Many obituaries of the Middle East Peace Process have been written, most famously by Edward Said in series of newspaper commentaries two decades ago (The End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After, Vintage: 2001). Yet the peace process has endured. But after twenty years of mostly fruitless negotiations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decided to return to the United Nations in his quest to attain statehood. After the latest American sponsored peace talks collapsed in April 2014, Palestine acceded to over a dozen treaties and sought a UN Security Council resolution calling for an end to the occupation. In the aftermath of last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip, and immediately after the draft Security Council resolution failed to pass, President Abbas signed the instrument of accession to join the International Criminal Court. But how will Israel, in the middle of an election campaign, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeking another term in office react? And what sense can we make of a process that has endured for so long but that has failed to produce a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians in the form of “two states for two peoples”?
In this presentation, Victor Kattan, a post-doctoral fellow at the Law Faculty of the National University of Singapore, speaks about the course of the Middle East peace process over the last 25 years, and the implications that Palestine’s decision to join the International Criminal Court might have on that process by drawing on political biography, international law, and his own experiences of working in Jerusalem and in the occupied Palestinian territories.
About the Speaker:
Victor Kattan is a postdoctoral fellow at the Law Faculty of the National University of Singapore and a policy advisor to Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He was previously a legal adviser to the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department in Ramallah on secondment from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Victor Kattan is the author of From Coexistence to Conquest: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1891-1949 (Pluto Press, 2009) and is the editor of The Palestine Question in International Law (British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 2008). He is currently writing a book on the peace process and the origins of the war on terrorism.
Organised by Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS) and RSIS Events Unit.