Feb 21, 2011
Mr. Khinvraj Jangid is a Sylff fellow of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), India. After completing the master’s program in politics with a special focus on international relations at JNU’s School of International Studies, he is now pursuing his Ph.D. at the JNU’s Centre of West Asian Studies.
On December 21-22, 2010, Mr. Khinvraj was invited to National Seminar on "Conflicts in South & West Asia: Prospects of Peace" to present a paper at the Center for West Asian Studies, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. The title of his paper was “Israel-Palestine Peace: The Problem of Narratives.” In this paper, Mr. Khinvraj addresses one of the most controversial conflicts of the present time. The present conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and the peace deadlock is attributed to a disagreement on the understanding of what had happened in the 1948 war between Israel and the five Arab states of Egypt, Syria, Jordan (then Transjordan), Iraq, and Lebanon. Regarding this war, perceptions of the two parties on the issue of Palestine refugees and elusive peace are of critical difference, which makes it difficult to construct a common understanding of the past; this is why the current conflict and disagreement remain unresolved.
He particularly referred to the role that history can play in reconciling the discord on the issue. Israeli new historians who emerged in the 1990s presented critical analysis and self-reflection of the past event; this was made possible due to declassified information and records from the Israeli government and elsewhere. The other significant factor behind historical inquiry at that time was Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The Israeli society was critical of its state policy for the first time. Such an effort by both Israel and the Arab nations should enable them to construct a basis for understanding the past although they still disagree on some of the critical current issues; this will also positively influence the present as we can all learn about the present from the past. In this paper, Mr. Khinvraj tries to draw attention to the role of “constructive history”; it detaches from blame game in which both parties call the other more responsible than the other for the past event as well as the current one. Critical self-reflection is not free from subjectivity, however, it is oriented toward better understanding of the past and it can bridge the gap between the past and present times.
Mr. Khinvraj’s paper was one of the above Seminar’s selected papers for publishing. The abstract of the above paper is available here.
Mr. Khinvraj is currently working on his dissertation entitled, “Causes, Consequences and Relevance of the New History for Israel” and also teaches a post graduate diploma course in International Law and Diplomacy as a guest lecturer at the Indian Society of International Law (ISIL), a premier national institution for teaching, research and promotion of international law in New Delhi, India. Khinvraj can be reached at khinvraj[a]gmail.com ([a] must be replaced by @)
The Tokyo Foundation extends its best wishes for Mr. Khinvraj’s academic career. Sylff fellows who wish to share their achievements here at “News & Events” are requested to contact the Leadership Development at scholarship[at]tkfd.or.jp ([at] should be replaced by @).