Pendle set to twin with the West Bank

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

COUNCILLORS in Pendle have voted to twin the borough with the West Bank in Palestine – but not without protests.

Supporters of the move claim it will allow the authority to show solidarity with the victims on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

But critics have complained that councillors should be more concerned, amid funding cuts and reduced services, about troubles closer to home.

Coun Mohammed Iqbal, the Labour group leader, said that the move had been proposed in the wake of a successful ‘Pray for Gaza’ event in Nelson.

Around 350 people held a peaceful protest in the town’s Market Square after violence broke out between Israel and Palestine last month.

In response to repeated rocket attacks on southern Israel, an airstrike was ordered by Tel Aviv which killed the Hamas military leader Ahmad Jabari.

This triggered days of bloodshed between the two sides, with heavy Hamas and civilian casualties suffered in Gaza and the first air-raid sirens being sounded in Jerusalem for more than 30 years.

Coun Iqbal said: “Let us build on this and show solidarity with the people of Palestine and Israel who are suffering.”

And Coun David Whipp, a Liberal Democrat cabinet member, said that while he was not in favour of money being spent on ‘junketing’, the plight of the Palestinian people had persuaded him to support the plans.

“If by our actions we can make one child’s life, on either side, a little bit better than I am prepared to support this.”

An informal arrangement has existed between Beit Lid and Pendle for several years, with cultural exchanges taking place.

But under the new proposals the link will be formalised – with Beit Lid joining Marl, in north-western Germany, and Creil, just to the north of Paris, as Pendle’s official twins.

Council leader Coun Joe Cooney said that he had long supported the work of Pendle’s Palestine twinning group but he did not believe the council was the right forum to debate the issued And Coun Graham Waugh added: “It is necessary or appropriate to waste the time of this council discussing peace in the Middle East when there are so many local issues that need our attention. This is a matter for the British government and diplomats to resolve.”

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson was part of a parliamentary delegation to Palestine last May, which met with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah to discuss the peace process.

He added: “I applaud those across East Lancashire who have sought to highlight the suffering caused by this recent wave of violence “However I am sceptical of what tangible difference a twinning arrangement will make. I will continue to keep up pressure to press for the Middle East peace process to get back underway.”

Simon Yaffe, of the Jewish Telegraph, said: “There should be no formalisation of twinning until the Palestinians stop aiming rockets at towns in Israel and sending suicide bombers into Israel to kill and maim innocent civilians.

“Time and time again, the Palestinians have rejected Israel’s attempt to bring about peace.

“Leaders in Pendle should research the facts on how the Palestinians really feel about Israel before going ahead with this decision.”

How they compare

Beit Lid

  • It is a small town, west of Nablus, in the north-east of the West Bank
  • Population is just under 5,000 people and it is mainly agricultural
  • It is also known as Bayt Lid or Bayt Leed
  • Olives, almonds, figs, grapes and grains are among their principal crops
  • While there are several friendship groups in Lancaster and West Lancashire, the proposed Pendle arrangement is thought to be the first official ‘twinning’ in the county

Pendle

  • Pendle has a population, according to the 2011 census, of 89,500
  • The original idea for twinning has been credited to Richard MacSween, of Pendle for Palestine
  • Mr MacSween accompanied Palestinian’s Wasfia Ibraheem Othman and Najat Abu Rahma on a visit to Burnley and Pendle Faith Centre in 2009
  • In the north, Kendal is twinned with Aqbat Jabar, near Jericho, Hebden Bridge with Beit Sahour and Keighley with Jerusalem’s Old City
  • Pendle’s link with its French twin Criel dates back to 1973 – and exchanges with Marl have been ongoing since 1994

Comments (22)

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11:45am Thu 20 Dec 12

midas says...

