Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Speaker session Tuesday evening

130 people attended today's speaker session to hear the following speakers:

Geoffrey Whitfield, former chaplain of Sussex and executive director of 'The World Sports Peace Project', spoke of the importance of conflict prevention over conflict resolution and gave us ideas for actions that we can ourselves take towards this end.

Kees Van Der Pijl, of the Sussex International Relations department, educated us on the history of the conflict in relation to Western imperialism and the Napoleonic empire, explaining the historical origins of Israel as a European colonisation project for displaced Jews.

John Molyneux dismantled some of the common media myths that operate as smokescreens for the issues, including the conflation of a stance against the policies of Israel with anti-semitism; the notion of 'impartiality' as not taking sides in situations of the absolute dispossession and oppression of a people, and the idea that the Israel-Palestine conflict is simply a matter of two peoples that don't get on rather than occupation.

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