Panels & topics announced for "Israel's Influence: Good or Bad for America?" conference

Mar 03, 2016, 13:54 ET from Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This release is released by Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy:

Organizers of the March 18 conference "Israel's Influence: Good or Bad for America?" are pleased to announce the following panel topics and keynote addresses:


1.1  Grant F. Smith: "Ten ways the Israel lobby 'moves' America." An analysis of the history, size, scope and activities of Israel affinity organizations and their increasingly negative—but little known—impact on all Americans.

1.2  Dr. Roger Mattson: "Did Israel steal U.S. weapons-grade uranium, and did it have help from U.S. citizens?" How Israel, with the help of its American supporters, diverted U.S. weapons-grade uranium to Dimona in the 1960s, and why the U.S. government never did anything about it.

1.3 Prof. Kirk J. Beattie: "How Congress shapes Middle East policy, and how AIPAC shapes Congress." An analysis of how the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) creates incredibly strong support for Israel in the U.S. Congress. Based on over 150 interviews with Hill staffers and dozens more with Middle East policy lobbyists and activists.

2.0 KEYNOTE: Gideon Levy: "What I would tell a visiting congressional delegation." What politicians, members of Congress and media elites visiting Israel should know about the situation on the ground—as opposed to what they are told on hundreds of junkets organized by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). What harm is the relationship doing to the U.S.?

3.0 ISRAEL'S INFLUENCE ON U.S. FOREIGN POLICY—Dale Sprusansky, moderator

3.1 Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: "Israeli influence on U.S. foreign policy." Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff explores how Israel's influence over the U.S. has affected America's strategic approach toward the Middle East.

3.2 Jim Lobe: "American neoconservatives: a history and overview." Review of the rise of neoconservatives, their role in promoting the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the doctrinal centrality of Israel.

3.3 Justin Raimondo: "Israel and foreign policy issues in the presidential campaign." Is America's unconditional support for Israel finally becoming a political issue? Will Americans soon have a choice at the voting booth beyond neoconservative and liberal pro-Israel Middle East doctrine?



4.1 Tareq Radi: "The birth of Palestine solidarity activism at George Mason University." The key aims of solidarity movements on U.S. college campuses and attempts to thwart growing grassroots activism.

4.2 Maria LaHood: "Concerted Attempts to Silence Criticism of Israel in the U.S." The case of the Olympia Food Co-op, Professor Steven Salaita, and other attacks on protected speech.

4.3 Susan Abulhawa: "Why we're suing the U.S. Treasury Department." Holding U.S. government agencies accountable for the billions of tax-deductible "charitable" funding used ultimately to finance the displacement of the indigenous peoples of Palestine.

4.4 Huwaida Arraf: "Holding Israel accountable for the Gaza flotilla raid." Overview of a new lawsuit against the State of Israel and its ministries in U.S. federal court over Israeli attacks on a U.S.-flagged vessel in international waters.

5.0 KEYNOTE: Rula Jebreal: "Voices prohibited by mainstream media and its role spreading Islamophobia." An exploration of why lumping all Muslims into one monolithic, extremist-linked bracket is actually a victory for ISIS, as well as how and why the media abrogates its responsibility to cover all sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


6.1 Philip Weiss: "Mainstream media coverage of Israel and Palestine." How is it getting better? How is it getting worse?

6.2 Catherine Jordan: The producer shows clips from the upcoming rerelease of "Valentino's Ghost: Why We Hate Arabs" and answers questions about the film, which documents how the U.S. media and government perpetuate the storylines that create many Americans' fear and loathing of Arabs, Muslims and Islam.

A networking reception immediately follows.

Speaker bios may be viewed at

The American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (a National Press Club member), and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) are the sole conference organizers. Panels and keynotes will be held in the ballroom of the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Exhibitions, book and merchandise sales, as well as author book signings, will be held in the adjacent Holman lounge. A box lunch will be served.

Use coupon code INFLUENCE to get $20 off through March 10, 2016 at Eventbrite. All attendees must obtain a ticket in order to participate in this conference. Students, news media and government employees may request a free ticket online at the conference website,


SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy