Delving into the conflict
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BOOK LAUNCH

Delving into the conflict

The ZFA's Bren Carlill has put pen to paper to write The Challenges of Resolving the Israeli–Palestinian Dispute: An impossible peace, which is being launched online this Sunday.

Bren Carlill.
Bren Carlill.

ZIONIST Federation of Australia (ZFA) public affairs director Bren Carlill has had an overwhelming interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since his first trip to Israel as a teenager.

In the late ’90s, his curiosity prompted him to jet off to the Jewish State where he volunteered on a kibbutz for two years, before returning in 2002 to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School.

Back home, at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, he managed the European Security Architecture brief, leading relations with Russia and NATO, before writing reports on Middle Eastern human and civil rights conditions. He then became a senior research officer for the Department of Home Affairs, again focusing on the Middle East.

After spending almost two decades embedded professionally and academically in the region’s never-ending conflict, Carlill has put pen to paper to write The Challenges of Resolving the Israeli–Palestinian Dispute: An impossible peace, which is being launched online this Sunday.

The roots of the book lie in a conversation he had with a journalist in Jerusalem in 2005, when he used the word “existentialist” to describe those on either side of the conflict whose goal is to erase the political or physical existence of the other.

Over the following years, the word fermented and he mapped out the two ways Israelis and Palestinians envision an end to the conflict; either through existentialism or through territorialism, which would see further land negotiations.

Carlill told The AJN he is hoping his ideas persuade those who are “sympathetic to one side or the other, that the territorial–existential dichotomy exists and that for peace to happen, territorialists on both sides need to be strengthened and existentialists need to be undermined”.

The book launch has attracted shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus as a guest speaker.

Dreyfus, who has been working with Carlill through his role on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, commended the author for providing a “new way of understanding the conflict”.

The Zoom session will also feature a conversation between Carlill and former Israeli deputy national security adviser, Eran Lerman.

To register for the launch, visit zfa.com.au/Conversations.

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