This has got nothing, absolutley nothing, to do with the Jewish side of the conflict and lets not pretend otherwise.
.
How will this "make one child’s life, on either side, a little bit better"? How is this showing solidarity with the people of Israel who are suffering at the hands of Palastinian terrorists?
.
Local politics co-opted by muslim Councillors!
This has got nothing, absolutley nothing, to do with the Jewish side of the conflict and lets not pretend otherwise. . How will this "make one child’s life, on either side, a little bit better"? How is this showing solidarity with the people of Israel who are suffering at the hands of Palastinian terrorists? . Local politics co-opted by muslim Councillors! midas
  • Score: 0

11:57am Thu 20 Dec 12

Sajdin says...

midas wrote:
This has got nothing, absolutley nothing, to do with the Jewish side of the conflict and lets not pretend otherwise.
.
How will this "make one child’s life, on either side, a little bit better"? How is this showing solidarity with the people of Israel who are suffering at the hands of Palastinian terrorists?
.
Local politics co-opted by muslim Councillors!
Its about time society starts showing solidarity with the hardships people face in the world. We worry about our spending cuts, cuts in budgets when it is no comparison to what people face around the world.
[quote][p][bold]midas[/bold] wrote: This has got nothing, absolutley nothing, to do with the Jewish side of the conflict and lets not pretend otherwise. . How will this "make one child’s life, on either side, a little bit better"? How is this showing solidarity with the people of Israel who are suffering at the hands of Palastinian terrorists? . Local politics co-opted by muslim Councillors![/p][/quote]Its about time society starts showing solidarity with the hardships people face in the world. We worry about our spending cuts, cuts in budgets when it is no comparison to what people face around the world. Sajdin
  • Score: 0

11:57am Thu 20 Dec 12

Sgl says...

WHAT is the Council thinking of!

Why would we want to be seen to be supporting either side in this long running, bitter and hate filled conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis, neither of which is blameless.

This idea should be quashed immediately and local councillors should get back to the function of running the borough. Especially given the impending cuts from central government that were announced yesterday, instead of day dreaming about other countries.

Thankfully ‘twinning’ is a mostly pointless exercise that normally yield very little.
WHAT is the Council thinking of! Why would we want to be seen to be supporting either side in this long running, bitter and hate filled conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis, neither of which is blameless. This idea should be quashed immediately and local councillors should get back to the function of running the borough. Especially given the impending cuts from central government that were announced yesterday, instead of day dreaming about other countries. Thankfully ‘twinning’ is a mostly pointless exercise that normally yield very little. Sgl
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Thu 20 Dec 12

travel happy wanderer says...

Not be long before councillors will be of on a jolly boys outing to the West Bank to visit Beit Lid.
Not be long before councillors will be of on a jolly boys outing to the West Bank to visit Beit Lid. travel happy wanderer
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Thu 20 Dec 12

hasslem hasslem says...

one is a barren wasteland, with an oppressed population devoid of hope - and one is...........
one is a barren wasteland, with an oppressed population devoid of hope - and one is........... hasslem hasslem
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Thu 20 Dec 12

mavrick says...

It is decisions like this that really upset the electorate. As someone who leans towards labour I find this kind of political gesturing unacceptable. It is not the business of local councillors to even think of spending a single penny on this twinning nonsense. People are struggling to make ends meet day to day, The council could help out with the food banks if they have cash to spare. How on earth councils can cry about cuts when spending money like this. This stinks of pandering to the Muslim community, Actions like this will harm community relations, not that they are as good as claimed. These labour councillors who supported this should resign or be sacked.
It is decisions like this that really upset the electorate. As someone who leans towards labour I find this kind of political gesturing unacceptable. It is not the business of local councillors to even think of spending a single penny on this twinning nonsense. People are struggling to make ends meet day to day, The council could help out with the food banks if they have cash to spare. How on earth councils can cry about cuts when spending money like this. This stinks of pandering to the Muslim community, Actions like this will harm community relations, not that they are as good as claimed. These labour councillors who supported this should resign or be sacked. mavrick
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Thu 20 Dec 12

MrsB123 says...

What an absolute load of tosh this twining lark is .....scrap it right now and get on with doing a proper job of sorting out the state this town already in before pointlessly wasting time with this rubbish
What an absolute load of tosh this twining lark is .....scrap it right now and get on with doing a proper job of sorting out the state this town already in before pointlessly wasting time with this rubbish MrsB123
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Thu 20 Dec 12

holmesy69 says...

what a load of crap
what a load of crap holmesy69
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Thu 20 Dec 12

juanbbien says...

