The second piece I posted on behalf of Slough’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and an introduction to the national movement for my followers!


Mads Gilbert in Oslo Airport Screenshot of Norwegian channel TV2’s filming of Dr Mads Gilbert, and his open-armed welcome, after returning to Oslo Airport from Gaza in 2014.

Some words are bandied about more liberally than they’re understood. Dr Mads Gilbert decided, at the end of his SOAS talk – which I had the harrowing privilege of seeing – last month, to clarify the meaning of solidarity: the expression of unity over pity. Not pity, such as the kind expressed by an isolated thought or prayer or cheque, but the unity of one’s actions and beliefs with those of the oppressed.

It is the solidarity described by Dr Gilbert that connects his backbreaking work in Shifa hospital last summer with the Italian pilot who made headlines by announcing “welcome to Palestine” to his passengers, the flotilla towed away by the Israeli navy as it tried to bring humanitarian supplies to Gaza, the US state department when it refused…

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