In the opening meeting of the Middle East Centre’s Hilary Term seminar series, the Fellows of the Centre led a panel discussion to set out the agenda for the series examining the political options following the Gaza War.
The Middle East Centre convenes its Hilary Term 2024 seminar each Monday night in term around the theme of ‘Political Options Following the Gaza War.’ The aim is to bring primarily Palestinian and Israeli speakers each week to discuss the different options facing policy makers in the aftermath of the 7 October 2023 attacks in Israel and the 2023-2024 War in Gaza. While some in the Israeli government call for continued security control over all Palestinian territories, many in the international community believe Palestinian statehood and the end of occupation the only sustainable course of action. In one session, speakers from Britain, Spain, and Israel will consider European proposals for recognizing Palestinian statehood. However, Palestinian independence is not the only option. Others continue to argue that a binational state, in which Palestinians and Israelis would enjoy citizenship, is the most feasible option, given the fragmentation of the West Bank by Israeli settlements. Yet all recognize that the political environment for substantive change has become far more difficult as a result of the 7 October attack and the Gaza War.
With presentations by Eugene Rogan, Raihan Ismail, Maryam Alemzadeh and Walter Armbrust, the opening panel set the stage for the next seven sessions to follow. The session attracted an overflow audience that filled the lecture theatre to capacity.