- On 23 November 2019, EuroPal Forum and Middle East Monitor co-hosted a conference at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury in London on the relations between Europe and Palestine. A first of its kind, the conference brought together individuals at the forefront of discourse on Palestine in order to discuss themes addressing the Palestinian cause and Europe.
- The rationale behind holding a conference of this nature stemmed from the idea that those working for Palestine in Europe have increasingly lacked mechanisms of control or assessment in a methodical and administrative manner. To bridge this gap, the conference was designed to provide an academic forum through which to assess the work being done to challenge Israel’s policies as well as to survey the nature of support for Palestine at the political, diplomatic, trade union and public level. The core objective of the conference was — through this platform for scientific understanding of Europe’s relations vis-à-vis Palestine — to foster tangible recommendations and action points that can be utilised and put into operation by a number of actors working in different areas on the case of Palestine.
The Chairman of EuroPal Forum, British-Palestinian journalist Zaher Birawi, welcomed those present and put the conference in context. He noted that the efficacy in creating a forum in which the relations between Europe and Palestine are analysed holistically comes against the backdrop of Europe becoming a space, over the past 30 or 40 years, “in which Palestinian solidarity organisations are able to mobilise more effectively and expose Israel’s actions at the official and popular levels relative to other regions and countries.”
In this light, Birawi noted the importance of bringing together a range of academics and researchers engaged in scholarship relating to the question of Palestine and Europe. This, he said, will create an environment in which the information gap on the relations between Palestine and Europe — that is often an existential challenge for politicians, researchers and NGOs — is bridged.