Palestinian children using rooftops to return home from school.

confirmed Speakers

Susan Abulhawa is a Palestinian American poet and writer, the author of the international bestselling novel, Mornings in Jenin. Her second novel, The Blue Between Sky and Water, was sold in 19 languages before its release. Her latest novel, Against The Loveless World, is a Palestine Book Awards Winner.

Abulhawa is also an activist, and the founder of Playgrounds for Palestine, an NGO upholding the right to play for Palestinian children. She recently launched Aida, a private label olive oil from Palestinian farmers, to raise funds to build more playgrounds.

Presentation/discussion: Susan Abulhawa will describe why Israel is an apartheid regime, as reported by B’tselem, “advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group—Jews—over another—Palestinians.” Abulhawa will discuss the self-described Jewish state’s allocation of resources--water, housing permits, travel, education, medical care and even COVID vaccines--based on ethnicity.. Even the criminal justice system is starkly different for Palestinians and Israelis, as she notes in her latest book Against the Loveless World. Israel’s lobby ensures that Israel gets a free pass, shutting down criticism of human rights abuses. U.S. taxpayers and readers are beginning to understand they are supporting ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

Rev. Dr. Alex Awad is a retired United Methodist Missionary. He and his wife, Brenda, served in Jerusalem and in Bethlehem for more than 25 years. Rev. Awad served as pastor of East Jerusalem Baptist Church, dean of students at Bethlehem Bible College, and director of the Shepherd Society.

Awad has written two books, Through the Eyes of the Victims and Palestinian Memories. Rev. Awad is a member of the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace (PCAP).

Presentation/discussion: Alex Awad will describe the efforts of Palestinian Evangelicals and other church leaders to confront the “Goliath” of Christian Zionism. What are they doing to stop the spread of Christian Zionism in many U.S. churches? How is Christian Zionism impacting Christians actually living under Israel’s apartheid regime? Rev. Awad will describe the work of PCAP, Sabeel and other Christian organizations, and their efforts to halt Israeli actions endorsed by Zionist Christians, such as the confiscation of Palestinian land, the demolition of homes and the construction of segregated Jewish settlements.

Brian Baird is a former Democratic U.S. Representative for Washington’s 3rd congressional district, who served from 1999 to 2011. Baird entered politics in1998 for the same reason he went into the field of clinical psychology: to answer the call to service. As a congressman, Baird traveled to Gaza five times, and was deeply disturbed by the destruction wrought by Israel’s relentless attacks on the besieged territory. Rep. Baird called on the U.S. State Department to investigate the death of his constituent, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old student who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003. After leaving Congress, Baird served as president of Antioch University’s Seattle campus until 2015, and continues to contribute op-eds to The Seattle Times.

Presentation/discussion: Brian Baird will describe how Israel and its U.S. lobby assert authority over Congress. He will reflect on his visits to Gaza, especially his shock at seeing the American International School in Gaza flattened by Israel using American-made bombs. He will describe his efforts to investigate the murder of his constituent Rachel Corrie, as well as his vote on the Goldstone report, denounced by House colleagues who never read the report or visited Gaza. Baird will recommend critical actions voters should take to help elect leaders who will study this issue in a fair and open-minded way.

John Dugard is a South African professor of international law and an outspoken critic of apartheid. The son of a headmaster at a missionary school attended by Nelson Mandela, he earned law degrees from Stellenbosch and Cambridge Universities. From 1978 to 1990 he was director of the University of Witwatersrand’s Center for Applied Legal Studies, which seeks to promote human rights in South Africa. Dugard was professor of international law at University of Leiden, 1998-2006

Professor Dugard became a member of the U.N.’s International Law Commission in 1997. From 2000 to 2018 he served as Judge ad hoc in the International Court of Justice, and from 2001 to 2008 he was the U.N. Human Rights Council's special rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories. He has written several books on apartheid, human rights and international law. His memoir, Confronting Apartheid: A Personal History of South Africa, Namibia and Palestine, was published in 2018.

Presentation/discussion: John Dugard will discuss what accounts for the international community's disparity in its treatment of South Africa and Israel for applying substantially similar policies. How effective have Israel and its foreign lobbies been in claiming that opposition to Israel's behavior is due to anti-Semitism? Why did South Africa's Jewish community go from opposing apartheid in their own country to vilifying Jewish South African Judge Richard Goldstone for his report on Israel's 2009 attack on Gaza known as Operation Cast Lead? What are the prospects and best approaches for ending Israeli apartheid?

Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law, Princeton University, currently Chair of Global Law, Law Faculty, Queen Mary University London. Falk served as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Occupied Palestine (2008-2014), and served as Chair of the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, 2005-2012. He wrote (Re)Imagining Humane Global Governance(2014), which proposes a value-oriented assessment of world order and future trends. His most recent books are Power Shift(2016); Revisiting the Vietnam War(2017); On Nuclear Weapons: Denuclearization, Demilitarization and Disarmament(2019). Since 2009 Falk has been annually nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. A political memoir by Falk, Public Intellectual: the Life of a Citizen Pilgrim was

published March 2021.

Presentation/discussion: Richard Falk will comment on B’Tselem’s recent report concluding that Israel is an apartheid regime, as well as Israel’s enactment of a Basic Law in 2018 that gives preferential status to Jews. He will describe the apparatus of the apartheid state of Israel, including discrimination based on ethnicity, immigration, land tenure, citizenship, nationality and language rights, freedom of mobility and the issuance of building permits. What are the odds for a peaceful future for Israel if the country does not dismantle apartheid? What will happen if Israel refuses to treat Palestinians according to human rights standards, including respect for the Palestinian right of self-determination? Falk will conclude by recommending global solidarity initiatives to bring about a just solution.

Robin D.G. Kelley's research has explored, among other topics, the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora and Africa; black intellectuals; music and visual culture; and Surrealism and Marxism. His essays have appeared in a wide variety of professional journals as well as general publications, including the Journal of American History, American Historical Review, The Nation, Monthly Review, New York Times, Color Lines, Counterpunch, Souls, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, Social Text,The Black Scholar, Journal of Palestine Studies, and Boston Review, for which he also serves as contributing editor.

Kelley's books include Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012); Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (The Free Press, 2009); Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (Beacon Press, 2002); with Howard Zinn and Dana Frank, Three Strikes: The Fighting Spirit of Labor's Last Century (Beacon Press, 2001); Yo’ Mama’s Disfunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (Boston: Beacon Press, 1997); Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (New York: The Free Press, 1994); Into the Fire: African Americans Since 1970 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996) [Vol. 10 of the Young Oxford History of African Americans series]; and Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1990).

Presentation/discussion: Kelley will discuss the current state of resisting Israel and its lobby’s efforts on campus. He will discuss the parallels between South Africa and the movement toward Palestinian liberation, and address the questions: How are Black Lives Matter and the Palestinian grassroots movements working together, and are they natural allies? Was the much-vaunted Black-Jewish civil rights alliance ever based on anything more than oppression? What is the basis of a Black-Palestinian alliance? What lessons are there for today’s activists?

Zaha Hassan is a human rights lawyer and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her research focus is on Palestine-Israel peace, the use of international legal mechanisms by political movements, and U.S. foreign policy in the region. Previously, she was the coordinator and senior legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team during Palestine’s bid for UN membership, and was a member of the Palestinian delegation to Quartet-sponsored exploratory talks between 2011 and 2012.

She regularly participates in track II peace efforts and is a contributor to The Hill and Haaretz. Her commentaries have appeared in the New York Times, Salon, Al Jazeera English, CNN, and others.

Presentation/discussion: Zaha Hassan will outline how the Biden administration can break the Middle East peace impasse by putting a rights-based approach at the center of its engagement between Israelis and Palestinians. Why have past US peace initiatives that prioritized reaching a territorial agreement that favor Israel produced serial failures? How would an approach that centers rights and human security facilitate a negotiated, durable peace and how does it square with the Biden administration’s overall national security strategy?

Walter L. Hixson since 2019 serves as columnist and contributing editor at the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. This is his second book on the Israel lobby following Israel’s Armor: The Israel Lobby and the First Generation of the Palestine Conflict. (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

He is the author of several books focused on the history of US foreign relations, including American Foreign Relations: A New Diplomatic History (Routledge, 2015), American Settler Colonialism: A History (2013, Palgrave-Macmillan), The Myth of American Diplomacy: National Identity and U.S. Foreign Policy (Yale University Press, 2008).

