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Letters – Solidarity matters to people who face attack in Palestine

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Issue 2650
The wall that cuts Palestine in two
The wall that cuts Palestine in two (Pic: Chris Yunker/Flickr)

On Monday 4 March 2019, I landed at Tel Aviv airport in Israel ready to be picked up and transported to Ramallah in Palestine.

My hand luggage had been searched at Heathrow as I was travelling alone and had evidence of a recent trip to Egypt on my passport.

The search was tense as in my luggage was a list that could have alerted the Israeli border police.

The subjects were checkpoints, isolation, identity, licence plates, settler violence, demolition orders and siege.

I later explored these themes with children via Tamer Community Education in Arab Al-Jahaleen, Bettir, just outside Bethlehem and Hebron in Palestine.

The pressure of the Israeli occupation is relentless.

Uncertainty and fear are always present and the anger and sense of abandonment is tangible.

I was told that, “Nobody cares,” and I said that they did.

But after numerous checkpoints and six deaths in the last week that I was there, I agreed that no governments are doing anything to help.

Travelling from Bethlehem to Hebron I saw masses of illegal settlements with checkpoints attached and the wall that slithers over Palestinian land. In the last week I worked with a group in Hebron.

The children were aged between 9 and 11 years old, and during that time a nine year old boy was arrested in a school.

The day after I left Dheisheh refugee camp, Israeli soldiers entered and added another death and four wounded to their catalogue of ethnic cleansing and terror. The mural “Hebron” will be shown at Pimlico Tube Station from 6 to 20 May and in Brompton Art Gallery in London from 7 to 10 May.

This work and drawings are also being exhibited in Hebron now.

Patricia Joy Chamberlain

By email

Stop this disgusting land grab

The appropriation of public parks by developers and the unofficial “segregation” that occurs as a result is shocking.

It is symptomatic of a class prejudice that has always run deep in British society.

Equally worrying is the way that open spaces not officially classified as parks are being snatched from communities.

This is happening right now in Stoke-on-Trent, with sites such as Berry Hill Fields and The Croft being earmarked for development.

The reason given by the council is that the land is needed for housing.

This is not, though, housing of a type that benefits local people.

The “independent” and Tory?led council plans to build executive homes on these and many other sites.

These are homes that local people are unlikely to be able to afford.

This would be bad enough. But the loss of these open spaces represents something far more important.

It is the appropriation of common land that has been used by the community to play sports, walk their dogs and connect with nature for decades.

This is happening across the country. Land that belongs to no one but is valued by everyone is being stolen in the name of turning a profit.

There can be no better argument for a socialist housing policy.

Adam Colclough


Don’t blame migrants for the crisis at A&Es

There’s a new record in A&E waiting times.

Nearly three million patients in England had to wait over four hours in A&Es last year. This is the highest number since records began.

Lots of people think immigration is putting pressure on services.

And we are also being encouraged blame anyone who goes to an A&E, with posters telling us to go to a doctor instead.

But people go to A&Es because they are in desperate need of help. The situations they are in can be life-threatening.

And migrants help to run the NHS—they aren’t responsible for running it down.

The Tories caused the crisis in the NHS. They want the crisis so they can say it isn’t working and then they can privatise it.

But in the meantime, they want to blame other people for the mess they have caused.

Andrea Baines


Challenge Facebook over its ‘disabilism’

Last week a disabled man was told by Facebook in a telephone conversation he recorded that his page “Access Ability” had been blocked because “people find disability” and “images of disability” “disturbing”.

The Facebook employee said she’d never before seen a page “promoting disability” and seemed incredulous that such a thing could exist.

As shown in Roddy Slorach’s book, A Very Capitalist Condition, there is nothing inevitable or natural about such attitudes towards disabled people.

Disabilism is fostered by capitalism as a way to manage “unproductive labour”. We must challenge prejudice, and Dpac is planning a protest outside Facebook headquarters in London later this month. But to end the oppression of disabled people, we need to get rid of capitalism.

Ellen Clifford

South London

Massacre plot from the top

Good article but this atrocity was not the act of one “rogue officer” (Amritsar—a very British massacre, 10 April).

There’s plenty of evidence to show Dyer’s action was approved, if not planned, by his boss—the governor general of the Punjab at the time, Sir Michael O’Dwyer.

O’Dwyer was assassinated in London 20 years later by an Indian independence freedom fighter, Udham Singh.

Liv Singh

On Facebook

Tory danger to our NHS

If you want to lose your NHS vote for the Tories and be like the poor Americans dying in the streets.

Dave Lee

On Facebook

Get the troops out of Brunei?

Socialist Worker reports a recent protest against the savage new laws against the gay community in Brunei (Socialist Worker, 10 April).

Brunei’s right wing dictatorship is defended by the British army.

The Sultan apparently pays for 2,000 troops to protect him. Surely we should demand their withdrawal?

Geoff Collier


Hammond lie is sign of fear

Chancellor Philip Hammond said austerity can end as our public finances are in a healthy state.

British government debt is £1.79 trillion. And he won’t end austerity unless we force him to.

Such a porky, though, is a sign of fear. They are scared of us.

Dermot Smyth


Homes selloff is a scandal

Margaret Thatcher saw her policy of council house sales as making everyone a capitalist.

Now there is a serious housing shortage. It’s an absolute scandal.

John Appleyard

West Yorkshire


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