Balfour Day - the seed of betrayal for Palestinians

A network of Palestinian solidarity campaigners came together as Palestine Action this summer, and began a campaign of direct action against Israeli arms company Elbit Systems which has factories and offices across the UK.

The weapons manufacturer advertises its wares as battle-tested because they’re used on the besieged population of Gaza.

In 2019 activists occupied the roof of a factory in Oldham for three days, shutting down all production, but no-one was charged. Despite more than 15 other actions, no-one has yet been taken to court, and cases have so far always been dropped. Activists believe this is because the company is complicit in war crimes against the Palestinian people and would rather bear the costs of hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage and lost production than face scrutiny in front of a jury.

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November 2nd holds a very special significance for Palestinian people and we begin our coverage today with interviews (above) with two young Palestinians studying in the UK who give some background around the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the way it paved the way to the Nakba or ‘Great Catastrophe’ of 1948 when around 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their homeland.

Nakba is not just a historical point in time, because Palestinians remain stateless to this day, and the interview reminds us of the parallels we can draw in multiple struggles for freedom and justice. Israel’s overtly apartheid regime today is propped up by the same ongoing colonialism which also allows companies like Elbit to operate with apparent impunity.

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Palestine Action activists targeted two Elbit System subsidiary factories overnight as part of the day of action against the Israeli arms company. Footage from the group show them spraying red paint and smashing windows at the Oldham Elbit-Ferranti site, and then in Tamworth at Elbit subsidiary Elite KL.


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