Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Saturday, Jul. 16 9:00 AM (Central)
Ends: Saturday, Jul. 16 10:15 AM (Central)
In the Spring of 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed himself as a partisan Republican in a way that he hadn’t publicly before. This created the space for “mainstream” progressivism regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Put another way, it became more comfortable to identify as an American whose progressive values apply to United States politics as well as the situation in the Middle East. But what does that mean? From Israeli settlement expansion to the BDS movement to the peace process to human rights, the progressive space has paved several paths toward the common goal of peace. This panel seeks to have a constructive conversation about the merits of various approaches from organizations active on the issue.
Mitchell Plitnick is the vice president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Previously, he was Director of the US Office of B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (2008-2010) and Director of Education and Policy for Jewish Voice for Peace (2002-2008). He is a widely published writer and speaker.
Mitchell received a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park and a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Rabbi Joseph Berman is the Manager of Government Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy for Jewish Voice for Peace. He has worked for justice, equality, and safety for Palestinians and Israelis for over a decade. Joseph grew up outside Kansas City and received his Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Ordained by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Boston, Joseph has served as a congregational rabbi, a chaplain, and a faith-based community organizer.
Lara Friedman is the director of policy and government relations for Americans for Peace Now (APN), the Washington-headquartered sister organization of the Israeli Peace Now movement (Shalom Achshav). A former US Foreign Service officer, Lara served in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis and Beirut. An authority on US policy in the Middle East, Congress and the Middle East, Israeli settlements, and Jerusalem, Lara meets frequently with Members of Congress and Congressional staff, administration officials, foreign diplomats and others in the foreign policy community. She is a trusted resource for journalists and policymakers and publishes regularly in the US and Israeli press. Lara has a B.A. from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. She speaks French, Spanish and Arabic.
Heather Hurlburt is director of the New Models of Policy Change initiative at New America’s Political Reform program.
Hurlburt will lead research into how policy advocacy is adapting to be effective in our current environment of intense political polarization, and provide guidance to advocates and funders seeking to navigate politics effectively on behalf of policy solutions.
Previously, she ran the National Security Network, a premier source for internationalist foreign policy messaging and advocacy; held senior positions in the white House and State Department under President Bill Clinton; and worked on Capitol Hill and for the International Crisis Group. She holds degrees from Brown and George Washington Universities.
Yousef Munayyer is a political analyst, writer and scholar-activist.
His doctoral research focused on the intersection between foreign policy and domestic policy and its impact on terrorism and civil liberties. He received his BA in Political Science and History from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland.
He frequently writes on matters of foreign policy in the Arab and Muslim world and civil rights and civil liberties in the United States. His writings have appeared in every major metropolitan newspaper in the United States and many others internationally as well as online. He has frequently appeared to comment on national and international media outlets including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NBC, CBS, Al-Jazeera English, C-Span, and others many others.