|  English
Home       Research Unit FMRU Resources Unit Alumni & Student
About Us
Master Program
Public Events
Publications
Upcoming
Audio-visual and Media Coverage
News

dot 21 July 2014
Workshop on: EU: Between Common Policies and International System

dot 24 July 2013
Public Lecture on The Independence of the Palestinian Central Elections Committee

dot 12 May 2012
New publications for Dr. Asem Khalil

Announcements
Workshop on: The EU: Between Common Policies and International System

Workshop on: Displacement and Exclusion: Attempts to Reshape Consciousness about Palestinian Refugees

The deadline for receiving the research papers for the annual conference on Gaza: The Geo- Strategic and Political Position of the Gaza Strip, has been extended to march 15,2014.

Home >

Guest Speakers

 

Date:

December 1st,   2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr. Alain Gresh

Bio:

Editor in Chief of Le Monde Diplomatique

Course:

The European Union: History, Law and institutions

Topic:

The title of the lecture was “The European Union and the Arab Israeli Conflict.”

Dr. Gresh discussed European foreign policy regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict from 1969 to the present. In particular, he pointed to drastic changes that took place in the Middle East and which reshaped European foreign policy towards the Arab-Israeli conflict.

 

Dr. Gresh noted that the first collective European step towards the Palestinian case was in 1971, through the Schuman Declaration in support of resolutions 242 and 338.  But it was the European Community’s 1980 Venice Declaration that clearly stated the need for finding a just solution to the Palestinian question which, it noted, is not only a refugee problem. Most importantly, it called for the involvement of the PLO in any future negotiations. This declaration was a historical moment for European foreign policy towards the Middle East, because it affirmed the Palestinian’s right to self-determination. This declaration, Dr. Gresh pointed out, came after the Camp David Accords of 1978 between Israel and Egypt, whose mediator was former President of the United States Jimmy Carter. Gradually, the EU’s position towards the Middle East shifted with such events as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the first and second Intifadas, with the EU emphasizing the importance of regional peace building through the establishment of a Palestinian state.

He also indicated that the main problem facing European foreign policy is that it is reluctant ever to oppose the US actively. Ever since the 1991 Madrid conference, culminating in the 1993 Oslo Accords in 1993, Europe’s political role in the Middle East has been receding, as it focused more on economic and fiscal aspects. Dr. Gresh stated that the Oslo Accords created many illusions, because Europe thought that this treaty would bring an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Dr. Gresh concluded the lecture by emphasizing Europe’s incapacity to translate its role into effective and applicable polices on the ground.

Output

Audio File

 


 

Date:

November 24th , 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Mr.  Felix Dane

Bio:

Representative to the Palestinian Territories Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Ramallah

Course:

The European Union: History, Law and institutions

Topic:

The title of the lecture was “The European Parliament: a rising Star?

The first part of the lecture dealt the European Parliament in relation to other EU institutions. The EP consists of 736 Members who were elected in 27 Member States. Also the EP is the body responsible for a decision-making process which includes a range going from cooperation, to co-decision, and approval of each member state. Mr. Dane analyzed the weighting of votes in the Parliament whereby some states such as Germany (99 votes) have more votes than other members. He noted that the European Commission, which internally and externally represents and upholds the interests of the EU, depends on the EP for the approval of budget and funding. Although the European Parliament is one, nonetheless, it has two locations, in Brussels and Strasbourg, and the act of moving from one location to another, costs millions of Euros.

The role of the EP as an international actor is reflected today in the European External Action Service (EEAS) which serves as a foreign ministry and diplomatic corps, and is headed by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Catherine Ashton).   Its international responsibilities are also carried out in EP Delegations, Joint Parliamentary Assemblies, and control over the budget for external activities.

 Mr. Dane concluded his lecture by discussing the ways in which the EP may be influenced through lobbying, an organized process. 4051 registered lobbyists work with the EP, as well as and 1797 interest organizations.

Output:

 Audio File

 


 

Date:

November 17th , 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr. Nayef Abu Khalaf

Bio:

chairperson of the department of political science at Al-Najah University

Course:

The European Union: History, Law and institutions

Topic:

The title of the lecture was “The European Union: Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

During his lecture, Dr. Abu Khalaf discussed what the common foreign and security policy is, its objectives and operations. And in the second part of the lecture he opened the floor for discussion with students regarding the 2009 annual report from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European  Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of the  CFSP.

