Palestine Expo given green light after banning threat by government

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Palestine Expo given green light after banning threat by government

Department for Local Government won't stop event taking place, despite fears that its organisers have ties to terror groups

Jack Mendel is the former Online Editor at the Jewish News.

A pro-Palestine event due to be held in London will go ahead, despite government threats to ban it over alleged links to terror group Hamas.

The Palestine Expo is expected to draw around 10,000 people to the Queen Elizabeth II Centre (QEII) in London, on the weekend of 8 and 9 July.

Earlier in the week, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid wrote a letter to organisers, Friends of Al Aqsa, to express concerns over their links to terror groups.

He is quoted in the Guardian as citing “concerns that your organisation and those connected with it have expressed public support for a proscribed organisation, namely Hamas, and that you have supported events at which Hamas and Hizballah – also proscribed – have been praised”.

Speaking to Jewish News on Tuesday, Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “We have worked with the QEII Centre to carry out checks following concerns raised about the Palestine Expo 2017. Following these checks, we have agreed the event can take place as planned.”

The event is billed as “the biggest social, cultural and entertainment event on Palestine to ever take place in Europe”, and will feature speakers including anti-Zionist Israeli-born speakers Ilan Pappe and Miko Peled, journalists Ben White and Peter Oborne, and controversial former National Union of Students president Malia Bouattia.

Also appearing is Iyad Burnat, who has previously been denied entry to the UK, and John Pilger documentary maker and journalist from Australia. When Burnat was turned away from Britain in September 2016, he blamed the “Zionist lobby” and pointed to an article about his planned visit in Jewish News.



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