Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Talk Thursday noon on the founding amnesia of Israel toward the Palestinians

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Denver is sponsoring a talk by me primarily on my visit to Palestine with the civil rights delegation led by Dorothy Cotton, the education director and only woman in the leadership of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Vincent Harding last October 10-24 (h/t Danny Postel and Nader Hashemi):

"Challenging a Founding Amnesia and Working Towards a Decent Solution in Israel/Palestine -- A Lecture by Alan Gilbert, Thursday, April 25, at noon
SiƩ 150 | Ben Cherrington Hall | Josef Korbel School of International Studies | University of Denver | 2201 S. Gaylord St."

See the event's Facebook page here.


Here is a photo of our delegation at the Wall which divides the Jericho Road, a road walked upon previously for 4,000 years (one of the oldest roads in the world). Two Palestinian brothers whose house was cut by the road go up on the roofs to communicate with one another. The Occupation will not allow them to cross to talk with one another.


"Israel imagines itself to have discovered 'a land without people for a people without land.' It was founded particularly in the context of ferocious European genocides against Jews, Roma, Slavs and many others, pivoting around anti-Semitism (pogroms, the Holocaust). But the land was then owned by the Palestinians who were driven out and every place given a Hebrew name written over a Palestinian one. This is a founding amnesia as great as the one in Colorado about Arapahoe County and Arapahoe Road -- there are no Arapahoes there and one might usefully ask: why?

Alan Gilbert visited the West Bank last October with a delegation from the American civil rights movement. Today, in the Occupied Territories, Israel uses Jim Crow or apartheid policies against ordinary Palestinians on the way to attempting to drive them out. It has created 500 illegal settlements. This is bad for Israeli Jews (enormously heightens tensions in the Middle East and it makes those who do not speak out the inheritors of those Europeans who once victimized Jews) as well as, more obviously, the Palestinians.


Alan Gilbert is John Evans Professor at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies. His many books include "Democratic Individuality" (1990), "Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy?" (1999), and "Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence" (2012). He blogs at http://democratic-individuality.blogspot.com/


Andrea Stanton is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Denver, focusing on 20th and 21st century Islam in the Middle East and beyond. She serves as the Religious Studies Department’s Undergraduate Adviser and on the Advisory Committee for the Intercultural Global Studies Minor. Her book "This is Jerusalem Calling: State Radio in Mandate Palestine" will be published this year.

This event is free and open to the public.

Lunch will be served.

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