What's the bloody point of all this twining with other towns like its some avantage that's going to be bestowed upon us
What's the bloody point of all this twining with other towns like its some avantage that's going to be bestowed upon us juanbbien
  • Score: 0

2:39pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Malthus says...

juanbbien wrote:
What's the bloody point of all this twining with other towns like its some avantage that's going to be bestowed upon us
The point is that several people will be funded to attend twinning events on the West Bank courtesy of the Council Tax payer.
[quote][p][bold]juanbbien[/bold] wrote: What's the bloody point of all this twining with other towns like its some avantage that's going to be bestowed upon us[/p][/quote]The point is that several people will be funded to attend twinning events on the West Bank courtesy of the Council Tax payer. Malthus
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Thu 20 Dec 12

superfly agaric says...

We are participating in the destruction of our own communities, country and race.

http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=28HqnAEmz
Zk&feature=player_em
bedded
We are participating in the destruction of our own communities, country and race. http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=28HqnAEmz Zk&feature=player_em bedded superfly agaric
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Thu 20 Dec 12

George White Bread says...

hasslem hasslem wrote:
one is a barren wasteland, with an oppressed population devoid of hope - and one is...........
Brierfield ?
[quote][p][bold]hasslem hasslem[/bold] wrote: one is a barren wasteland, with an oppressed population devoid of hope - and one is...........[/p][/quote]Brierfield ? George White Bread
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Thu 20 Dec 12

George White Bread says...

It's rumoured that Ewood park is to be twinned with one of those "sinkholes" that the people opposed to Fracking go on about.
It's rumoured that Ewood park is to be twinned with one of those "sinkholes" that the people opposed to Fracking go on about. George White Bread
  • Score: 0

4:08pm Thu 20 Dec 12

George86 says...

It's very sad to see such a lack of humanity amongst the citizens of the country which has created and supported decades of oppression and violence.
It takes very little research away from mainstream media to see Israel's persecution and ethical cleansing of the Palestinians and the massive amount of backing Israel receives from Britain and America.
Christians are suffering just as much as Muslims in Gaza and the West Bank at the hands of the Zionist occupation so to claim it is some sort of Muslim conspiracy is absurd.
Perhaps we should compare the similarities with South African apartheid? It's about time we, as fellow human beings, should do something about the inequalities in the world, regardless of which part, instead or complaining when people make an effort.
It's very sad to see such a lack of humanity amongst the citizens of the country which has created and supported decades of oppression and violence. It takes very little research away from mainstream media to see Israel's persecution and ethical cleansing of the Palestinians and the massive amount of backing Israel receives from Britain and America. Christians are suffering just as much as Muslims in Gaza and the West Bank at the hands of the Zionist occupation so to claim it is some sort of Muslim conspiracy is absurd. Perhaps we should compare the similarities with South African apartheid? It's about time we, as fellow human beings, should do something about the inequalities in the world, regardless of which part, instead or complaining when people make an effort. George86
  • Score: 0

4:42pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Izanears says...

If Hamas stopped lobbing rockets into Israel there would be peace and negotiations could take place, after all Israel gave up Gaza and what did Hamas and co do? Why they destroyed all the greehouses and gardens that were left behind. But peace is not what Hamas wants. Don't be fooled into thinking that it is BIG BAD Israel bullying poor little Gaza. It is poor little Israel being threatened by the entire Arab nations. Iran and Hamas have sworn to wipe them off the map. Iran is pouring mopney and weapons into Palestine. When our dippy councillors talk about saving one childs life, would it not be better if Iranian money was spent improving the living conditions for these children. No other race has been persecuted like the
Jews. It has gone on for centuries. Can you blame them for defending themselves when they are under constant attack?
If Hamas stopped lobbing rockets into Israel there would be peace and negotiations could take place, after all Israel gave up Gaza and what did Hamas and co do? Why they destroyed all the greehouses and gardens that were left behind. But peace is not what Hamas wants. Don't be fooled into thinking that it is BIG BAD Israel bullying poor little Gaza. It is poor little Israel being threatened by the entire Arab nations. Iran and Hamas have sworn to wipe them off the map. Iran is pouring mopney and weapons into Palestine. When our dippy councillors talk about saving one childs life, would it not be better if Iranian money was spent improving the living conditions for these children. No other race has been persecuted like the Jews. It has gone on for centuries. Can you blame them for defending themselves when they are under constant attack? Izanears
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Thu 20 Dec 12

