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Israel minister seeking to bar Palestine Knesset member from Palestine Expo event

Knesset Member Dr Yousef Jabareen at MEMO's 'Present Absentees' conference in London on April 27, 2019 [Middle East Monitor]
Knesset Member Dr Yousef Jabareen at MEMO's 'Present Absentees' conference in London on April 27, 2019 [Middle East Monitor]

Israeli Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, is seeking to block an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, Yousef Jabareen, from taking part at the Palestine Expo event in London this weekend, where the representative from Al-Jabha (Hadash) is expected to deliver a talk on the “deal of the century.”

The Likud member’s attempt to silence Jabareen saw Erdan sending an urgent letter to the Knesset’s legal advisor, Eyal Yennon, demanding that he not to approve the participation of the Arab politician at the Palestine Expo event. Erdan cited the conference organiser’s support for the global divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS) to justify his assault on free speech by blocking Jabareen from taking part at the conference.

READ: Pro-Israel legal group campaigns to ban Palestine event in the UK

“The Middle East Monitor [MEMO], which invited MP Jabarin to the conference and organized it, along with the Friends of Al Aqsa Organization and other Palestinian, Arab and international organizations sponsoring the conference, supports the boycott of Israel and works to discredit its reputation,” Erdan wrote in his letter seen by MEMO.

The Israeli Minister then vented his frustration at UK Jewish organisations that are also sponsoring the event. Claiming that “anti-Israel” organizations in Britain and abroad, such as the Jewish Voice for Peace, are supporting this conference, Erdan said that the conference will include sessions on the dangers of the deal of the century and the law of Jewish nationalism, as well as a special session on the status of Palestinian society in Israel.

READ: Mandela’s grandson slams pro-Israel group’s efforts to shutter Palestine event

Jabareen denounced the attempt to block him from speaking in London and insisted that he was taking part in one of the largest international conferences in the world organised in support of the Palestinian people and their rights. Referring to his ongoing parliamentary activity and international work, he said: “The ministers of the extreme right are disturbed by our international activity. We expose Israeli policies and draw attention to the dangerous practices of these ministers at important forums”.

Jabareen accused the extreme right-wing Israeli ministers of trying to undermine the activities of the Arab elected members and representatives of the Palestinian Arab community to gain a political advantage.

“Erdan is trying to gain some political profit at the expense of the freedom of our political and parliamentary work,” Jabreen said. He added, “I will not be discouraged, and will continue my activities to expose Israel’s racist policies and occupation to the world as well as the reality of the discrimination we face living as second-class citizens in this state [Israel].”

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