Speaker, Students Examine France’s New Attempt to Resolve Palestinian Cause

Students and Faculty gathered on June 29, 2016 in a discussion panel, headed by guest speaker Camille Mansour, a political science professor at the University of Paris and a former faculty member at Birzeit University. Participants analyzed the implications of the recent French Initiative towards the Palestine cause.

The discussion was held in part of a course  taught by Professor Ahmad Nofal on "The Unique Character of the European Union".

Speaking at the invitation of Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute for International Studies, Mansour described the initiative as “emptied of all substance”. He said that the initiative do not set clear parameter for Israeli-Palestinian peace, along with mechanisms and a timeline for achieving them.

He briefed the audience about the initiative’s components- luring the Palestinians and Israelis back into negotiations as new push to revive the two-state solution. “The official communique issued by the French government and council of ministered states that actions on the ground-in particular, acts of violence and ongoing settlement activity- are dangerously imperiling the prospects for a two-state solution.

 “France has put the Palestinian cause back in focus. ”, Mansour said. “The French role has deteriorated in the past years after it has made several unsuccessful attempts to revive the peace talks between Palestine and Israeli, which were rejected by U.S and Israel.”

“This initiative offers a flicker of hope for Palestinians,” Mansour alluded. He explained that this initiative may bring back the Palestinian cause back on the international agenda, especially now that the Arab region is facing conflicts and tensions.

A constructive discussion took place, at the end of the panel, between the students and Mansour, facilitated by Nofal. Mansour concluded the discussion by emphasizing on the role of identity, education and steadfastness to enhance Palestine’s balance of power in the international system.