The event held at Drexel University was entitled “Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations: What Has Changed in the 20 Years Since the Oslo Accords?”
Drexel University hosted an event featuring Asaf Romirowsky on November 11, 2013, in which he discussed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The name of the event was, “Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations: What Has Changed in the 20 Years Since the Oslo Accords?” Josh Dienstman, our CAMERA fellow at Drexel, reports back on the event.
Josh says that the target audience for the event included history and political science majors, plus Israel supporters and activists. In the end, 17 students who support Israel came to the event, including a few first-time attendees.
Asaf Romirowsky, an adjunct scholar at the Foundation for Defense for Democracies and the Middle East Forum, gave a talk on the state of affairs of the Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations. Josh says that Asaf “specifically focused on the difference between the issues surrounding the negotiations at the time of the Oslo Accords and the issues present today. The focus was to provide the attendees with a general background of the negotiations, a knowledge of why the Oslo Accords failed 20 years ago, and an understanding of the current state of the negotiations.”
The goal of the event was to communicate to the audience the active approach to securing peace that Israel has taken, contrary to what numerous media outlets report. The idea was to present accurate, fact-based evidence in support of this assertion. It was important that students could walk away from the event with either a new perspective on Israel’s peace efforts, or with plenty of evidence to reinforce their view that Israel actively pursues peace. Josh says that the goal was indeed achieved, as students were able to learn a great deal from Asaf. In terms of marketing the event, Josh says that, according to what attendees reported, the Facebook page for the event and word of mouth were the most effective ways of bringing attention to the event.
Various audience members asked 10 questions, which is substantial participation given the number of people who attended the event. Questions ranged from the topic of America’s role in the negotiations to the significance of the Iranian nuclear threat with regards to the negotiations. Asaf’s answers were thoughtful and thorough, and he drew references to his own involvement during the Oslo Accords, as well as his extensive travels in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, and beyond.
Asaf’s lecture was interesting and engaging, and the event was an overall success; however, Josh states that attendance was lower that was anticipated. In the future, Josh plans to advertise the event more via word of mouth, so as to entice a larger audience to the next Israel- and Middle East-related event.