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Reflecting on the Crisis in Gaza: Possibilities for Peace and Humanitarian Assistance

April 25 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Panelists will examine what peace in Gaza could look like and/or how appropriate levels of humanitarian assistance can be supported moving forward.

Mohammed Abunimer will discuss the obstacles for reaching a ceasefire after 185 days of war. The new dynamics of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, role of United States and other European countries whose support to Israeli has enabled the Genocidal campaign in Gaza. Will also reflect on the Global solidarity for justice in Palestine and its current role in the calls to end the war. The possibilities for resolution of conflict in the near future based on the dynamics of the war on Gaza and its regional implications.

Boaz Atzili discusses that the war that has been going on for over six months now started with the worst disaster in Israel’s history and still continues with the catastrophic suffering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. While significant improvement in the scale of humanitarian assistance could happen— and maybe does happen, as of this writing— through strong US pressure on Israel, ultimately we cannot get to even a true assessment of the damage and start rebuilding, without an end of the war. I argue that focusing on the blame game and “justice” is futile. We have, instead, to focus on how to ensure that disasters like this one or worse never happen again. The first step is a deal between Hamas and Israel that will lead to a ceasefire, a return of hostages and prisoners, and Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. But domestic politics on both sides is key: without replacing the extremists in charge in both Israel and Gaza there are no prospects for peace. And without peace, Israelis will suffer and Palestinians will suffer more, regardless of who’s “right” or “wrong.”

Dana El Kurd will provide an overview of Palestinian public opinion before and after October 7th, and will show that societal buy-in is essential to any political pathway forward.

About the Speakers

Prof. Abu-Nimer is a professor at the School of International Service at American University, and Endowed Chair of Said Abdul Aziz for peace and Conflict Resolution. He served as Director of the Peacebuilding and Development Institute (1999-2013). He is the co founder and co editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and development (JPD). As a scholar, he has published many books and hundreds of articles on various peacebuilding topics, especially on managing diversity and pluralism and conflict resolution. As practitioner, he has conducted seminars and trainings on reconciliation and forgiveness, interreligious peacebuilding in conflict areas around the world. He also founded Salam Institute for Peace and Justice (2003), an organization that focuses on capacity building, civic education, and interreligious

Dr. Boaz Atzili is an Associate Professor at the School of International Service, American University in Washington DC. He holds a PhD in Political Science from MIT and a BA from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and had a post-doctoral fellowship at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University.

Dr. Atzili’s research focuses on territorial conflicts and peace, the politics of borders and borderlands, security aspects of state weakness, deterrence, and coercion. His books include Good Fences Bad Neighbors: Border Fixity and International Conflict (University of Chicago Press: 2012), Triadic Coercion: Israel’s Targeting of States that Host Nonstate Actors (Columbia University Press: 2018, with Wendy Pearlman), and Territorial Designs and International Politics (edited, Routledge: 2018, with Burak Kaderchan). Dr. Atzili published articles, among other venues, in International Security, Security Studies, International Affairs, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, International Studies Review, and Territory, Politics, Governance, and Foreign Affairs. In 2022-23 he was a Senior Fulbright-Nehru Fellow in India, and a visiting scholar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, where he studied the Indian-Chinese territorial relations and the Himalayan borderland with China.

Dr. Dana El Kurd is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond. She is also a senior non-resident fellow at the Arab Center Washington and a non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute. Her work focuses on authoritarianism, international intervention, and Palestinian politics. El Kurd’s book “Polarized and Demobilized: Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine” was published in January 2020 with Oxford University Press. She regularly contributes to media outlets such as The Nation, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and more.

Moderated by Ann Fitz-Gerald, Director, Balsillie School of International Affairs



April 25
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Balsillie School of International Affairs, 67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON Canada
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