The Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute for International Studies concluded the annual conference, “The Palestinian National Authority to where?”, which was held over two days, Monday and Tuesday, May 29-30, 2023.
The conference discussed the reality of the Palestinian National Authority, the problems of the Palestinian political system, the relationship of the Palestinian National Authority with the occupying power, and the impact of international and regional changes on the Palestinian Authority and its future.
The conference was opened by the Director of the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies, Dr. Lord Habash, who expressed the happiness of the institute and the university to hold the annual conference of the institute this year in person, as it was held in the past two years electronically due to the outbreak of the Corona pandemic.
This year's conference discussed the Palestinian National Authority, three decades after its establishment, and in light of the blockage of the political horizon on the one hand, and the international changes taking place in the world, and the erosion of the possibility of a two-state solution and the changes taking place in the occupying state on the other hand.
For his part, the Director of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Palestine, Mr. Stephen Hoefner, emphasized in his speech the strategic partnership that links his foundation with Birzeit University in general, and the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute for International Studies in particular, and his achievement of this conference, which is distinguished by presenting a distinguished elite that contributes to the creation of spaces for analysis and discussion.
And dialogue, especially in an attempt to discuss the future of the Palestinian National Authority in light of the current international circumstances.
The conference was held over four sessions. The first session dealt with the problems of the Palestinian political system. The law professor at Birzeit University, Dr. Muhammad Al-Ahmad, and a researcher in governance and political issues. Jihad Harb, and the Director General of the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Dr. Ammar Dweik, while the political science professor at Birzeit University, Dr. Ghada Madbouh moderateted the session.
As for the second session of the conference, it discussed the relationship of the Palestinian National Authority with the occupying state, and was moderated by the journalist and researcher on Israeli affairs, A. Khaldoun Al-Barghouti. The session was attended by: Director of the Palestinian Center for Israeli Studies - Madar Dr. Hunaida Ghanem, and the director of Al-Jazeera's office in Palestine, Dr. Walid Al-Omari, in addition to a paper submitted by the writer and researcher in Israeli affairs, Prof. Anton Shalhat.
The third session of the conference dealt with regional and international changes and their repercussions on the Palestinian Authority. Ibrahim Rabayeh, editor-in-chief of the "Palestinian Affairs" journal and and professor in the Department of Political Science at Birzeit University, and the two researchers and graduate students in the international studies program at Birzeit University, Yassar Abu Khashoum and Hudhaifa Hamed commented on the session and it was moderated by the head of the Political Science Department at Birzeit University, Dr. Hany Moussa.
The fourth and final session was a round table, in which the speakers discussed the future of the Palestinian National Authority. Muhammad al-Hourani, a member of the Revolutionary Council of the Fatah Movement, and the Director General of the Masarat A. Center. Hani Al-Masri, Director General of the Palestinian Economic Policy Research Institute - MAS Raja Al-Khalid, and the director of the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute for International Studies, Dr. Lord Habash moderated the round table session.