In June LFPME hosted fundraising dinners for its supporters in Liverpool and London.
The dinners provided the opportunity to enjoy good food, music, and sample Palestinian ‘Taybeh’ beer (for those that drink) as well as engage with Labour Party Parliamentarians on the Palestinian issue.
In London 150 guests joined the LFPME team and Labour MPs Peter Hain, Ben Bradshaw, Andy Slaughter, Jeremy Corbyn, and Rushanara Ali. His Excellency the Palestinian Ambassador Manuel Hassasssian also attended, and spoke passionately about the reality facing Palestinians. Renowned oud player Nizar Al Issa provided traditional and upbeat contemporary music on the evening.
In his address, Peter Hain MP spoke of the need to maintain the campaign for justice, reminding guests of the many dark and frustrating days in the fight against Apartheid, before the battle was won. Ben Bradshaw MP and Rushanara Ali MP spoke about their recent visits to the Palestinian West Bank and how important it was that steps were taken by the Government to ensure a settlement which provides peace and justice. London MPs Andy Slaughter and Jeremy Corbyn championed ‘freedom and justice’ for the Palestinians and called for the implementation of international law and urged guests to continue demanding their MPs on the issue.
In Liverpool, almost 100 guests attended our dinner with our speakers Arlene McCarthy MEP, Stephen Twigg MP – the Shadow Minister for the Middle East, Alison McGovern MP and Lynne Morris from Unison. Guests enjoyed Middle Eastern food, drinks, music and a traditional Yemeni dance performance.
Arlene McCarthy MEP made a passionate speech calling for human rights, freedoms and justice for the Palestinians to be upheld. She highlighted the work being done at the EU level and stressed the action required to implement international law and ensure a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders. Stephen Twigg MP complimented and thanked LFPME for their work within the Party and campaigns for peace and justice in the Middle East. He also spoke of his recent visit to the region, reiterating his commitment to achieving a just solution based on international law.
New MP Alison McGovern spoke eloquently about the proud history of Liverpool in standing up for social justice and supporting the struggle for those around the world for freedom and justice. She said we all had a role to play ensuring social justice at home and overseas and supporting those in the Middle East in their struggle for the freedoms we enjoy.
At both dinners, Palestinian football T-shirts signed by Tony Benn helped raised several hundred pounds.
The dinners provided an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the situation in Palestine and the wider Middle East and raise funds to support our events at the Labour Party conference to be held in Liverpool in September. LFPME will be hosting two events.
LFPME is extremely grateful to all its supporters and guests who attended and for making the dinners a success. We hope to host more such events in the future.