Dr. Abu Khalaf shed light on the Maastricht treaty which established the EU and forms the basis of the Union. This treaty established areas in which common policies of member states are carried out. He emphasized that the CFSP is a unique phenomenon which, although it concerns the 27 member states, needs to be carried out while not impinging on the sovereign decision making of each country, enables Europe to speak in one voice at an international level. As a typical case, he explained how the Balkan crisis of the 1990s revealed Europe’s inability to face and deal with disputes, since given divisions among members, the decisive mediation had to come from the USA.  Nonetheless, the CFSP covers all areas of foreign and security policy and promises greater convergence, under the provisions of the Maastricht treaty.

He then spoke of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) which forms an integral part of the CFSP. Due to the challenges the EU faces such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and regional conflicts, it has adopted a new security strategy for responding to new threats. Dr. Abu Khalaf illustrated the operations of the CFSP, as manifested in a unified institutional framework. He also referred to the main bodies of the CFSP which are: the Political and Security Committee, Foreign Affairs Council, the General Affairs and External Relations Council and European External Action Service. 

During the second part of the lecture, Dr. Abu Khalaf opened the floor for discussion with students and analyzed the 2009 annual report from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament

Output:

 

 


 

Date:

November 3th , 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr.Matin Beck

Bio:

Resident Representative of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Amman

Course:

The European Union: History, Law and institutions

Topic:

The title of the lecture was “Past and Future Problem of Cross-Mediterranean Relation: A European Perspective.”

Dr. Beck demonstrated the European approach towards the Middle East after World War II, which was perceived as an imperialist power until the 1950/60’s. After WWII Europe’s role as an imperialist power underwent a drastic change. For instance, during the Suez crisis (also known as the Tripartite Aggression) of 1956 France, Israel and Britain invaded Egypt. However the war ended with the intervention of the new superpowers, the US and the Soviet Union, and this left both France and Britain powerless. As a result the U.S began to encroach its power in the Middle East and began to shape the politics of the region, especially through providing aid to these countries. In the 1970’s the US promoted peace between Egypt and Israel in what was known as the Camp David Accords, which according to Dr. Beck had a tremendous influence in terminating the previous East/West conflict. During this time, Israel was a major US alley and recipient of American arms and finical aid. Thus Europe began to focus on the notion  soft power, for instance in the declaration of the Venice summit in 1980 Europeans stated that the PLO should be included in the peace negotiations, and called for Palestinian self determination.

He then illustrates why EU policies towards the Middle East did not match the ideals of a civilian power until the Arab Spring. Ever since the defeat of Europe in the Tripartite Aggression in 1956, the EU became more occupied with its domestic problems. He also indicated that  Europeans weren’t prepared for the Arab spring. He also emphasized that the EU will improve its role as a civilian power in the light of the Arab spring, particularly with the declining role of the U.S in the Middle East. However the democratization of these  Arab nations would eventually got through a transition process which is a difficult long term process. Later on he gives indicators that the EU is going to fail to act as a civilian power in the Middle East, because there is no real commitment to recognize Islamists governments, failure to recognize Palestine as a state and due to the unsolved problems of the past.

Output:

 

 


 

Date:

October 27th , 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr. Dennis Hogan

Bio:

 A professor at Brown University

Course:

The European Union: History, Law and institutions

Topic:

The title of the lecture is: “European population crisis?."
Dr. Hogan started withemphasizing that a high level in death rates and a low birth rate doesn’t lead to a high growth rate. Whereas in Europe we are confronted with a decline in the infant mortality rate and the survivorship is going  up, thus old people are living longer and this affects the population structure of Europe. He also remarks that eventually all the worlds’ population will age and this started in the developed countries and in the future Africa and Asia will experience this. For instance, in China the economy is booming and there is a lot of people in the working age, inevitably these people are going to age and this would result in the increase in the old age population in the future. Likewise, he referred to the proximate causes of low fertility such as the decline in desired family size and delays in age of marriage/partnership. The social factors in low fertility is apparent in the delayed transition to adulthood thus they’re not economically independent, and the crucial need for both husband/wife to work. In Europe the increase of the women in the working sector has led to low fertility rate.

Output:

 Audio File

 

 


 

Date:

October 20th , 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr. Philippe Fargues

Bio:

Demographer and Director of the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute

Course:

The European Union: History, Law and institutions

Topic:

The title of the lecture is: “Migration to Europe: between economics and politics”

Dr. Fargues began his lecture by defining migration as the crossing of a border, based on two criteria: migrants must be citizens of a "legal" nationality, and the country he/she seeks to migrate from is the country of birth. He likewise referred to the 1951 Geneva Convention defining a refugee as a person who fled the country of his nationality due to fear of persecution for political, racial or religious reasons; Dr. Fargues emphasized that this definition does not apply to Palestinian refugees, who are defined according to the UNRWA as those whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May1948 and who lost their homes and livelihoods as result of the 1948 war.

