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Anti-Israel Conferences
SOAS Center for Jewish and Israeli Studies Portrays Israel in a Negative Light

31.01.19
Editorial Note
The Center for Jewish Studies at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), headed by Dr. Yair Wallach, is hosting a lecture series "After Oslo," to mark the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords. The aim of the five lecture series is to discuss the "cultural, social and political ramifications of 'Oslo' as event, structure and effect." The invitation states that "Rather than revisiting the 'failure' of the Accords, we will focus on how they continue to shape the reality of those living in Israel-Palestine."
The Center, established in the 1990s, is "committed to the promotion of Jewish and Israeli Studies through scholarship, teaching, book launches, workshops, public events, conferences and symposia, debate and discussion." The Center is situated at the Department of Near and Middle East Studies within the Faculty of Language and Culture.
The first in this series is "Preventing Palestine", the two speakers are Dr. Seth Anziska of the UCL with Dr. Ahmad Khalidi of Oxford University; The next in line is "Raw Sovereignty: how military rule and occupation re-shape Israeli democracy" with the speaker Eyal Chowers of Tel Aviv University; Following, is Sana Knaneh, with "Two Sided Story", a special film screening and discussion with Bassam Aramin, Robi Damelin and other members of the Forum of Palestinians and Israeli Bereaved Families for Peace; The next is "Eggs and dispossession: organic agriculture and the new settlement movement?" and the speaker is Hagar Kotef of SOAS; The last in the series is "Between Apartheid and Peace: Confederation for Israel/Palestine?" with the speaker Oren Yiftachel of Ben Gurion University.
At first glance, the conference seems like a legitimate academic exercise. All the speakers have positions in respectable academic institutions, but a more detailed perusal shows that the line-up is highly biased as it includes speakers who are left-wing at best and radical political activists at worse. For instance, IAM has written extensively about Oren Yiftachel, one of the first Israeli scholars who made a comparison between Israel and the apartheid regime in South Africa. Hagar Kotef, another radical scholar-activist has been a subject of the IAM critique a number of times.
The choice of Dr. Seth Anziska, the author of the book Preventing Palestine; Anziska reflects a similar bias. He claims that the "Egyptian-Israeli peace came at the expense of the sovereignty of the Palestinians, whose aspirations for a homeland alongside Israel faced crippling challenges." For Anziska, it's all Israel's fault, by introducing a "restrictive autonomy, Israeli settlement expansion, and Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the chances for Palestinian statehood narrowed even further." As Anziska put it, "The first Intifada in 1987 and the end of the Cold War brought new opportunities for a Palestinian state, but many players, refusing to see Palestinians as a nation or a people, continued to steer international diplomacy away from their cause.” Numerous books on the failure of Oslo have been published in the 25 years since the agreement. Many have pointed out that the real culprit for tripping up Oslo have been the Iranians and their Palestinian proxies, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The 1993 Declaration of Principles between Israel and Arafat was a tremendous shock to the Iranian regime; in early 1994, the leaders in Tehran devised a plan to undermine the agreement by launching multiple, devastating suicide bombings which, over time, eroded the faith in Yasser Arafat's ability to control the territories, let alone complete the deal. The U.S. State Department that designated Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad as terror groups had mentioned this fact, but Anziska, in his eagerness to blame Israel, does not.
At the very least, Dr. Wallach could have invited another speaker to balance the panel and shed light on the real reasons for the failure of Oslo. But, given his choices from the previous years, the head of the Jewish Center is not interested in a balanced presentation of the Oslo Agreement or, for that matter, any other topic related to Israel. SOAS is a known hotbed of anti-Israeli radicalism, and it probably requires personal courage and academic integrity to host a well rounded discussion of Israel. As a result, the series of lectures bear no resemblance to the self described mission of the Center to promote a civilized discourse on Israel. To the contrary, the seminars follow the path of extreme anti-Israel radicalism which portrays the Jewish state as an epitomizing the radical-leftist version of the "cardinal sin:" colonialism, imperialism, apartheid, subjugation, exploitation, and so on.
Regrettable as this state of affairs is, it is not surprising. Some observers have noted that radical-leftism is a virtual religious belief system. As with all religions, it needs to denote a series of sins to separate the flock of the righteous from the evil ones. By vesting Israel with the "cardinal sin", it turns the Jewish state into the ultimate Evil.




