This is to let you know that the next Labour2Palestine delegation to Jerusalem & the West Bank will be from Monday September 30th and returning on Saturday October 5th. (That’s the week between Labour Party conference and the start of the parliamentary session.)
Some of the highlights are expected to include:
meeting with leading Fateh politicians (Labour’s sister party)
hearing from the new elected Councillors in Hebron & a political tour of Hebron with Palestinians and the EAPPI volunteers
meeting an Israeli Jerusalem Councillor and Knesset members
tour and briefing about Jerusalem old town with PLO negotiations unit
tour of wider Jerusalem with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
The following delegation is in January but we can also organise visits for any group of 12 or more at any time.
The September delegation will be our tenth and we now have a network of 104 ex-delegates who are still active and engaged on the issue. You can read their comments and blogs on our website at http://labour2palestine.com/
Our last delegation returned from the West Bank at the end of May and you will soon be able to read about their experiences on the website.
If you are not familiar with the format of the visit, we aim to provide informative, enjoyable and safe visits at cost price (we are a not-for-profit company) for members of the Labour Party and their partners.
All our visits are accompanied by our own organisers as well as local guides from our sister party Fatah or from the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions.
We travel to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah and other places in the West Bank and we meet Palestinians and Israelis, politicians and party members, activists and NGOs. We see settlements, the wall and refugee camps. As a Labour delegation we get briefings from senior politicians, United Nations officials and the British Consulate-General. We also meet many local party members in Fatah and form strong and lasting party-to-party links.
We are not an advocacy organisation. Our job is to take you there and let you see for yourself. But it can be a life-changing experience and when you’re back you’ll be kept in touch by the network of ex-delegates with briefings, dinners, social events, googlegroups.
We have a couple of innovations on this visit. We will spend our first night in a hotel in Jerusalem so you can do a bit of sightseeing or shopping before the programme starts. We will see some sights during the week, but only the most basic ones.
The programme will keep you busy Tuesday to Friday and may leave you exhausted (emotionally as well as physically) so we invite you to relax and soak up some Palestinian music, culture and beer at the Taybeh Oktoberfest (in a small Christian village which has a famous brewery) on Saturday before taking the flight home. Alternatively, you could opt to visit the Haram al-Sharif, Church of the Holy Seplechre and/or Western Wall.
Apart from the first night, we will be staying in a hotel in Ramallah and will travel in a hired minibus. Once you arrive in Jerusalem, all travel and guides and hotel (bed & breakfast) will be covered by the cost of the visit which is just £490. Other week-long visits costs almost double that.
We usually travel by Easyjet from Luton or Manchester to Tel Aviv and the current fares are £158.99 or £176.99 from Luton and £189.99 from Manchester (though they vary day to day).
Photo by John Austin
We encourage you to fly out early or fly back late to do some more sight-seeing if you can. There’s lots more to see in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Israel and in Jordan.
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Travel to Palestine and Israel has - like elsewhere - paused for the time-being. In the meantime, we are hosting virtual events with our partners in Palestine and Israel. If you want to be the first to hear the news when we resume our tours, receive invites to our online events, or hear about the latest developments, then please sign up.