‘And' not ‘Or’: Empathetic complexity, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and efforts to resolve it

November 21, 2023

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 7-8:30 p.m.

Join this Zoom webinar with Michigan State University Professor Yael Aronoff and Monmouth University Professor Saliba Sarsar for a timely discussion on the complexities of the Israel/Hamas war.

Clicks to Zoom registration

(Register for the webinar on Zoom)

This webinar will protect your privacy and your video and name will neither be shared with other participants nor with the public. Registered participants can email questions ahead of time, or during the program to jewishst@msu.edu.


Professors Yael Aronoff and Saliba Sarsar will discuss the heart-wrenching complexities of the current Israel/Hamas war and the tangled history that brought us to this moment. In the process, these Jewish and Palestinian long-time colleagues hope to promote a constructive, empathetic dialogue at a moment when compassion – particularly for Israeli and Palestinian civilians — is sorely needed.

Their analyses will include the ethical dilemmas of war and international humanitarian law, past progress made toward peace and the necessity of reaching a peace settlement that respects the aspirations for self-determination of both peoples after this heartbreaking war has concluded (a two-state, or confederation based on a two-state, solution). Regional and international influences will also be discussed.

Register for the webinar here: https://msu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_euS5uA9VTlOCG7f01sy79w#/registration

Speaker bios

Yael AronoffDr. Yael Aronoff is the Director of the Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel, is the Serling Chair of Israel Studies, and is Professor of International Relations in James Madison College at MSU. Dr. Aronoff is past President of the Association of Israel Studies. Her book, The Political Psychology of Israeli Prime Ministers: When Hard-Liners Opt for Peace, (Cambridge University Press 2014), compares and contrasts six Israeli prime ministers and their decision-making on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Dr. Aronoff’s co-edited book, Continuity and Change in Political Culture: Israel and Beyond, with Ilan Peleg and Saliba Sarsar, (Lexington Books, 2021), includes contributions from ten leading scholars in political science, anthropology, Israel studies, and Middle East affairs that address the theme of continuity and change in political culture as

a tribute to Professor Myron (Mike) J. Aronoff. Her recent publications include “Jerusalem: My Favorite City in the World!” in What Jerusalem Means to Us: Jewish Perspectives and Reflections, Eds. Saliba Sarsar and Carole Monica C. Burnett, Jerusalem Peace Institute and Noble Book Publishing Inc., 2023; “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Handbook of Israeli Democracy, ed. P.R. Kumaraswamy, Palgrave, 2022; and “The Zionist Center- Left Opposition to the Netanyahu Governments,” in Israel Under Netanyahu: Domestic Politics and Foreign Affairs, ed. Robert Freedman, Routledge, 2019. Dr. Aronoff has published in Foreign Policy, Israel Studies, Israel Studies Review and Political Science Quarterly.

Salina SarsarDr. Saliba Sarsar, born and raised in Jerusalem, is Professor of Political Science at Monmouth University and President & CEO of the Jerusalem Peace Institute. During 2022-2024, he is also a Visiting Research Collaborator at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. His teaching and scholarly interests focus on the Middle East, Palestinian-Israeli affairs, Jerusalem and peacebuilding. Dr. Sarsar’s most recent authored books are Peacebuilding in Israeli-Palestinian Relations and Jerusalem: The Home.

in Our Hearts. His most recent edited books are The Holy Land Confederation as a Facilitator for the Two- State Solution and What Jerusalem Means to Us: Christian Perspectives and Reflections. His most recent co-edited books are Inequality and Governance in an Uncertain World, What Jerusalem Means to Us:
Jewish Perspectives and Reflections, What Jerusalem Means to Us: Muslim Perspectives and Reflections, Democracy in Crisis Around the World,
and Continuity and Change in Political Culture: Israel and Beyond.
Dr. Sarsar has been featured in several publications, including The New York Times, and is the recipient of the Award of Academic Excellence from the American Task Force on Palestine; the Global Visionary, the Stafford Presidential Award of Excellence, and the Eugene Simko Faculty Leadership Award from Monmouth University; and the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice.


College of Arts and Letters, James Madison College, College of Social Science, Residential College of Arts and Humanities, Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, International Studies and Programs and the Asian Studies Center.