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Video, Past Event, Social Justice

Gershon Shafir: The First Half-Century of Israel’s Permanently Temporary Occupation

November 09, 2017


This talk raised the two burning questions on this 50th anniversary of the 1967 War. First, "Is the presence of Israel’s military and settlers in the West Bank an occupation?" The search for an answer led to both international and domestic legal conundrums and the everyday life experience of Palestinian inhabitants. Second, "Is the Israeli settlement enterprise reversible?" As part of a feasibility study of the two-state solution, Gershon Shafir focused on such issues as the percentage of land taken up by Israeli settlements and their layout, the demographic ratio of Israeli Jews to Palestinians, etc. Instead of viewing the settlements as a single-minded undertaking, Shafir highlighted and examined the paradoxes, legal inconsistencies, and conflicting interests that weaken the settlers' hold and leave the settlement enterprise itself vulnerable to challenge.

Speaker Bio

Gershon Shafir is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. He has served as President of the Association for Israel Studies in 2001-2003, and is the author or editor of ten books, among them "Land, Labor, and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882–1914". He is also the coauthor, with Yoav Peled, of "Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship", which won the Middle Eastern Studies Association’s Albert Hourani Award in 2002, and the coeditor, with Mark Levine, of Struggle and Survival in Palestine/Israel, a collection of life histories. His new book is "A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict".

Co-Presented by

SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement, Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures, Institute for the Humanities, and the Global Communication M.A. Double Degree Program

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