He then spoke of the European Union and how it deals with migration, the issue normally being associated with a state’s sovereignty rather than that of the EU. Regarding levels of migration, the number of refugees worldwide is declining and is now estimated at a ratio of 10.5%. Yet there appears to be an increase in the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs), and this indicates that borders are simply more difficult to cross.

Dr. Fargues also noted that Europe is relatively speaking a minor recipient of refugees, especially over the last thirty years. Moreover due to the serious economic crisis, which hit Europe and the world in 2008, this has been translated into negative policies towards immigration. He then spoke of the impact of globalization on migration, whereby the globalization of knowledge and economy are two factors which encourage migration.

Output

 

 


 

Date:

September 29, 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Marc Franco

Bio:

Ambassador of the European Union to Egypt

Course:

The European Union: History, Law and institutions

Topic:

The title of the lecture was: “Political Development of European Integration”, in which Mr. Franco addressed many crucial topics regarding the European Union such as, reasons for integration, mechanism for integration and actors of the integrative process. The main idea of the lecture was to illustrate the numerous treaties which led to the creation of the European Union and to present the economic and political integration of the EU which is currently facing many challenges. The main question posed in this lecture was: Is European integration to be explained by vision or by necessity? Mr. Franco then illustrated the political and economical status of Europe post World War II, and stated that integration was used as a means to overcome the trauma that befell Europe after World War II. After World War II Europe sought to reestablish democracy and moral values, as well as promoting political and economic cooperation so as to avoid another devastating war. And that’s when the idea for establishing the European Union came forth.

Mr. Franco went on to describe the many institutions that emerged in Europe post World War II such as the Council of Europe, the European Coal and Steel Community, the West European Union, and the European Economic Community. He also presented an overview of the history of treaties which resulted in the foundation of the EU, particularly the Treaty of Rome (1957) which contains an open-ended, long term ambition. The aims of the Treaty of Rome are: the establishment of a common market, free movement of persons and cargo, services, capital etc. Mr. Franco illustrated the dialects of integration including: the actors, mechanisms, economic integration, political integration and European citizenship. The economic integration of the EU revolves around the harmonization of economic legislation,  stabilization of exchange rates, and the need for stronger coordination of economic (and social) policies. The political integration of the EU is constituted of justice, home affairs, external policy, in addition to security and defense policies. 

Mr. Franco likewise stressed European citizenship with reference to the charter of fundamental rights, which is coherent with International Human Rights conventions, and which deals with universal values of human dignity. It also incorporates fundamental social and economic rights. Mr. Franco ended the lecture by addressing the various challenges the EU faces such as overcoming the democratic deficit, crisis of the Euro-Zone, insufficient convergence of socio-political models, diversity of socio-political models, the “social contract” between member states based on historical differences, lack of political union and absence of fiscal union.

Output:

Audio File (Part1, Part2, Part2)

 



Date:

July 02, 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr. Randa Seniora

Bio:

 

Course:

Peace Studies and Conflicts Resolution

Topic:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Output:

Dr. Seniora presented detailed information about The Independent Commission for Human rights (ICHR) and its role in developing the prevailed viewpoint on human rights as one of the most important components in the Palestinian struggle. She showed that enhancing human rights and general freedom can’t be accomplished through international organizations, as much as being the product of national mechanisms which should be exerted before resorting to the international level. She talked about the history of establishing the ICHR, which was mandated to watch the institutions of Palestinian Authority, and their commitment to human rights, in order to report the president, the Palestinian Legislative Council and the government about the status of human rights especially in the PA institutions.   

Dr. Seniora explained the complexities of the current regulations and legislations in Palestine, some of which belong to the ottoman period, some to the British mandate, and to the Jordanian and Egyptian administrations, the Israeli military orders, beside the regulations that had been approved by the PLC during the PA era. She pointed out that the ICHR works within the national commissions’ law- Paris principles. She mentioned that they are working now to enforce a law that organizes the ICHR work, its procedures and its general commissioner, authorizing it to watch the three authorities, legislative, executive, judiciary, and to watch the work of the military apparatus.


Audio File


 

Date:

June 30, 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr. Saul Takahashi

Bio:

 

Course:

Peace Studies and Conflicts Resolution

Topic:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Output:

Dr. Takahashi presented the duties of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) office in the occupied Palestinian territories, which had been established after Oslo agreement. He pointed out that the main duties of the office are to assist the Palestinian Authority set regulations concurrent with the human rights, and to assist NGOs in preparing their reports and advocating about violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories. In addition to watching human rights, building capacities in the field of human rights, and preparing reports to the Human Rights Council.

