A youth-led Palestine group has claimed victory after working with a Manchester secondary school to stop hosting a “normalisation group” for pro-Israel politics.
‘False narrative’ on Israel’s occupation of Palestine
The Youth Front for Palestine (YFFP) celebrated its ‘victory’ on 7 June. It said Loreto High School in Chorlton had “committed to never hosting Solutions Not Sides (SNS) or any other normalisation group ever again”:
Following a meeting with the headteacher at Loreto High School, they have listened to the voice of the Palestinian youth and the pro-Palestine community in Manchester, and committed to never hosting Solutions Not Sides (SNS) or any other normalisation group ever again. pic.twitter.com/gC9DG9b7td
— Youth Front For Palestine (@_YFFP_) June 7, 2023
SNS is a registered charity that says it facilitates “dialogue” on the “diverse narratives on the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its resolution”. However, YFFP said in a press release that SNS is:
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an Israeli-State linked group that aims to spread the false narrative of a ‘two-sided conflict’.
The charity primarily delivers workshops in secondary schools but also provides training for teachers and community leaders. It started in 2010 as a project by OneVoice Europe, which Palestinian voices have previously called out for shilling for Israel.
SNS separated from OneVoice in 2019. However, the charity’s rhetoric seems to continue OneVoice’s stance on Israel. Journalist Ben White outlined how the charity’s materials create a false impression of two equal sides in conflict with each other.
This was also the basis of YFFP’s effort to deplatform SNS. In YFFP’s campaign petition, it said that the charity:
falsely presents the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people as a mere “conflict” in which “both sides” are guilty of wrongdoing.
For SNS, the basic right of Palestinians to self-determination in their historic homeland is a matter for debate.
YFFP said this process of “normalisation… attempts to justify and confuse the reality of the Zionist state”.
Fourth successful campaign
YFFP said Loreto High School hosted SNS in February. Following this, it launched a campaign that culminated in a meeting with the school’s headteacher. It was this meeting that led to the school’s commitment not to invite SNS or other ‘normalisation groups’ for Israel in the future.
A spokesperson for the group subsequently said that the victory at Loreto High School showed that:
day by day it is becoming more clear that people all over the world are ready to fight for a liberated Palestine.
This victory is the fourth for the group. Previous successes include helping to stop the Manchester leg of normalisation group Friends of Roots UK (FoRUK) nationwide tour.
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