This week, Kings College London Israel Society, a CAMERA-supported group, is hosting an event entitled “Forbidden Lines, New Friendships – The Case for Humanitarian Diplomacy in Syria”. The event may also make a small piece of history, as it is believed to be the first time that an Israeli and a Syrian have ever appeared together at a UK campus event.
The event will discuss the ongoing war in Syria, and how to provide humanitarian aid despite all the complications caused by politics. The two speakers at the event are Dr. Nir Boms and Issam Zeitoun. Dr Nir Boms is a lecturer at Hebrew University, and is an expert on civil disobedience and freedom of expression in the Arab world, the Arab Spring, and the role of the internet and technology in the uprising. Issam Zeitoun is from the village of Bet Jan in the Syrian portion of the Golan Heights, a few miles from Israel. He is an international liaison for the Syrian residents of the Golan, who calls for the creation of an international safe zone to protect residents of that area. We are very excited to be hosting an event that will discuss the civil war in Syria, it is crucial for us to outline the part Israel has to play in the humanitarian side of the conflict. Hadar Langerman, the head of Kings College London Israel Society said, “We are very excited to be hosting an event that will discuss the civil war in Syria, it is crucial for us to outline the part Israel has to play in the humanitarian side of the conflict.”
The timing of the event could not be more significant, seeing as next week sees the beginning of the hateful Israel Apartheid Week on UK campuses. Beyond its long term goal of destroying the Jewish state, in the short term it aims to demonize and spread hatred about Israel. As opposed to this one-sided narrative, the event at Kings College will focus on the positive influence Israel does and can have on the region. An Israeli and a Syrian, talking about how to better the lives of Syrians – just remember, that if Israel Apartheid Week, and the BDS movement had its way, this important conversation would never happen. Whereas the organizers of Israel Apartheid Week are motivated by a hatred for Israel, the organizers of this event at Kings College are looking for how Israel can be a force for good, not only for the Jewish people, and for its Arab citizens, but for the people of the Middle East as a whole. Apartheid Week goes really low – and Kings Israel Society is going high.
Contributed by Aron White, CAMERA intern