The Israel-Palestine conflict has been raging on for decades, and it remains one of world’s “hidden” conflicts for a multitude of reasons. However, for one day it is given the spotlight. November 29 is the UN Day of Solidarity with Palestinians.
This year is the 39th anniversary of the annual observance, which recognizes the hardships Palestinians had to suffer and still do to this day. The UN Day of Solidarity with Palestinians marks “136 countries [recognizing] the State of Palestine, and its flag flies at the United Nations next to those of all Member States,” stated former Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon.
To commemorate the state of Palestine, the University of the Fraser Valley is hosting a conference on November 26, 2016 in the auditorium (B101) that is running from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Ron Dart, a political science instructor at UFV who is actively involved in bringing light to the Israel-Palestine conflict, is helping organize the event.
“Since 1948, millions of Palestinians have been forcibly disposed and denied fundamental human rights that we in Canada take for granted,” he said. “Today, millions live under harsh Israeli military occupation. This conference is a chance for Canadians of conscience to learn more about the situation, listen to the stories of Palestinians, and explore how to work for justice and peace.”
The keynote speakers of the conference will be human rights activists Cindy and Craig Corrie. Their story is one of incredible tragedy, as their daughter Rachel Corrie was crushed to death in 2003 by an Israeli military bulldozer as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in Gaza. Her passing served as motivation for the Corries to established the Rachel Corrie Peace and Justice Foundation, which supports peace and justice initiatives all around the world, but in particular the Israel-Palestine conflict. The family is an active proponent of bringing awareness to the conflict, and they are currently leading an interfaith delegation in the West Bank and Gaza.
The Corries will elaborate on their daughter’s story, their own experiences in connection with the people of Palestine, and how paramount it is that the human rights of Palestinians be advocated for.
Additional speakers of the conference will include members of British Columbia’s Palestinian community, a representative of Independent Jewish Voices, and local advocates for Palestinian rights. From Palestinians speaking at the conference, attendees will gain a personal view of the conflict.
Apart from the Rachel Corrie Foundation, additional sponsors of the conference include Canadian Friends of Sabeel, Independent Jewish Voices Vancouver, United Network for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, and Canada Talks Israel Palestine.
To learn more about the Israel-Palestine conflict, make sure to attend the conference on November 26, 2016. Whether you attend for a couple hours or the entire six hours, you will not regret it.