Presentation/discussion: The new book by distinguished historian Walter L. Hixson--Architects of Repression: How Israel and Its Lobby Put Racism, Violence and Injustice at the Center of U.S. Middle East Policy—offers a compelling history of the most powerful lobby acting on behalf of a foreign government in all of American history. Hixson will summarize the book's finding that the Israel lobby has played and continues to play the crucial role in enabling aggression, the suppression of Palestinian rights, and the failure to achieve a comprehensive Middle East peace. Hixson explains why there will never be peace in the Middle East until the monolithic Israel lobby is neutralized.

Scott Horton is director of the Libertarian Institute, editorial director of, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from

He has conducted more than 5,400 interviews since 2003.

Horton's 2017 book is titled Fool's Errand: Time to End the War on Afghanistan.

Presentation/discussion: As detailed in his new book, Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism, Israel and its U.S. lobby were key proponents of the disastrous 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, as well as providing the ideological underpinnings of a "global war on terror." Today they are virtually alone in advocating a U.S. war on Iran. How likely is it that the Biden administration will attack Iran? What would be the consequences?

Tom Suárez is best known for his 2016 book, State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel, described by Ilan Pappé as “the first comprehensive and structured analysis of the violence and terror employed by the Zionist movement and later the state of Israel against the people of Palestine.” Suárez's recent Writings on the Wall is an annotated collection of Palestinian oral histories, and he is the author as well of three highly-regarded books on the history of cartography. A Juilliard-trained violinist who has performed around the world, Suárez is a former faculty member of Palestine’s National Conservatory of Music.

Presentation/discussion: Tom Suárez will discuss the recently issued Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA): Does the JDA intend to replace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition that pro-Israel interests have pushed on institutions and governments, or instead consider itself “a tool for interpreting” IHRA? Why do 11 of the JDA’s 15 “Guidelines'' involve Israel? What does “hostility to Israel” have to do with a definition of antisemitism? Why does the JDA consider the question of how much influence the Israeli state exerts beyond its still-undefined borders irrelevant, except when that alleged influence is said to be synonymous with “the Jews”? Why can every other nation on earth be criticized both fairly and unfairly, but when the Israeli state is criticized that criticism is stigmatized as constituting racism against an ethnicity? Does focusing on the definition of antisemitism deflect attention from the core issue of Israel’s denial of human rights to its Palestinians citizens and to the Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation?

Philip Weiss is an American journalist who founded and co-edits Mondoweiss.

Mondoweiss is "a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective," with journalist Adam Horowitz.

Weiss describes himself as an anti-Zionist and rejects the label "post-Zionist."

Presentation/discussion: presents a J Street roundup: "Key reflections about liberal Zionism's most significant annual policy conference."

Ian Williams is president of the Foreign Press Association (New York) and longtime U.N. columnist for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

He is the author of ten books, including UNtold: the Real Story of the United Nations in Peace and War.

Presentation/discussion: Ian Williams will provide a brief history of both Republican and Democratic administrations’ sycophantic relations with Israel and how this relationship affects U.S. policies toward the U.N. and international law. Will Washington continue to discredit and deflect all U.N. criticism of apartheid Israel with charges of bias and anti-Semitism? Will President Biden work for a rule-based world order, or will he shamelessly insist those rules do not apply to Israel or the U.S.? Does his appointment of career diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. mean Biden is actually serious about human rights and adherence to international law?

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist living in London who writes about Palestine and the Middle East. He has been visiting Palestine since 2004. He writes for the award-winning Palestinian news site The Electronic Intifada, where he is an associate editor and co-host of The Electronic Intifada Podcast. He also writes a regular column for the Middle East Monitor.

Presentation/discussion: What are the similarities and differences between Labour Friends of Israel in the UK and Democratic Majority for Israel in the U.S.? What purpose do they serve? Did the recent sabotage and purge of major progressive leaders like Jeremy Corbyn who are progressive on Israel-Palestine come from within or outside their party? What connections were revealed in Al Jazeera's undercover investigative documentary The Lobby between Israel's UK embassy and Labour Party leaders in the UK, and what has been the long-term impact? Is the false charge that politicians "tolerate anti-Semitism" now effective enough to stifle debate on Israeli policies and influence? What other tools beside defamation do Israel and its lobbies deploy to derail politicians willing to hold Israel to account? Can politicians under attack survive by mollifying the lobby? Does anything similar ever occur within the Conservative Party? If not, why not?