Peace talks without end or conflict without end?
After 20 years of failed peace talks in the Middle East, the US is brokering a fresh round of talks between Israelis and Palestinians with hopes for a final peace agreement. Are we finally going to experience that long awaited goal of a peace deal? Are leaders on both sides ready for painful compromises? Or are we seeing more of the same; talks doomed to collapse with each side blaming each other?
In a conflict that tends to polarise opinions, is any one side to blame? Is an Obama regime the best hope for peace, or is the US not genuine in playing the role of honest broker? Some argue that the Israelis doom talks to failure by continuing to build settlements while at the negotiating table. Others argue that the Palestinians are their own worst enemies and walk away from generous offers. And is Hamas the elephant in the room?
Speakers On The Night:
Caoimhe de Barra is the Director of Trocaire’s International Division. Caoimhe has worked on Governance and Human Rights in a development and humanitarian context for over 15 years. Caoimhe has recently returned from the Occupied Palestinian Territories/Israel, where Trocaire works with Palestinian and Israeli organisations on human rights issues affecting Palestinian civilians as a result of the Israeli occupation and on humanitarian response to the needs of vulnerable communities.
Yanky Fachler is an Israeli who lives in Ireland. He is involved in Holocaust commemoration, and is the chair of the Jewish Historical Society of Ireland. Yanky is a corporate trainer, ghostwriter, speaker, broadcaster and historian, specialising in Zionist history prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. He has written a history of the Jewish community in Ireland and several business books, and he is the author of Chutzpah 3.0: Igniting the chutzpah spark embedded in your DNA.
Rachel O’ Hanlon was based in Bethlehem with EAPPI from February to May 2013. The Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor and report human rights abuses and support Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace. EAs campaign for a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through an end to the occupation, respect for international law and implementation of UN resolutions.
Rachel has an MA in International Security and Conflict Studies from Dublin City University. Since 2007 she has worked for a number of development and human rights NGOs including Amnesty International Ireland and the Latin America Solidarity Centre.
Joanna Tuffy is currently a sitting TD for Dublin Mid-West. She was appointed to Oireachtas Committees on Justice, Defence and Equality and Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, June 2011. She has served as Chair of the Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement from January to June 2012.
Shona Murray of Newstalk will moderate. Shona Murray is Newstalk’s Foreign Affairs correspondent. In November 2012 she reported from Gaza city and Israel on the conflict between the Israeli state and Hamas. Shona has reported on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict for the last 8 years, returning at least once a year to the region including the Gaza strip.