The Manchester-Israel Palestine Forum (MIPF)
What is the MIPF ?
The MIPF is a society at the University of Manchester comprising pro-Palestinian, pro-Israeli and neutral individuals who share a common interest in the Middle Eastern conflict. It is open to everybody and has no particular stance on the conflict. We want to pursue a constructive dialogue between all related parties, providing the opportunity for everyone to appreciate other points of view regarding the conflict. By opening a debate and presenting all the views on the issues, we also aim to attract students who are interested in deepening their knowledge by proposing a cross-cultural exchange and a holistic understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Why this forum?
The Middle Eastern conflict attracts a great deal of attention in the press and in general political discussions, but the only campus-based activities relating to it are perceived as being one-sided and do not present the balanced viewpoint that most students are often seeking. This is why the idea arose of offering an intellectual environment where all the views would be shared and where a genuine discussion would take place. The MIPF was inspired by Warwick University's “Israeli-Palestinian Forum”, first created in 2009, which is seen as having been very successful in facilitating a constructive discussion.
What do we want to do?
We propose two main activities: A student forum, and a panel discussion comprising scholars or activists.
• The student forum will be centered around a certain topic of the conflict. It will try to present an historical neutral background of the topic and then let time for "pro israeli" and "pro palestinian" students to present their prospect on it. They will present it in a forum-style session before students who are both actively and passively interested in the conflict. In doing so the forum successfully educates the students and the audience about the Israeli and Palestinian positions on the issues in question. Once both parties have concluded their presentations, the discussion is opened to the floor for questions and comments relating to the topic and the presentations that were given. This gives the opportunity to more students to debate the issues and to learn from one another as well.
• The panel discussion comprising scholars or activists will also be centred around a particular issue of the conflict and will introduce the audience to different views on the topic. The panels will be composed of pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian academics or activists representing different opinions. These will be chaired by neutral academics and will be followed by a 'Question and Answer' session for students to ask questions and express their own views.
Who are we affiliated with?
Our members have different opinions and we give the possibility to everyone to express them. We are not affiliated to any organisation or political party and the forum keeps a strict neutrality on matters related to the conflict.
The MIPF works in collaboration with the Israeli Palestinian Forum in Warwick and works towards the formation of a larger network of societies with the same aim.