Palestine, Israel and R2P: A Symposium

(Original Photo: Ibrahim Abu Mustafa / Reuters / Creative Commons)

(Photo: Ibrahim Abu Mustafa / Reuters / Creative Commons)

For the fortunate, the doldrums of summer have kicked in. But thousands civilians in Gaza and parts of Israel have to settle for the drums of war. Hamas and Israeli defence forces are once again mired in a costly violent conflict. The result has been predictable: the tragic loss of civilian life.

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a vocabulary, doctrine, norm and perhaps even an emerging legal principle intended to shape the obligations that states and the international community have towards citizens under threat from international crimes and human rights abuses. The latest round of violence has led some observers to ask a host of questions regarding the protection of civilians in both Palestine and Israel:

Does the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) apply to civilians in Palestine and Israel?

Why has R2P been neglected in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Who has the responsibility to protect civilians in this ongoing war?

Is the asymmetrical loss of life between Israeli and Palestinian civilians relevant?

Is R2P a useful framing for the conflict?

To answer these questions, Justice in Conflict and the LSE Middle East Centre are co-hosting a symposium on R2P, Palestine and Israel. Over the next three days, we will host articles from Megan Schmidt, David Rieff, Aidan Hehir, Simon Adams, Michael Kearney, and James P. Rudolph.

This is an exercise in bringing together scholars and practitioners with a wealth of experience and a diversity of perspectives on R2P and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The opinions expressed over the next few days are those of the authors – and not of the Middle East Centre or Justice in Conflict. Above all, this symposium seeks to create an open and honest dialogue within a forum that respects the opinions of all participants.

Mark Kersten (Justice in Conflict) and Ribale Sleiman Haidar (LSE Middle East Centre)


List of Contributions

Both Israel and Hamas have a Responsibility to Protect Civilians, by Simon Adams

R2P Isn’t a Useful Framework for Gaza – Or Anything, by David Rieff 

Gaza and Israel – A Case for International Humanitarian Law, Not R2P, by James P. Rudolph

In Palestine, R2P Isn’t Dead. It Could Never Have Existed, by Michael Kearney

The Israeli-Gaza Crisis and the Responsibility to Protect: Does the Norm Apply?, by Megan Schmidt

Is Gaza in Israel? R2P and Inter-State Crises, by Aidan Hehir 

About Mark Kersten

Mark Kersten is a consultant at the Wayamo Foundation, a Senior Researcher at the Munk School of Global Affairs, and a law student at McGill University Law School. He is also author of the book, 'Justice in Conflict - The Effects of the International Criminal Court's Interventions on Ending Wars and Building Peace' (Oxford University Press, 2016).
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3 Responses to Palestine, Israel and R2P: A Symposium

  1. Pingback: The Responsibility to Protect: Israel & Gaza » Duck of Minerva

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