Leading Experts to Analyze the Israel Lobby at the National Press Club on April 10

Mar 10, 2015, 09:48 ET from Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The April 10 conference "The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the US? Is It Good for Israel?" at the National Press Club will present the following experts:

Amani Alkhat is the founding editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl.net, a blog aimed at eliminating stereotypes surrounding Islam and promoting the place of Muslim women in Western societies. She ran into trouble with The Daily Targum, Rutgers University's daily newspaper, and trustees, which decided criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. In June 2014, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee named Alkhat its media relations specialist.

Jeffrey Blankfort is a photographer, journalist and radio programmer. His articles have appeared in CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Mondoweiss, Pulse Media, Left Curve, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and the Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. He currently hosts a twice-monthly international affairs program for public radio station KZYX in Northern California's Mendocino County, where he now lives. Blankfort was a founding member of the November 29th Committee on Palestine, a co-founder of the Labor Committee on the Middle East and editor of its publication, The Middle East Labor Bulletin (1988-95). 

Richard Falk is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967." He is author of the recently released book Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope.

Former Congressman Paul Findley served the 20th District of Illinois for 11 terms, from 1961 to 1983. He is the author of the groundbreaking book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby, which documents how the Lobby works to influence U.S. elections and U.S. foreign policy. The book also criticizes AIPAC's pressure on university professors and journalists who are critical of Israeli policies.

Dima Khalidi is the founder and director of Palestine Solidarity Legal Support (PSLS), and cooperating counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights. She provides legal advice to activists to protect their right to speak out for Palestinian rights.

Gideon Levy is a columnist for the Israeli daily Haaretz and a member of its editorial board. He is the author of the weekly Twilight Zone feature, which covers the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza over the last 25 years, as well as the writer of political editorials for the newspaper. His 2010 book, The Punishment of Gaza, was published by Verso Publishing House in London and New York.

Seth Morrison has held leadership posts in various local, regional and national Jewish organizations, starting in college as a youth leader in Young Judea. He is currently active in Jewish Voice for Peace, serving on the DC Metro Chapter Steering Committee and on the national Congressional Outreach Committee. In 2011, Morrison resigned from the Washington, DC Board of the Jewish National Fund in protest over Israel's repeated evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem. He chaired the Washington, DC Metro Chapter of J Street in 2013 before becoming active in the BDS movement.

Miko Peled is an Israeli writer and activist living in the U.S. He was born and raised in Jerusalem. Driven by a personal family tragedy to explore Palestine, its people and their narrative, he has written a book about his journey called The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. The book covers Peled's family history since his grandparents immigrated to Palestine in the early 20th century.

Paul Pillar is a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He also is a Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution and an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Center for Security Policy. He retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community, his last position being National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia.

Gareth Porter is an investigative journalist and historian who specializes in U.S. foreign and military policy. He has written five books, including Perils of Dominance, Imbalance of Power and The Road to War in Vietnam.  His most recent book is Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. The book highlights the impact that the United States' alliance with Israel had on Washington's turning the International Atomic Energy Agency into a tool of its anti-Iran policy.

Former Congressman Nick Joe Rahall II, a grandson of Lebanese immigrants, represented West Virginia in the U.S. Congress from 1977 to 2015. When he was elected, the 27-year-old became the youngest member of Congress. Rahall has repeatedly expressed concern about America's relationship with Israel, stating, "Israel can't continue to occupy, humiliate and destroy the dreams and spirits of the Palestinian people and continue to call itself a democratic state." He has affirmed that America's interests would be served by getting the peace process back on track and regretted the U.S. vetoes of U.N. resolutions against Israeli settlement building.

M.J. Rosenberg was a senior foreign policy fellow at Media Matters Action Network from 2009-2012. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at the Israel Policy Forum. He previously worked on Capitol Hill for 15 years for various Democratic members of the House and Senate, and was a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPAC's weekly newsletter, Near East Report.

Alice Rothchild is a Boston-based physician, author and filmmaker who since 1997 has focused on human rights and social justice in the Israel-Palestine conflict. In 2003 Dr. Rothchild began co-organizing health and human rights delegations to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. She writes and lectures widely and is the author of Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian Trauma and Resilience (2007, Pluto Press) and On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion (2014, Just World Books).

Ahmad Saadaldin is a filmmaker/producer, creative writer, actor, and grassroots organizer. Saadaldin organized the largest grassroots campaign in University of South Florida history and collected more than 10,000 signatures calling on the university to divest endowment funds from corporations complicit in human rights violations: "#USF4HumanRights." 

Jack Shaheen is an acclaimed author and media critic. Dr. Shaheen's lectures and writings illustrate that damaging racial and ethnic stereotypes of Arabs, blacks, and others injure innocent people. He defines crude caricatures, explains why they persist, and provides workable solutions to help shatter misconceptions. He is author of numerous books on the subject.

Grant F. Smith is the director of the Washington, DC-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). He is the author of two unofficial histories of AIPAC: America's Defense Line: The Justice Department's Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government and Foreign Agents: AIPAC from the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal. He is also the author of the books Divert, Spy Trade, Deadly Dogma and Visa Denied, and co-editor of the book Neocon Middle East Policy. Before joining IRmep, Smith was senior analyst and later program manager at Yankee Group Research, Inc. in Boston.

Tickets: A limited quantity of discount $75 conference and lunch tickets are available for online purchase thanks to donor subsidies. Journalists may request online credentials to attend. Students may apply online for free entry.

Conference organizers are the American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy.

See http://www.IsraelLobbyUS.org and @IsraelLobbyUS on Twitter for future updates.


SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy