The Van Leer Seminar 2018
Participation in the seminar is by invitation only.
Participants who confirm their participation will be asked to attend all of the seminar’s sessions.
Now, perhaps more than at any other time in the past century, dividing the country into two states for two peoples seems less and less implementable. In this new historical situation, a different kind of conversation and thinking is needed. Whereas until recently the one-state solution was discussed only in narrow circles on the fringes of Israeli politics and society, now the idea of a shared life in a single political framework is spreading through Israel’s populace and beginning to sound possible and even desirable. At the same time, in light of the long history of the conflict and its increased severity, it is impossible to avoid the question of whether there is a conceptual and practical alternative to the Israeli and Palestinian nation-state.
The Van Leer Seminar will deal with thoughts on the political futures of Israel and Palestine, focusing on fundamental questions at the heart of the encounter between Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs. How does one start thinking about an alternative political form of organization in a place where the basic principle of national and territorial separation, which underlies modern sovereignty, seems impossible? How will Zionist and Palestinian political thought contend with such a fundamental change in the form of the regime? What can the discussion of these topics contribute to thinking about the political future of Israel, and what are the outlines of a future reconciliation? We will discuss these questions and others in this year’s seminar sessions.
The seminar will include five monthly sessions that will take place on Fridays between 10:00 and 12:30.
Every session will include a lecture and a response, followed by a discussion.