Visit from Palestinian Deputy Minister
On 20 February 2023, the International Studies program hosted the Palestinian deputy foreign minister Ms Amal Jadou Shaqqa, during her official visit to the Netherlands.
The event was organized in collaboration with the Palestinian Mission in The Hague. Ms Jadou Shaqqa started her well-attended talk with an opening statement about the current situation in the Middle East, in particular the territorial contestation. The idea of a “two state solution” between Israel and the Palestinians, according to the Minister, should be a debate about politics and not religion. While there is an agreement with the Israeli authorities about territory, this in practice is far from being respected. She used an interesting metaphor, Israeli land was like a Swiss cheese with lots of small holes, the Palestinian territories, and that nowadays, these holes of the cheese were been eating up by Israeli settlers. Still, the challenges for the Palestinian people are not just about territory. The non-recognition of Palestinian statehood and a lack of international standing are core problems. Moreover, the marginal Palestinian political representation in the Israeli political domain make a “two state solution” a very distant ideal. The Minister answered a series of questions from the audience, among others about Palestinian political parties and their status, and about the Palestinian relationship with the neighboring countries. She ended the event by inviting everyone to come and see the reality of the situation on the ground. She has welcomed a large number of students from around the world who would come for field work for their thesis research. We can look back on a successful International Studies event with a very open and respectful exchange of ideas.