Middle East Monitor is to host an event on Jerusalem this weekend, in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as the capital of Israel. The programme is entitled “Jerusalem: Legalising the occupation” and will take place on Saturday, 3 March, in central London.
The day-long conference will bring together experts on the region to discuss the controversies, past and present, surrounding Jerusalem. Four panel discussions will be held over the course of the day. The first will revisit the history of the ancient capital, particularly the Zionist claims of links to the land and the impact that the 1948 war had on the area. Subsequent panels will examine Jerusalem’s legal status in the international arena and Trump’s recent declaration in greater detail. The day will end with a look at the impact of the Israeli occupation on the divided city and its Palestinian residents.
The event is particularly relevant given the Trump Administration’s accelerated plans to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem by May, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) and the creation of the state of Israel in Palestine.
Victoria Brittain will moderate the first panel entitled “Exploring the historical context”. Panellists will include Sawsan Al-Keilani, the Director of Public Relations at the Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs; Sami Abu Shehadeh, the CEO of the Yaffa Youth Movement; Dr Ghada Karmi, a research fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter; Dr Maria Holt, a senior international relations lecturer at the University of Westminster; and Dr Salman Abu Sitta, the founder and president of the Palestinian Land Society UK.
Journalist Ben White will be the moderator of the second discussion. “Jerusalem’s legal status” will feature Ohio State University Professor John Quigley; Project Officer at the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights, Professor Nicolas Boeglin; and former Deputy Legal Advisor for the Foreign Office, Kevin Chamberlain.
The third panel, “Negotiations and the Impact of Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration”, will include Dr Ahmad Tibi, an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset; Daniel Levy, president of the US/Middle East Project; Nadia Hijab, the executive director of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network; and Professor Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic envoy to the UK.
The final discussion of the day, “Impact of the Occupation”, will be moderated by MEMO writer Amelia Smith, who will be joined by human rights lawyer Dr Munir Nuseibah; former Jerusalem Bureau Chief at the Independent, Donald Macintyre; and CEO of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation, Dr Nashiruddin Mat Isa.
Some 200 people are expected to attend the event, which is already heavily oversubscribed. Coverage of the conference will be updated on the MEMO website via a live blog throughout the day, as well on social media.