Update April 21-24, 2017
Juan Cole Programs

April 21, 2017
WORT 89.9 FM
A Public Affair: Juan Cole On The Middle East
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Listen to the program

Professor Juan Cole will be Esty Dinur’s guest on A Public Affair, WORT’s daily hour-long talk program, for a wide-ranging discussion of issues, wars and prospects in the Middle East.

April 24, 2017
“Paganism and Muslim Peace-Building in the Mecca Period”
206 Ingraham Hall
UW-Madison [Map]
12:00 to 1:00 pm

UW Middle East Studies Program presents Juan Cole (Professor of History at the University of Michigan) speaking on “Paganism and Muslim Peace-Building in the Mecca Period (610-622): What does the Qur’an Say?”

Later Muslim accounts posit an essential enmity between Muslims and pagans in the Hejaz, leading to the wars of the 620s. These Umayyad and Abbasid accounts have influenced the interpretations of contemporary scholars. A close examination of Qur’anic texts from the Meccan period, however, reveals a consistent and strongly held option for peace. It will be argued that the sanctuary status of Mecca as a holy city made this experiment in peace theology possible.

April 24, 2017
“ISIL/Daesh and the Fate of Iraq in the Age of Trump”
Elvehjem Building L150
7:00 pm [Map]

In his second talk of the Day, Juan Cole will address the future of Iraq with a focus on the policies and approaches the new Trump administration may take in combating ISIL.

For more info please contact: Névine El Nossery, Director of the Middle East Studies Program, elnossery at wisc.edu


Juan Ricardo Cole is a public intellectual, prominent blogger and essayist, and the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He writes Informed Comment, Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion, which includes “The Map: The Story of Palestinian Nationhood Thwarted”. In 1973, Juan gifted his extensive comic book collection to Northwestern University; Stan Lee of Marvel Comics attended the opening.

March 13, 2017
The impact of UN recognition on Palestinian public opinion

206 Ingraham Hall
UW-Madison [Map]
12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

UW Middle East Studies Program presents Nadav Shelef (Professor, department of Political Science, UW-Madison) speaking on “The impact of UN recognition on Palestinian public opinion.”

In the fall of 2012, the United Nations General Assembly recognized Palestine as a “nonmember observer state.” His talk will present research showing that the UNGA recognition shaped Palestinian mass attitudes towards both territorial compromise and the use of violence to achieve national aims. Specifically, international recognition simultaneously increased support for partition as a strategy of conflict resolution and decreased support for compromise on the territorial terms of partition. With respect to attitudes towards the use of violence, we find that international recognition significantly reduced popular support for violence, but only among Palestinians who did not identify with any of the existing Palestinian political parties.

For more info please contact: Névine El Nossery, Director of the Middle East Studies Program, elnossery at wisc.edu

Update October 23, 2016
Israeli and Palestinian Parents Grieve, Work Together for Justice

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A Parents Circle Family Forum Presentation
Sunday, October 23

Two families – one Jewish Israeli, one Palestinian Christian – have lost a close family member as a result of the prolonged conflict between their two nations. As part of this organization of over 600 families, George and Najwa Saadeh and Rami Elhanan, are committed to reconciliation and working together for peace.

George and Najwa Saadeh and Rami Elhanan will share their stories and their hopes for the future at two events in Madison. One presentation will be geared for the general public and one for University students.

  • At 2:00 pm they will be speaking at First Unitarian Society Landmark Auditorium, 900 University Bay Drive [Map]. All are welcome!
  • At 5:00 pm they will speak with students at an ecumenical worship service sponsored by The Crossing Campus Ministry, 1127 University Avenue [Map]. Visitors are always welcome to worship with the students. Following worship, students are invited to a light dinner along with a presentation and conversation about the work of The Parents Circle Family Forum from 7:00 – 8:00.

Free and open to the public. Donations accepted for Parents Circle.

This event is sponsored by Bright Stars of Bethlehem Madison Chapter, United Church of Christ Southwest Association and Memorial UCC Church, Midvale Lutheran Church, Christ Presbyterian Church, Shaarei Shamayim congregation, First Unitarian Society, Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, Jewish Voice for Peace Madison chapter, Pilgrims of Ibillin, and J Street, with space donated by First Unitarian Society and The Crossing Campus Ministry.

For more information contact Bonnie Van Overbeke (bonnievano at aol.com or 608-770-5714).

GoFundMe Request by Rafah Filmmaker Fida Qishta

Fida Qishta, who visited us in Madison in 2014 and 2015 to show her powerful first film Where Should the Birds Fly, has been in film school in California. She is looking for donations to help fund her thesis film Equally Damaged. Please consider a donation via the gofundme link or check. As of today, she is still in need of $2,000.

We still have copies of Where Should the Birds Fly for sale, and one that we can loan for showings. If anyone is interested, let me know.

Thanks,
Barb O.

Dear friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I’m almost done with my Master program in Film and Media Production and will be graduating in September.

