Over 70 international supporters of Jordan Valley Solidarity met in Brighton at the beginning of November to launch the JVS international network.

Together we assessed our work and progress, and planned the coordination of our future campaigns in support of this vital area. The Jordan Valley is at a critical time when it is increasingly under threat from the escalating Israeli occupation, ethnic cleansing and settlement expansion. International coordination of our work is vital to the success of our campaign.

Delegates came from regional support groups in the UK, Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Japan and Australia, as well as from Palestine itself.

Over the course of the 4 days we took part in practical workshops, radio interviews, and meetings with MP supporters, lawyers, the press and local support groups. We were able to forge new links with campaigners, and it was heartening to learn of the international solidarity developments under way and of the achievements and successes of campaigning groups.

We also took part in demonstrations supporting the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. On Friday 9th November we were at the ‘Don’t Dance with Israeli Apartheid’ demonstration outside Brighton Dome, where the Israeli state-funded Batsheva Dance Company were performing. We followed this on Saturday, when we attended the weekly Saturday demonstration outside Ecostream – a Brighton shop which is owned and run by the Israeli company Sodastream, and which manufactures all its machinery in the illegal settlement of Mishor Adumim, which lies between Jerusalem and Jericho.

At the end of the Gathering, we left having re-affirmed our commitment to the campaign, and with some clear future objectives. In the course of the next weeks we will be publishing a full report of the Gathering and setting out the priorities for our solidarity work.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Gathering, financially and in many other ways, and we hope that you will continue to be involved in this vital campaign.