Crisis in Palestine: News, actions, PCC Conference, webinars and research articles

Dear friends,

Colonial powers always claim the right to kill and plunder without consequences. They always label the resistance they encounter as ‘terrorism’. We see the results of this mindset in the wanton use of lethal force employed by Israeli occupation forces that has killed over 30 Palestinians this month and also led to seven Jewish Israeli deaths.

Israeli politicians now openly demand more house demolitions, a collective punishment, and a crime under international law. The international community does nothing. It is time for us all to act, together, to stop settler colonialism in its tracks.

Mental health professionals can, as a start, adopt a “don’t go, don’t support” position in regard to international mental health-related events held in Israel, as described in our Do No Harm statement. By doing so, we avoid gratuitously endorsing colonialism and apartheid, and give meaningful expression to the ethical principles by which we claim to live and work.

In this newsletter: 

1. Neuropsychoanalysts (NPSA) to hold Conference in Tel Aviv:
    the Networks ask that they reconsider.
2. Healing the Spirit and Instilling Hope:
    Yasser Abu Jamei, Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Live from USA
3. Ahmad Manasra Campaign: Physicians’ letter to Israeli President
4. Palestine Counselling Centre 2023 Conference: 20-21 March: call for papers
5. Health and Human Rights Journal: special issue on Palestine
6. A Story of Colonialism, Apartheid and Resistance: two new videos and one old one
7. Café Palestine 35 recording

1. International Neuropsychoanalytic Association (NPSA) to hold Conference in Tel Aviv

This year the NPSA is to hold its annual congress in Tel Aviv, ignoring the request by Palesetinian civil society that international associations refrain from normalising apartheid and colonialism. The UKPMHN has posted an Open Letter to members of the NPSA, and has written to each of the NPSA’s regional groups, protesting this decision and requesting that it is reviewed and revoked.

Please reinforce these actions by adding your voice, sending NPSA a message expressing your concerns. To find your local NPSA group, go to this link. If you have any connection with the NPSA:

i) Circulate the Open Letter and the Do No Harm statement to your contacts, and seek their opinion as to the appropriateness of the conference location.

ii) Call for a pause, creating an opportunity to review the AGM’s decision, and to consult Palestinian mental health professionals as to their views.

iii) Ask individuals in your organisation who agree it should not take place in Israel to write to the NPSA conference committee stating their intention not to attend and giving the reasons why

iv) Find any opportunity to inform other members (at workshops or other meetings) of the gross inappropriateness of Tel Aviv as a location and the affront to human rights it represents.

If you are unsure of the reasons for joining the international boycott movement, please visit the BDS website; and read our ‘Do No Harm’ Statement.

2. Healing the Spirit and Instilling Hope: Yasser Abu Jamei, Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Live from the USA

A tour co-sponsored by
The Jerusalem Fund and the USA Palestine Mental Health Network, Washington DC
Tuesday, February 14, 2023 – 4pm EST, 9pm UK, 11pm Palestine:
this event will be livestreamed on facebook and youtube.

For details of all Yasser’s appearances, go to this link.

3. Ahmad Manasra Campaign: Physicians’ letter to Israeli President

The UKPMHN coordinated the collection of signatures from 149 Physicians, in a letter appealing to Isaac Herzog, President of Israel, to intervene in the case of Ahmad Manasra. The full text can be found here.

With many thanks to all the medical practitioners from our list who added their names to the letter. It has been circulated in parliament and been sent to the UN Special Rapporteurs. To keep up the pressure on the UK government it would be helpful if you also forwarded it to your MP and to any media outlets you know.

This recent webinar is of direct relevance to the free Ahmad Manasra campaign: Arbitrary by Default: Palestinian children in Israeli Military Detention presented by No Way to Treat a Child.

4. Palestine Counselling Centre 2023 Conference: 20-21 March

“Pscychotherapy, the therapist and the therapeutic relationship in the context of Israeli settler colonialism in Palestine”

See the attachment for information about, and an invitation to take part, in this conference. Apologies – this is a late notice: if you have a paper you would like to present do contact PCC soon. See this notice for contact details.

5. Health and Human Rights Journal: special issue on Palestine

Seven up to date and in-depth papers, concluding with ‘A Call for Social Justice and for a Human Rights Approach with Regard to Mental Health in the Occupied Palestinian Territories’ by Maria Helbich and Samah Jabr. All recommended.

6. A Story of Colonialism, Apartheid and Resistance: two new videos and one old one:

A new 5 minute video from Makan: ‘Palestine, a Story of Colonialism and Resistance’.

And from Mondoweiss, a 22 minute video: Inside Israeli Apartheid

Video from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions: Resisting the Occupation on the Ground

7. Café Palestine 35 Recording

Standing Together: International Activism and Solidarity with Palestine

This Café Palestine was dedicated to the precious memory of Eamon McMahon 1951-2022

Chair: Victoria Brittain

Tribute by Arlene Healey of the Ireland Palestine Mental Health Network to the activism and solidarity work of Eamon McMahon

Elizabeth Berger and Lama Khouri on international solidarity initiatives from the USA-Palestine Mental health Network and the Palestine-Global Network including collaboration on the campaign for the release of Ahmad Manasra and other child prisoners.

Gwyn Daniel on pushing back against the instrumentalisation of antisemitism to silence Palestinian activism

Guy Shennan and Issa Rabadi on recent collaborative developments in Palestine-related social work activism within the UK, in Palestine and internationally