Past Event

The Arab and Jewish Questions: Geographies of Engagement in Palestine and Beyond

March 3, 2021
12:00 PM - 10:00 PM
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Book Launch
The Arab and Jewish Questions:
Geographies of Engagement in Palestine and Beyond

Peter Beinart in conversation with Bashir Bashir and Leila Farsakh
Chaired by Safwan M. Masri

Wednesday, March 3
12:00 – 1:00 pm New York

This book brings together leading scholars to consider how the Arab and Jewish questions are entangled historically and in the present day. It offers critical analyses of Arab engagements with the question of Jewish rights alongside Zionist and non-Zionist Jewish considerations of Palestinian identity and political rights. Together, the essays show that these two questions, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which they have become subsumed, belong to the same thorny history. Despite their major differences, the historical Jewish and Arab questions are about the political rights of oppressed groups and their inclusion within exclusionary political communities—a question that continues to foment tensions in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Shedding new light on the intricate relationships among Orientalism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, colonialism, and the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this book reveals the inseparability of Arab and Jewish struggles for self-determination and political equality.

Contributors include Gil Anidjar, Brian Klug, Amal Ghazal, Ella Shohat, Hakem Al-Rustom, Hillel Cohen, Yuval Evri, Derek Penslar, Jacqueline Rose, Moshe Behar, Maram Masarwi, and the editors, Bashir Bashir and Leila Farsakh.


Event Speakers:

Bashir Bashir

Bashir Bashir is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Political Science, and Communication at the Open University of Israel and a senior research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. He is coeditor of The Politics of Reconciliation in Multicultural Societies (2008) and The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and History (Columbia University Press, 2018).


Leila Farsakh

Leila Farsakh is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her books include Palestinian Labour Migration to Israel: Labour, Land, and Occupation, second edition (2012). She won the Peace and Justice Award from the Cambridge Peace Commission in 2001.



Peter Beinart is Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York. He is also a Contributing Opinion Writer at The New York Times, a CNN Political Commentator, Editor-at-Large of Jewish Currents and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Peter's books include The Good Fight (2006), The Icarus Syndrome (2010), and The Crisis of Zionism (2012).


Safwan Masri

Safwan M. Masri is Professor and Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University. He is also a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Masri is the author of Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly (Columbia University Press, 2017). He served as Vice Dean of Columbia Business School from 1993 to 2006. Masri is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an honorary fellow of the Foreign Policy Association.