We met a fortnight ago, for the first time in nearly two years. The atmosphere was very positive, with a lot of energy and determination to go forward. This entry provides a brief record of the meeting.
Barrie, as the current convenor, introduced newer members to the history of the group. The group has been active since 2004, but came together with its current supporters during the Lebanon War of 2006. We have good relations with our sister English group (and original inspiration) Jews for Justice for Palestinians. SJJP gets frequent invitations to speak at demonstrations and meetings. About 30 people are signatories to the SJJP statement—more than are active—which implies potential for much greater activity.
We then discussed immediate prospects for the group. The proposal before the meeting was to adopt a constitution (previously circulated) with the aim of transforming SJJP from a loose grouping into a membership organisation capable of handling funds and operating in a more organised way than has been possible until now. This was agreed, and detailed discussion of the constitution followed. The key issues were:
- Whether SJJP should have a steering group. This had been opposed on the grounds of exclusivity; while appreciating the dangers of this, the meeting decided that the advantages outweighed them;
- What the threshold should be for amending the constitution or the statement. The decision was to maintain the compromise proposed in the draft constitution (two-thirds of a meeting composing 10 members or 25% of the membership).
We agreed to call a meeting on May 17th to inaugurate the renewed group. Until then, our campaigning will be relatively limited, but we can increase our profile immediately:
- Develop our presence on Twitter and Facebook;
- Publish a fortnightly newsletter, together with regular posts to this blog, submitted by members as individuals.
Meanwhile we will continue with current campaigning activity, in particular joint actions with other members of the Scottish Palestinian Forum (though we can’t proceed with formal affiliation until we are constituted).