April 23, 2009

Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid or, in one word, Zionism

I just got this notification of a meeting at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and it reminded of a letter that appeared in Private Eye's latest edition. A guy that withheld his name and address pointed out that "Ratbiter" had got the name wrong when he said that SOAS stood for the School of Oriental and Asian Studies. The guy (I'll assume it's a guy) said SOAS actually stands for the School of Organised Anti-Semitism (something likw that) and went on to say how the Students Union has was being hypocritical because it voted to boycott Israel and not to provide a platform for fascists at the same time as inviting someone from Hizbullah to give a talk on political Islam.

Just quickly, because that isn't the point of the post, apparently the Hizbullah chap is called Moussawi and he had said that Jews destroyed the World Trade Centre on 9/11 and maybe some other anti-Jewish things as well. The problem with this chap's reasoning is that Hizbullah isn't a state whereas Israel is. Israel is also a state whose existence is predicated on on-going abuses of human rights including very serious war crimes like ethnic cleansing. I don't know a lot about Hizbullah but I gather that their existence is predicated on its resistance to the State of Israel, a state that claims to represent the world's Jews. Further, there is a little bit more to fascism than saying nasty things about Jews. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that anti-Jewishness is clever, laudable or even ok but in the case of people on the receiving end of Israel's genocidal ambitions in Palestine and the south of Lebanon, I'd say it is understandable. But there is no double standard between boycotting Israel (and fascism) and engaging with a spokesperson for Hizbullah.

Now where was I. Ah yes, a meeting at SOAS. Here are the details:

Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?

Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?

Date: 16 May 2009Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 16 May 2009Time: 2:00 PM

Venue: Brunei GalleryRoom: Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Conference

This study considers whether Israeli practices in the OPT are consistent with colonialism and apartheid according to definitions provided by international law and the consequent implications for international action and responsibility, including prospects for bringing the question to the International Court of Justice.

Research was conducted by an international team of experts in human rights law and international humanitarian law, including Michelle Burgis, Shane Darcy, Max du Plessis, Fatmeh El-Ajou, Hassan Jabareen, Victor Kattan, Michael Kearney, Stephanie Koury, Godfrey Musila, John Reynolds, Rina Rosenberg, Iain Scobbie, Michael Sfard, Virginia Tilley, and Mays Warrad.

The study was supported by the Middle East Project (MEP), a project of the Democracy and Governance Programme of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa.

Organiser: HSRC Middle East Project and the Sir Joseph Hotung Research Programme

Contact email: sh84@soas.ac.uk, mep@hsrc.ac.za

Contact Tel: +44 20 7898 4561

Organised by: School of Law ,


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