"Quo Vadis Israel?" The Second IPS-Mansour Armaly MESA Conference Panel, 2009
Abstract: 

 

A. “The Persistence of the Ethnos: A Reading of Israeli Political-Legal

Discourse,” Raef Zreik, Visiting Professor of Law, Georgetown University

Law School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      2

B. “Perceptions of Jewish National Security in Israel,” Amal Jamal, Professor

of Political Science, Tel Aviv University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        3

C. “The Palestinian Factor in Israeli Decision Making,” Camille Mansour,

Former Professor of Political Science, the Sorbonne; Founder of Birzeit

Law Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    4

D. “The Jewish Question in Crisis,” Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Professor of

History, Bar-Ilan University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      5

 

This November, the Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) was privileged to host the second IPS–Mansour Armaly panel on Palestine at the annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) held in Boston. Dr. Armaly (1927–2005) was a world renowned pioneer in the treatment of glaucoma; according to the Archives of Ophthalmology, he “substantially changed the way glaucoma is conceptualized, evaluated and treated,” with his contributions having become “such an integral part of medical practice that their revolutionary nature may no longer be apparent.” Though the recipient of the medical field’s highest honors, he never forgot his roots in Shafa ‘Amr, Palestine. In the last few years of his life, he was the chairman of the Friends of the Institute for Palestine Studies. Dr. Armaly’s family decided to honor his commitment to Palestine through these panels.

This year’s panel, planned in the wake of Israel’s December 2008–January 2009 Operation Cast Lead against the Gaza Strip, elected to look at Israel from various perspectives at what appears to be a pivotal moment in its history. More specifically, the panel proposed to explore various aspects of the Israeli society and polity, and their intersection with recent developments, in order to shed light on future directions. Though the topics addressed by the four panelists were diverse—Israeli political and legal discourse, its national security doctrine, the Palestinian factor in Israeli decision making, and the Jewish question at the current juncture—all revealed to a greater or lesser extent the existence of a deep crisis simmering below the surface of Israeli society.

The panel was chaired by Nadim Rouhana, professor of international negotiation and conflict studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. The following are summaries of the four presentations.

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