A Conference Cultivating a Just and Enduring Peace for the People of Palestine and Israel
The inaugural Peace Works Conference was held the weekend of April 22 – 23, 2006. It was introduced Friday, April 21 with a separate event featuring Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. It was proceed on Saturday and Sunday with analysis by other internationally respected speakers on Palestine and Israel.
Dr. Arun Gandhi: Arun Manilal Gandhi (born April 14, 1934, Durban, South Africa) is the fifth grandson of Mahatma Gandhi through his second son Manilal. Following the footsteps of his grandfather, he is also a socio-political activist, although he eschews the ascetic lifestyle of his grandfather. In 1987, along with his entire family, Arun Gandhi moved to the United States to work on a study at the University of Mississippi. This study examined and contrasted the sorts of prejudices that existed in India, the U.S., and South Africa. Afterward they moved to Memphis, Tennessee and founded the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. This institute is dedicated to applying the principles of nonviolence at both local and global scales. Gandhi has also remarked that the fate of Palestinians is ten times worse than the treatment of whites upon the blacks in South Africa.
Peace Works Speakers’ List
Huwaida Arraf: is a Palestinian-American who graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Judaic and Arabic studies and went on to study Hebrew at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She co-founded the International Solidarity Movement with her husband, Adam Shapiro in April 2001.
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi (MD, MSc.) is an active participant in the building of a democratic Palestinian civil society and is one of the most prominent leaders of the Palestinian struggle. He is the Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, or Mubadara, a recently established democratic opposition movement in the realm of Palestinian domestic politics, co-founded along with Dr. Haidar Abdel-Shafi, Mr. Ibrahim Dakak and Dr. Edward Said.
Dr. Diana Buttu: Based in Ramallah, she advises the PLO Negotiation Team on peace negotiations with Israel with special emphasis on the issue of refugees and compensation. Diana Buttu is a Canadian / Palestinian lawyer and peace activist. She is the daughter of Palestinian refugees, holds a doctorate from Stanford University on ‘refugee issues’ and is a recognized authority in this field and in the field of international law.
Amira Hass: (born 1956) is an Israeli journalist and author, mostly known for her columns in the daily newspaper Ha’aretz. She is especially famous for living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and reporting on events from the Palestinian perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, Hass was born in Jerusalem. She began her journalistic career in 1989 as a staff editor for Ha’Aretz and started to report from the Palestinian Territories in 1991. As of 2003, she is the only full-time Jewish Israeli journalist who lives amongst the Palestinians, in Gaza from 1993 and in Ramallah from 1997. Hass was the recipient of the Press Freedom Hero award from the International Press Institute in 2000, the Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Award in 2002, the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize in 2003, and the inaugural award from the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund in 2004. Her reporting is often sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view and generally critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, but during the years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Hass also published several very critical articles about the chaos and anarchy caused by the Fatah gangs of Yasser Arafat and the bloody war between Palestinian militias in Nablus. Due to her frequent reporting of events or voicing of opinions contrary to the official Israeli and Palestinian position, Hass has often been the target of verbal attack and has encountered opposition from both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities.
Lama Hourani: program director for the Arab American Foundation, a Palestinian youth organization, and a member of the administrative board of the Palestinian Working Women Society for Development (PWWSD) and of the general assembly of the Jerusalem Center for Women (JCW). Ms. Hourani is a Palestinian refugee born in Syria. Since moving to Palestine in 1994, she has been a leading activist and community organizer for Palestinian democracy and women’s rights. Ms. Hourani has worked with several Palestinian non-governmental organizations including the Palestinian Hydrology Group, and the Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA), a women’s health center. She currently serves as a steering committee member of the International Women’s Commission for a Just and Sustainable Palestinian-Israeli Peace. She holds a master’s degree in foreign trade.
Jerry & Sis Levin: Jerry is a volunteer with CPT (Christian Peacemaker Team) based in Hebron. Sis is the founding direction of The Children of Abraham Interfaith Education For Peace Project (COA) based in Bethlehem.
Dr. Sara Roy: Dr. Sara Roy is one of the foremost scholars on the economy in Gaza. She is the author of over 90 publications on the Israel-Palestine conflict; and she is a research associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Dr. Roy has written extensively on the Palestinian economy, particularly in Gaza, and has documented its development over the last three decades. Her current research, which is funded by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, examines the social and economic sectors of the Palestinian Islamic movement and their relationship to Islamic political and military institutions, and the critical changes to the Islamic movement that have occurred in the last five years. Her primary findings point to a de-radicalization of the Islamist movement in the area prior to start of the second Palestinian uprising. Despite the fact she lost over 100 members of her family in Nazi ghettos and death camps, Roy committed her life to documenting the living conditions of the Palestinian people.
Liat Weingart: Co-Director of Jewish Voice for Peace and is based in San Francisco