Jon Allen, Israel-Palestine: Oct. 7: How Did It Happen and Where Do We Go from Here? February 27, 2024

Jon last spoke to the Whiff at the January 2021 Whiff@Home meeting, when he talked about Values vs. Interests in Canadian foreign policy. Now, as a Whiff member, we are fortunate to have him share his deep insight of the issues behind the past and current relationships between Israelis and Palestinians at the institutional, professional, and grassroots levels. As the Chair of Project Rozana Canada, a not-for profit that has been building bridges between Palestinians and Israelis for over a decade, primarily via the health sector, Jon is eminently qualified to elucidate us on this humanitarian crisis.

It is important that we all develop a deeper understanding of the evolving situation in Israel & Gaza and to understand if peace can ever be achieved. Allen has said that “as long as Israel discriminates against Arab Israelis, Gazans, and people from the West Bank, it will continue to be a flawed democracy.” and that “whatever Israel’s rights and fears are, they do not, in my view, justify the siege and collective punishment that Israel initially imposed on the Gaza Strip, nor the trickle of humanitarian supplies that it has permitted to enter Gaza up to now, nor the massive numbers of deaths and injuries of innocent Palestinian men, women and children.” Despite criticizing both Israeli and Palestinian authorities, Jon has an optimistic view and will elaborate on his two-state solution, one that is difficult, but not impossible to achieve.

Whiffers on Tuesday, February 27th heard an exceptional talk in which Jon presented,  in a balanced way,  the background on one of the greatest challenges of our times. We were happy to hear that there may be some basis for optimism for a resolution, in particular through the work of Project Rozana.  

In case you couldn’t attend, this video of Jon’s address to the  University of Waterloo in Dec 2023 will give a good sense of what he spoke to the Whiff about.