Report on Seminar on “Israel’s Occupational War on Palestine”
The School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR) in collaboration with Research Society of International Law (RSIL) organized a seminar on ‘Israel Palestine Conflict’ on October 30, 2023. The Session was opened by Dr. Saweeda Rahman, International Law expert and Assistant Professor at SPIR. The recitation of Quranic verses was congruent with the ongoing situation. In Dr. Saweeda’s welcoming note, she expressed her views on the current wave of the Israel- Palestinian war. Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, Director of SPIR, in his introductory note shed light on the recent genocide being conducted by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially Gaza, where he emphasized that across the world, people in enormous numbers are rallying in support of Palestinians. On the other hand, the support at the state level is missing. He said that the Palestinian casualities because of the Israel’s brutal war crimes, are more than what the western media is showing to the world. The world is witnessing the transformation of an asymmetrical warfare into a guerilla warfare which is complicated by the fact that there are 1300 tunnels under the infrastructure in Gaza that Israel believes are safe haven for Hamas. This is the reason why Israel, even though having military preponderance in the equation, is still left incapacitated in fighting Hamas on land. He concluded his remarks by saying that International Law is only a rhetoric. He then invited Oves Anwar, Director Research RSIL, to explain the brewing situation from the perspective of International Law. Mr. Oves was of the view that International Law is being abused and manipulated by Israel to pursue its brutality in Palestine. Then he elaborated on how International Law is being misinterpreted and misused by Israel to justify its atrocities. He further built his arguments on the question whether Palestinian actually have a right to resist or not. He clearly differentiated terminologies such as combatants vs the non- combatants and armed struggle vs terrorism in the light of International Law. Israel is trying to delegitimize the Palestinian struggle under the guise of International Law. The last speaker Zarrar Khuhro, Journalist and Anchorperson from Dawn, talked on “Use of Misinformation and Fake News in Israel Palestine Conflict” shedding light on the hypocrisy of the Western Media that it is portraying a skewed narrative that favours Israel’s strategy of dehumanizing Palestinians. By quoting numerous examples of the western media’s projection of Hamas and Palestinians at one hand and Israelis on the other, for instance the news referring Israelis being “killed” and Palestinians as being “dead”, he remarked that the use of language, disinformation, imbalance flow of information and fake news are contributing to the strengthening of the one- sided Israeli narrative. The seminar concluded with an interactive question and answers session.