ISRAELI DIPLOMAT PRESSURED UNC TO REMOVE TEACHER WHO CRITICIZED ISRAEL

An Israeli consul general baselessly accused a graduate student of antisemitism and said she shouldn’t teach a course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


The University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, N.C., on April 21, 2013. Photo: Lance King/Getty Images

Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept, September 28 2021

This August, Israeli consular officials in the southeast U.S. arranged meetings with a dean at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to discuss a graduate student teaching a course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to two UNC professors with knowledge of the meetings, who asked for anonymity for fear of retribution, the Israeli official accused the Ph.D. student of antisemitism and said she was unfit to teach the course.

The intervention by an Israeli government official, Consul General to the Southeastern United States Anat Sultan-Dadon, followed a pressure campaign by right-wing pro-Israel websites and an advocacy group to remove the graduate student, Kylie Broderick, from teaching the history department course called “The Conflict over Israel/Palestine.” The websites and pro-Israel advocacy group pointed to postings Broderick had made on Twitter that criticized Israel and Zionism and, without evidence, cited the postings as evidence of antisemitism.


UNC Ph.D. student Kylie Broderick.
Photo: Courtesy of Kylie Broderick

In addition to the intervention by the Israeli government, the school faced pressure from a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, the two UNC professors told The Intercept. The professors said Rep. Kathy Manning, D-N.C., also met with the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to exert pressure over Broderick’s course.

“It is not a new phenomenon where outside parties have tried to stifle academic freedom on this subject,” Broderick said. “But these people have never seen me teach, never seen my past evaluations which have said that I treat students fairly, and thus have no right to dictate what I say inside the classroom.”

Israel-Palestine has become one of the most politicized areas of academia, with periodic firings of professors, prosecutions of students, and even the maintenance of public blacklists helping impose an atmosphere of fear and self-censorship over the topic. Even by that standard, the intervention of Israeli government officials directly with an American university over the teaching of a course represents a troubling new threat to academic freedom.

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Update: June 15, 2021
Book Launch of The Gaza Kitchen, 3rd ed.

6 pm Central

Maggie Schmitt and Laila El-Haddad’s The Gaza Kitchen cookbook is back in a new, expanded 3rd edition with an all-new Authors’ Introduction, new recipes, new photos, and info from Laila’s late-2019 visit back to Gaza. Join us for the June 15 launch in which the authors will review what’s happened in Gaza and what’s happened in Palestinian cuisine since their ground-breaking First Edition came out in 2012. Cuisine is heritage– and also resilience. Laila and Maggie pull it all together!

Register for the book launch webinar.

Pre-order the new edition.

Update: The Museum of the Palestinian People will be holding an online event that features a cookalong with both Laila and Maggie — this Sunday, June 20, at 12:00 pm ET (11 am Central). Reserve yourself a spot at that event.

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Life Under Occupation: The Misery at the Heart of the Conflict

An eviction in East Jerusalem lies at the center of a conflict that led to war between Israel and Hamas. But for millions of Palestinians, the routine indignities of occupation are part of daily life.


Israeli soldiers firing tear gas towards Palestinian protesters in the town of Kfar Qaddum. Samar Hazboun for The New York Times

David M. Halbfinger and Adam Rasgon, The New York Times, May 22, 2021

JERUSALEM — Muhammad Sandouka built his home in the shadow of the Temple Mount before his second son, now 15, was born.

They demolished it together, after Israeli authorities decided that razing it would improve views of the Old City for tourists.

Mr. Sandouka, 42, a countertop installer, had been at work when an inspector confronted his wife with two options: Tear the house down, or the government would not only level it but also bill the Sandoukas $10,000 for its expenses.

Such is life for Palestinians living under Israel’s occupation: always dreading the knock at the front door.

The looming removal of six Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem set off a round of protests that helped ignite the latest war between Israel and Gaza. But to the roughly three million Palestinians living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and has controlled through decades of failed peace talks, the story was exceptional only because it attracted an international spotlight.

For the most part, they endure the frights and indignities of the Israeli occupation in obscurity.

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March 10, 2021
Introduction to Palestinian Tatreez Embroidery Online

Folklore Village, Dodgeville, WI

$20.00

  • An online embroidery workshop with textile artist Wafa Ghnaim
  • Wednesday, March 10
  • 5-7 PM Central Time
  • Hosted over Zoom videoconferencing
  • Register for Online Class

Supplies are listed here: https://www.tatreezandtea.com/supplies under “Aida Cloth”.

After you pay, you will receive an automated email with all the information you need to get connected to the Zoom call. If you prefer to pay by mail or over the phone, please call (608) 924-4000 or email programs@folklorevillage.org to make arrangements.

For Zoom troubleshooting questions, click here.

Join textile artist Wafa Ghnaim for a two-hour introduction into the beautiful and ancient art of Palestinian tatreez embroidery! Tatreez is often used to decorate the traditional Palestinian dress, called a thobe, but also adorns many other kinds of household and decorative objects. Different villages and regions within Palestine have their own traditional patterns, and Wafa has a wealth of knowledge to share about this history! In this 2-hour virtual class, students will learn how to embroider the Beyout (Houses) motif from el-Khalil (Hebron) to create a bookmark. Learning objectives include:

  1. How to thread a needle.
  2. The meaning and history of the pattern in focus.
  3. How to start a tatreez sampler. Instructions are listed here
  4. Color selection and strategy.
  5. The basics of traditional Palestinian embroidery cross-stitch, including two different methods of stitching and the principals of successful Palestinian embroidery execution.
  6. Stitching strategy to execute the cleanest motif on fabric.
  7. Tips & tricks unique to the motif.

Patterns are sent 24-48 hours in advance of the class. No experience is required. This class will be recorded and made available after the live session. Please contact Wafa at wafa@tatreezandtea.com with any questions.

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February 27 – March 5, 2021
International Festival Online

Opens 10 am Saturday, February 27

The International Festival usually takes place throughout Overture Center. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 International Festival is a virtual event. Shake the February doldrums with a free celebration of our international community in Dane County—all from the comfort of your home. Enjoy cultural arts performances, cooking demonstrations, visual arts galleries, discussions and more at Overture’s 2021 International Festival.

As in the past, the Festival will feature an international marketplace. You will be able to browse and purchase items, including those from MRSCP, online.

More information and free registration

February 21, 2021
Palestine on a Plate!

Middle East Children’s Alliance Webinar, 10 am CT

Only $10 donation, REGISTER NOW!

Join the Middle East Children’s Alliance in this unique opportunity to hear nationally-acclaimed chef/activist REEM ASSIL interview bestselling cookbook author/chef JOUDIE KALLA – a benefit for sending food parcels to Palestine & Lebanon, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. You’ll also get to see a short video of each of them cooking!

Joudie Kalla is the author of bestselling books Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother’s Kitchen and Baladi: A Celebration of Food from Land and Sea. Working as a chef for over 23 years, she also runs cooking classes, catering events, regular sold-out supper clubs, hosts Palestine-themed dinners for charity, and consults on food projects.

Reem Assil is owner of Reem’s California, a nationally acclaimed restaurant, inspired by Arab street corner bakeries and the vibrant communities that surround them. Previously a community and labor organizer, Reem sits at the intersection of her three passions: food, community, and social justice. She uses food to invoke the central virtue of her Arab culture, hospitality, to build strong, resilient, and connected community.

REGISTER TODAY!
Space is Limited

This event is a benefit for food parcels for Palestine & Lebanon, in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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