niece begins epic cycle for peace
Cyclists from across the world will today arrive
to take part in the 4th
international Peace Cycle to Jerusalem
Among the group are Lauren Booth, sister-in-law
of Tony Blair, and her daughter Alexandra.
As ex-PM Blair becomes favourite for first
President of Europe, his 8-year old niece will
take a fortnight off school to cycle through the
occupied Palestinian territories.
She will stay with Palestinian families and
learn what life is like under Israeli
Mr Blair has not publically commented on his
niece’s planned trip, which will take her to a
refugee camp in Amman
, home to Palestinian families made homeless in 1948,
and unrecognised Arab villages within Israel
Then, together with her mother and people from
six countries, Alex will cycle the length of the
West Bank where travel is severely restricted
due to Israeli checkpoints, road blocks, curfews
Journalist Lauren Booth says the Peace Cycle is
a chance for Alex to express her friendship and
hopes for peace with her Arab, Palestinian
She said: “The question I have
no doubt that
Alex's presence will lift morale both for those
cycling and, more importantly, for the families
cut off from the world’s children by walls and
As well as hoping to raise awareness of the
issues around the conflict in Israel
and the Palestinian
territories, and calling for a just peace in the
region, the Peace Cyclists are raising funds to
support the establishment of a mobile eye clinic
in the occupied territories.
The project is called Oyooni, Arabic for “my
eyes” and will enable Palestinians with diabetes
and glaucoma to receive treatment they otherwise
can not obtain because o f restricted movement
in the Palestinian territories.
Lauren and Alexandra will be making daily
reports of their journey for justice and peace.
Their story can be followed at
Blair's niece joins Peace Cycle through Occupied
The niece of former British Prime Minister Tony
Blair is to brave checkpoints, soldiers and
blistering sun to cycle across the Middle East from
Eight-year-old Alexandra Darby will be joined by her
mother Lauren Booth and 15 other cyclists riding
from Amman, Jordan, all the way to Jerusalem.
Her uncle Tony Blair, now Middle East Envoy for the
Quartet, has so far made no comment on the planned
Alexandra’s journey will be more than a brief
sojourn in a comfortable Jerusalem hotel.
She will witness first-hand the devastating fallout
of a 61-year conflict.
The Peace Envoy’s niece has taken 2 weeks off school
to stay with families on unrecognised land whose
homes are regularly threatened with demolition by
the Israeli military.
She will visit refugee camps in Jordan, home to
Palestinians forced from their land in 1948.
The group of cyclists will track the path of the
eight-metre-high Separation Barrier as it snakes
through the West Bank.
The fourteen-day cycle will take Alexandra through
an historical and tragic landscape, finishing in
Jerusalem, the epicentre of centuries-old conflicts.
Peace Cycle needs help to fund this important event.
Please see our donations page
for how to make a contribution... Thank You!
Stand Up for Justice - Cycle for Peace!
Join the Peace Cycle this October from Amman to
Starting in Amman, the Peace Cycle will visit
Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan before cycling to
villages around Haifa and Nazareth and then riding as an
international group through Jenin, Al-Fara, Qalqilya,
Tulkarem, Nablus, Ramallah, Bil’in, Bethlehem, Hebron, and
finally into the extraordinary city of Jerusalem.
Get On Your Bike and Join Us!
about Palestinian culture and stay with Palestinian
the land and the current situation with your own eyes
solidarity and raise awareness about life under
and support the people and groups working for justice
and peace in Israel and Palestine.
- 23rd October 2009
All accommodation, meals, trained guides and cycling support
"The Peace Cycle was most amazing experience, it has
opened my eyes..."
2008 Peace Cyclist.
The Peace Cycle is a British non-profit organisation that
has organised successful cycle rides from London to
Jerusalem in 2004 and 2006, and from Amman to Jerusalem in
2008 raising funds for humanitarian charities.
Peace Cyclists will be raising funds for Oyooni Mobile Eye
Clinic, an initiative that aims to deliver specialised eye
care to diabetes & glaucoma patients in Palestine, the West
Bank and Gaza. See
For more details and an information pack email:
The Peace Cycle
works with partner organisations in Palestine, principally
the Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies:
International Middle East Media Centre (IMEMC) will be
issuing daily reports on the Peace Cycle 2009:
people have talked about standing up against injustice, but
how many people have got on their bikes for it?
On 31st March, The Peace Cycle rode from the International
Courts of Justice in The Hague to the European Parliament
for a presentation to Parliamentarians, hosted by Jean
Lambert of the Green Party.
The Peace Cycle is a British non-profit and voluntary
organisation that has twice cycled over 2000km from London
to Jerusalem and has also organised rides from Amman to
Jerusalem. The Peace Cycle aims to ‘End the cycle of
violence and promote a cycle for peace’ in the Middle
East. During this trip cycling through Holland and Belgium,
many local cyclists joined the group, making it very much a
Peace Cyclists from all backgrounds, ages, faiths and
nationalities, brought with them a petition for a call on
the EU to suspend its Association Agreement with Israel, a
contract which allows Israel privileged trading terms with
EU countries conditional upon respect for human rights.
