Please join us for the first of a 3-part series on Understanding Palestine.


Panel I: Tuesday, Feb 6, 2024, 12.00 – 2.00 pm

Palestine: Occupation, Settler Colonialism, and Apartheid


What has been the impact on the Palestinian people of Gaza, the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem of Israel’s latest war on Gaza? How should we understand the overall context and history behind this war and its horrific toll of civilian lives? Israel has over the years variously been characterized as maintaining an occupation of Palestine, as being a settler colony, and as practicing a regime of apartheid. Its current assault on Gaza has been charged with genocide, though the draconian siege or blockade of Gaza since 2007 has also been described as a slow or creeping genocide. What is the definition of each description of the state of Israel and its actions? On what grounds are each of these descriptors based? How are they related to one another historically and in practice? What difference does it make to the practice of the supporters of Palestinian rights what paradigm is foregrounded?


View Bibliography and Suggested Reading




Eman Ghanayem (Washington University in St Louis)


Eman Ghanayem is a postdoctoral fellow in Indigenous studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Her work examines questions of displacement, settlement, and belonging in Palestine and Indigenous North America through a framework of interconnected settler colonialisms and comparative Indigeneities. Her work appears in Women’s Studies Quarterly, Meridians, Amerasia, The Routledge Handbook of Refugee Narratives, and Transmotion. Outside her academic work, Ghanayem is a member of the Palestinian Feminist Collective and is active in community work that services Palestine, Indigenous movements, and efforts for social justice. More information.


Jess Ghannam (UCSF)


Dr. Jess Ghannam is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Global Health Sciences in the School of Medicine at UCSF. His research areas include evaluating the long-term health consequences of war on displaced communities and the psychological and psychiatric effects of armed conflict on children. Dr. Ghannam also does research in the area of Global Health and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and has developed community health clinics in the Middle East that focus on developing community-based treatment programs for families in crisis. Past president of the Arab Cultural and Community Center and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in San Francisco, Dr. Ghannam is also a consultant with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Reprieve and other international NGO's that work with torture survivors. He has been a frequent visitor to Gaza over the past several decades.


Jennifer Mogannam (UCSC)


Jennifer Mogannam is an Assistant Professor in the department of Critical Race & Ethnic studies at UC Santa Cruz. She is also a UC-Mellon Humanities Initiative early faculty fellow and affiliate faculty with the Center for the Middle East and North Africa. She is a critical, cross-disciplinary scholar of Palestinian and Arab transnational movements, third worldsolidarities, gendered power in anti-colonial struggle, violence, refuge, and revolution. Her current book project centers and analyzes the coalitional formation between the Palestinian revolution and Lebanese opposition coalition during the Lebanese civil war. Jennifer has organized in transnational Palestinian and Arab community spaces for nearly 20 years, most recently as a founding and active member of the Palestinian Feminist Collective. Her work, while often historical, is also always forward looking, toward the possibilities of decolonization and building a new world.


Hosted and moderated by David Lloyd (UCR, English)


Cosponsored by the Decolonizing Humanism(?) initiative at the Center for Ideas and Society; Faculty for Justice in Palestine; Departments of English, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Hispanic Studies.


Photo credit: Section of street mural in Ramallah, Palestine, December 2015, by David Lloyd




Panel 2: Thursday, March 7, 2024, 12.00 – 2.00 pm

Palestine and the Law


The colonization of Palestine has raised many questions that involve international law, the laws of war and occupation, legal definitions of apartheid or crimes against humanity, the rights of refugees, the nature and rights of sovereignty, statehood and statelessness, and, domestically, concerning the legality of boycott, legal definitions of antisemitism, and the right to protest, as well as the legality of censorship and bans on speech and other forms of expression. Do Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza and the West Bank, its deliberate denial of basic infrastructure—water, power, access to food—and its long-term siege of the Gaza Strip constitute crimes against humanity and/or war crimes? Do they amount, as many have claimed, to the crime of genocide? Given the continuing denial of statehood to Palestine, what rights does its people have and what may be the limits of a rights-based approach to Palestinian liberation? How has Israel succeeded in changing international law through its actions and claims to legitimacy? What are the rights of refugees to return to their original places of residence? How do military

rule and discriminatory laws affect Palestinians both on the West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem and in Israel itself? In the US, how is the right to boycott protected? What rights do Palestine solidarity activists enjoy? What is the “IHRA definition of antisemitism” and what is its legal force? What is lawfare?




Zoha Khalili (Palestine Legal)

John Reynolds (Maynooth University, Ireland)

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)




Panel 3: Wednesday, April 24, 2024, 12.00 – 2.00 pm

Indigenous Resistance, Settler Decolonization, and Palestine


There has been much discussion of possible paths to the liberation of Palestine, including the two-state solution that would ensure a sovereign state for both Israel and Palestine on the divided territory of historic Palestine; the one-state solution, which has become the de facto reality given Israel’s virtual annexation of most of the West Bank, but which could also be transformed into a post-apartheid state of all its people with equal rights for all; and even a “post-state” solution that would seek other modes of polity than the nation-state. Would the decolonization of Palestine entail the expulsion of Jewish settlers from the West Bank or Jewish Israelis from all of historic Palestine? What forms of cohabitation can be imagined? How far would external pressure on Israel or the Palestinian Authority be required to enable decolonization to take place, and what kinds of pressure would be effective? Is there a viable nonviolent path to decolonization? What can be learnt from Indigenous models of decolonization from settler colonialism or from the post-apartheid successes and failures of South Africa


Speakers to be announced.


For further information, please contact David Lloyd,

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