On Saturday 5 March FOSIS and Olive in partnership with Friends of Al Aqsa organised this year’s Palestine Conference. The conference took place at the London School of Economics (LSE) and was hosted by LSE Islamic Society. It was a remarkable success against the odds of a government determined to counter any criticism of Israel.
This year’s Palestine Conference included an array of academics, journalists and activists. Each of the panel speakers brought their own expertise on the issue of Palestine and provided specialised knowledge from history, politics and campaigning. Some of the speaker included Ben White, Malia Bouattia and Max Blumenthal.
Workshops provided practical ways to get involved to end Israel’s occupation through a number of political actions from lobbying to BDS. Shamiul Joarder, head of Friends of Al-Aqsa’s public affairs emphasised the need and importance of increasing political lobbying in the UK. This is a central part of campaigning because of the success and influence the international community had in lobbing and boycotting South African apartheid in the 1950s. He also stressed that this can only be done by making sacrifices and taking the time to collectively campaign for Palestine, in order to see the fruits of change on the ground.
The conference highlighted the ongoing harrowing crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people, while also providing practical actions to take in order to bring about change. The conference gave people the drive and knowledge about what steps need to be implemented in order for the international community to hold Israel accountable to end its illegal occupation.
The overall outcome of the conference was to remind people about their privileged positions in helping end Israel’s inhumane occupation, and to stand in solidarity with Palestinians by supporting BDS and political lobbying.
We spoke to a number of attendees to get their feedback –
“I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s Palestine conference it was refreshing to be in a space where everyone was committed towards actively making a difference towards justice and peace in Palestine. I was able to gain extensive knowledge from all of the speakers and also learned useful lessons from each of the workshops.” – Haleema
“It was an amazing event and it was great to learn through the fun activities.” – Berrin
“The political lobbying workshop was excellent and well delivered. It made political lobbying an easy topic to learn about.” – Abdul
“We were warmly welcomed by the organisers and I really enjoyed having my knowledge tested and winning a prize.” – Mahdi