Academic scholars and international relations experts gathered at Lagos State University on Thursday to analyze the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
The symposium, titled “From Palestine to Gaza: Analysis of the Palestinian Conflict, 1948-2023,” was organized by the Department of History and International Studies, Faculty of Art at LASU.
During the event, Professor Sylvester Odion, an expert in Political Science, argued that for lasting peace to be achieved, Palestine must recognize its position as the weaker nation and defer to Israel. Odion highlighted the ongoing debate about whether Israel and Palestine can coexist as one country, acknowledging that Israel’s superior strength makes it likely that they will emerge as the victor in the conflict.
Additionally, he pointed out that the operatives of Hamas have undermined Palestine by revealing Israel’s intelligence.
“The ongoing killings in the Middle East have reached an unbearable extent. In order to achieve peace, it is imperative for Palestine and Israel to coexist as neighboring states. Sadly, due to its weaker position, Palestine fears the possibility of genocide from Israel.”
Speaking on the matter, Olawale Lawal, an associate professor of History and International Relations, expressed his belief that there seems to be no solution to the war.
He emphasized that his stance should not be misconstrued as an endorsement of the humanitarian crisis. He acknowledged the United Nations’ role in addressing the issue and stressed that the organization seeks to minimize the crisis instead of escalating it or attributing blame.
Another associate professor, Sunny Habbeb, argued that the Israel-Palestine conflict is not purely rooted in religion. Some people claim that Israel has a rightful claim to the land due to biblical references.
However, both countries have been in control of the territory for an extended period of time. Habbeb highlighted the support provided by Iran, China, and Russia to Palestine. He acknowledged that both Israelis and Palestinians have committed numerous atrocities throughout the conflict.
Also analyzing the situation, Olusegun Joshua, an academic from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, explained that while the issue is not inherently religious, it becomes one in the context of Nigeria.
He shared his confusion about his pastor’s insistence on praying for Israel, as Nigerians have accepted Jesus in a way that the Israelites have not.
He emphasized that Israel cannot be underestimated and that the calamity they are experiencing is also affecting black people. Joshua believed that as time passes, the chances of avoiding a crisis will increase. He concluded that for the war to end, both countries must be willing to accommodate each other.