Join Yachad and the New Israel Fund for an afternoon of reflection, debate and conversation to mark Israel’s 70th birthday. Through film, literature and discussion we’ll be exploring and tackling the key questions facing Israeli society. We’ll be asking how Israel can respond to these challenges over the next 30 years and what type of Israel might exist on the 100th birthday of its founding.
Our guests include Israeli author Nir Baram, who will be discussing his book A Land Without Borders, Dr Sara Yael Hirschhorn, author of City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement Since 1967, Alona Vinograd, Director of the Center for Democratic Values and Institutions at the Israel Democracy Institute, Daniella Peled, the Managing Editor of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Ran Goldstein, the Executive Director at Physicians for Human Rights, and more. We’ll also be screening a premier of the highly acclaimed Israeli film The Cousin. Further details below.
Date: Sunday 29th April
Venue: JW3, 341-351 Finchley Rd, London NW3 6ET
Full programme including refreshments – £12 Adult, £8 for under-30s
Under-30s can also join us just for The Cousin screening plus a drink & mezze for only £5
Israel & her Palestinian neighbours – prospects for peace:
Israel – A Land Without Borders
As part of the research for his book ‘A Land Without Borders’ award-winning journalist and author Nir Baram spent a year and a half travelling around the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In this fascinating recount of that journey, Baram navigates the conflict-ridden regions and hostile terrain to speak with a wide range of people, – Jewish settlers, Palestinians over the green line, Palestinians inside Israel , peace activists and Israeli children that have only ever experienced conflict along the border with Gaza.
Following a screening of the 60 minute documentary film that accompanies the book, you are invited to join author Nir Baram and academic Dr Sara Hirschorn in conversation. Examining the conflicting narratives that exist, the extent to which the current situation is entrenched, and the current political leadership on both sides, they will assess where Israel may find itself on its 100th anniversary in relation to its Palestinian neighbours.
Future geopolitical relations:
Israel’s allies and adversaries
Israel has, since its creation, relied upon the positive geopolitical relations it holds with the majority of Western countries, in particular the USA but also Europe. In a volatile Middle East, it has turned West to look for strategic partnerships and friendships.
Since Trump’s election, the notion that the USA might broker a peace between Israel and her neighbours seems less likely, and continued conflict places a strain on Israel’s relations with Europe. The constantly shifting dynamic in the Middle East in conflict-ridden Syria, involving Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, and the continued standoff between Saudi Arabia and Iran, both vying for control and power, create a new set of both opportunities and threats for Israel.
Join Elhanan Miller, Dr Ilan Zvi Baron and Daniella Peled as they discuss these shifting global relations and where this might leave Israel’s alliances between friends and neighbours over the next 30 years. The panel will be chaired by Hannah Weisfeld
Israel and the Jewish diaspora:
Irrelevant or influencer?
Since before Israel’s creation the Jewish diaspora has been a partner in determining Israel’s future. Yet earlier this year the outgoing director of the Jewish Agency for Israel said the growing rift between Israel and the diaspora is like ‘nothing we have ever seen before.’ To what extent is this true of diaspora relations and what are the trends that look set to determine Israel’s relationship with diaspora Jewish communities into the future?
Democracy in Israel:
Safe and stable or under threat?
Over the past few years there have been worrying signs from Israel that its future as a democratic Jewish state is under threat. With a rising number of anti-democratic pieces of legislation that have attempted to limit the independence of the high court and the press, subjugate Israel’s democratic character in favour of its Jewishness, and undermine the impact of non-governmental organisations, there are no guarantees that Israel will continue to function as a democratic country into the future.
Join Adv. Alona Viongrad in conversation with Daniella Peled as they discuss to whether supporters of Israel are right to be concerned by these trends, or whether these developments are simply a reflection of the healthy debates that take place within democratic societies.
Tribal trends in Israel:
The Cousin – film screening and discussion
The cousin is an award-winning Israel film that explores deeply-held prejudice towards Palestinians that exists within Israel, even within progressive communities. Actor-writer-director Tzahi Grad plays a version of himself as Naftali, a local Israeli media personality seeking to promote Jewish-Arab dialogue through a reality TV project. Needing to renovate his home studio, he hires a Palestinian handyman, Fahed (Ala Dakka). When a teenage girl in the neighourhood is assaulted, the suspicious villagers hastily blame the Arab stranger. As kneejerk panic and hostility spiral in the community and within his own family, idealistic Naftali internally battles between his own irrational racism and left-wing conscience.
Following the film Adv. Alona Vinograd, Ran Goldstein and Elhanan Miller will discuss how mainstream Israeli society deals with the concept of ‘other’. They will explore the treatment of minorities within Israel such as the Arab and refugee communities, and consider to what extent tribal loyalties will determine Israel’s future. The panel will be chaired by Adam Ognall.