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Paths to a just peace for Palestine and Israel - a dialogue

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Thursday 19 April 2012, Allan Scott Auditorium

Podcast available here
  (MP3) 32Mb (or right click and select 'save target as' to download)

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Jointly presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at UniSA and the Abraham Institute

This event will be conducted as a dialogue with Dr Lynn Arnold AO, CEO, Anglicare SA acting as Moderator.

Other Dialogue participants:

Note from the Hawke Centre Director:
I ask that all attendees respect the spirit of the occasion and accept this special opportunity to hear the conversation between our three distinguished participants and to ask questions during the event. Both Mr Abdulhadi and Mr. Itzchaki have participated in dialogues interstate, and we warmly welcome them to Adelaide.

Elizabeth Ho

The Abraham Institute is a multifaith organisation devoted to interfaith and intercultural dialogue and understanding. The Hawke Centre has combined with the Abraham Institute to present this forum which encourages understanding and positive dialogue about the difficult matter of reconciliation between the Palestinian and Israeli people.

Mr Izzat Abdulhadi, Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, Ambassador to New Zealand and the Pacific and Mr Meir Itzchaki, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Israel to Australia and Dr Lynn Arnold AO, CEO of Anglicare (Moderator) will engage in a dialogue giving their perspectives on the current conflict between Palestine and Israel, and what steps need to be taken to bring peace to the region.

Speaker biographies

Mr Izzat Abdulhadi, Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, Ambassador to New Zealand and the Pacific

Mr Izzat AbdulhadiI was born in Nablus Palestine, in 1957 and have pursued my education in Egypt, Lebanon and the UK.

Prior to joining the Palestinian Diplomatic Corp, I was the founding Director General of the Bisan Centre for Research and Development, a leading NGO in community development and civil society strengthening. Established in 1989, I held this post for more than 18 years, implementing programs and producing groundbreaking research funded by the World Bank and other premier international organisations. Bisan was and remains central to strengthening Palestinian civil society, promoting human rights, democratic principles, human sustainable development and social justice through community development, policy research, advocacy and networking.

Following the Oslo Accords of 1993, I was among a core group of civil society leaders who established the Palestinian NGO Network or PNGO, the most significant and central networking body for Palestinian NGOs and I have been elected consecutively to the PNGO Steering Committee. I contributed substantially to the establishment of the Arab NGO Network for Development and became a member of its steering committee. Overall, I contributed to the current practice of NGO's leading the establishment and development of vibrant, viable and democratic Arab civil societies.

In 2006, I was appointed Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, Ambassador to New Zealand and East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. Guided by a strong commitment to public diplomacy, my work as Head of the General Delegation has focused on creating open and robust relationships between all levels of Australian society and Palestinian society.

Relationships with the Australian government focus on actions which benefit Palestinian people on the ground, enabling them to build the infrastructure, organisations and social trust needed for a viable and sustainable democratic Palestinian state. Equally, my work in Australia embraces trade and commercial links and networking between Australia and Palestine, benefiting both the developing Palestinian economy and Australian businesses.

With a large Palestinian diaspora community Palestinian people contribute richly to Australian life. I support the community as it develops its own voice and expresses its own identity within Australian society and as it advocates for justice on behalf of Palestinian people in Palestine.

In working with civil society organisations, I encourage the development of cooperative processes between organisations and initiatives, to enable more effective Australian advocacy for Palestine. As part of my commitment to a strong civil society, I continue the practice of participating in, and speaking at public conferences, forums and public lectures and particularly those which deal with community dialogue, civil society development and related issues.

I am an active member of the Council of the Arab Ambassadors in Canberra and participate in joint initiatives with the Council in relationship to shared interests within the Middle East. In addition I maintain strong relationships with other members of the international diplomatic corp.


Mr Meir Itzchaki, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Israel to Australia

Mr Meir ItzchakiMeir Itzchaki is a senior diplomat in Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Following a career including serving as an officer in the Israel Defence Forces, Meir joined the Diplomatic Corps in 1994 after graduating from the Hebrew University where he attained a bachelor's degree in History and Middle Eastern Studies.

Since then, he has served with distinction in posts around the world, from Africa to Europe. Meir's particular expertise has focused on international treaties and international organizations, having played key roles in multilateral negotiations and the development of global arms control disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms.

Now posted to Australia, Meir serves as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy based in Canberra.

While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy - valuing our diversity - and building our future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.


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