South Africa will play host to a distinguished Israeli historian and social activist in the form of Prof. Ilan Pappe who will be conducting a national public tour between the 31st July and 7th August. The tour is being organised by Muslim Views and will include a live debate on ITV addressing the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Pappe is currently a professor at the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the UK. An outspoken social activist, Pappe is known for support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement and towards a one state solution in favour of the Palestinians. His arguments on the conflict have been described as cogent, and well researched.
Muslim Views editor Farid Sayed called Pappe’s visit to the country fortuitous, in light of the current crisis in Gaza. He described the Israeli offensive as the most savage onslaught seen in Gaza for many years.
Discussing the live on air debate, Sayed said they were still waiting for confirmation from an individual to debate for the opposing viewpoint, having seen the SA Jewish Board of Deputies turn down their request. Sajbod refused on the basis that they did not have a Middle Eastern expert on their team. The debate is scheduled to take place this coming Saturday on ITV between 8pm and 10pm.
Sayed was confident the visit of an important historian like Prof. Ilan Pappe, would shatter some of the myths that have been floating around amongst the local community.
“He’s a scholar of note so his arguments are not only going to be relevant in terms of what we are seeing in Palestine today, but will also be informative for people about the real issues in Palestine,” he said.
He said it was vital to give voice to individuals such as Pappe, who were usually marginalised and ridiculed in their own society due to their viewpoints. He reiterated the words of Pappe, who said that South Africa, more than any other country or society in the world, could identify with what was happening in Palestine.
The Cape Town leg of Pappe’s tour will kick off on Thursday the 31st July in Stellenbosch, an area known for its strong solidarity movement. The following day he will hold a post Jumuah talk at Masjidul Quds, as well as a public talk at the community house in Salt River. Following his appearance on ITV, Pappe will attend the marquee event on the tour, which will be a mass public meeting on Sunday the 3rd August at the Islamia College Hall. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)