Conference Edinburgh March 2019
Gaza, under Israeli military occupation since 1967, is home to two million Palestinians. Most are there because in 1948, when Britain abandoned its Mandate for Palestine, Gaza gave refuge to Palestinians forced to flee from the fighting which erupted. For the last 12 years Israel has blockaded this strip of land. Much of its infrastructure has been destroyed by Israeli bombing. The United Nations says that by 2020 Gaza will be uninhabitable. But the people will still be there. They are locked in.
In March 2019 the Balfour Project held conferences at Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities to examine Britain’s historical responsibility for this tragedy, and to explore what our Government and civil society can do now to advance equal rights for all who live between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
Sir Vincent Fean, Chair of the Balfour Project, said, ‘On the issue of Palestinian self-determination, Scotland is the conscience of the United Kingdom. This is the place where our responsibility to act in support of equal rights is most clearly felt and expressed. I commend the Scottish Call to Action to advance those rights, including through British Government recognition now of the independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel. Gaza is an integral part of Palestine, whose people are entitled to the very same rights as Israelis’.
Christine De Luca reading Towards an independent Palestinian state: a Scottish call to action. From 2014 – 2017, Christine was Edinburgh Makar – poet laureate for the City of Edinburgh.