Conversation on the Middle Eastern Conflict
In early March, Yinon Cohen, Professor of Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University, and Emilio Dabed, Adjunct Professor at the Osgoode Hall School of Law at the University of York in Toronto, participated in a presentation on the Israel-Palestine issue, organized by the Santiago center in association with Universidad Católica’s Center for International Studies (CEI) and Columbia’s Middle East Institute.
The event, entitled “Israel/Palestine: Territory, Demography and Political Scenarios,” was chaired by Jorge Sahd, the CEI’s Director.
Cohen focused his presentation on the history of Israel’s settlement policy, which started in 1948 with the Jewish population moving onto Palestinian land and which has continued until today. He added that a peace solution in the Middle East will not come from within the region as there is no possibility that different players could reach an agreement. Rather, the solution must come from the outside. “Israel has flourished for decades because it receives the unconditional support of almost all liberal democracies… due in part to these countries’ perception of Israel as a democracy,” he said. “The tragic irony is that Israel’s biospatial politics have given birth to a reality of a single, Jewish-Palestinian apartheid state.”
In turn, Dabed said that in order to resolve this conflict "Israelis must accept the return of the Palestinians to their land and establish a single state that treats all its citizens as equals… If we are consistent with the principles, which in general is to support the solution of a democratic state, then dialogue is required.”
Both Cohen and Dabed were extremely critical of President Trump’s proposed Middle East peace plan – the so-called “deal of the century.”