Delving into the Israel-Palestine conflict in Democratic Club talk

27 May 2022

Isabelle Lindsay
Democratic Club President

The aerial attacks of May 2021 between Israel and Palestine prompted Campion’s Democratic Club to run a crash-course lecture series to explain the history of the conflict to students.

The lectures were presented by Campion lecturer, Dr Bell, in week 5 and week 10.

In the first lecture, Dr Bell outlined some basic issues in the conflict and the pre-history of the state of Israel.

In particular, he looked at Zionism and its motivation, particularly the perceived need for a Jewish state, given the precarious situation of the Jews in late 19th-century Europe, the Palestinian Arabs' understandable - even inevitable - hostility to the Zionist project and the gradual colonisation of Palestinian land in the period before the Balfour Declaration.

Dr Bell also examined the mixed messages sent by the British government to both parties during WWI and the escalating tensions between them during the British Mandate.

Dr Bell’s second lecture covered the chief episodes in the Arab-Israeli conflict after Israel's foundation. These include the wars of 1948, 1967 and 1973, the prolonged conflict with Lebanon, the first and second Intifadas and the present-day situation.

He also went into the general topic of US support for Israel and some of its consequences.

Both lectures were received very well by students, many of whom had little prior knowledge on the topic. Special thanks to Dr Bell on excellently preparing such formative talks, which smoothly navigated through the chaotic history of these two nations.