Imperial College Islamic Society booked accomodation at the College
for the 2015
Palestine Confererence
wiht a range of repsected speakers including
Mustafa Barghouti, Ilan Pappé and Ben White. At the last minute
the College management cancelled the booking without providing any reason
and the organisers had to post a
Facebook notice announcing the change
the day before the event.

The action by Imperial College follows on a
similar move by the University of Rome III
which denied an event’s
organizers use of its prestigious Center for Italian and French Studies
for a debate the use and abuse of identity in Europe and the Middle
East, again due to feature Ilan Pappé. The debate was relocated
to an alernative, less suitable, venue. While the University gave no
substantive reason, a pro-Israel website, Informazione Corretta, claimed
victory, stating that thanks to “friends in Rome,” the venue
had been denied due to protests over its proximity to the city’s
Jewish quarter.

The new venue was packed with a standing room only crowd, as was a
last-minute overflow room, providing the opportunity to listen to an
open debate in which Palestine was one issue in a wider conversation
about power and knowledge.