Article 2 states ‘Relations between the parties, as well as
all the provisions of the Agreement itself, shall be based
on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which
guides their internal and international policy and
constitutes an essential element of this Agreement.’ The
petition, signed by over 17,000 people, was presented to Mr
Leonidas Tezopsidis, Head of the Middle East and Southern
Mediterranean Unit at the European Commission.
Peace Cyclists presented to Parliamentarians eye-witness
accounts of human rights abuses and a film of their
experiences in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and
Israel. Speakers included the youngest rider, now 17 but
aged just 12 years at the time of his ride, and the oldest
rider, aged 70 years. Both talked of their shock at seeing
illegal Israeli settlement building, Israeli-only roads
reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa, and being held for
hours at some of the five hundred checkpoints that litter
the Occupied Territories. They described how they were
personally appalled by the often offensive and rough
treatment by young Israeli soldiers to local Palestinian
people, including women and children. Another speaker, a
young Palestinian who had accompanied the Peace Cycle in
2004 and 2006, personally asked for justice after years of
deteriorating life conditions affecting not only his family,
but his whole community. He described how his father has to
leave home at 3am each morning for the three hour journey to
work, which before the separation wall was built would have
taken just twenty minutes. Another speaker, a keen cyclist
who admitted he had joined the ride across Europe to the
Middle East as a cycling adventure, said he returned home
with a changed mind after meeting a man whose home had been
demolished. The European Coordinator of the Peace Cycle
talked of the hope to cycle to Gaza in the near future to
witness conditions there. A Peace Cyclist is at present in
Gaza and sent pictures drawn by local school children
depicting harrowing scenes from the recent war. It is hoped
that these illustrations will be exhibited internationally
to show the effects of imprisoning children in a war zone.
Finally, the Parliamentarians were asked to think carefully
before any further voting on the upgrade of the EU-Israel
Action Plan which at present has been put on hold. There was
a plea for MEP’s to find out more about the reality in
Israel and Palestine by visiting the area and speaking to
all communities so that informed decisions could be made.
The Peace Cycle stressed that Parliamentarians must not be
afraid to speak out against injustice, however difficult for
party politics, as the EU has a duty and responsibility to
defend human rights and International Law.
The Peace Cycle is now organising its fourth cycle ride to
Jerusalem in October 2009 and welcomes cyclists and offers
of help to organise, promote, raise funds.
For further details email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Day 25 – Gaza Update
The bombs have stopped, the shooting ceased
but the plight of the people of Gaza
continues unabated. The pictures and
testimony of those who have lived through
the last three weeks of the Israeli
onslaught are horrific. Over
are now uninhabitable,
400,000 people are living without
mosques have been destroyed, all of the main
hospitals have been damaged – Israel has
subjected the people of Gaza to one of the
largest military assaults in recent history
and their utter disregard for innocent women
and children can be calculated in the latest
death toll – over 1400
killed nearly 6,000
PLEASE SIGN THE PEACE CYCLE PETITION!
The EU-Israel Association Agreement
allows Israel preferential trading terms with EU
However, article 2 of the terms of this agreement
states that all parties must respect human rights.
Israel is clearly in breach of these terms and our
petition calls for an immediate suspension of the
We will be presenting the petition to MEPs at the
European Parliament in Brussels at an event hosted
by the Green Party on Tuesday 31st March.
So please sign this petition and forward it to all
your contacts in the UK and across Europe, and let's
make this something the EU has to take notice of!
Follow link to petition at:
PLEASE SIGN AND
The realities of Israel’s occupation of Palestine?
Mass detentions, indiscriminate killings, denial of food, water and
fuel supplies, roadblocks, checkpoints, destruction
of schools, roads and infrastructure, imprisonment
behind an illegal wall, theft of land and the
demolition of 18,000 Palestinian homes.
the eyes of the world, the Palestinian civilian
population is scrambling to survive”
The UN Special Co-ordinator on the Middle East Peace
Join the Cycle for Justice
To register your interest in taking part or to help us plan and
organise Peace Cycle 2009 email:
* U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 calls for an immediate
withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories
occupied in the 1967 conflict (the West Bank, Gaza
and East Jerusalem), and for
achieving a just settlement of the Palestinian
"Patrons of the Peace Cycle".
Mordechai Vanunu spent 18 years in an
Israeli jail for exposing Israel’s secret nuclear weapons
programme, 12 years of these in solitary confinement. Despite
serving his sentence in full, Vanunu is still being held in
Israel against his will. He describes the Peace Cycle as “a
movement of compassion and hope”.
Alexei Sayle is one of Britain’s best loved comedians and is an
established actor and writer. He has written several novels and
television series and has made many television and film
Gush Shalom - the
Israeli Peace Bloc, says about The Peace Cycle:
"With the inaction of
the official organs of the international community towards the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gush Shalom sees The Peace Cycle
initiative as filling a
vacuum, encouraging us not to give up the struggle for a peace
based on the Green Line as the border between Israel and
Palestine - in order to start living side by side -
as good neighbours."
Read the Weblogs of 2006 Peace Cyclists…more
Read about the Peace Cycle in the media…more
"Israel has deprived
millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has
perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality.
It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of
Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in
particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular
children.....Palestine is one of the great moral causes of our time.
1945 - 2004
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