The Ongoing Crisis in Israel: Expert Insight
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The Ongoing Crisis in Israel: Expert Insight
21st December 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Following a brief operational pause marked by an exchange of some Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners, the Israel-Hamas conflict has resumed. The Israeli military’s expansive ground operation across the Gaza Strip is now widening into the south. Israeli key aims remain the same: destroying Hamas and ensuring the safe return of the remaining hostages. In the meantime, the pressure from the international community is mounting, with the UN voting by a large majority for immediate humanitarian ceasefire during an emergency session (in which the USA voted against and the U.K. abstained). Following this vote, the US has advocated for a reduction of the Gaza offensive and the U.K. and Germany called for a ‘sustainable’ ceasefire.
As this conflict continues, the potential trajectory remains a critical concern. Our panel discussion seeks to dissect the evolving landscape of this crisis. What lies ahead in the coming days? Will the international community sustain its support for Israel, or might we witness narrative shifts if the conflict endures?
These pressing questions serve as the focal point of our emergency panel discussion. The event, hosted by The Henry Jackson Society, will convene distinguished experts to dissect and provide insights into this urgent and evolving matter.
Pnina Sharvit Baruch is a senior research fellow and the head of the program on law and national security at the Israel Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). She is also vice president of the international association of Jewish lawyers and jurists (IJL) and a founding member of Forum Dvorah – Women in Foreign Policy and National Security.
Pnina retired from the Israel Defense Forces in 2009 with the rank of Colonel after twenty years in the International Law Department, heading the Department from 2003. In this capacity she was responsible for advising on international law, including the laws of armed conflict. She was in charge of all legal advisors providing military commanders with legal advice on operational law, including around-the-clock advice during ongoing conflicts.
Pnina served as a legal advisor and member of Israel’s delegations to the negotiations with the Palestinians and with Syria.
After 2009 Pnina taught courses on public international law and on the legal aspects of the Israel – Arab conflict in the law faculty of the Tel-Aviv University and at the National Security College. She has published numerous articles on issues relating to these topics.
Fleur Hassan-Nahoum grew up in Gibraltar and studied law at Kings College, London University. She qualified as a barrister in Middle Temple in 1997 and practiced in London before immigrating to Israel in 2001. In Israel she worked at JDC in resource development for Europe and later became the Executive Director of Tikva, a nonprofit organization saving abandoned and abused Jewish children from the Former Soviet Union. In 2011 she set up her own communications consulting business Message Experts and does consulting work for large corporation as well as nonprofit organizations on effective communication strategies. In May 2016 Fleur became a City Councilor in Jerusalem and in February 2017 the leader of the Opposition. In November 2018 Fleur was re-elected to the Jerusalem Municipal Council and was appointed Deputy Mayor for foreign relations economic development and tourism. Fleur is currently the only British politician in Israel and is involved in the advancement of women’s rights and marginalized populations groups in the city, in economic development and the fight for a pluralistic Jerusalem. Fleur is also the Co-Founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council and the Gulf Israel Women’s Forum. Since September 2023, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum has been serving as Israel’s special envoy for innovation.
Arye Sharuz Shalicar is a German-Israeli political scientist, journalist, writer and government employee of Persian-Jewish origin. He served as an official spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces since 2009 and holds the rank of major. Since 2017, he has worked as a head of the international relations department in the Israeli government.
Shalicar began his military service in the Israel Defense Forces in 2001 with a paratrooper support unit. From October 2009 to early 2017, he was one of the four official spokesmen for the Israeli army. Since then, he has been a military spokesman in reserve and was reactivated in this capacity as spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces during the 2021 Israel-Gaza conflict with Hamas and during Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel in 2023.
Dr Helena Ivanov is an associate research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. She recently completed a PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research focuses on the relationship between propaganda and violence against civilians. In her thesis, Helena examined the role propaganda played during the Yugoslav Wars and produced a model for studying propaganda which details the key phases, functions, discourses, and techniques of propaganda (the model itself is applicable to other contexts). Additionally, Helena also served as a Manager at the Centre for International Studies at the LSE.
Prior to her PhD, Helena completed an MPhil in Political Theory at the University of Oxford, and holds a BA in Politics from the University of Belgrade.
The Henry Jackson Society was pleased to welcome retired Col. Pnina Sharvit Baruch of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum and former official spokesperson for the Israeli Defence Forces and current head of international relations in the Israeli government; Arye Sharuz Shalicar on discussion regarding the status of the ongoing crisis in Israel from the viewpoint of experts. Arye started by laying out the context of Israel’s position and that they’re fighting against not only Hamas in Palestine but also Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran, Yemen, and Syria on all fronts who are supplying weapons in Gaza and the west bank and hiding them in civilian institutions. Fleur went onto talk about the historical context with the Iron Dome and Israel’s reasons for defending itself from Islamic Jihad and what Israel has done to handle the devastation after decades of terrorist attacks and rocket strikes. Col. Pnina added that in her position, she has been trying to explain what is happening in Israel to foreign diplomats and the global media focusing on the legal aspects which has proven to be challenging amongst global narrative discourse.
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