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Question Time-type event to explore how Wales can help Palestine

17 Apr 2024 4 minute read
Beth Winter MP

Martin Shipton

A Question Time-style event on Wales’ relationship with Palestine will take place in Cardiff this week with politicians, Palestinian and Jewish activists and peace campaigners fielding questions from the public.

Welsh politicians including Beth Winter MP (Labour), Sioned Williams MS (Plaid Cymru), Cllr Imran Latif (LibDem), and Anthony Slaughter (Green Party) will join Palestinian-Italian academic Sabrin Hasbun and Willoughby Zimmerman (South Wales Jews for Collective Liberation) to field questions from the public. Clare Daly, an Irish Member of the European Parliament will also be sending a video message.

Chaired by community activist Sharifah Rahman, introduced by Bethan Sayed, former Member of the Senedd, and hosted by Cardiff Stop the War Coalition, the event entitled ‘How Can Wales Support Palestine?’ will take place on Thursday April 18 at the Temple of Peace, Edward VII Avenue, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3AP.

Doors will open at 5.15 pm for light refreshments and stalls, and talks will begin at 6 pm. Advance registration is recommended by emailing [email protected]as interest is high in the event, with 200 attendees already registered.

‘Immediate needs’

Explaining the reasons for calling the town hall style meeting, Sharifah Rahman from Cardiff Stop the War Coalition said: “Britons are increasingly calling for a ceasefire and supporting Palestine, but political action on the whole has been wholly absent or very weak, with a few notable exceptions.

“Our panel discussion brings together politicians from a range of political parties with Palestinian and Jewish activists to discuss the urgent and immediate needs in Palestine, as well as the longer term steps towards liberation. It’s a chance for local citizens to ask elected representatives questions they have and learn how to move Palestine further up the political agenda”

Sioned Williams MS, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for social justice and equalities, said: “I’m very pleased to be part of this very important event. Wales has a role to play on the international stage, and we must be role models when it comes to calling for peace. That’s why I was proud that it was Plaid Cymru that took a motion to the Senedd to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

“While we do not have powers over international policy, as a nation of sanctuary, Wales should offer safety to all those having to flee war and destruction. I have called on the Welsh Government to add its voice to the international calls for peace in the region. They should confirm that they recognise the state of Palestine and they must press the UK Government for a global refugee scheme that gives the same rights to everybody needing it, regardless of nationality.”

Sabrin Hasbun, a Palestinian-Italian writer, academic and panelist at the event said:  “In these last months we have seen a deterioration of democratic structures and it is important now more than ever to keep exercising our rights and duties as citizens. The actions we take do not have to have an immediate changing impact, but it is important that we claim back the power we have as communities. I hope this event can show people that we have agency: from Palestine to Wales we can start claiming back liberated futures – greener, fairer decolonised futures.”

Beth Winter, the only Welsh Labour MP to call for an immediate ceasefire from day one, will be speaking at the event. This week she  joined a cross-party group presenting a petition to 10 Downing Street signed by tens of thousands of people demanding an arms embargo on Israel. Earlier this week she also clashed with Rishi Sunak in Parliament asking if the “tens of thousands of deaths and casualties Israel’s military attacks and imposed famine conditions have caused in Gaza are drivers of regional instability?”.

The event will include Palestinian snacks and desserts, tea and coffee, and baklava and sweet treats, and a raffle with prizes, all donated by local businesses in the community, and stalls supporting humanitarian aid organisations helping Palestinians.

Cardiff Stop the War Coalition is a broad-based coalition of peace, trade union, social justice, anti-racist, refugee, community and human rights groups founded the week after 9/11 in 2001. Over the last 20 years it has campaigned for peace in Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Palestine and elsewhere.

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Another Richard
Another Richard
1 month ago

I wonder what the content of Clair Daly’s message will be. She has referred to Ursula von der Leyen as “Frau Genocide” and refuses to criticise Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, where the security service lists her as a person who spreads Russian disinformation and propaganda. She has been described as a “star” of Chinese state media and has shown herself sympathetic to the despotisms in Syria and Iran. (Facts taken from the references to her Wikipedia entry.)

1 month ago

If its a Question Time -type event why no Tories?

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