Note that registrations will be subject to review, and that the Henry Jackson Society reserves the right to deny access to this event.
A ceasefire was reached Tuesday to conclude the 50-day conflict that Hamas provoked with Israel in early July. The truce contained unspecific pledges to increase freedom of movement to Gaza, but no firm Israeli or Egyptian commitments on any of Hamas’s key demands – including lifting the security ‘blockade’, building an airport and seaport in the territory and releasing prisoners. Instead, the deal was nearly identical to the one Egypt and Israel had endorsed in mid-July, and which could have been reached without the death and destruction that the subsequent weeks of fighting incurred. Nonetheless, Hamas portrayed the new agreement as a “victory”, and thousands of Gazans hit the streets to celebrate the organisation’s so-called “resistance” against Israel.
As the dust settles, a number of questions remain unanswered. Who were the winners and losers from the fighting – Israel, Hamas or the Palestinian Authority? How has the latest confrontation stoked anti-Semitism in Britain and across Europe? Is demilitarising the Gaza Strip a necessary step toward regional stability, and is it achievable? Most important, has Israeli deterrence been restored and Hamas been decisively defeated, or is another flare-up likely in the coming months and years?
By kind invitation of Louise Ellman MP, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a discussion with Colonel (Rtd.) Richard Kemp, Former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, and Douglas Murray, Associate Director at The Henry Jackson Society. The speakers will examine the strategic landscape left by the latest Gaza fighting, and whether in the final analysis, it represents a victory for Israel or Hamas, the West or the Islamists, liberal democracy or terrorism.
Colonel (Rtd.) Richard Kemp is a former Commanding Officer of the 1stBattalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment and later commanded all British forces in Afghanistan. He was a member of COBRA, the national crisis-management committee, and worked on international terrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee, for which he was awarded the CBE. Col. Kemp has served in a number of high-level command positions in Iraq, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia. He gave evidence to the UN Human Rights Council during an emergency debate on the 2008-09 Gaza conflict and was present in Israel during the subsequent major conflicts in 2012 and 2014.
Douglas Murray is the Associate Director at The Henry Jackson Society, having joined in April 2011. He previously founded the Centre for Social Cohesion, a think tank studying extremism and terrorism in the UK. A bestselling author and award-winning political commentator, Douglas is a columnist for Standpoint and writes frequently for a variety of other publications, including the Spectator and Wall Street Journal. A prolific debater, Douglas has spoken on a variety of prominent platforms, including at the British and European Parliaments and the White House. He has authored books on neoconservatism, terrorism and national security as well as on freedom of speech. His latest book, Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and the Saville Inquiry, was published in November 2011.