Spring 2016, the Charles Hostler Institute on World Affairs, West Commons 220
Instructor: Professor Jonathan Graubart, Ph.D. in Political Science and J.D. in Law.
Dissent in Zion
“The idea of Arab-Jewish cooperation . . . is not an idealistic daydream but a sober statement of the fact that without it the whole Jewish venture in Palestine is doomed.” Hannah Arendt
From the pre-state binationalist Zionists (including Hannah Arendt, Judah Magnes, and Martin Buber), who opposed a Jewish nation-state, to contemporary dissenters, like Anarchists Against the Wall, there has long been an internal tradition of dissent to the prevailing doctrines of Zionism and to Israeli policies, especially the state’s treatment of the Palestinians. This lecture series and accompanying class offer fresh insights into the impulses that have motivated such dissent. The following is a list of prominent outside speakers who will address the class. These events are free and open to the public. All public lectures, except for Lia Tarachansky, will be from 5 to 6:40. The lecture series is funded by the Fred J. Hansen Institute for World Peace.
Lia Tarachansky, February 15, West Commons 220, “Collective Denial, Moral Responsibility and the Naqba of 1948.” This event starts at 4 with a screening of her film.
Ms. Tarachansky, who grew up in the Israeli settlement of Ariel, is a filmmaker and the Israel/Palestine correspondent for The Real News Network. She produces documentary reports that explore the deeper context of news stories and challenge mainstream portrayals. Ms. Tarachansky's work is featured in publications such as the Huffington Post, USA Today, Al Jazeera, +972 Magazine and Mondoweiss. In 2012 Ms. Tarachansky produced and co-directed a BBC-Arabic documentary about Israel’s J14 social justice movement and the wave of self-immolations it sparked, in protest of the harsh economic reality many face in Israel. In 2013 she completed her first feature documentary “On the Side of the Road”, which scrutinizes the lack of awareness for most Israeli Jews regarding the mass expulsion of Palestinians in the wake of the 1948 war. In 2015 she co-directed “Ethnocracy in the Promised Land” for TeleSUR, which spotlights Israel's restrictive policies towards asylum seekers from Africa.
Peter Beinart, March 7, West Commons 220, “The Binationalist Zionists of the Pre-State Era and its Present Significance”
Mr. Beinart is a leading analyst of US politics and of the American Jewish relationship toward Israel. He is a columnist for Israel’s Haaretz and the Atlantic Magazine and his essays have regularly appeared in Time, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and The National Journal. Mr. Beinart was formerly the editor of The New Republic, and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is presently an associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York and is Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. He has published three books, The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again (2006), The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris (2010) and The Crisis of Zionism (2012).
Amira Hass, March 14, West Commons 220, “New Forms of Dissent in Israel-Palestine”
Ms. Hass is a veteran correspondent for Israel’s Haaretz, where she has served as Israel’s leading authority and critical voice on Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. She was born in Jerusalem, and received her education from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she studied the history of Nazism and the European Left's relation to the Holocaust. Ms. Hass has lived in either the West Bank or the Gaza Strip since 1997. She is the author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza (1999) and Reporting From Ramallah: An Israeli Journalist in an Occupied Land (2003). Ms. Hass has received several awards, including the World Press Freedom Hero award from the International Press Institute, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women's Media Foundation, the Reporters Without Borders Prize for Press Freedom, and the Golden Dove of Peace Prize.
Avner Gvaryahu, March 21, West Commons 220 “Breaking the Silence on the Realities of Israel’s Military Occupation”
Mr. Gvaryahu is the Jewish Relations Coordinator for the Israeli group Breaking the Silence, an organization of combat veterans who report on their experiences in maintaining Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Its aim is to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. The group has disseminated more than one thousand testimonials from soldiers since its inception in September 2000. Mr. Gvaryhau was born and raised in a religious-Zionist family in Rehovot, Israel and became involved with Breaking the Silence after serving as a sniper team sergeant in a special operations unit.
Ran Greenstein, April 18, West Commons 220, “Internal Opposition to Zionism.”
Dr. Greenstein is the author of the book Zionism and its Discontents: A Century of Radical Dissent in Israel/Palestine (2014) and a sociology professor at the University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, specializing in political and social conflicts in Israel/Palestine and South Africa. He has published numerous scholarly articles as well as pieces for political advocacy forums, like the Israeli-based +972 Magazine. Dr. Greenstein also wrote Genealogies of Conflict: Class, Identity and State in Palestine/Israel and South Africa (1995),which compares the historical formation of Israel and South Africa. In addition to his scholarship, Dr. Greenstein is an activist, having participated in the Russell Tribunal hearings on Palestine.