By Iffah Ahmed, Deputy News Editor
On Thursday the 16th of November, the Jewish and Diplomatic society of Royal Holloway welcomed an exclusive guest speaker, Sharon Bar-Li, the Deputy Ambassador of Israel. Many students attended, listening to Bar-Li discuss Israel’s position in the Middle East and their perspective concerning minority rights.
The talk began with an oversight on political structures within Israel and externally in other Middle Eastern countries. Bar-Li indulged on minority rights historically and in the present day in Israel. She spoke of the after-affects of the Arab Spring had upon certain religious communities and how minority groups were exposed to endangering circumstances.
The discussion saw a spark in debate regarding diverse topics concerning minority right groups within Israel and external countries relationship with the nation. Questions were asked about the Israeli government and community being accepting of LGBT individuals and how other Middle Eastern countries could potentially adopt similar methods in destigmatising the negativity surrounding LGBT communities. Bar-Li went onto discuss how certain nations are not as open minded due to historical and religious influences and that it is a matter of time till change occurs.
Many questions were asked about the Israeli-Palestinian situation such as the minority rights of Palestinian women who give birth at checkpoints in ‘high risk conditions’, as stated in a UN report.
Questions were asked of the advantages Israeli farmers had over Palestinian farmers, in regards to the control over resources such as water, gas and electricity.
Furthermore, there were questions asked in relation to recent activities happening in the Israeli-Palestinian region and requests for Deputy Ambassador, Sharon Bar-Li’s opinions considering these events.
Image: Diplomatic Society