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Palestine Expo Given Go-Ahead (29/06/2017)

The government will allow an event celebrating Palestinian culture and featuring anti-Zionist speakers to take place at the QE2 Centre

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A Palestinian cultural event will be allowed to take place after Communities Secretary Sajid Javid wrote a letter of concern regarding its potential support of Hamas.

The Palestine Expo, one of the largest Palestinian events in Europe, will be held at the QE2 Centre in London on 8th and 9th of July.

Around 10,000 people are expected to attend the event hosted by a Friends of Al Aqsa, an organization whose affiliates led Javid to express concern that the event might feature pro-Hamas content.

(source: Twitter)

The QE2 Centre is run by the government and on June 14th Javid wrote a letter to Friends of Al Aqsa suggesting the event might be called off over, “concerns that your organization and those connected with it have expressed public support for a proscribed organization, and that you have supported events at which Hamas and Hizballah- also proscribed- have been praised.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government was meant to have a decision by June 23rd as to whether the event would be allowed to continue, but Javid’s office was reportedly too busy following Grenfell Tower fire to offer a decision at the time.

Friends of Al Aqsa founder Ismail Patel responded to Javid’s letter, saying that the department has “failed to provide any satisfactory reason as to why they have chosen an event which seeks to celebrate Palestinian culture and heritage.”

Patel questioned the legality of the ban and promised that his organization will seek a judicial review if any further attempts are made to stop the Palestine Expo.

(source: Palestine Expo)

On Tuesday, Javid’s office released a statement confirming that the event will be allowed to continue.

Javid’s spokesperson said: “We have worked with the QE2 Centre to carry out checks following concerns raised about the Palestine Expo 2017. Following this checks, we have agreed the event can take place as planned.”

Speakers at the event include several prominent and occasionally controversial critics of Zionism, including journalist John Pilger, former National Unionof Students Malia Bouattia, academics Illan Pappe and activist Miko Peled.


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