working chap says...

Totally barmy. Both sides are at fault but the violence would stop if palestinians stopped firing rockets. Pendle council should stay out of this and remain neutral. Political posturing at its worst.
Totally barmy. Both sides are at fault but the violence would stop if palestinians stopped firing rockets. Pendle council should stay out of this and remain neutral. Political posturing at its worst. working chap
  • Score: 0

6:57pm Thu 20 Dec 12

sen c ble says...

Christians as well as Musleems are being oppressed by the unjust excercise of authority in the occupied territories. Restrictions are permanantly imposed and absolute no-go areas for the two religions to practice worship and to visit sacred sites. The sole aim is the hope that many people would flee not to return, being then an overwhelming majority of Jewish dominance. The current plans to construct rapidly many new settlements on evicted Palestinian land, falsely excusing security as a reason and to justify their claim is absurd and a false statement by the propoganda machine of the zionist race. Recent escalated events were not Hamas rocket attack related, but the shooting of a young boy by Israeli soldiers and the retalliation by Hamas, killing Israeli soldiers, which triggered the Israeli government to call up reserves and threat an invasion. Both sides should show restrain in a difficult scenario where violence has been the root of disputes snice the formation of Israel, blaming each other for escalations. Hamas must recognise their neighbours and complete stoppage of rocket attacks and let's be honest Hamas only quite recently formed in the 80's. Israel on the other hand should seriously negotiate peace with the plan to return land that they have occupied for so long and must now realise that this is the only solution, and the west rather than arming the rebels in Syria and engaging in an unwinnable war in Afghanistan should patrol the area and be part of the peace process.

If any person dispute the Christian / Musleem restricted access areas, I suggest they visit the area in concern rather than depending on media news to fulfill their knowledge. The surrounding religious sites dearer to all faiths, seems the Musleems are certainly desperately keen on having them uplifted and to oppose the Israeli government, and to claim the sites to be part of their religious belief, as well as the Jews. Whether the Christian faith followers regard this as their duty and how affected they are to these sites got to be questioned!
Christians as well as Musleems are being oppressed by the unjust excercise of authority in the occupied territories. Restrictions are permanantly imposed and absolute no-go areas for the two religions to practice worship and to visit sacred sites. The sole aim is the hope that many people would flee not to return, being then an overwhelming majority of Jewish dominance. The current plans to construct rapidly many new settlements on evicted Palestinian land, falsely excusing security as a reason and to justify their claim is absurd and a false statement by the propoganda machine of the zionist race. Recent escalated events were not Hamas rocket attack related, but the shooting of a young boy by Israeli soldiers and the retalliation by Hamas, killing Israeli soldiers, which triggered the Israeli government to call up reserves and threat an invasion. Both sides should show restrain in a difficult scenario where violence has been the root of disputes snice the formation of Israel, blaming each other for escalations. Hamas must recognise their neighbours and complete stoppage of rocket attacks and let's be honest Hamas only quite recently formed in the 80's. Israel on the other hand should seriously negotiate peace with the plan to return land that they have occupied for so long and must now realise that this is the only solution, and the west rather than arming the rebels in Syria and engaging in an unwinnable war in Afghanistan should patrol the area and be part of the peace process. If any person dispute the Christian / Musleem restricted access areas, I suggest they visit the area in concern rather than depending on media news to fulfill their knowledge. The surrounding religious sites dearer to all faiths, seems the Musleems are certainly desperately keen on having them uplifted and to oppose the Israeli government, and to claim the sites to be part of their religious belief, as well as the Jews. Whether the Christian faith followers regard this as their duty and how affected they are to these sites got to be questioned! sen c ble
  • Score: 0

11:18pm Thu 20 Dec 12

sykerjoe says...

yet another nail in nelsons coffin-please close the door on the way out .
yet another nail in nelsons coffin-please close the door on the way out . sykerjoe
  • Score: 0

5:13am Fri 21 Dec 12

wavettore says...

