POSTPONED UNTIL FALL: 2020 Cherif Bassiouni Memorial Lecture – Palestine and the Justice Imperative


Dr. George E. Bisharat, Honorable Raymond R. Sullivan Professor of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law

  •  A light snack is served at 12:30 p.m. Livestreamed talk begins promptly at 1:00 p.m.

In memory of the late giant of international human rights law, Dr. Cherif Bassiouni, The Jerusalem Fund dedicates a new annual memorial lecture, for which Dr. George Bisharat will deliver the first talk. Dr. Bisharat’s presentation will focus on the interrelationship of law and justice in the quest for Palestinian rights.

The following are his words:

“As we envision alternative futures in Israel/Palestine, we cannot afford to neglect law. But it is justice that must always remain our guiding light. To give flesh to the concept of justice in Israel/Palestine, I propose seven facets of justice that merit consideration: original, protective, transitional, social, sexual preference and gender, environmental, and regional. After elaborating on each of these, I will return to the role of law in the struggle for justice in Israel/Palestine. Law may be a useful tool, but can never be expected to substitute for politics. Law will turn in our favor, and begin to deliver us results, only when we leave the powerful no other choice.”


Biography of Speaker

George E. Bisharat is the Honorable Raymond R. Sullivan Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, a faculty he joined in 1991. He holds a BA in Anthropology from U.C. Berkeley, MA in History from Georgetown University, and JD and PhD in Anthropology and Middle East Studies. He has lived and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, including extended stays in Beirut, Tunis, Cairo, and Jerusalem.

Before joining the Hastings faculty, Bisharat practiced as a deputy public defender for the City and County of San Francisco, representing indigent defendants in misdemeanor and felony trials. He has taught criminal procedure, criminal practice, law and anthropology, and Islamic law, while focusing his research and writing on law in the Middle East and US policy toward that region. The University of Texas Press published his 1989 book Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule: Law and Disorder in the West Bank, the first anthropological study based on fieldwork in the Israeli-Occupied Territories by a Western-based researcher.

His articles have appeared in a number of journals and law reviews in the United States and abroad, and he has been an invited speaker at conferences in the United States, Latin America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. He is a frequent commentator in global media, and his commentaries on Palestine have been published in virtually all major U.S. newspapers and many abroad.

Bisharat is also a musician, and, as “Big Harp George,” has recorded three albums of blues music that have received wide airplay globally, reviews in ten languages, and wide critical acclaim. His fourth album, including the Palestine-themed song “Meet Me at the Fence,” is forthcoming in 2020.










Bookings are no longer available for this event.