NW Regional Conference at Seabeck, WA

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Dr. Stephen Zunes

Workshop 1
Title: 
Changing the US/Israel/Palestine Conversation: The Emerging International Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions Movement
Workshop Description: 
This workshop will actually be a panel discussion involving Stephen Zunes, Ned Rosch, Maxine Fookson, and Rabbi Phil Bentley, who represent different positions on the BDS Movement.  The panel will be moderated by Laurie Childers, representing the FOR National Council.

Dr Zunes will do the introductions.  On the panel, he will represent the middle position, since he supports BDS focused against the
occupation but not against Israel as a whole.

Here are some statements from the other participants on the panel:

Ned Rosch and Maxine Fookson are with Portland, Oregon’s chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace:  "We will speak as Jewish Americans in support of the BDS movement. It is in the best of all our our faiths to stand in partnership in this non-violent movement for justice.

Rabbi Phil Bentley is a long-time leader in the Jewish Peace Fellowship, one of the Religious Peace Fellowships within FOR formed 75 years ago:  "In a way I am kind of the opposite of BDS. I see business partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians, sometimes under the aegis of multinationals as part of the way to peace. When Soda Stream was forced to move away from Maaleh Adumim (a community I am far from happy with) 2500 Palestinians lost their jobs including managerial jobs. Distinctions need to be drawn. I support boycotts of individual settlement businesses, especially those who hire no Arabs or who are among those who abuse and harass their Arab neighbors. I support Palestinian businesses when the opportunity arises (not very often for me these days) and I think BDS itself should support Israeli-Palestinian business partnerships. I would definitely like to see FOR do that. My sense of peacemaking does not include uncritical solidarity with any side in a conflict.”


Workshop 2
Title: 
How to Organize around Israel/Palestine

Workshop Description:  This workshop will look at ways of becoming effective organizers in support of peace and justice for Israel/Palestine.  Among the issues to be examined are: What can learn from earlier successful solidarity struggles (Central America, East Timor, South Africa, etc.)?  How do we deal with the special challenges faced when addressing this contentious issue, such as challenging both false charges of anti-Semitism as well as real anti-Semitism when it emerges within our ranks? What are the forces behind U.S. support for the Israeli occupation (it’s much greater than the Israel Lobby!) and what are the best ways of challenging them? How can we build successful alliances with other social movements for peace and justice?

Bio:  Dr. Stephen Zunes is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he serves as coordinator of the program in Middle Eastern Studies. Recognized as one the country’s leading scholars of U.S. Middle East policy and of strategic nonviolent action, Professor Zunes serves as a senior policy analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus project of the Institute for Policy Studies, an associate editor of Peace Review, a contributing editor of Tikkun, and a member of the academic advisory council for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. He has been a member of FOR for over 40 years.

He is the author of scores of articles for scholarly and general readership on Middle Eastern politics, U.S. foreign policy, international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, strategic nonviolent action, and human rights. He is the principal editor of Nonviolent Social Movements (Blackwell Publishers, 1999), the author of the highly-acclaimed Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism (Common Courage Press, 2003) and co-author (with Jacob Mundy) of Western Sahara: War, Nationalism and Conflict Irresolution (Syracuse University Press, 2010.) 

Professor Zunes received his PhD. from Cornell University, his M.A. from Temple University and his B.A. from Oberlin College. He has previously served on the faculty of Ithaca College, the University of Puget Sound, and Whitman College. He has served as a research associate for the Center for Global, International and Regional Studies at the University of California-Santa Cruz; a visiting professor for the International Master in Peace, Conflict, and Development Studies at Jaume I University in Spain, and, a visiting research professor at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

Professor Zunes has made frequent visits to the Middle East and other conflict regions, where he has met with top government officials, academics, journalists and opposition leaders.

He is a contributor to the Huffington Post, Open Democracy, Common Dreams, Truthout, Foreign Policy in Focus, and Alternet websites, and serves as a foreign affairs columnist for the National Catholic Reporter.

 

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