Khaled Al-Mudallal returns to Bradford – Report of Press Conference
At a press conference this morning, Palestinian student Khaled Al Mudallal, who visited Gaza this summer but ended up trapped there, prevented by the Israeli authorities from leaving to complete his studies at Bradford University, warmly thanked all those who supported his campaign.
International pressure mounted to demand Khaled’s right to education was respected, which finally forced Israel to let him return to Bradford. Khaled’s case was also fought through the Israeli high courts by Gisha, an Israeli human rights organisation, and Khaled finally arrived back in Britain on Tuesday 4 November.
The press conference, held in Westminster, also provided an opportunity for Khaled to meet with Brian Iddon MP, who tabled an Early Day Motion signed by 50 MPs calling for the right to education to be respected and for Khaled to be able to return to Bradford.
Khaled pointed out that although he was able to return to his studies, this was not a time for celebration, as hundreds of students remain trapped in Gaza and unable to leave, despite having been granted visas and places to study in universities worldwide. He pledged that he would continue to work to ensure that they are also able to complete their education.
Chairing the press conference, Ruqqayah Collector, NUS Black Students Officer, talked about the need for students to continue campaigning for the rights of all Palestinian students to education. Sarah Colborne, PSC chair, highlighted the humanitarian crisis that is resulting from Israel’s collective punishment of the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza, with 91 essential drugs having run out, and Israel preventing even those needing urgent medical attention from leaving Gaza. She called for increasing pressure on the Israeli government to end its illegal siege of Gaza.
Views pictures of the press conference here: www.palestinecampaign.org/students.asp
Please visit www.letkhaledstudy.co.uk for more information.
Callout for December 8th
Actions to highlight the mislabelling of Israeli Goods
8th December will be a day of Action in support of the campaign to boycott Israeli goods.
The PSC and BIG campaign call for a total boycott of all Israeli goods.
One way in which the supermarkets attempt to misinform consumers who would boycott Israeli product is to mislabel produce sourced from Israeli settlements.
Waitrose admit that they label all produce from the occupied territories as ‘Produce of West Bank’. They say that this complies with DEFRA guidance on correct labelling. We say that this label is misleading to consumers. Goods carrying this label are almost certainly settlement goods not Palestinian goods.
In November a group of UK activists went inside Tomer settlement in the Jordan Valley and took photos of produce labeled ‘Made in Israel’ bound for UK supermarkets. In an ITN report last week Sainsbury and Tesco’s, when confronted about this, admitted ‘mistakenly’ mislabelling settlement produce in the past and undertook to label settlement produce ‘West Bank’ in the future.
Labelling settlement produce ‘West Bank’ misleads the consumer and denies them the choice between Palestinian goods (of which there are almost none) and settlement goods. It undermines the boycott movement by making Israeli and settlement goods harder to identify.
Products which are most likely to be mislabeled are fresh herbs and Medjoul dates, which are likely to be sourced from Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley.
On December 8th please try to highlight the supermarket’s deception.
· Please write to DEFRA and ask them to take action against the labeling of settlement goods as ‘produce of West Bank’ by supermarkets:
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Nobel House
17 Smith Square
Tel: 020 7238 6000 (switchboard).
Write to Tesco’s an Sainsbury’s and tell them that packaging goods ‘produce of West Bank’ instead of ‘produce of Israel’ is replacing one misleading label with another:
Waitrose also admit labelling settlement produce as ‘West Bank’. Please write to:
Ms Margaret Casely-Hayford
Please let us know about your local actions on December 8th – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please email photos of your actions to email@example.com
Please also post reports and photos of your actions to www.indymedia.org.uk
For more information please visit:
www.bigcampaign.org and www.palestinecampaign.org
Planned actions on Saturday the 8th
* Nottingham branch of PSC is planning a Boycott action including a stall and leafleting outside M&S in Nottingham centre.
* London Haringey branch is planning leafleting and other actions at Haringey Sainsbury’s in Green Lanes.
* Camden branch are calling for a phone in to Carmel-Agrexco, the partly state owned Israeli export company, (0) 20 8848 7788 Fax: +44 (0) 20 8848 1106 on Monday 10th December.
* Cheltenham branch are holding a boycott event – Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
* Exeter branch are holding a stall in Exeter city center between 12-2pm. Contact email@example.com
* Glasgow will be holding a street stall in Buchanan street highlighting the boycott between 1 and 4pm.
* Hackney will be picketing ‘Fresh and Wild’ on Stoke Newington Church St. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
* Lambeth and Wandsworth are planning a boycott stall. For more details email@example.com
* Halifax will be leafletting outside the market from 11.30am
* Brighton will be holding a high street action, email firstname.lastname@example.org
And many more…
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Tel: 020 7700 6192