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Pubic Debate: Post-Election Reflections from Israel, Palestine, and the Diaspora

SUNDAY APRIL 26th – 6.00 – 8.00 pm @ PIANOFABRIEK (Fortstraat 35, 1060 St. Gillis)

SPEAKERS: 

Dr. Doaa Elnakhala is a Belgium-based researcher of the Middle East and North Africa. She holds a PhD degree from the Department of Government of University of Texas at Austin (UT)-USA. Since 2009, Doaa has filled different research assistant positions at George Washington, Harvard University, University of Oslo, and Indiana University. All of these positions focused on the Palestinian question and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the Middle East.

Ilana Sumka is the founder and director of the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, cultivating a practice of Jewish nonviolence in support of Palestinian nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. She previously served as Encounter’s Jerusalem director and has two decades of experience working in American and international social justice issues.

Guilel Treiber is a doctoral candidate in political philosophy. He has worked for several years in with different Jewish communities in Israel and Europe emphasizing the necessity of a multiplicity of Jewish voices concerning Israel, Palestine and Jewish life in Europe. He spent a few years in Jerusalem in different student organizations aimed mainly at empowering marginalized communities and helping individuals to cope with Israeli bureaucracy.

To ensure there is enough space, please register at: info@eajs.be

To the attention of the members of the European Parliament – Statement on Palestine

On behalf of Another Jewish Voice (www.eajs.be), we are writing about the draft resolution for recognition of the new Palestinian State that will be put to a vote at the EU on December 15th 2014. We urge you to use your influence to frame a clear, positive text for immediately recognizing the Palestinian State alongside the State of Israel.

We believe that the Palestinians have a right to self-determination, as established in 1947 (resolution 181) just as Israel has had this right since 1948. Palestine has all the attributes of a state, with functioning institutions worthy of a state. Israel occupation of Palestinian territories and the lack of worldwide legal and official recognition is preventing the full exercise of Palestinian sovereignty. Ending the occupation would secure Israel’s own long-term future as a democracy, will give the Palestinian the opportunity to live in property and safety and may be the change the entire region needs desperately.

Israel has objected to Palestine being recognized as a state, supposedly because this should be an outcome of negotiations. One of the reasons these negotiations have never succeeded is because there has never been an equal and mutual recognition of both partners. This can now change. Palestinian statehood is not a substitute for negotiations with Israel. Rather it will put the negotiations on a fairer basis by reducing the extreme imbalance of power that has characterized them thus far.

The European Parliament has already accepted Palestine’s right to statehood by virtue of supporting the two-state solution. It should now go the whole way and vote to recognize the new state. On November 29, 2012, the UN General Assembly approved the upgrading of Palestine to the status of a non-member observer state, with the support of 138 member states. The European Union should now join them. A positive vote in the European Parliament will hasten that day.

Invitations from the Education Workgroup

  1. Een Andere Joodse Stem Book Club

In order to get to know each other better, the education workgroup proposes a monthly book club on topics such as Israel, Palestine, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The workgroup members are very interested in reading suggestions from the group. For now the group will be limited to members of EAJS but in the future this might change.

For December 2014: The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited by Benny Morris, published by Cambridge University Press, 2004. We will be focusing on chapters 1, 3 and 4 and you the short introduction is highly recommended too for it provide the intellectual context and reception of the first publication.

Book available online in pdf format through a simple Google search for the title.

Meeting date: Sunday December 7th at a member’s house. Time: 2:30-5 pm. Please confirm by email education@eajs.be so we’ll know how many people to expect.

For years, the traditional Israeli position concerning the birth of the Palestinian refugees problem has been the same. According to this commonly held view, between 1947-1949 the Palestinian fled of their own accord, following promises of Arab leaders that the Jewish state will be soon vanquished and they could all settle back in their homes. In 1988 Benny Morris, an Israeli historian, published a book titled “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugees Problem” putting into question both Israeli traditional views and the Palestinian narrative of planned deportation. History, claimed Morris, is not white or black. Nonetheless, the book he has written has made of him for the next 12 years a very controversial academic and he was labeled as a “New Historian”, one who uses history as a political weapon in order to criticize Israel. In 2000 Morris re-stated his political opinions claiming that Israeli-Palestinian may be a threat to Israel in a future regional war, claiming that his history is a-political and that his political positions maybe different from what history may tell us.  Though the personal history of the book and its author is highly interesting, making explicit the ties between academia, history and politics the content of the book has been of even greater importance. Clearly stating both the existence of ‘tochnit dalet’ for a planned expulsion of Palestinians through intimidation and the active encouragement of Arab leaders to civilian population to leave their homes. The book has shown that reality, in the context of this conflict is much more complicated than any one narrative. It seems thus a very good starting point for our book club, by encouraging different and challenging views of one of the most critical problems that stands in the way of a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Israel/Palestine.