The world is witnessing the largest collective Palestinian mobilisation in over a decade amidst growing encroachment of the Israeli occupation and mounting tensions in Occupied East Jerusalem linked to the forcible eviction of Palestinian residents from Sheikh Jarrah. Following Israel’s violent repression of protests in East Jerusalem and the storming of the Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan prayers, Hamas retaliated via rocket fire from Gaza and Israel launched yet another military onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip with high civilian casualties. Solidarity protests have taken place across Europe, the US and throughout the Arab world. Although a cease fire between Israel and Hamas has finally been announced this does not mean an end to the 14-year blockade of Gaza. Meanwhile the future of the Sheikh Jarrah evictions remains uncertain; protests are continuing in the West Bank and in Israel and international diplomacy is struggling to find a way forward.
As history is created before our eyes, both the US and the EU remain locked in old patterns, practices and paradigms that have repeatedly failed to make headway. In an effort to engage in new frameworks, and provide knowledge and understanding of what is happening, this panel involved leading Palestinian, Israeli and European scholars invited to discuss the motivations behind the current Palestinian mobilisation; the reasons for previous diplomatic failures; and the implications that current events may have on the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships and societies, on the recent Arab-Israel normalization agreements and on international diplomacy towards Palestine and Israel more broadly.