The Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s (PSC) national director entertained an audience at the Queen’s Head in Rye last Thursday night.
Ben Jamal talked about being Palestinian himself but also addressed the question of why Britons should care about Palestine. He spoke of his fears that Palestinians today are facing a new ‘Nakba’ – the Arabic word for ‘catastrophe’ which refers to the forced expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their towns after the State of Israel was declared in 1948.
Ben – invited to speak by the Hastings & Rye Palestine Solidarity Campaign (HRPSC) – said: “There has been a massive shift in public opinion in the UK in the last 20 years. You can measure it in opinion polls on a very basic level, you ask people – where is your basic sympathy? Do you broadly sympathise with the Palestinians or do you sympathise with the Israelis? And it’s particularly stark among the younger generation; 5-1 for the Palestinians the last time the PSC did an opinion poll.”
The talk was concluded with a lively Q&A where questions were raised about how supporters can act locally.
HRPSC chairman Katy Colley said afterwards: “The audience tonight really responded to Ben’s forensic and thoughtful discussion of these vital issues. It just goes to show – we may just be a small town in East Sussex but the struggle for justice is a universal one and we are all part of that movement.”