A University of Wollongong senior politics lecturer says Zionism as a western kind of nationalism was the trigger that set in motion the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Dr Marcelo Svirsky will talk about the long-running Palestinian-Israeli conflict at the next Alternatives to 'Western Civilisation' seminar.
He will be one of the speakers at the Free Uni in the Pub series hosted by UOW staff and community members.
The second Wollongong seminar, held on the same dates as the Ramsay Centre speaker series in Sydney, will be at the Illawarra Brewery on Tuesday, June 18 from 6pm.
Dr Svirsky will speak as an Israeli Jew who is an expert on the Palestine-Israel conflict.
"We will be discussing the similarities in settler colonialism in Israel Palestine with the view on how western civilisation was part of that particular formation," he said.
"It is not just going to be on one aspect of this conflict. We will try to look at the history of the conflict as well as the present and possible solutions to the conflict."
Dr Svirsky said before Zionism came into Palestine in late 19th century Jews and Arabs were living together peacefully.
"Zionism as a western kind of nationalism was the trigger to a conflict that we are still experiencing," he said.
"People tend to think the conflict is eternal and that it always existed but in fact it was formed very late in the 19th century. And it was formed because Zionism as a Jewish national movement came into the country with a view to displace the native population.
"This is a theme or topic that echoes with the Australian experience.
"We will be talking also about the Palestinian struggle from the viewpoint of an indigenous struggle."
Dr Svirsky said he will also discuss how everyday Israelis "are actually involved in the oppression of Palestinians".
"This is something that needs to be discussed. Why this happened and what are the social process through which people go and form themselves to become oppressors," he said.
Dr Svirsky said the seminar will also discuss the very important question that has already been addressed globally.
"Are we allowed to criticise Israel or if we keep criticising Israel, we will be deemed as anti-Semitic," he said.
"My answer will be obviously of course we are entitled and we should criticise Israel because it employs settler colonial policies of domination....and there is nothing anti-Semitic about that.
"I myself am a Jew. I'm an Israeli Jew, and I'm talking also from that perspective."
Dr Lana Tatour, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law will also speak at the Wollongong seminar.