ORIENT I 2024: Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Dear ORIENT readers,
After extensive deliberations, we decided to publish this edition of our journal on the Gaza war and its consequences. The Hamas massacre of over 1,200 Israelis was so brutal and the subsequent war by Israel in Gaza – resulting in up to 20,000 deaths, including many civilians – so severe that we could not and did not want to ignore the conflict at this juncture. The result is an issue that observes and evaluates the war with perspectives from the Middle East. Scholarly assessments typically require temporal distance from the events in question. We see this case as different due to the immediate impact of these events on Europe and the ongoing Ukraine war, with some contributions reflecting the high emotional stakes of the moment. We did not want to preclude these voices, as we believe that they also need to be heard. The articles represent personal views and not those of the German Orient-Institute.
We begin this edition with a contribution by Netanel Flamer on the tactics used by Hamas in the horrific 7 October attacks, before Yaser Alashqar considers how we got to this point, pinpointing critical moments at which mediation did not succeed, and Nathan J. Brown asks where diplomacy can go from here. We then broaden our scope to the regional ramifications, with Kristian Coates Ulrichsen outlining the potential effects of the war on GCC-Israeli rapprochement, while Mahjoob Zweiri and Thomas Bonnie James look at the Iranian reaction. Walid Kazziha then gives his view on Israel’s power dynamics, Hiba Husseini on the post-7 October landscape and Sarah El-Bulbeisi on the war’s impact on Germany’s Palestinian diaspora. All lives lost to this conflict are of equal worth. This is an academic journal, but our first response is a human one: we mourn the victims and yearn for peace.
Dr. Andreas Reinicke
Director of the German Orient-Institute