November 10, 2010
John Mearsheimer to Speak in Madison

Student Progressive Dane and the
Middle Eastern Law Student Association present

John MearsheimerProfessor John Mearsheimer
Greater Israel’s Bleak Future

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
3650 Humanities, UW-Madison
7:00-9:00 PM

University of Chicago Political Science Professor John Mearsheimer is the author of numerous books and articles, including most famously, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics and The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy with Stephen Walt. His latest book, Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics, is set for release in early 2011.

Mearsheimer argues that there is not going to be a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and instead Israel will control of all the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, it already does. He maintains that Greater Israel, as former Israeli prime ministers Ehud Barack and Ehud Olmert have argued, will be an apartheid state.

However, Mearsheimer says that it will be impossible for Israel to maintain itself over the long term as an apartheid state, because apartheid is antithetical to mainstream Western values as well as core Jewish values. In the long run, Greater Israel will become a democratic bi-national state dominated by its Palestinian citizens, who will outnumber the Jews in the entirety of the land.

Co-Sponsors Include: The Havens Center, Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, National Lawyers Guild of UW-Madison, Rainbow Book Store Co-Operative, and Young Americans for Liberty.

For more information, please contact stevehorn1022(at), call 262-705-5856, or go to facebook.

November 3, 2010
Glenn Greenwald to Speak in Madison

Glenn Greenwald will be on A Public Affair WORT-FM 89.9 with host Esty Dinur on Wednesday, November 3rd, from noon to one.

Student Progressive Dane and the
Middle Eastern Law Student Association present

Glenn Greenwald

Wars Without End: The War on Terrorism and Against Civil Liberties in the Obama Era
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
2650 Humanities, UW-Madison
7:00 9:00 PM

The Bush/Cheney assault on civil liberties, and the radical executive power theories that supported it, were one of the prime causes of Democratic anger during the last decade. That anger helped elect Barack Obama, whose vow to reverse this erosion of Constitutional values was a featured part of his campaign.

Yet almost two full years into the Obama presidency, the vast bulk of Bushs extremist War on Terror architecture from secrecy and lawless detention to due-process-free killings and immunity for lawbreaking not only has been embraced by Obama, but, in some cases, has been fortified and expanded.

What accounts for Obamas continuation of the very War on Terror policies which he once so vehemently condemned? What are the implications for core civil liberties? And what means exist for restoring the rule of law and Constitutional safeguards in the face of ongoing fear-mongering over terrorism?

Student Progressive Dane is honored to bring in Salon.coms Glenn Greenwald to attempt to put some answers to some of these questions. Glenn Greenwald was a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and is currently a contributing writer at Salon. He has also contributed to other newspapers and political news magazines, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The American Conservative, The National Interest, and In These Times. Greenwald is the author of three books: How Would a Patriot Act? (2006) and A Tragic Legacy (2007), both New York Times bestsellers; and Great American Hypocrites (2008).

In March 2009 he was selected, along with Democracy Nows Amy Goodman, as the recipient of the first annual Izzy Award by the Park Center for Independent Media, an award named after famed independent journalist I.F. Izzy Stone and devoted to rewarding excellence in independent journalism. The selection panel cited Greenwalds pathbreaking journalistic courage and persistence in confronting conventional wisdom, official deception and controversial issues.

His commentaries on surveillance issues and separation of powers have been cited in The New York Times, in The Washington Post, in United States Senate floor debates, and in House official reports on executive power abuses, and he appears on various radio and television programs as a guest political pundit.

Co-sponsors: Young Americans for Liberty of UW-Madison, Student Labor Action Coalition, Middle Eastern Law School Association, National Lawyers’ Guild of UW-Madison, Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative, Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, Model United Nations, and the Havens Center.

Funded in Part by Associated Students of Madison

For more information, please contact stevehorn1022(at), call 262-705-5856, or go to facebook.

October 21, 2010
Ann Wright to speak in Madison

From Afghanistan to Gaza: Obama’s Middle East Policy in Crisis

7:00 pm
180 Science Hall
550 N. Park Street [Map]

The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project is co-sponsoring a talk by Ann Wright on U.S. Middle East policy.

Ann Wright is a retired Army colonel and former US diplomat who resigned from the State Department in March 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. In December 2001 she was on the small team that reopened the US Embassy in Afghanistan. She traveled to Gaza three times in 2009 and helped coordinate the Gaza Freedom March. She is the co-author of the book Dissent: Voices of Conscience, available from Rainbow Bookstore.

Sponsors: Student Progressive Dane and Madison-Rafah Sister City Project. Welcomed by WORT Radio, 89.9 FM.

Co-sponsors: American Jews for a Just Peace/Madison; Colombia Support Network; Havens Center; Iraq Veterans Against the War/Madison; Madison Area Peace Coalition; Madison Institute; Pax Christi/Madison; Playgrounds for Palestine/Madison; The Progressive; Veterans for Peace/Madison; WI Impeachment Troops Out Now; Wisconsin Middle East Lobby Group; Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom/Madison.

