The Palestinian Catastrophe

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Presented by Conversation at the Crossroads in association with the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Sydney.

The Palestinian catastrophe, known as the Nakba, refers to the devastation of the Palestinian homeland in 1948, and with it the displacement of the majority of Palestinian Arabs. The Catastrophe did not end in 1948. 75 years later Palestinian lands remain under occupation. As the dramatic use of military force in recent weeks shows, violence, discrimination and displacement remain the lot of the Palestinians.

What is a principled response? Which way for a just peace? What constructive initiatives can Australia and other governments take? What of the UN? Is civil society everywhere ready to assume its responsibilities?

The peace of the region and the world beyond hangs in the balance.

Keynote Address:

The Hon Bob Carr, former Foreign Minister for Australia and NSW’s longest continuously serving premier, is Industry Professor (Business and Climate Change) at University of Technology Sydney (UTS). He previously headed the Australia-China Relations Institute at UTS as Director and Professor of International Relations.

Professor Carr is Honorary Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University; recipient of the RSIS Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and the Fulbright Distinguished Fellow Award. He was Honorary Scholar of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, and is the author of Thoughtlines (2002), What Australia Means to Me (2003), My Reading Life (2008), Diary of a Foreign Minister (2014) and Run for Your Life (2018).


Sophie McNeill is the Australia researcher for Human Rights Watch. She was formerly an investigative reporter with ABC TV’s Four Corners program where she produced programs on the Hong Kong protest movement and the mass arbitrary detention of Xinjiang’s Muslims by the Chinese government. She was also a foreign correspondent for the ABC and SBS in the Middle East, including Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Turkey.

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5 September 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm AEST
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University of Sydney
Conversation at the Crossroads


The Great Hall, Quadrangle (A14), The University of Sydney, University Place.