Posted on April 04, 2016

A new book that closes the door on the hopes for a Palestinian state, titled The Impossibility of Palestine: History, Geography, and the Road Ahead, will be the focus of the next Monthly Dialogue Series public lecture at the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q). The talk will take place on Tuesday April 5, at 6:00 pm, featuring the book’s author, CIRS director Dr. Mehran Kamrava (pictured).

“This is a book about the impossibility of a Palestinian state,” begins Dr. Kamrava on the first page of his book, launching into a compelling argument for why a coherent Palestinian state is no longer possible due to historical events and economic dynamics that have resulted in a de facto single-state reality. “The question of Palestinian ‘liberation’ no longer makes much sense anymore. Liberation from what? The nature of occupation in the occupied territories has fundamentally changed in a way that we can no longer speak of occupation versus liberation,” he said, challenging the very terms that have long framed the narrative of “sides” in the Holy Land. “Today, the occupiers and occupied are far too enmeshed and integrated on multiple levels.”

In retelling the story of Palestine through detailed fieldwork, exhaustive scholarship, and an in-depth examination of historical sources, he concludes that the issue isn’t simply a question of geography any more, but also a question of identity and nationhood. The changes that have occurred to Palestinian society and economy have fundamentally changed the nature of the situation. “In this book I’ve gone to the root causes of these social, political, and economic dynamics that have so intertwined identities between Palestinian and Israeli,” he said.

At the CIRS lecture, Dr. Kamrava will present the research and conclusions in his book to explain what these dynamics are, and suggest that to move forward, Palestine must redefine its present predicament and future aspirations. “This book is a courageous undertaking whose subject and timing cannot be ignored, especially given Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s rejection of the idea of a Palestinian state. Mehran Kamrava’s analysis and conclusions may arouse controversy, but the undermining of Palestinian statehood cannot be denied,” said Charles Smith, author of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

"Kamrava makes it clear that Israel...has done a truly impressive job of undermining any possibility of a two-state solution...The Impossibility of Palestine...is an essential read for those who want to understand the dynamics that fuel the Israel-Palestine conflict, which is not going away anytime soon," said the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, John Mearsheimer.

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