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Lecture: One Muslim’s perspective on the Israel / Palestine Dispute

56-minute presentation to Greater Manchester Humanists summarising the origins of the dispute and how it might be resolved plus Q&A session.


Delivered 14 March 2018. Posted 15 August 2019

Several people involved with running Greater Manchester Humanists ("GMH") know me from attending events of The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester.

Accordingly, when GMH asked me to present on Israel & Palestine, I readily agreed and gave them the following synopsis:

One Muslim’s perspective on the Israel / Palestine Dispute

The dispute between Jews and Arabs over the land of Palestine is over 100 years old, dating back to Britain’s capture of Jerusalem in World War 1.

After the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the dispute became one of the hinge points of the cold war, with Israel being supported by the USA and the Arab states by the USSR. More recently with the rise of Hamas and Hezbollah, and the growing influence of the Jewish religious parties in Israel, the dispute has taken on a more overtly religious dimension.

It is also a dispute where many who have never set foot in either Israel or Palestine have very strongly polarised views.

Our speaker, Mohammed Amin, has been very aware of the dispute since the early 1960’s, and has written and spoken extensively about the dispute. He will share with us his very rare perspective, which comes from his being both a Muslim and someone who has deep connections with the Jewish community both nationally and locally.

I recorded my talk. Accordingly, below are:

  1. A 56-minute self-advancing PowerPoint presentation with a recording of my talk with a link to my PowerPoint slides in case you wish to look at them more closely.
  2. A partial transcript / recording of the question and answer session.


Presentation outline

  1. People care about Israel & Palestine
  2. Sanctuary matters
  3. The birth of modern Zionism
  4. A brief history
  5. What if? An alternative history
  6. Where next?
  7. What you can do
  8. Bibliography
  9. Q&A

Video - One Muslim’s perspective on the Israel / Palestine Dispute


How the presentation was recorded

My first presentation recording was done on the spur of the moment, just putting my iPhone 6 on the table and relying on its built in microphone. See my page Lecture: One Muslim’s Perspective on Religious Freedom.

Once I found recording presentations worthwhile, I purchased a high quality Sennheiser digital lapel microphone which plugs into the lightning port of my iPhone. That produces a much better recording.

The slides

I am happy to share the original PowerPoint slide presentation.

A partial transcript / recording of the question and answer session

The question and answer session was also recorded. However, I am not publishing the full audio recording for two main reasons:

  1. While the sound quality of my responses is very clear, the questioners were some distance from the microphone. Accordingly, in many cases their questions are almost inaudible.
  2. Some of the interaction during the Q&A session is not particularly informative for those not present on the occasion.

Instead, I have listened to the Q&A session and, where I regard the questions as being worth sharing, have written down a condensed version of the questions. I have then published the audio of my answers.

1. This questioner stated that he had Jewish parents and lost grandparents in the Holocaust. “You did not mention Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying about three years ago that there would never be Palestinian sovereign state, or the ethnic cleansing of Palestine that took place in 1948. Do you agree that Israeli policies are following the Dalet plan from around 1937 intended to ensure that there is only a Jewish state between the sea and the River Jordan? ”


The recording below of my answer mentions three books which are in the bibliography.

“The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” by Ilan Pappe.

I have read this but not yet written a review.

"1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War" by Benny Morris

There is a review on my website.

"In Ishmael’s House – A History of Jews in Muslim Lands" by Martin Gilbert

There is a review on my website.

Recording of my 6-minute answer

When listening to the above answer, you may notice a couple of "slips of the tongue" when I say "Israeli" instead of "Palestinian" or vice versa. However from the full answer you will be clear who I am referring to.

2. This questioner was from the Indian subcontinent. He was concerned about the conflict between India and Pakistan as well as Israelis and Palestinians. What did I see as the future?

My 1-minute response below covered all conflicts of this nature.

3. At one time, Islamic empires treated Jews with great respect. They had rights which many other places (such as Christian Europe) denied them. What are your views on the current US President (Trump) shifting the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

My 3-minute answer is below.

4. Resolving conflicts requires compromise, which neither side is willing to do. Against that background, do you see any basis for a resolution of the conflict?

“It requires people to decide that the future matters more to them than the past.”

My 1-minute answer is below.

5. What are the implications of Russian’s growing power in Syria?

My 1-minute answer is below.


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