TV media and newspapers will never tell you that an Israeli firm had placed the explosives that brought down the 3 buildings in NY on 9/11. ICTS was the only security firm in charge for the twin towers and building 7 (most people still do not know about this building that fell without being hit by any plane or other). ICTS was also the security company in charge for all airports that had allowed the highjack planes on 9/11 to depart. The work force of ICTS was the only one people to have access at night inside the 3 buildings and to allow Israeli agents to place those explosives inconspicuously before 9/11. Israeli agents were in fact arrested nearby on 9/11 transporting large amount of explosives in a white van (Chevrolet 2000) but they were later released by the Bush administration.
Not as a coincidence, the same day, on 9/11 2001, and at the same time a CIA operation called Able Danger, was reproducing a military exercise that was supposed to mimic an attack by few planes crashing on buildings. Now our thought goes to George W. Bush, son of a former head of CIA, George H. Bush, who still holds the line in that agency.
But all this was never reported by the media although the future of all people depends on how 9/11 is intended.
http://www.wavevolut
ion.org/en/index.htm
l
TV media and newspapers will never tell you that an Israeli firm had placed the explosives that brought down the 3 buildings in NY on 9/11. ICTS was the only security firm in charge for the twin towers and building 7 (most people still do not know about this building that fell without being hit by any plane or other). ICTS was also the security company in charge for all airports that had allowed the highjack planes on 9/11 to depart. The work force of ICTS was the only one people to have access at night inside the 3 buildings and to allow Israeli agents to place those explosives inconspicuously before 9/11. Israeli agents were in fact arrested nearby on 9/11 transporting large amount of explosives in a white van (Chevrolet 2000) but they were later released by the Bush administration. Not as a coincidence, the same day, on 9/11 2001, and at the same time a CIA operation called Able Danger, was reproducing a military exercise that was supposed to mimic an attack by few planes crashing on buildings. Now our thought goes to George W. Bush, son of a former head of CIA, George H. Bush, who still holds the line in that agency. But all this was never reported by the media although the future of all people depends on how 9/11 is intended. http://www.wavevolut ion.org/en/index.htm l wavettore
  • Score: 0

10:02am Fri 21 Dec 12

Real Lancs Assembly says...

Im sick of hearing about the middle east, if they want to knock the hell out of each other then thats there problem, i couldnt care less about the place, desert scrub land who cares.
Im sick of hearing about the middle east, if they want to knock the hell out of each other then thats there problem, i couldnt care less about the place, desert scrub land who cares. Real Lancs Assembly
  • Score: 0

10:06am Fri 21 Dec 12

Real Lancs Assembly says...

In fact in the name of fairness can anyone come up with a few suggestions of some Israeli towns or settlements Pendle council would like to twin with, and maybe put this on the table for them to vote on or do you think its not on there political agenda.
In fact in the name of fairness can anyone come up with a few suggestions of some Israeli towns or settlements Pendle council would like to twin with, and maybe put this on the table for them to vote on or do you think its not on there political agenda. Real Lancs Assembly
  • Score: 0

11:52pm Thu 3 Jan 13

derriford says...

I am just Glad that this PENDLE COUNCIL has enough money to twin but also has enough Money to give the PEOPLE OF PENDLE A DISCOUNT IN THE COUNCIL TAX and bring back WEEKLY BIN ROUNDS
I am just Glad that this PENDLE COUNCIL has enough money to twin but also has enough Money to give the PEOPLE OF PENDLE A DISCOUNT IN THE COUNCIL TAX and bring back WEEKLY BIN ROUNDS derriford
  • Score: 0

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