Sussex Centre for Global Insecurities Research (CGI)

The Occupation at 50: Pasts, Presents, Futures

2017 marks 50 years for the longest standing military occupation in the world. During that time, the political, demographic, legal, economic and social dimensions of the occupation have changed dramatically - in Israel, in the West Bank and Gaza, in the region, and beyond. The two-state solution has moved from being perceived as a threat to Israel’s existence, to the only possible solution, to one that is now slowly fading into the realms of an unrealistic prospect. The West Bank and Gaza, once viewed as indivisible, have taken different trajectories. Resistance has taken the form of violent uprising, civic protests and international collaboration. The legal system has been portrayed by some as the final frontier for the protection of Palestinian rights, but is seen by others as one of the main facilitators of the occupation. The terms of economic engagement have changed dramatically, from the incorporation of Palestinian labour and markets into the Israeli economy, to selective disengagement during times of upheaval, to complete removal of non-citizen Palestinians from the Israeli labour market, and to calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. And the international community has moved from bewilderment, to active engagement, to frustration, and, perhaps, to apathy.

This international conference seeks to take stock and shed light on these issues, by reflecting on the pasts, presents and futures of the occupation; on its implications not just for Palestinians but also for Israelis, and worldwide; on the multiple connections between Israel’s occupation and developments elsewhere in the world; and on the distinctiveness of the occupation in global and historical context. 

Occupation at 50 poster for website

The conference will bring together leading Israeli, Palestinian and international speakers for two days of lively discussion and debate. Speakers include: Shahd Abusalma, Bashir Abu-Maneh, Marco Allegra, Merav Amir, Yutaka Arai, Orna Ben-Naftali, George Bisharat, James Eastwood, Martin Evans, Rosa Freedman, Neve Gordon, Aeyal Gross, Eric Heinze, Salma Karmi-Ayoubb, Viktor Kattan, Michael Kearney, Ghada Kharmi, Hagar Kotef, Alan Lester, Akanksha Mehta, Yoni Mendel, Ethan Morton-Jerome, Karma Nabulsi, Nadia Naser-Najjab, Katharine Natanel, Jacob Norris, Adi Ophir, Amir Paz-Fuchs, Yoav Peled, Mezna Qato, Ronald Ranta, Yael Ronen, Ruba Salih, Leila Sansour, Jan Selby, Sammy Smooha, Joy Stacey, Hedi Viterbo, Rafeef Ziadah, and Ruvi Ziegler.

This will be a full two day conference beginning on the 11th May at 9.30am and finishing on the 12th May at 5.15pm.

The conference is open to Sussex staff and students, researchers and students from other institutions and the general public. There will be no attendance charge. Teas and coffees will be provided but there will be no food provided. The university has a number of food outlets for purchasing lunch and refreshments, for information on these please click here.

Please arrive promptly at 9.30am at Fulton Building, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9NZ.

Metered parking is available during the day, however there are no parking charges after 5pm. For a campus map and directions please click here


This conference is sponsored by the Sussex Centre for Human Rights Research, the Middle East and North Africa Centre at Sussex, the Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research and the Sussex Rights and Justice Research Centre.