Long conflict, hot wars: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Gaza

Long conflict, hot wars: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Gaza

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict spans over several generations and has cost countless of lives. The conflict has both been the engine of strife in the region and been used as a pretext to justify actions by third parties. In this seminar, we discussed what has led us to this point, and what we can expect moving forward.

Over time, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land has become the uneasy normal. This status quo is not based on equity or even a shared sense of reality. Israel is the dominant actor in the equation. It is a country with all the trappings of a modern state including one of the world’s most powerful militaries. The Palestinian Authority on the other hand is a corrupt entity with little popular support and Gaza is under the repressive rule of Hamas. Many in Israel, as well as many governments in the region and beyond, very much wanted to believe that the conflict was semi-permanently managed — if not resolved.
The terror attack on 7/10 2023 by Hamas on Israel had a traumatic impact on the country with Israelis still kept as hostage by Hamas. In turn, Israel's military operation into Gaza has led to more than thirty thousand persons deaths and an overall desperate situation for the civilian population.
What brought us to this point and what are the scenarios for the immediate and mid-term future? Is the conflict being reinterpreted in Israel and among the Palestinians or is the ongoing war just entrenching already established positions?


Gregg Carlstrom is a Middle East correspondent for The Economist, based in Dubai. His first book, How Long Will Israel Survive? The Threat From Within, was published in 2017.

Mariam Barghouti is a Palestinian-American journalist based in the occupied West Bank.

Dahlia Scheindlin Dahlia Scheindlin is a fellow at Century International, based in Tel Aviv. She is a public opinion expert as well as a scholar and a writer. She is the author of The Crooked Timber of Democracy in Israel, published in September 2023.

This event was moderated by Rouzbeh Parsi, Head of the Middle East and North Africa programme at UI.


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