Over the last 70 years, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has cost thousands of lives and imposed misery on many innocent people. To most Canadians the issue appears unsolvable. It is difficult to have a calm discussion about it, as emotions are high on all sides.
This seminar will examine the history of the region and the conflicting Jewish and Palestinian narratives, comparing them to the known historical record and current reality. It will also examine the history of anti-Semitism, particularly in Eastern Europe and the rise of modern Zionism. Finally, we will take a closer look at today’s Palestinians, why they are unhappy and what they want. This will provide a frame for a group discussion on whether Canada’s current policies are likely to help bring about a permanent resolution to the conflict.
Dr. Peter Larson is the Chair of Canada Talks Israel Palestine, (CTIP) a Canadian human rights organization focussing on the Middle East.
His professional career included periods at the Public Policy Forum, the Conference Board of Canada, Le Droit, and as a consultant to labour unions and federal government departments and agencies.
For the last 10 years, he has taken a particular interest in human rights issues in the Middle East, visiting Israel, Iran, Jordan, Egypt and the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza. He has also led many trips to Israel/Palestine for Canadians interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the complex Israel/Palestine issue.
He is a frequent lecturer for church and labour groups, retiree associations and service clubs. His presentations are appreciated for being fact based and balanced. He is also the principal author of a weekly series of articles on the Middle East to be found at www.CanadaTalksIsraelPalestine.ca.