November 12, 2011
Over a thousand people attended the Norman Finkelstein’d lecture in central London yesterday night, 11/November/2011. Participants were of different backgrounds, ages and professions and mostly university students. The event is part of a UK tour carried out by Finkelstein which comes within Palestine awareness week organized by the Palestinian Return Centre and others. The event which started around 7pm witnessed long queues of people and happened to be a complete sell out. Dozens were not able to take part due to lack of space.
Norman Finkelstein’s lecture illustrated about the developments of Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In his talk, he criticized Israel for its procrastination and manipulation regarding peace process accusing its leadership of being the key obstacle to peace.
Furthermore, he blamed Israel for the constant tensions taking place in the region. Also, criticized Israel for its war against the civilians in Gaza and Lebanon where thousands died and injured.
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) consider this talk and tour as the most important and successful ever event carried in the UK as thousands took place in the events. The tour helped to familiarize students and beginners with the conflict.
“We are keen to spread the word about Palestine in the UK. Universities and students our key target to teach them about the injustice facing Palestinians. Working with student unions and groups help reaching that goal. Also, such events can support the Right of Return as people become more aware of the plight facing Palestinians.” Said PRC
The tour of Finkelstein was successful despite the attempts of Pro-Israeli groups to smear and ruin it. The groups caused to move the venue of Manchester event from the university to Friends House hall in the city. Manchester University was pressured to move the events following false accusations spread by Israeli lobby.
Jewish Chronicle, a leading Jewish and Pro-Israeli newspaper in the UK featured the tour on its front page accusing Finkelstein of being an anti-Semite just because he criticizes the barbaric behaviour of Israel. The paper was angry to the so-called of pro-Palestinian activism that is sweeping across British Universities
The awareness week included events in Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds, Birmingham and London.
PRC in the meantime announced that it has started to prepare a speaking tour for Madth Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor who witnessed Israeli attacks against Gaza civilians in 2009. Gilbert will speak at the Imperial College, UCL, Manchester and Edinburgh Universities. These events are part of the 3rd Palestine Memorial Week mid Jan 2012.