The Arab and the Jewish Questions: Geographies of Engagement in Palestine and Beyond

The Arab and the Jewish Questions: Geographies of Engagement in Palestine and Beyond

Tuesday, 9 February 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Virtual: Zoom Webinar
Leila Farsakh (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Bashir Bashir (Open University of Israel)
Amal Ghazal (Simon Fraser University)
Brian Klug (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford)
Hadeel Abu Hussein (Faculty of Law, University of Oxford)
Yaacov Yadgar (OSGA and DPIR)


This book talk discusses the attempts of leading scholars to consider how the “Jewish Question” and the “Arab Question” are entangled historically and in the present day. It offers critical analyses of Arab engagements with the question of Jewish rights alongside Zionist and non-Zionist Jewish considerations of Palestinian identity and political rights. Together, the essays of the book under discussion show that the Arab and Jewish questions, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which they have become subsumed, belong to the same thorny history. Despite their major differences, the historical Jewish and Arab questions are about the political rights of oppressed groups and their inclusion within exclusionary political communities—a question that continues to foment tensions in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Shedding new light on the intricate relationships among Orientalism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, colonialism, and the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this book reveals the inseparability of Arab and Jewish struggles for self-determination and political equality.

About the speakers

Bashir Bashir is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, Political Science, and Communication at the Open University of Israel  and a senior research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. He is the co-editor of The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and History (Columbia University Press, 2018).

Leila Farsakh is an associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Among her publications are: Palestinian Labour Migration to Israel: Labour, Land and Occupation (second edition, 2012) and Commemorating the Naksa, Evoking the Nakba (2008). Her forthcoming book, Rethinking Statehood in Palestine, is due to be published in 2021.

Amal Ghazal is the new Director of the Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies since September 1, 2017 and the first holder of the Simon Fraser University Professorship in the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures.  Born in Lebanon and educated at the American University of Beirut and the University of Alberta, Dr. Ghazal is a distinguished specialist on the modern history of the Middle East and Africa.  She is best known for her groundbreaking book, Islamic Reform and Arab Nationalism: Expanding the Crescent from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, 1880s-1930s (London: Routledge, 2010).  She is the author of numerous articles as well as co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Middle Eastern and North African History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).  Dr. Ghazal is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Middle East Studies and the Journal of Middle East Migration Studies and the President of the Canadian Committee on the Middle East.

Brian Klug is senior research fellow & tutor in philosophy at St Benet's Hall, Oxford and member of the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University. His latest book is Offence: The Jewish Case. July 2018.

Hadeel Abu Hussein, a female lawyer, she holds a PhD in Law from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her research is exploring the evolution of land law within ethnic states and international law how states are constructing land regime to exercise the exclusion of the minority groups, engaging with the insights of legal geography theory. 

This webinar will take place online via Zoom: