3rd FES-PASSIA Roundtable on “Current Israeli Agendas in occupied East-Jerusalem and their implications for the two-state-solution”

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On 24th September, FES and its partner PASSIA conducted their third roundtable of the year, dealing with “Current Israeli Agendas in occupied East-Jerusalem and their implications for the two-state-solution”.  The meeting took place at the YWCA in East-Jerusalem.

Speaker Ofer Zalzberg, who is a Senior Analyst of the International Crisis Group based in Jerusalem, elaborated on the impact of current Israeli Agendas on Occupied East-Jerusalem, how it undermines the two-state-solution, as well as future strategies for Palestinians living in East-Jerusalem. He began with recalling the Israeli policy, namely (1) Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (2) territory boundaries including the Old City and (3) the demographics of a Jewish majority. He concluded that these factors would make it significantly difficult to reconcile with the Palestinians.

Second, he pointed out the Israeli discourse today of integrating East-Jerusalemites by (1) promoting the Hebrew language (2) ideological education and (3) extracurricular education. According to Zalzberg, the new agendas try to integrate Palestinians on a bigger scale so that the boycott is likely to decline.

Following the lecture, there was a vivid and critical discussion on how to tackle these agendas. Among the invited guests, also young East-Jerusalemites joined the discussion and stressed the dilemma of their need of quality education but also keeping the boycott of Israelization in their city.