Convergences Palestine/Israël Collective
Created in June 2001, the Convergences Palestine / Israel collective, whose stated purpose was to carry out publicly a series of meetings in France to describe the state of affairs in Palestine / Israel, is made up notably of journals of critical thought (Transeuropéennes, Intersignes, Lignes, La Revue d'Etudes Palestinienne), publishing houses (éditions La Fabrique), and human rights organisations (the Human Rights League and the International Human Rights Federation). Its objective was to provide an arena for both Palestinian and Israeli civil society actors - researchers and academics, field workers, NGO activists, artists - and to create a space for in-depth discussion drawing upon hands-on knowledge of the areas of conflict, thus seeking to overcome the debate of opinion.
From March to June 2002, the Convergences Palestine / Israel collective organised four high-level public meetings, of 5 hours each, which brought new elements of information, thought and action. This initiative, which was was expected to resume in the winter 2003-04 but could not find the financial means to do so, received the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network and the Paris-Villette Theatre.
On the theme “Cartographies of confrontation,” the first session organised by the “Convergences Palestine / Israel” collective was held on 15 March 2002 at the Paris-Villette Theatre, with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the backing of the Public Establishment of the Grande Halle and the Parc de la Villette. This session, like the Collective’s work as a whole, was organised in the framework of a partnership with the French weekly magazine Télérama.
On the theme “Comparative Inventory of RIghts,” the second session organised by the “Convergences Palestine / Israel” collective was held on 12 April 2002 at the Paris-Villette Theatre, with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the backing of the Public Establishment of the Grande Halle and the Parc de la Villette. This session, like all the Collective’s work, was organised in the framework of a partnership with the French weekly magazine Télérama.
“Convergences Palestine / Israel” seeks to allow the public to become aware of the work being done in Israel and in Palestine, often jointly between Palestinians and Israelis. These projects – whether in an academic or institutional framework or not, sometimes carried out by proactive or research-focused NGOs, sometimes by individuals such as writers, filmmakers, artists – rival one another in developing and refining new tools for analysis, reflection and action. For this third session, the moderator called upon all the speakers to shift this perspective and to demonstrate that what is taking place today is intelligible; it must be historicized, and a thorough examination be conducted of the narratives that have led to the most recent events.