Conversations about Israel-Palestine

In fall 2023, CURA and Pardee School Dean Scott Taylor launched a series of conversations about Israel and Palestine. The goal of the series was two-fold: First, to educate our community about the history, politics, and global factors that have led to the contemporary war and devastating bloodshed. Second, and just as important, to model how to discuss sensitive issues in a way that is respectful and civil, without simply avoiding hard subjects, and in so doing, to demonstrate that scholars of international affairs have the skills and knowledge to make “advancing human progress” more than a slogan.

As Dean Taylor wrote in his message to Pardee students: “Tragedies like that unfolding in the Middle East remind us of the vital role that schools like ours can and must play to help secure a future that is safe and peaceful for everyone around the world. We must use our global outlook to analyze society’s most important challenges from a variety of perspectives, respectfully discuss and debate the issues, and work to implement solutions with the goal of making the world a better place. For all people.”

The first conversation, which took place on Wednesday, November 8, featured Prof. Ian Lustick, author of Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality and Bess W. Heyman Chair in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania in conversation with Pardee Prof. Noora Lori.

The second conversation, which took place on Tuesday, November 14, featured Tareq Baconi, author of Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance and president of the board of Al-Shabaka in conversation with Pardee Prof. and CURA Director Jeremy Menchik.

The third conversation, which took place on Monday, November 27, featured Prof. Dov Waxman, Chair of Israel Studies at UCLA and author of The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know in conversation with Prof. Margaret Litvin of BU’s World Languages & Literatures Dept.

The fourth conversation, which took place on Monday, December 4, featured Robert Stephen Ford, US Ambassador to Algeria (2006 to 2008) and to Syria (2011 to 2014) in conversation with Pardee Profs. Amb. Mark Storella and Amb. Vesko Garčević.