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Action Palestine - our partner for University twinnings

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Twinning with Palestine

The Britain - Palestine Twinning Network - "promoting twinning and friendship links"

Activities for the network in 2011 include * Women's visit - March * Twinning Conference in Palestine - April * Visits to Palestine April and October * Conference in Liverpool - November.

Maintaining a friendship link

Its easy to come back from a visit to Palestine highly motivated, but the issues are complex and the need for action can be daunting. Just where do you start and how do you use what resources you have properly?

It is important not to forget the people we have met and whose expectations may have been raised by our visits.

A public meeting is an important way of maintaining momentum and bringing in new helpers, who might not otherwise want to be involved in anything too political.

Having a petition against the wall for example is another useful way of getting peoples interest.

Raising money for something to benefit the people of the town you are twinned, with provides a useful focus to your campaign.

Support - lobbying and letter writing in support of your twinned Palestinian community is a valuable way of helping. Recently in Jayouse and Abu Dis, schools were raided and boys detained. Despite the usual denials by the Israelis, and some decidedly underhand behaviour, thanks to lobbying in the U.K. the British Government was forced to take an interest.

Engage in joint activities on the same day - Exeter Hebron recently had a walk by local women in both communities to raise funds and awareness, Camden Abu Dis had a joint kite flying event.

Set up Summer camps - there is already an established series of summer camps run by other groups.

Send volunteers - English, drama and art are popular areas where volunteers can make a difference.

Set up a bank account here and in Palestine. You and your partners need to be fully accountable, with receipts, photos, reports etc. to be sure how money is spent. In the current situation, it is hard and lengthy for Palestinian partners to get own organisations registered with Palestinian Authority. While we wait for that, we suggest asking your partners to have three different people from different groups and families to set up a joint account locally.

Post to Palestine - Extremely unreliable and suffering from Israeli boycotts and disruption, as well as strikes by unpaid Palestinians. We understand Aramex offers a reliable service.

- www.aramex.com

Many groups are finding interest in the following areas;

Trade Unions - they often ask for a speaker and are a good source of funds for your activities.

Councillors - Most Councillors come back from a visit highly motivated. Try to interest them in what you are doing, and encourage them to visit your twinned community.

Students - Universities and colleges are always good places to find interest and activists.

Mosques - Despite considerable competition form other causes, Twinning is of interest and worth building on.

Churches - Most Churches have groups who will want to hear what you are about.

Schools - As we are about the humanitarian plight of the Palestinian people and not a solidarity campaign, getting speakers to schools is often easier. Organising a joint arts competition or video link up is worth considering.

Advice for groups with twinning arrangements from someone in Palestine

"Could I suggest that individuals and groups contact their twinning partners in Palestine and ask them if they have duplicated all their land - ownership documents, as is suggested in the letter below. I wonder also, if it would be feasible and useful for the Palestinians to send extra duplications of their deeds to UK groups for their safe-keeping? Perhaps this is an important issue which could be discussed with the Palestinian groups by the UK visitors at the upcoming conference?"

In Feb. 4th's coverage of the events in Palestine by Aljazeera (see: www.aljazeera.net) the article indicated, almost as an after thought, that the Israelis raided Bir Nebala's municipality office and stole all tabu records dating to the Ottoman period. Similar raids were performed by settlers in the Islamic Waqf (endowments) in order to preclude court challenges in the future. This is the last faze of the Zionist program of de-arabizing all parts of historic Palestine save patches of population - source of cheap labour.

As an archivist, I urge all to take immediate steps to duplicate and authenticate all land deeds as soon as possible and ensure safe keeping. Contact people in Jerusalem, Nablus, Jenin and urge community leaders to reach villages on the periphery of these and other cities to get these records away from Israelis' reach.

This is an attainable and necessary task for you, considering the absence of coherent leadership by Fatah incorporated and current in-fighting. You might begin with your own land deeds especially farm lands outside city borders. If you look at the wall route, you'd understand the idea behind the Bir Nebala raids.

Hani Bawardi

Contact us

Events in 2011

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Women's Tour March 2011

Conference Palestine April 2011

Conference - Liverpool November 2011

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Help us develop the Twinning with Palestine network

Group Membership - Supporters

Join the Twinning with Palestine Groups facebook page for the latest news and events. www.facebook.com

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Please support our work - click here

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Would you like to visit Palestine? We regularly organise tours to Palestine. Book for the October 2010 tour now!

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Greeting Cards (Eid / Xmas)

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Help Palestinians expose Israeli apartheid

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Gallery

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The Israeli Apartheid wall "security barrier"

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Twinning Banner

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Zaytoun Olive Oil

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Getting there - Airlines activists use

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