Wed, 15 Nov 2017, 13:30
University of Economics, Prague (Czech Republic), New Building (room NB B), Winston Churchill Square 4, University of Economics, 130 67 Praha 3, Czech Republic
Conference hosted by the Institute of International Relations with cooperation with The Center for Asian Studies at the University of Economics, Jan Masaryk Center of International Studies at the Faculty of International Relations and The Embassy of the State of Palestine to the Czech Republic
Prof. Avi Shlaim is an Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College and Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford. He held a British Academy Research Professorship in 2003-6 and he was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2006. His books include The Politics of Partition (1990 and 1998); War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History (1995); The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (2000 and 2014), and Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutation (2009), which was published in Czech last year.
Prof. Avi Shlaim will examine critically the motives behind the Balfour Declaration of 1917, its content, and its consequences. He will argue that Britain had no legal or moral right to promise ‘a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine’. He will also argue that this declaration and Britain’s subsequent policy paved the way to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and to the Palestinian catastrophe that accompanied it. In the last part of his talk, he will analyse the policy of the present British government’.
David Cronin is a contributing editor with The Electronic Intifada, a website focused on Palestine. He is the author of Balfour’s Shadow: A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel (Pluto, 2017). His previous books are, Europe’s Alliance With Israel: Aiding the Occupation (Pluto, 2011) and Corporate Europe: How Big Business Sets Policies on Food Climate and War (Pluto, 2013).
The parallels between Ireland and Palestine are striking. Britain took responsibility for administering Palestine at a time when it was seeking to crush a rebellion in Ireland. When Palestinians resisted Zionist colonisation in the early 1920s, Winston Churchill, then colonial secretary, recommended that forces based in Ireland during its war of independence should be dispatched to the Middle East. Known as the Black and Tans, the forces had gained a fearsome reputation for arson and killing non-combatants in a number of Irish towns. The Zionist movement was also perceived as being similar to the settlers which had subjugated the native Irish. Ronald Storrs, a governor of Jerusalem, wrote that – by nurturing Zionism – Britain wished to create a “little loyal Jewish Ulster in a sea of hostile Arabism”. Dublin-born David Cronin will offer an intriguing perspective on how the Irish and the Palestinians experienced imperialism.
Daniela Bartáková is specialized in Czech Zionist history and holocaust research, and has translated previously mentioned book of Prof. Avi Shlaim. Daniela Bartáková will speak about the history of Czech Zionists and anti-zionists. What were the reasons, motivations and believes of some Jews to strongly support Jewish nationalism in Palestine and others to oppose it.
Prof. Pavel Barša, Ph.D. (as facilitator) is philosopher, sociologist and political scientist, professor at Charles University Institute of Political Science.
Palestinian cuisine will be served after the conference
Working language will be English.