The purpose of this conference is to explore which state models offer promising paths to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, respecting the rights to self-determination of both Israelis/Jews and Palestinians. Mindful of the fraught context in which debates relating to Israel/Palestine unfold, the conference aims to open up measured and thoughtful conversations on the range of possible paths out of the current impasse.
Despite the current diplomatic focus on the two-state model, the continued failure to achieve peace in the region highlights the necessity of rigorously examining whether the two-state approach is indeed the only way, or the best way, beyond the impasse. The horrific toll division and violence takes on Jews and Palestinians adds moral urgency to the need to explore alternative political futures in the region.
The conference seeks to systematically measure models based on two states or a single binational state, federal and con-federal approaches, and other models in between and beyond. The framework of the conference invites robust academic critique of the deficiencies, promise, and perils of the range of prospective models of statehood.
The conference will focus a scholarly lens on a wide range of issues pertaining to state models and prospects for just and peaceful coexistence.
An assessment of the capacity of a range of state models to protect the security and human rights of all peoples of the region is a central topic. Other topics include democracy and constitutional design, comparative and problem based approaches to conflict resolution, refugee return policies, resource allocation, gender and nationalism, and the role of religion.
The scholarly goals of the conference are premised on the intrinsic value of civil dialogue and debate. Our commitment to ensuring that neither anti-Semitism nor any other form of racism has any place in this forum informs both the conference and all aspects of its planning process.
While their political future can be decided only by the peoples of Israel/Palestine in future negotiations, we believe that pursuing this visionary exercise is an important part of the ongoing search for justice and peace in the Middle East.
Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace is co-sponsored by Queen's University and York University, and is an official U50 initiative, part of York University's 50th Anniversary celebrations.