Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Palestine - a theatre of war according to the war memorial in Alexandra Park.

Palestine – not ours to give

In November 1917, 97 years ago, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, in which it committed itself to “use its best endeavours” to achieve the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” Hastings Palestine Solidarity Campaign are holding a meeting this week to discuss the effects of British involvement in Palestine, as they explain.

Have you ever wondered why ‘Palestine’ is engraved next to ‘France’ on the Alexandra Park war memorial? What were soldiers from Hastings and St Leonards doing in Palestine?

Our borough memorial carries an inscription that it is a “silent reminder of all the servicemen, servicewomen and civilians…..who lost their lives as a result of enemy action.”

But why Palestine? Who was the enemy and who the ally? Who died? In what circumstances, doing what, under whose orders, and for what purpose?

A nationalist uprising in Palestine in the late 1930s was suppressed by British soldiers.

Britain has played a major role in the oppression of the Palestinian people, from its conquering of Palestine in the First World War, promising the Zionist movement a homeland there, to its current diplomatic support for and trade ties with Israel.

In November we commemorate the 97th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

The Hastings branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign will be holding a meeting to look at the origins of the creation of the state of Israel and the critical role played by the British government and its armed forces. We hope to show the local connections between Britain and Palestine.

There will be an evening of discussion and film with the showing of Al Nakba (The Disaster) made by Palestinian film-maker Rawan Damen.

The question will be asked: does any government have the legal, political or moral right to promise land which belonged to the Palestinians to another people?


Palestine – not ours to give Meeting of Hastings Palestine Solidarity Campaign at 7 pm, Wednesday 19 November, White Rock Hotel (opposite pier), Hastings TN34 1JU.

Hastings Palestine Solidarity Campaign website and Facebook page.

See also Gaza aid art sale nets over £6,000.

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Posted 12:49 Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 In: Campaigns

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