Peace in Absentia: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Voices on Arab-Israeli Normalization

In January 2020, the United States announced a Mideast peace plan that supports the Israeli position on most issues rather than fostering Israeli-Palestinian compromise. In recent months, it has brokered deals to normalize relations between Israel and multiple Arab states. The normalizations have come after the US had already moved its embassy to Jerusalem and declared that Israeli settlements on occupied Palestine do not violate international law. How can peace deals between Israel and the Palestinians be negotiated without Palestinians at the table? What do Palestinians think about the recent US-backed peace deals in the Middle East? How might Jews who are concerned for both the prosperity of Israel and justice for Palestinians ethically position themselves between the two sides? What role does religion play, if any, in fanning the flames of conflict or calming the waters of peace? Our panel of experts shared their insights on these questions, and discussed the best path for sustainable peace in the region.

Panelists included:

– Laila El-Haddad, Author, Social Activist, Policy Analyst, and Journalist
– Rev. Mitri Raheb, Founder and President, Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture
– Brant Rosen, Rabbi, Tzedek Chicago; Co-founder, Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council
– Hatem Bazian, Co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology, Zaytuna College; Lecturer, UC Berkeley

Our moderator was Charles Powell, Affiliated Faculty Member at the Ansari Institute and Adjunct Professor of Muslim-Christian Dialogue at Holy Cross College.

This discussion was presented by the Ansari Institute and co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, Program in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, and Department of Classics.

December 3, 2020

Global AffairsReligion and PhilosophyArabic and Middle Eastern StudiesIsrael-PalestineCharles PowellNotre Dame InternationalJerusalem Global GatewayMiddle EastHoly LandAnsari Institute for Global Engagement with ReligionClassicsKeough School of Global AffairsKroc Institute for International Peace StudiesLiu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies