In light of the recent Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel and subsequent Israeli military action in Gaza, The Burn Bag is re-releasing several episodes A'ndre and Ryan recorded during the 2021 Israeli-Palestinian crisis, aiming to assess the history of the broader Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts, highlighting a multitude of perspectives. We hope that you listen to all of these re-releases, in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of this conflict.
In this week's episode, A'ndre and Ryan dissect the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with University of Michigan Professor Victor Lieberman. This episode provides a broad overview of the conflict itself, going back more than a 100 years and framing the conflict as not one between Muslims and Jews, but one between two rival nationalisms -- Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism. Professor Lieberman provides a timeline that goes back to the days of the Ottoman Empire and then into the British administered Mandatory Palestine, the demographic shifts that occurred in the region due to European anti-Semitism, and the political and armed conflicts leading up to creation of the State of Israel. Professor Lieberman digs into the wars between Israel and its Arab state neighbors, the nature of Palestinian political leadership, and the relationship between the goals of the Arab states and the goal of a Palestinian state. Land, borders, and failures in diplomacy form a large bulk of the discussion, and Professor Lieberman rounds out the conversation with why he is cautiously pessimistic about any potential resolution to the conflict. The conversation aims to effectively and objectively cover the hundred year conflict in one hour, providing a primer that will help our audience formulate opinions on their own, given the issue's sensitive nature.
Professor Victor Lieberman teaches a popular course on the Arab-Israeli conflict at the University of Michigan, where he serves as the Raoul Wallenberg Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Asian and Comparative History. His effective and objective teaching style was rewarded with the Golden Apple Award in 2014 -- given to a professor for outstanding teaching, by the students.
NOTE: In A’ndre’s introduction, he mentioned that Professor Rashid Khalidi was a negotiator for the PLO. The correct statement is that he was an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993.