From: Yair Wallach [mailto: yw11@soas.ac.uk] 
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2019 01:49
To: 
Subject: AFTER OSLO - lecture series

 

 

Marking the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, the event series brings together scholars and activists to discuss the cultural, social and political ramifications of “Oslo” as event, structure and effect. Rather than revisiting the “failure” of the Accords, we will focus on how they continue to shape the reality of those living in Israel-Palestine.

30/1 – Seth Anziska (UCL) with Ahmad Khalidi (Oxford) Preventing Palestine
19:00, Senate House Alumni Theatre

20/2 – Eyal Chowers (Tel Aviv University)
Raw Sovereignty: how military rule and occupation re-shape Israeli democracy
17:00, Main Building 4426

05/03 – Sana Knaneh
Two Sided Story - special film screening and discussion with Bassam Aramin, Robi Damelin and other members of the Forum of Palestinians and Israeli Bereaved Families for Peace.
19:00, DLT Lecture Theatre

13/3 – Hagar Kotef (SOAS)
Eggs and dispossession: organic agriculture and the new settlement movement?
17:00, Main Building 4426

20/3 – Oren Yiftachel (Ben Gurion University) Between Apartheid and Peace: Confederation for Israel/Palestine?
17:00, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies – All Welcome 

Contact: mr45@soas.ac.uk

 

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 https://www.soas.ac.uk/jewishstudies/events/

Centre for Jewish Studies Events

For further information, please contact Dr Yair Wallach yw11@soas.ac.uk

« Previous year | Show previous events for this year

2019

JANUARY 30/01/19

FEBRUARY 20/02/19

 


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https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/preventing-palestine-an-evening-with-seth-anziska-ucl-and-ahmad-khalidi-tickets-55276388165?

JAN 30 

Preventing Palestine - An Evening With Seth Anziska (UCL) And Ahmad Khalidi 

By Moriel Ram


Description

SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies - SOAS Centre for Palestine Studies

Preventing Palestine

Wednesday 30th January 2019, 19:00, Senate House Alumni Theatre

Please join us for a conversation between Seth Anziska (UCL) and Ahmad Khalidi (Oxford) on the historical roots of the Oslo accords and the consequences for political conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Seth will discuss his recently published book, Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo, which is based on newly declassified international sources to chart the emergence of the peace process and the persistence of Palestinian statelessness. In linking the 1978 Camp David Accords with broader efforts to sideline Palestinian political aspirations, this account raises crucial questions about the role of Egyptian-Israeli peace in subsequent negotiations with the Palestinians. Ahmad will draw on his extensive regional expertise and experience as advisor to the Palestinian delegation at the Madrid/Washington peace talks in 1991-1993 to situate these developments in political contact. How did events in the 1970s and 1980s shape the course of the Oslo Accords, and what are the implications for the Middle East today?

The discussion will launch an event series marking the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords bringing together scholars and activists to discuss the cultural, social and political ramifications of “Oslo” as event, structure and effect.

Seth Anziska is the Mohamed S. Farsi-Polonsky Lecturer in Jewish-Muslim Relations at University College London (UCL) and a visiting fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project. His research and teaching focuses on Israeli and Palestinian society and culture, modern Middle Eastern history, and contemporary Arab and Jewish politics. He is the author of Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo (Princeton University Press, 2018), and his writing has appeared in The New York TimesForeign Policy, and The New York Review of Books. Seth received his PhD in International and Global History from Columbia University, his M. Phil. in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and his BA in history from Columbia University. He is a 2018-2019 Fulbright Scholar at the Norwegian Nobel Institute, and has held fellowships at New York University, the London School of Economics, and the American University of Beirut.

Dr. Ahmad Samih Khalidi is a Palestinian from an old Jerusalemite family. He is a graduate of Oxford and London Universities, and is currently an Academic Visitor at St Antony’s College, Oxford and an Associate Fellow at the Center for Security Policy, Geneva, and Senior Fellow at the Institute of Palestine Studies, (IPS) Beirut. He is the co-editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies (Arabic edition) published by the IPS, and has served as advisor to the Palestinian delegation at the Madrid/Washington peace talks in 1991-1993 and as senior advisor on security to the Cairo-Taba PLO-Israeli talks in 1993. He was co-chair of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences project on Israeli-Palestinian security in 1993-1995 and Associate Fellow of the Middle East program at Chatham House (Royal Institute for International Affairs) in 1995-96. He has been active in Palestinian politics and Track-2 activities for over forty years. He has been a senior advisor to PA Presidents Arafat and Abbas and has served as consultant on Middle East Affairs to various European governments. He has written widely on Middle Eastern political and strategic affairs in both English and Arabic. His books (co-written with Hussein Agha) include Syria and Iran: Rivalry and Cooperation (Chatham House, 1995) Track-2 Diplomacy; Lessons from the Middle East (MIT Press, 2003) and A Palestinian National Security Framework (Chatham House, 2006).

