Saturday, 24 March 2012

LSE Palestine Society hosts Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset

LSE SU Palestine Society

On Monday 5th March, the Palestine Society at the LSE had the honour of hosting Deputy Speaker of Israeli Knesset Dr Ahmed El Tibi in a talk entitled 'Israel & the Arab Spring: The Way Forward'. 

From left to right: Chair Samer Abdelnour, Ambassador Manuel
Hassassian, and Dr Ahmed El Tibi
Tibi, who was introduced to the audience by the Palestinian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Manuel Hassassian, began by discussing the discrimination that Palestinian citizens of Israel suffer from, such as the fact that "Arab citizens of Israel make up 20% of the Israeli population yet make up only 7.5% of public sector employees". He went on to describe the Knesset as at its "most racist, radical and extreme", giving the example of the Israeli law against family unification which essentially "forbids an arab citizen of Israel who is willing to marry a Palestinian woman from the West bank from having his life in his town in Israel unless he is willing to leave his country and live with his wife in Israel". Regarding this, he commented that "only Israel deals with romance and love as a conspiracy against the security of Israel".

The speaker then went on to talk about issues of democracy and security, arguing that Israel and indeed the world is selective about these things when it comes to Palestine whilst making a reference to Hamas' election in Gaza in 2008 which was wholly unaccepted by a number of countries. Tibi also alleged that "the word security is only compatible with Israel" given that "in Gaza there is much more need for security than in Tel Aviv".

After a 30-minute speech, a lively Q&A session ensued, with Ambassador Hassassian referring to the 60-year Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories as "the most ferocious occupation in modern history". 

1 comment:

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