Students debate Trump and Palestine

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Professor Michael Lavalette gives his talk. Pic by Andrew Cook © JMU Journalism

Following the election of Donald Trump in the United States, the University of Liverpool Friends of Palestine held a talk this week about the repercussions this could have for the Palestinian claim to be a nation.

The talk, ‘Trump and Palestine: An Uncertain Future’ was hosted by Professor Michael Lavalette, author of ‘Voices from the West Bank’, on Monday night.

His publication is written from the perspective of young 21st Century Palestinians who feel they are being oppressed by Israeli rule.

Questions are being asked by the Liverpool-based group after President Trump signalled his intention to move the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

This raises contentious issues as the fate of Jerusalem is considered one of the most hotly-disputed aspects of the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

YouTube: Vox – simple explanation of the Israel/Palestine conflict

Palestinian land is current restricted to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank settlements of Israel, whilst the Jewish state has claim to the rest of the land formerly known as Palestine. Many on the pro-Palestine side believe the land to be rightfully theirs, and the treatment of Arabs in Israel has long been a cause for concern with many authorities. More than 4.5 million Palestinians live in the occupied territory but are not granted Israeli citizenship.

Professor Lavalette, who gave the talk, said: “When I visited Jerusalem a few years ago, the eastern side owned by Palestine had one fire station with one fire engine. The western Israeli side had six stations with lots more engines, and were paid five times the wages of the Palestinian side, despite being hired by the same company.”

About Andrew Cook, JMU Journalism