I’ll start filming my final thesis film Equally Damaged on July 22nd. Please check my go fund me campaign and give it a kick. Share it, and send it to your friends and mailing list.

https://www.gofundme.com/247ak64

If you’d like to send a check please make it out to me and send it to:

    Fida Qishta
    3409 West Alameda Ave, Apt B
    Burbank, CA 91505

Best, Fida


Director Statement
Growing up in Palestine is pretty hard. A Mid-East conflict zone, every day was a challenge, even life in my close-knit neighborhood was subject to conflicts and destruction. The landscape was constantly changing as homes and streets were destroyed. I always wondered, when I was young, what could make people stop killing each other. I realized as I grew up that the war machine is like a bubble, each side is separated from the other, and neither one is willing to acknowledge the other’s point of view. As a child, I thought the whole world was like my neighborhood. The first time I traveled, it opened my eyes to the world, and I saw things differently from when I was growing up. I felt cheated of normality. This is why I wanted to make a film that shows the damage that conflicts and wars cause on both sides that are involved. People in front of or behind the gun are damaged, and that is what I want to get across with this film. War and conflict can strip away humanity, and yet I believe that love and forgiveness are possible and worth fighting for.

Please help me fund the production of Equally Damaged. I will submit it as my master’s thesis project at the New York Film Academy and will enter it in film festivals. The film is a short , it will run 15-30 minutes. With the resources of the New York Film Academy, I can make Equally Damaged for $10,500.

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Breaking Ground at Cinema Hebron

Rabbi Brant Rosen, Shalom Rav, July 17, 2016

This past Friday, I had the honor to participate in an incredible, unprecedented mass action of civil disobedience in the H2 section of Hebron – in the heart of Israel's unjust and illegal occupation.

I'll start with a little bit of history:

In 1968, a year after Israel conquered the West Bank, a group of radical religious settlers led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger, led a group of followers to a hotel in Hebron – with the government’s support – to observe a Passover seder. When it was over, they refused to leave; and following a negotiation with the government, they were allowed to create a settlement to the east of Hebron that they named Kiryat Arba Since that time, Jewish settlers gradually moved into Hebron proper. Over the years tension gradually increased in Hebron. Things changed drastically in 1995 after Baruch Goldstein murdered 29 Muslim worshippers in the Ibrahimi mosque. Fearful of reprisals, the IDF imposed increasing curfews and restriction of movement on the Palestinian population.

In 1996, as part of the Oslo agreement, Hebron was divided into two sections: H1 and H2. H1 is locally governed by the Palestinian Authority and is home to approximately 120,000 Palestinians. Tens of thousands of Palestinians live in H2 along with 600 Jewish settlers. Since the Second Intifada, Israel increased their security crackdown on this part of the city, blocking off major streets to Palestinians – most notably the main commercial road, Shuhadah Street. (The army refers to them as “sterile roads”).

Virtually every Palestinian shop in H2 has been closed and their doors welded shut by the army. Because the Palestinian residents of Shuhadah St. are not allowed to walk on the road, they must enter and exit through the rear of homes because they cannot leave their own front doors. Because of these measures – and the ongoing harassment and violence at the hands of Jewish settlers – what was once the busting commercial center of Hebron has become a ghost town. 42% of its Palestinian homes are empty and 70% of its Palestinian business have been shut down.

We visited Hebron earlier this week and it was a truly chilling experience. Our group went on a tour led by Breaking the Silence, an organization of Israeli army veterans who are speaking out about the abuses the IDF are committing in Hebron. I did a BTF tour in 2008 during my first real foray into the reality of contemporary Hebron. Today, the situation there is even more dire if such a thing is possible.

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Women’s Boat to Gaza

Women’s Boat to Gaza, July 20, 2016

Gaza has been under Israeli blockade for the past decade during which Israel has also launched countless attacks against the besieged population, turning their life into a nightmare and a continuous struggle. Through Freedom Flotillas and other naval missions we have brought international attention to their suffering and their resistance. The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) and is composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from many countries. We have been challenging the illegal and inhuman Israeli blockade of Gaza for years and are committed to continue the struggle until the blockade is unconditionally lifted and the Palestinian people everywhere regain their full rights.

The Women’s Boat to Gaza (WBG) seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people. With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and from women’s collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.

womens_boat_log.png Help Us Sail to Gaza to Break the Israeli Blockade!

GOALS

The Women’s Boat to Gaza (WBG) seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people. With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and from women’s collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.

Funds will be used to purchase a boat and have an all-woman crew and women passengers from around the world. We intend to sail in summer or fall of 2016 the date depending on fundraising to purchase the boat. Our U.S. goal is $30,000.

Our fiscal sponsor is Nonviolence International, 501(c)(3), tax ID 52-164578. Donations by check can be mailed to:

Women’s Boat to Gaza
c/o Nonviolence International
4000 Albemarle Street, NW, Suite 401
Washington, DC 20016


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