Israel: the Arab spring, domestic politics and the future of the Arab-Israeli peace process
Speaker(s): Dr Ahron Bregman
Chair: Dr Toby Dodge
Recorded on 10 February 2014 in New Theatre, East Building.
The Arab spring has put on hold the possibility of reaching peace between Israel and Syria, thus leaving the Israeli-Palestinian peace track as the only game in town. At the same time, international efforts, led by US Secretary of State John Kerry to help Israelis and Palestinians negotiate their differences are unlikely to end the occupation and deliver a Palestinian state. The latter could only be achieved, as Ahron Bregman will argue, if three elements come together: first, the arrival in the occupied territories of the Arab Spring in the shape of a third, non-violent Palestinian intifada against the occupation. Second, massive international pressure particularly on Israel but also on the Palestinians to compromise. Third, the remaining in power of a right wing government in Israel.
Ahron Bregman was born in Israel. After six years of army service, during which he took part in the 1982 Lebanon war and reached the rank of captain, he left the army to work at the Knesset as a parliamentary assistant. Ahron studied in Jerusalem and London, completing a doctorate in War Studies at King’s College London in 1994. He is the author of, among others, The Fifty Years War: Israel and the Arabs, the companion book to a six-part BBC television documentary (with Jihan el Tahri) and its sequel Elusive Peace, the companion book to a three-part BBC television documentary. His book Cursed Victory: A History of Israel and the Occupied Territories will be published by Penguin in 2014. Ahron teaches at the Department of War Studies, King's College London.