Debate on Israel and Palestine in Derry this week

Former Derry Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn. (1603PG40)
Former Derry Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn. (1603PG40)

The ‘Realpolitik - Derry’ is to present a debate focused on the Israel - Palestine conflict on Wednesday night.

‘Israel on Trial or Israel Misunderstood’ will present various views from different experts in the field.

Fadl Mustapha, a Palestinian living in Donegal, and Gerry MacLochlainn, former Sinn Fein Derry City Councillor, will be in attendance along with Professor Geoffrey Alderman.

The event takes place on Wednesday, February 21, at the Maldron Hotel, Derry at 8pm (doors open 7.30pm).

Admission is £5 at the door and those planning on attending are asked to arrive early as a big crowd is expected.

The panel will present their differing analysis on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, before then debating the issues presented.

This will be followed with a Q&A session.

Professor Alderman is an English-born author, historian and journalist.

A graduate of Oxford University (from which he holds two doctorates) he is a staunch supporter of Israel, and happy to call himself a Zionist.

He is currently a Professor of Politics & Contemporary History at the University of Buckingham.

He’s also a prize-winning journalist and writes a regular column for the Jewish Telegraph.

Geoffrey has written 17 books, including, ‘London Jewry and London Politics 1889-1986’ and

Most recently, ‘British Jewry since Emancipation’.

He is currently working his eighteenth book,’The Federation of Synagogues: A New History.’

Fadl Mustapha meanwhile is a 1948 ‘Nakba’ third generation Palestinian refugee, born in a refugee camp in Lebanon and now resides in Ireland.

He’s a political, peace activist and a human rights advocate, a theatre actor and a drama facilitator.

He currently works with the Refugee Resettlement Programme in Donegal to support Syrian and Iraqi refugee resettling in the county.

He has participated, on many occasions, in talks, events and workshops promoting a dialogue between the two conflicting sides using the tools of the ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ to bring about positive change and encouraging communications that promotes a better understanding of the realities of the conflict,

Organiser of the event, Gregory Sharkey said: “This will be an event not to be missed by those who feel passionate about the plight of the Palestinians; or those who believe in the preservation of the state of Israel. It is open to everyone to attend, and is intended to be as inclusive as possible.”

He added: “The aims of the ‘Realpolitik - Derry’ is to promote alternative voices, and bring speakers to the city of Derry.

“The topics will include politics, geopolitics, media, spirituality, the arts, sociological and psychological phenomena, etc etc. Each event will have a unique format that will be befitting of the subject matter and speaker/s.”

“My first event was ‘Imperialism on Trial’ which took place in the Waterside Theatre, Derry, on January 30, 2018. Five speakers, including George Galloway and Peter Ford (Former UK Ambassador to Syria) gave presentations about what western imperialism has been doing throughout the world, for the last 20 years. The event was a huge success, with over 30,000 viewing it on the RT News network’s livestream.”