Eighty people, many new to ICAHD UK, attended the conference in Leeds on Saturday 13 October, where they heard from special guest speakers Itay Epshtain, Co-Director ICAHD, and Stephen Wilkinson, Legal Advisor Diakonia.
After the conference, Epshtain participated in a variety of meetings with faith groups, NGOs, and the Jewish community. Several meetings were also held with parliamentarians and their aids. Epshtain and ICAHD UK Director briefed the Minister for International Development Alan Duncan, and Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt.
The Briefing focused on Israel’s policies and practices of demolition, displacement and settlement expansion, part and parcel of prolonged occupation, and called the UK government to hold Israeli officials accountable. ICAHD’s Epshtain pointed at the fleeting prospects for a just two-state solution, a statement echoed in a statement made by Minister Burt following the meeting: “The UK has been clear that Israeli settlements are illegal and undermine the possibility of a two state solution. It is deeply worrying that despite repeatedly raising our concerns, Israel continues to press ahead with plans to expand them.”
Epshtain and ICAHD Norway Director Silje Ryvold
Following his time in the UK, Epshtain visited with ICAHD Norway, headquartered in Tromso. While in Tromso he met with the Mayor, Jens Johan Hjort, and spoke at various seminars in conjunction with the University of Tromso and the UN Association.