Across the Great Divide..
04 May '17..
On Thursday, 4th May, I spent the day at the University of Warwick. Warwick forms part of one of my favourite areas of the UK. Close enough to visit from London in a day, and containing both Warwick castle and Shakespeare’s town, Stratford upon-Avon. As is proving to be a recurring theme, the romantic relationship I have with the country of my birth is being torn apart piece by piece. This is my report:
The conference was a full day event. It did not seem to have been long in the planning. Advertising for the event suddenly appeared about two weeks ago and I only saw the event promoted via social media on some university related Facebook pages, and of course, on the pages of the local anti-Israel activist groups.
Logistically , the conference was made up of three panels, three speakers in each and a final ‘keynote’ conversation between a lawyer/activist at an anti-Israel NGO and a Palestinian legal academic. Apart from the final keynote, each academic would present a ‘paper’ and have 15-20 minutes each to speak. Each of the four sessions was chaired by a University of Warwick academic. Fifteen participants in total. ‘Coincidentally’, all four of the chairs (Sara Salem, Alice Panepinto, Teodora Todorova & Nicola Pratt) are all University of Warwick academics who have engaged in anti-Israel activism.
The room was small, attendance peaked at about 45 people. Fifteen participants, alongside a few other organisers. A small number of other Warwick academics were present. Fifteen or so activists from the local Leamington Spa and Warwick Palestine groups also turned up, to have their fetish fed. Perhaps a handful of ‘others’. There was not much of a student presence at all.
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