Conference Explores “Between Dependence and Independence: What Future for Palestine?”
Birzeit University’s Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute of International Studies (IALIIS) held a conference entitled “Between Dependence and Independence: What Future for Palestine?” on March 9, 2013. The conference is expected to build on the findings of previous workshops held by the institute.
The conference brought together a number of local and international experts and academics nbsp;to address the complexities of Palestinian independence under Israeli occupation. Several issues were discussed including international aid, demography, water, refugees, migration and the tunnel economy in the Gaza Strip.
At the conference’s opening session, BZU Vice President for Community Outreach Samia Halileh noted that the aim of the gathering was to link three critical sectors of the Palestinian people, namely: decision-makers, local and international experts and academics, and the public.
Institute Director Abdul Karim al-Barghouthi said that this conference follows a series of five specialized workshops hosted by IALIIS in 2011 and 2012 under the general rubric “Palestine: Dependence and Independence.”nbsp; He said he hoped that the outcome would be policy recommendations to be presented to Palestinian decision-makers.
Keynote speaker Ghassan Haj underscored the need for new mechanisms to discuss dependence and independence, in terms of distinguishing between what is real and what is actual. Haj explored two concepts, “objection” and “resistance”, stating that it is not enough to be against occupation, but should be anti and provide an option.
The presentations made at the subsequent three sessions are available below:
Conference Opening and Keynote Address
Kim Vanderborght: Professor of International Economic Law at the Centre for Economic Law Governance (Vrije Universiteit Brussel): Moderator.
Samia Halileh: Vice President for Community Outreach: Words of Greeting.
Abdul Karim Al-Barghothi, Director, IALIIS: Words of Introduction.
Ghassan Hage, Professor of Anthropology and Social Theory; University of Melbourne: Keynote Speaker. (TBC)
First Session: Loss of Natural Resources – Water and Land
Alex Kouttab, Researcher and Lecturer at IALIIS: Moderator.
Ahmad El-Atrash, PhD Candidate at TU-Dortmund University: Speaker.nbsp; See Abstract in English nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;See abstract in Arabic
Clemens Messerschmid, Independent Researcher: Speaker.
Second Session: Displacement and Exile – Demography and Refugees
Asem Khalil: Dean of the Faculty of Law and Public Administration: Moderator.
Youssef Courbage, Institut National d’Etudes Démographiques (INED): Speaker. See Abstract in Englishnbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; See abstract in Arabic
Aiko Nishikida, Assistant Professor of Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies: Speaker. See Abstract in Englishnbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; See abstract in Arabic
Third Session: Economic and political Crisis – West Bank and Gaza
Samir Abdullah, Director General of The Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS): Moderator.
Said Haifa, Professor of Economics at BZU: Speaker.
See Abstract in Englishnbsp;nbsp;nbsp; See abstract in Arabic
Abdullah Abdullah, Lecturer at the Geography department at BZU: Speaker. See Abstract in Englishnbsp;nbsp;See abstract in Arabic
Reinhard Steennot: Professor in Banking and Consumer Law at Ghent University. Moderator
Ghassan Khatib, Vice president of Development and Communication at BZU: Concluding Remarks.