THE ISSAM FARES INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
On October 23, 2023, the American University of Beirut’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies (CAMES), in collaboration with IFI, the Mohammad Atallah Chair in Ethics, the Palestinian Land Studies Center, with the support of the Palestinian Cultural Club and the Insight Club, held a panel discussion titled “Al-Aqsa Tsunami: Politics, Ethics, and Regional Implications.”
Moderated by CAMES Director Prof. Sari Hanafi, speakers included IFI Director Joseph Bahout, International Politics Prof. Karim Makdisi, Dr. Chibli Mallat, and a testimony from Palestine by AUB Media Studies student Yumna Hamidi.
The main objective of the discussion was to present a multi-faceted look at the causal factors of the crisis in the Gaza Strip, debate the ethics of the use of violence by both the Palestinians and the Israelis, and to better illustrate the regional implications of the conflict. The role of the Oslo Agreement as a springboard for the escalation of the conflict was highlighted, as speakers provided a regional perspective to the escalation of the situation in Gaza. Speakers also dealt with the issue of the use of violence as a means of legitimate resistance to the occupation of Palestinian lands, versus the need for the use of non-violent means in order to foster cooperation and diplomacy.
The lively Q&A session focused on the renewed centrality of the Palestinian Question, especially in view of the recent process of diplomatic normalization between several Arab states and Israel. Participants remarked that the attempt at normalization ignored the need for a diplomatic resolution to the Palestinian conflict, which was the catalyst for the events of October 7. While there were disagreements on the means of resistance, there was a general consensus on the impossibility of disconnecting the issue of Palestine from the wider regional geo-political arena and that any future discussions about normalization with Israel need to include ways to resolve the Palestine Question.
You can watch the recording here.