support to designated terror group

However the Israeli government has been allowed to operate with such impunity that providing evidence has hardly been its priority. Instead it relies on its customary narrative of labelling as terrorist any resistance to its settler colonial regime and, by association, any organisation that supports its victims or documents its abuses. This pernicious and distorted use of language will be familiar to those in the solidarity movement who experience virtually any support for Palestinian rights being labelled as anti-Semitic. 

We interpret this arbitrary and punitive action against these six Palestinian NGOs as a response by the Israeli government in the light of the success of the BDS movement, the impending investigation by the International Criminal Court and the ever increasing awareness and dismay of citizens world- wide about its oppressive and murderous policies. But the consequence of this cynical attack on NGOs will be felt on the ground in all too material ways by Palestinian women, men and children if they are deprived of their few sources of support in the face of physical assault, arbitrary arrest and detention, home demolitions and land theft. 

We stand by our brave colleagues in Al Haq, Addameer, DCI-P, Bisan, UAWCand U PWC. We will continue to offer you our full support and solidarity and we will continue to narrate and bear witness to the ethical and necessary work you carry out. 

Palestine Global Mental Health Network
France Palestine Mental Health Network
Ireland Palestine Mental Health Network
South Africa Palestine Mental Health Network
UK Palestine Mental Health Network
USA Palestine Mental Health Network

27 October 2021