Free and open to all!


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The Centre for Jewish Studies at SOAS was established in the 1990s and is currently situated in the Department of Near and Middle East Studies in the Faculty of Language and Culture. It is committed to the promotion of Jewish and Israeli Studies through scholarship, teaching, book launches, workshops, public events, conferences and symposia, debate and discussion. Past participants in its deliberations have included Nicholas de Lange, Fred Halliday, Hussein Agha, Anthony Julius, Norman Geras, Shlomo Arieli, Michael Walzer, Martin Goodman and David Cesarani.

It seeks to research and to communicate the richness of the Jewish experience and thereby raise the profile of Jewish and Israeli Studies at SOAS. It therefore provides an intellectual home for the MA in Israeli Studies, doctoral endeavours and academic research in general.

The Centre’s lecture subjects cover a multiplicity of sub-disciplines. Thus Professor Rachel Elior of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem addressed a large audience on ‘Who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? Mystical Context in Light of Historical Circumstances.’ In early 2007 while Dr Colin Shindler launched his latest book ‘What Do Zionists Believe?’ Topics covered have stretched from ‘South African Yiddish Writing under Apartheid’ to ‘The Forced Conversion of the Jews in 17th century Iran’.

A central activity is the organisation of a series of early evening public lectures during the winter term. During 2007-2008, the common theme for the lectures, ‘Israel at 60’ commemorates the sixtieth establishment of the state.

It also seeks to cooperate with other academic institutions both in this country and particularly in Israel. In March 2007, the SOAS Centre, together with the UCL Centre for Israeli Studies, organised a symposium on the life and times of the Israeli writer, S. Yizhar (1916-2006). The speakers included Nicholas de Lange and the film of Yizhar’s short story ‘Hirbet Hizeh’ was shown.

The Centre also works with organisations whose activities are pertinent to the furthering of Jewish and Israeli studies. In 2007, a conference was arranged together with the Euston Manifesto group and ‘A Day of Negotiations’ between Israelis and Palestinians in conjunction with Peace Now-UK.

There are close ties with professional academic bodies such as the British Association for Jewish Studies and the Association of Israel Studies.

Contact: yw11@soas.ac.uk




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 https://www.soas.ac.uk/jewishstudies/events/index.php?nd=2018-01-01&view=year&past=1

Centre for Jewish Studies Events

For further information, please contact Dr Yair Wallach yw11@soas.ac.uk

« Previous year | Next year »

2018

JANUARY

30/01/18

 

 =================================================================================


Preventing Palestine 
A Political History from Camp David to Oslo 
Seth Anziska

On the fortieth anniversary of the Camp David Accords, a groundbreaking new history that shows how Egyptian-Israeli peace ensured lasting Palestinian statelessness

For seventy years Israel has existed as a state, and for forty years it has honored a peace treaty with Egypt that is widely viewed as a triumph of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East. Yet the Palestinians—the would-be beneficiaries of a vision for a comprehensive regional settlement that led to the Camp David Accords in 1978—remain stateless to this day. How and why Palestinian statelessness persists are the central questions of Seth Anziska’s groundbreaking book, which explores the complex legacy of the agreement brokered by President Jimmy Carter.

Based on newly declassified international sources, Preventing Palestine charts the emergence of the Middle East peace process, including the establishment of a separate track to deal with the issue of Palestine. At the very start of this process, Anziska argues, Egyptian-Israeli peace came at the expense of the sovereignty of the Palestinians, whose aspirations for a homeland alongside Israel faced crippling challenges. With the introduction of the idea of restrictive autonomy, Israeli settlement expansion, and Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the chances for Palestinian statehood narrowed even further. The first Intifada in 1987 and the end of the Cold War brought new opportunities for a Palestinian state, but many players, refusing to see Palestinians as a nation or a people, continued to steer international diplomacy away from their cause.

Combining astute political analysis, extensive original research, and interviews with diplomats, military veterans, and communal leaders, Preventing Palestine offers a bold new interpretation of a highly charged struggle for self-determination.

Seth Anziska is the Mohamed S. Farsi-Polonsky Lecturer in Jewish-Muslim Relations at University College London and a visiting fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project. His writing has appeared in the New York TimesForeign Policy, and Haaretz. He lives in London.




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