Dr. Takahashi talked about the relationship between the (OHCHR) and other special bodies in the international conventions of human rights. Pointing out that the Human Rights Council is the main body of the UN that is responsible for human rights. This body consists of 47 member states (members of the UN), which holds three meetings annually. Dr. Takahashi discussed the special procedures in the Human Rights Council, which consists of 8 commissioners and regional offices, 33 reporters in different human rights’ fields, and the special working groups.       

Audio File


 

Date:

June 16, 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr. Ayman Abu Al Khair

Bio:

 

Course:

Peace Studies and Conflicts Resolution

Topic:

Abu Alkhair addressed the topic of electricity as a necessity and a priority to achieve development and peace in the Palestinian territories.

He presented a brief background on the current situation of the Palestinian energy sector, illustrating the problems this sector encounter, such the high cost of the energy units, the insufficient use of the renewable energy, and the Israeli control over the traditional supplies of energy.

Mr. Ayman talked about the unstable political conditions and their impact on demanding electricity. Those conditions affect the electricity consumption on two ways: first, deceleration in electricity consumption from economic perspective. Second: such conditions lead to sharp decrease in electricity consumption by economical activities, resulted to a decrease in the energy purchases during the unrest periods.

He pointed out to the necessity of peace in the region, and to study the possibility of constructing independent stations to generate electricity in the Palestinian territories, side by side with the other choices like importing electricity and the possibility to utilize the renewable energy. Such intervention should improve the Palestinian infrastructure especially the electricity sector and therefore constitute one of the stepping stones towards development, peace and stability.


Date:

June 15, 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr. Abbas Shiblak

Bio:

 

Course:

Psychological, Social, and Existential Dimensions of Refugee Life

Topic:

 

Dr. Shiblak, discussed the issue of statelessness of Palestinians. As a matter of fact, as he said, the Palestinians considered the largest stateless people in the world. Mentioning the impact of statelessness on their life, since nationality is the key to life inside or outside one’s country, which allows “citizens” to enjoy the  services countries deliver.     

While Arab countries impose restrictions and complicated regulations in terms of nationality. He explained three ways of getting nationality, through the father, being born in the territory, or through nationalizing. While there are two kinds of statelessness, de jure and de facto.       

Finally, Dr. Shiblak presented the phases of development of the Palestinian nationality due to the successive governing regimes, starting from the Ottoman era 1860, ending up with the Palestinian Authority. He pointed out that some countries use the issue of nationality as a political tool by granting it for some refugees under the condition of depositing huge amount of money in the banks of the hosting country for long periods of time without withdrawing it. 


Date:

June 13, 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr. Rashid Khalidi

Bio:

 

Course:

Psychological, Social, and Existential Dimensions of Refugee Life

Topic:

Dr. Khalidi talked about the refugees issue as a negotiation topic within a rational political solution. In his view, the appeal for the right of return that happens now, is a legal appeal for the resolution number 194, and not an appeal for the natural and moral right. Therefore, in case of applying this resolution, refugees should return to live peacefully with their Israeli neighbors, and to abide by Israeli law and sovereignty.         

He also mentioned that the Palestinian negotiators should be clear in terms of the concept of return. Does it mean to return to the forthcoming Palestinian state within 1967 borders, or return to their villages and cities of origin, the majority of which had been completely destroyed? Dr. Khalidi mentioned that the Israeli community is becoming more and more extremist, which affects the right of return. In the same vein, Dr. Khalidi believes that the Palestinian negotiator so far made enormous mistakes in negotiation, and it is time to reconsider such mistakes for better achievements. Particularly the Palestinian concessions that exceed the Israeli ones. Finally, Dr. Kahlidi strongly recommended that Palestinian negotiation delegation should be equipped with experts in international law


Date:

June 11, 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr. Rashid Khalidi

Bio:

 

Course:

Peace Studies and Conflicts Resolution

Topic:

 

Dr. Khalidi discussed the current Arab revolutions, which represent a new era of the Arab political life, and constituted new possibilities Arabs have not witnessed for a very long time. Led to the overthrown of the dictatorial regimes in Arab countries. 

However, and as Dr. Khalidi emphasized, the most difficult phase is yet to come, with demands of freedom, dignity, social justice, economical prosperity, rule of law, accountability and democracy. 

