Louis and Rachel Lesk Memorial Lecture in Israel Studies
Arnon Degani (Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel)
Pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist scholars and commentators, who couldn't agree on the color of the sky, would support the claim that the Oslo Peace Process, now entering its 30th anniversary, was doomed from the outset. The deterministic historical narrative about the Oslo Process reinforces the current pessimism on the possibility of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. This lecture, based on two-year research conducted for an eight-chapter podcast series for the MOLAD Center, challenges the common wisdom of why the process deteriorated and finally, halted amidst the flames of the Second Intifada. It provides an analysis of this seven-year period in the 1990s that avoids ascribing essentialist traits and conspiratorial goals to either side. The lecture will instead focus on the miscalculations, gaps in perception, and coincidence that derailed the process - and provide an alternative, yet convincing narrative of what went wrong.
Dr. Arnon Degani is a historian of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the Avraham Harman Research Center of Contemporary Jewry - HUJI, where he is currently working on his first book which detailes the integration of the Arab citizens into Israeli society in the years 1948-1967. He is also a research fellow at MOLAD Center and the author and host of the Oslo Podcast. He also teaches an array of courses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East history, and Zionism.
This lecture will be delivered only virtually via Zoom.