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press release, 20.09.2011:

Palestine Dabate in Vienna - absolutely necessary despite strong interventions

As Peter Leidenmühler, representative of the Union for Antiracism and Peace Policy 'Dar al Janub' reported, the symposium Remapping Palestine will take place as scheduled from October 19-21 despite strong interventions and protests from agencies associated with the Israeli Likud government. 'This symposium is highly relevant with regard to development and peace policy. The ongoing debate concerning the recognition of a Palestinian state shows the necessity to listen to the opinions of high-ranking Palestinian experts as well as highly regarded Israeli scientists critical of the government and peace activists even in Austria.' The withdrawal of a funding comittment by the Austrian Development Agency is indeed precarious as NGOs have to rely on commitments by public funding agencies, says Leidenmühler. ADA's statement, according to which the event would suddenly lack any relevance with regard to developmental policy, is irreproducable. Especially in Austria - which counts Palestine as a developmental priority country - a critical discussion of the reasons for the Middle Eastern conflict and the refugee issue as well as a discourse between Israelis and Palestinians interested in peace is crucial for sustainable peace and development policy. After the withdrawal of the ADA, further financing is not yet clarified


Some of the major topics of the symposium will be historical lines and structures of the conflict in Israel/Palestine; the recent situation in the occupied areas; the reception of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Western World; the recent policy of financial contributors and the perspectives of an equitable and long-term peace settlement in the Middle East. Key speakers will be the Palestinian historian Salam Abu Sitta, the American-Palestinian scientist Joseph Massad, the Israeli historian Ilan Pappé, Umar Al Ghurabi as a representative of the Israeli NGO Zochrot and the German Bundestag member Anette Groth.

Details on the symposium  »

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