As the 2016 Edward Said Memorial Lecturer, Professor Wadie Said confronts the issue of terrorism and the ways in which it is produced and dealt with in the American legal system. In an era in which the phenomenon of Islamophobia has loomed large in public debates about the national security challenges that confront the United States, terrorism laws and prosecutions mirror those debates, but they also raise essential questions as to the sacrificing of constitutional rights and protections that is done in the name of security.
Dr. Irene Calis discusses how the frequent comparisons of Israel with Apartheid South Africa may obscure more fundamental questions Palestinians we should be asking. From her recent base in today’s South Africa, where “whiteness” still lives on the back of “blackness,” she argues that the post-apartheid moment should alert Palestinians to take stock and reframe both the form of our campaigns and the terms of any proposed resolution. This requires asking qualitatively different kinds of questions, ones which concern not the nature of the apartheid state, but instead, the nature of our preferred future.
In the art of Bedouin artist, Eid Hadaleen, the instruments of the occupation are reconstructed by the occupied. The originals of the miniatures are Hadaleen’s everyday fare: bulldozer, helicopter, digger, tractor, truck. These modes of transportation and construction are wielded against the Palestinian people with the intended effect of immobilizing them. Yet, through the use of wood, iron, rubber, plastic, glass, parts of furniture and accessories, Hadaleen performs a miniature imitation that suggests on one hand mockery and on another the power of creative responses to the occupation.
Dr. James Zogby examines the 1988 and 2016 progressive presidential candidates, Jesse Jackson and Bernie Sanders respectively, and discusses why it is imperative to view these experiences comparatively in terms of their commonalities, their differences, and the lessons that can be learned from each of the two campaigns.
In the concluding panel of the 2016 Summer Intern Lecture Series, Dr. William Youmans and Ms. Laila El-Haddad examine the less concrete but equally powerful restraints on the mobility of ideas in the Palestinian context. These include Israel’s suppression of political and literary expression, manipulation of the news, media blackouts, and outright censorship. As writers and social media experts, these panelists offer their experiences in the use of written and electronic media as powerful tools in the spread of ideas and resistance to Israel’s polities.
Ziad Khalaf, Director General of the A.M. Qattan Foundation, sheds light on the Foundation’s experience in Palestine and elsewhere, as it has become one of the major organizations developing programs for culture and the arts, education, and childhood in Palestine. Among other things, Khalaf discuses the Foundation’s fourth core program, the Public Program, and the Science Studio project, a multi-year pilot project which will form the nucleus for launching an interactive science center in Palestine that aims at developing science education at the national level.
Dr. Julie Peteet explores mobility as an intended consequence of military occupation in a keynote lecture that opens the 2016 Summer Intern Lecture Series, “Mobility: Israel’s Structural Restrictions and Palestine’s Resistance” on July 11, 2016. She argues that Israeli policies of closure and separation through physical structures and bureaucratic requirements constrain Palestinians’ mobility. Dr. Peteet’s presentation draws from her research, fieldwork in the West Bank, and expertise in space and mobility, Palestinian culture, and resistance.
Internationally renowned Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro talks about his work as the coordinator of Youth Against Settlements (YAS), a Hebron-based organization that documents human rights abuses and encourages the local families to resist nonviolently and remain steadfast in their homes despite severe freedom of movement restrictions and ongoing attacks by settlers and soldiers.