Israel/Palestine in transition: a post-Zionist future?

1 August 2012

In the next Sydney Ideas talk, Antony Loewenstein and Jake Lynch discuss the failure of the Israel/Palestine 'peace process' and argue that the prospect of a two-state solution is no longer viable.

Loewenstein, a freelance journalist, blogger and best-selling author, has co-edited a new collection, After Zionism, which includes contributions from leading thinkers proposing ways to achieve a democratic outcome in the Middle East through a one-state solution.

Lynch, Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, has written a paper, "Beyond Coincidence and Conspiracy Theory", that analyses the relationship between Australia and Israel and the ways in which Canberra's attitude towards the conflict is routinely pulled in a range of directions.

Lynch and Loewenstein will also discuss the current proposals for BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel.

The contributors to After Zionism argue time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonisation of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future.

Writing recently for The Conversation, Loewenstein says: "The exact outline of a one-state solution is not set. Israelis, Palestinians and interested parties, must decide it. After Zionism features Palestinians, academics, journalists, Orthodox Jews, Arabs and intellectuals, many of whom live, work and breathe with Israelis and Palestinians, and know that Israel must be de-Zionised before it can begin to right historical wrongs of continued ethnic cleansing.

"A one-state equation isn't about dismissing or ignoring Jewish history, but recognising the land is shared between two peoples and a soon-to-be minority Jewish population has no legal or ethical right to control a majority Arab people."

Antony Loewenstein is a freelance journalist, author and blogger. His bestselling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question (2006), was shortlisted for the 2007 New South Wales Premier's Literary Award and this was followed by The Blogging Revolution (2008), both titles now in translation. He is working on a book and film about disaster capitalism. His new book, co-edited with Ahmed Moor, is After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine (2012).

Associate Professor Jake Lynch is Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney. He is an Executive Member of the Sydney Peace Foundation and Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association. Jake has spent the past 15 years researching, developing, teaching and training in peace journalism - and practising it, as an experienced international reporter in television and newspapers. He was an on-air presenter, anchoring over a thousand half-hour news bulletins for BBC World TV.

This Sydney Ideas event is co-presented with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the University of Sydney.

Event details

What: Israel/Palestine in transition: a post-Zionist future? 

When: 6.30pm, Thursday 2 August

Where: Law School LT 024, Law School Annex, Camperdown Campus

Cost: This event is free and open to all, with no ticket or booking required. Seating is unreserved and entry is on a first come, first served basis

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