What happened so far in Tunisia and Egypt should bring new possibilities for the entire Arab countries, this is what Dr. Khalidi believes in, however, he points out that it is impossible to arbitrarily apply what happened in Egypt and Tunisia in other Arab states, as each country has its own nature that should be considered. For example, there are civil society organizations in Egypt in addition to long legacy of the independent judicial system. While in Tunisia, there are very strong unions, which are not available for many other Arab states.  

Dr. Khalidi said that the interest of the Arab leaders led them to brutally react towards such revolutions as those leaders are so keen to maintain the status quo, to amass more wealth and gain more interests. In order to overturn such revolutions, the dictatorial regimes accentuate the Sunni and Shiie’ divisions, bringing up the Iranian interest in the region and therefore its threat to widespread the Shiie’.

Talking about opportunities that such revolutions might bring to Palestinians; Dr. Khalidi pointed out that there are some positive signals such revolutions brought, the most prominent is the change in the Egyptian foreign policy, especially towards Iran, as the latter is no more seen or perceived as an enemy. Some changes already happened towards  the Palestinian cause, through supporting the reconciliation and its serious effort to reconcile the Palestinian division.

Moreover, Dr. Khalidi said that the Egyptian revolution opened up new independent political horizons for Arabs. The new improvement in the Arab revolutions is the public movement that was absent for long time, which also paved the way for youth to play greater roles in forming their democratic systems and the overall regimes of their countries.

 


 

Date:

April 19, 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Saahir Lone and Leila Hilal

Bio:

Saahir Lone(Deputy Director in the Office of UNRWA's Commissioner-General), Leila Hilal(a Policy Consultant to the Office of UNRWA's Commissioner-General)

Course:

Peace Studies and Conflicts Resolution

Topic:

Mr. Lone talked about the mandate of UNRWA, its methods, principles of operation,  functions and responsibilities as an international organization and a distinct agency working for/Palestinian refugees. He also discussed how UNRWA’s mandate and role promote peace and conflict resolution.  

Ms. Leila Hilal highlighted UNRWA’s advocacy on behalf of refugee rights and the importance of including refugees in the peace-building. She also talked about the UNRWA’s role in the development process of the Palestinian society.

  

 


 

Date:

April 5, 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Dr. Emtanis Shehada

Bio:

the coordinator of Political Monitoring project in Mada al-Carmel Center

Course:

Peace Studies and Conflicts Resolution

Topic:

Dr. Emtanis talked about the changes in the Israeli policies towards Palestinians in Israel since the year 2000. He compared those changes with previous eras of the Israeli relations with Arabs there. During nineties, Israel used the “Carrot” policy intensively, aiming to contain the Palestinian minority without conceding the dependency and banishment policies. During that period, belief  about the possibility of containing the Palestinian minority through paying a reasonable price, without affecting the Israeli Judicial and democratic nature , had prevailed. In late 2006-2007 and upon the outbreak of Aqsa Intifada, the publishing of documents of Palestinian vision, expression of dissatisfaction about the current regime, and the demand of changing the judicial and democratic nature of Israeli became a consensus of the Palestinian community. , Despite of this; Israel tightened  the conditions of citizenship offered for the Arab minority, and the limitations of the political work. Not only that, many Israeli decision makers announced officially  that Arabs in Israel constitute a strategic threat.

At the end of the meeting, Amtanis explained that under the upcoming events, many Israeli decision makers had changed their beliefs,  and the issue of the Palestinian minority became in need of radical solutions, through increasing doses of direct and indirect containment, coincide with raising the use of “stick” policy, and harsh activation and implementation of dependency mechanisms. Therefore it can be claimed that 2008-2009, was decisive year in dealing with the Palestinians live in Israel.

  

 


Date:

March 22, 2011

Name of the guest speaker:

Mr. Shawan Jabbarin

Bio:

the Director of Al-Haq

Course:

Peace Studies and Conflicts Resolution

Topic:

Jabbarin  tackled the overlap between  politics & Law, questioning whether  the politics driven by law, and vice versa, or whether there are specific boundaries or lines in that overlap. He also mentioned that the international law can be used as one of the main weapons in the hands of Palestinian people and its authority, in line with the Palestinian aspirations. Jabbarin at the same time illustrated the anticipated difficulties that might be encountered in case using the international law to attain the rights and objectives of the Palestinian people.

By the end of the lecture, Jabbarin proposes a few practical suggestions addressed to the PA and decision makers in order to be able to manage their efforts in the field of law.

  

 

Copyright © 2013 ,Birzeit University, All Rights Reserved
facebook tweeter Bookmark and Share
Home  |  Site Map  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |