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Gaza and the end of Israeli invincibility: MEMO in Conversation with Daniel Levy

Israel's sense of invincibility and security were shattered on 7 October 2023 and now its atrocities are playing out in full view of the world, but has it lost its international legitimacy?

February 7, 2024 at 4:00 pm



On 6 October 2023, Israeli leaders were feeling confident of their international standing. Normalisation with the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and talks in the air about impending normalisation with Saudi Arabia. The Palestinian issue seemed forgotten, the status quo allowed Tel Aviv to close Gaza off from the world, settlers to steal more land in the occupied West Bank and everyone seemed to have given up on the idea of a Palestinian state. On 7 October, Israel’s sense of invincibility and security with the status quo came crashing down. But despite the political disaster of the Hamas attack, some within the Israeli government saw it as an opportunity to expel and ethnically cleanse Gaza of Palestinians, believing they would have immunity. However, the ongoing atrocities playing out in full view of the world, with growing anger in the West, outrage in the international community and a genocide case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) indicate that Israel has lost a lot of its international legitimacy. Additionally, with talks of a ceasefire and the failure of the Israeli occupation army to crush Hamas, Israel has been left unable to achieve any of its stated goals in Gaza. Join us as we speak to former Israeli negotiator Daniel Levy on what the current situation means for Israel and for Palestinians.

Daniel Levy is the president of the US/Middle East Project (USMEP), which strives to advance a dignified Israeli-Palestinian peace; an end to occupation, discrimination and refugeehood in which international legality is upheld, respecting the rights of all people.

From 2012 to 2016, Levy was director for the Middle East and North Africa at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to that he was a senior fellow and director of the New America Foundation’s Middle East Taskforce in Washington D.C. Levy was a senior adviser in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and to Justice Minister Yossi Beilin during the Government of Ehud Barak (1999-2001). He was a member of the official Israeli delegation to the Israel/Palestine peace talks at Taba under Barak and at Oslo B under Yitzhak Rabin (1994-95).

Levy was born and educated in the UK where he now resides and where he graduated with an MA and BA from King’s College, Cambridge. He has testified before the UN Security Council three times during 2020-2022.

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