OCTAGON 2023

The Palestinian Question and the Global (Dis)Order
Madrid, Spain | 20 January 2024

Presentation

The Gaza invasion, like the Palestinian question, is a global event. It is part and parcel of political, normative, and geopolitical struggles that define contemporary global politics and (dis)order. The future of this question is intimately interlinked with the future shape of the global (dis)order. Indeed, at a time of great power competition and heated discussions over the nature and future of the global (dis)order, the global aspect of the Palestinian question is set to become further pronounced. This is why discussions on this subject cannot be solely confined to national or regional levels. Instead, these discussions have to be global in their content and scope.

Setting aside a few exceptions, the official Western policy on the Palestinian question and the Gaza invasion has been one of double standards and unreserved support for Israel. This is why the audience of this question and the unfolding invasion of Gaza is now, first and foremost, the Global South as well as Western civil society. This round-table focuses on the global significance and implications of the Palestinian question and the link between this question and the global (dis)order. Not least, the debates adress the narrative of and policy responses towards the Palestinian question in the Global South. Finally, this workshop aims to be prescriptive rather than merely descriptive.

Sessions

1st SESSION
Beyond October 7: Prospects and Perils

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October 7 is a turning point in the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. It has redefined its domestic, regional, and international contexts. This session aims to delve deeply into the changing ecosystem of the conflict, by focusing on the Palestinian and Israeli contexts with a view to see what new trends, threats, opportunities as well as challenges emerging that are likely to reshape the future of the conflict and the Palestinian question. Rather than being merely descriptive, the session aims to be prescriptive. To that end, it aims to address the following questions: How is the war changing Israel’s goals and strategies towards the conflict? What are strengths and weaknesses of Israeli policy in the new period? What future awaits the Palestinian politics? What threats and opportunities does the new period present for Palestinian politics and issue?

2nd SESSION
Global (dis)Order and Global South: How to frame the Palestinian issue?

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As indicated at the outset, the Palestinian question is a global phenomenon. Its future is intimately intertwined with the future of the global (dis)order. The Gaza invasion has glaringly put on display the divide between the West and Global South. This session aims to contribute to the development of a narrative and policy toolbox of the Global South on the issue and to explore what opportunities and challenges the great power competition present for the Palestinian issue. To that effect, it aspires to address the following questions: How does the conflict reverberate globally? How does this conflict affect the question of global (dis)order? What should the conflict’s narrative and the Palestinian issue in the Global South be? Or how should the Palestinian issue be framed?

3rd SESSION
International Initiatives: Scenarios and Implications

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As the Gaza invasion grinds on, the call for different international initiatives or a conference on the issue also becomes louder and stronger. There are already a few, though feeble at this stage, international initiatives, such as the Arab-Islamic countries’ diplomacy, already taking place. The South African case against Israel at the International Court of Justice under the Convention to Prevent and Punish Genocide has been the most important legal step taken at the international level to date. The idea of an international conference on the conflict and the Palestinian question is gaining more traction. This session aims to take stock of the existing and potential international initiatives, drawing on their strengths and weaknesses and associated opportunities and risks. To that effect, the session addresses the following questions: What are potential international initiatives on the horizon for dealing with the conflict? What are other potential international legal routes that can be taken on the invasion? What opportunities and threats can such initiatives present? Regarding such initiatives, what policies should be advocated, and states/actors lobbied?
4th SESSION
Networks and Advocacy: A New Strategy for the Future?
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This session aims to go beyond a state-centric perspective to see what other organisations or networks can play an effective role on the conflict and the Palestinian question. In particular, the session aims to map international alliances and movements for justice and freedom that can contribute to a just resolution of the Palestinian Question. In this regard, the session aims to tackle the following questions and topics: Apart from state actors, what other international organisations or networks can play an influential role in the conflict and the Palestinian question? Which state or non-state actors can play a role in the conflict? Which policies should they advocate? What narrative and policy should they advocate?
Photo gallery OCTAGON 2023