Radio appearances by Ann Wright:
(1) WORT: Salamat show 6-6:30 pm, Sunday, Oct. 17
(2) WORT: LIVE Morning Buzz, 8 am, Thursday Oct. 21
(3) LIVE on Coffee and Cream on WSUM Student Radio (91.7 fm) between 11 and 12 noon on Thursday, Oct. 21
(4) WORT A Public Affair live with Judith Siers-Poisson 12 noon – 1 pm on Friday, Oct. 22 (89.9 fm)

This is an excerpt from a recent article on Gaza, “Gaza Death Zone”, CounterPunch, May 2, 2010:

“The Palestinians in the Death Zone called Gaza are being slaughtered again as Israel and now Egypt kill and wound more innocent civilians who challenge their illegal siege, blockade and quarantine.

In the past four days, one young Palestinian man has been killed and two young women and a young man have been wounded by Israeli snipers as they protested the Israeli bulldozing of 300 meters of Palestinian land into an Israeli “buffer zone.” Four young Palestinian tunnel workers have been killed by suffocation and 6 injured as Egypt sprayed a crowd dispersal gas into a tunnel.”

UN Fact-Finding Mission Says Israelis Executed US Citizen Furkan Dogan

Gareth Porter, Truthout, 27 September 2010


Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old US citizen of Turkish descent, was aboard the Mavi Marmara when he was killed by Israeli commandos. (Photo: freegazaorg)

The report of the fact-finding mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla released last week shows conclusively, for the first time, that US citizen Furkan Dogan and five Turkish citizens were murdered execution-style by Israeli commandos.

The report reveals that Dogan, the 19-year-old US citizen of Turkish descent, was filming with a small video camera on the top deck of the Mavi Marmara when he was shot twice in the head, once in the back and in the left leg and foot and that he was shot in the face at point blank range while lying on the ground.

The report says Dogan had apparently been "lying on the deck in a conscious or semi-conscious, state for some time" before being shot in his face.

The forensic evidence that establishes that fact is "tattooing around the wound in his face," indicating that the shot was "delivered at point blank range."  The report describes the forensic evidence as showing that "the trajectory of the wound, from bottom to top, together with a vital abrasion to the left shoulder that could be consistent with the bullet exit point, is compatible with the shot being received while he was lying on the ground on his back."

Based on both "forensic and firearm evidence," the fact-finding panel concluded that Dogans killing and that of five Turkish citizens by the Israeli troops on the Mavi Marmari May 31 "can be characterized as extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions." (See Report Page 38, Section 170)

The report confirmed what the Obama administration already knew from the autopsy report on Dogan, but the administration has remained silent about the killing of Dogan, which could be an extremely difficult political problem for the administration in its relations with Israel.

The Turkish government gave the autopsy report on Dogan to the US Embassy in July and it was then passed on to the Department of Justice, according to a US government source who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the administrations policy of silence on the matter. The source said the purpose of obtaining the report was to determine whether an investigation of the killing by the Justice Department (DOJ) was appropriate.

Asked by this writer whether the DOJ had received the autopsy report on Dogan, DOJ spokesperson Laura Sweeney refused to comment.

The administration has not volunteered any comment on the fact-finding mission report and was not asked to do so by any news organization.  In response to a query from Truthout, a State Department official, who could not speak on the record, read a statement that did not explicitly acknowledge  the reports conclusion about the Israeli executions.

The statement said the fact-finding missions reports "tone and conclusions are unbalanced." It went on to state, "We urge that this report not be used for actions that could disrupt direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine that are now underway or actions that would make it not possible for Israel and Turkey to move beyond the recent strains in their traditional strong relationship."

Although the reports revelations and conclusions about the killing of Dogan and the five other victims were widely reported in the Turkish media last week, not a single story on the report has appeared in US news media.

The administration has made it clear through its inaction and its explicit public posture that it has no intention of pressing the issue of the murder of a US citizen in cold blood by Israeli commandos.

On June 13, two weeks after the Mavi Marmara attack, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs issued a statement saying that Israel "should be allowed to undertake an investigation into events that involve its national security" and that Israels military justice system "meets international standards and is capable of conducting a serious and credible investigation."

Another passenger whom forensic evidence shows was killed execution-style, according to the OHCHR report, is Ibrahim Bilgen, a 60-year-old Turkish citizen. Bilgen is believed by forensics experts to have been shot initially from the helicopter above the Mavi Marmara and then shot in the side of the head while lying seriously wounded.

Continue reading

Fighting Bob Fest Israel/Palestine Panel Now Online

Israel and Palestine: A Progressive View

This workshop, sponsored by a large number of Wisconsin groups including the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project and the United Nations Association Dane County, represents one of the first times that Fighting Bob Fest has ventured into the area of international social justice.

This groundbreaking presentation, moderated by Progressive Magazine editor Matt Rothschild and featuring panelists Cathy Sultan, Sol Thea Kelley-Jones, and George Shalabi, is available online.

The site also has recent UNA programs featuring Joe Elder and Jeremi Suri.