Lecture: Norman Finkelstein presents ‘This Time We Went Too Far: Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion

The Middle East Interest Group will be hosting scholar and author Norman Finkelstein on April 13, 2010 presenting commentary on the 2008-09 Israeli ‘Operation Cast Lead’ into the Gaza Strip titled, This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion in 2650 Humanities at 7:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

The child of two survivors of the Holocaust and deeply impacted by the attrocities that occur in war by his family’s experience, Finkelstein is an American political scientist who has devoted his life to studying the Arab-Israeli conflict. As a strong critic of Israel’s crimes against Palestinians, Finkelstein has been the target of attacks on his scholarship that culminated in 2007 with the denial of his tenure as a professor at DePaul University. Finkelstein earned Ph.D. in politics at Princeton University in 1982.

Hailed as a courageous scholar and truth teller by some and denounced as a Jewish “anti-Semite” by others, Norman Finkelstein is easily described as a polarizing figure who writes and speaks openly and often about his views regarding one of the world’s most debated conflicts. This internationally recognized Jewish-American scholar on the Israel-Palestine conflict will discuss his views and his latest book “This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion” in a public lecture in Humanities 2650.

The author of books such as “Image and Reality of the Isreal Palestien Conflict”, “The Holocaust Industry”, and his most recent “This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion”, Finkelstein is a Jewish voice seeking to add clarity to an often explosive debate and discusses numerous essential questions about the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

Lowkey, a British musician, poet, and plaiyright of British and Iraqi descent, and a passionate advocate for the victims of war around the world.

Their appearances are being sponsored by: The Center for Middle East Studies, Campus Antiwar Network, Madison Rafah Sister-City Project, The Havens Center, Student Labor Action Coalition, Wisconsin Union Directorate Society and Politics Committee, UW Center for Global Health, Rainbow Book Store Co-Operative, Haymarket Books, International Socialist Organization, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, The Nelson Institute, 89.9 WORT, Student Progressive Dane, Vets for Peace, and Muslim Students Association.


Middle East Film Series presents ‘Encounter Point’ (Israel, 2006) on Thursday February 18, 2010

The Center for Middle East Studies in coordination with the Middle East Interest Group will be screening the film Encounter Poin (Israel 2006: 85 mins) on Thursday, February  18th at 7pm in 1101 Humanities. The film will be the second installment of the Spring 2010 Middle East Film Series. Directed by Palestinian director Ronit Avni, the film addresses personal accounts of overcoming differences across boundaries in Israel and Palestine. The film will be screened in Arabic with English subtitles.

Encounter Point is an 85-minute feature documentary film that follows a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their lives and public standing to promote a nonviolent end to the conflict. Their journeys lead them to the unlikeliest places to confront hatred within their communities. The film explores what drives them and thousands of other like-minded civilians to overcome anger and grief to work for grassroots solutions. It is a film about the everyday leaders in our midst.

For 2 years, the Just Vision crew followed the stories of ordinary people who feel driven to work for an end to bloodshed and occupation in favor of peace. We traveled from Tel Mond to Tulkarem, from Hebron to Haifa documenting the courageous, painful and moving stories of regular people who refuse to sit back as the conflict escalates. These civic leaders navigate suicide bombings and checkpoints to confront militancy on both sides, the wounded and apathetic masses.

Encounter Point has received awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival and Hot Docs among others.

Click here for the event flier: EncounterPoint

Lecture: ‘Observation & Analysis on the Gaza Strip and the United Nations Goldstone Report’ by Jennifer Loewenstein on February 11, 2010

The Middle East Interest Group and Center for Middle East Studies present a lecture by UW Lecturer Jennifer Loewenstein at 7:00 PM on Thursday February 11, 2010. The lecture will be held in room 1101 in The Humanities Building on the University of Wisconsin Campus.

The 2009 U.N. investigation on war crimes committed by both Israeli and the Palestinian Hamas forces during the 2008-09 Israeli Operation Cast Lead has sparked controversy across the globe. Richard Goldstone, the leader of the commission, defends the position that both sides must commit to conduct internal investigations and uphold international law. Over a year after the Operation, the fate of justice remains in the question.

In September 2009, UW Lecturer Jennifer Loewenstein traveled to the Gaza Strip to survey the conditions created by Operation Cast Lead, the prolonged Israeli siege of Gaza and the Hamas authority. Loewenstein has previously spoke on issues pertaining to the Palestinian territories at the European Parliament and the United Nations Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more access to the official U.N. Goldstone Report, visit: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/specialsession/9/docs/UNFFMGC_Report.pdf

For more information on Jennifer Loewenstein, visit: http://experts.news.wisc.edu/experts/918

For official posters for the event, GoldstonePoster-child, GoldstonePoster-Ging, GoldstonePoster-Richard, GoldstonePoster-shelling

Middle East Interest Group Meeting: Current Events and Planning

The Middle East Interest Group will meet Wednesday February 3rd at 7:30 pm in the Conference Room at the Housing Satellite (located under Gordon Commons). The entrance to the building is directly under the bridge connecting Witte Hall to the Gordon Commons complex.

Current events and event planning are on the agenda.

All are encouraged to attend. Prior knowledge of the Middle East is not required.