Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Conference on Balfour’s Legacy: Confronting the Consequences

Saturday, November II, 2017

The First Parish in Cambridge

The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine & The Trans Arab Research  Institute



BALFOUR’S  LEGACY: Confronting the Consequences


9:00 AM      WELCOME

Introduction and Overview:    00 Years of the Balfour  Declaration

Leila Farsakh University of Massachusetts Boston

9:30 AM


Panel I:      Balfour, Israel and Palestine

Balfour and the Zionist Project

Lawrence Davidson,West Chester University


Balfour and International Law

Susan Akram, Boston University School of Law


The Role of Terror in the State-Building Process

Thomas Suá    , Author, State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel


Facilitated by Hilary Rantisi Middle East Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School


0:45 AM     BREAK (coffee in the Parlor - no food or drink permitted in the Sanctuary)

1:00 AM



Panel II: Confronting the Consequences

Consequences for Palestinians

Amahl Bishara Tufts University


Consequences for Israel and the Jewish People

Anat Biletzki Quinnipiac University


Consequences for the Middle East

Rami Khouri American University of Beirut and the Harvard Kennedy School


Consequences for the USA

Nancy Murray The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine


Facilitated by Thomas Abowd Tufts University



2:30 PM     LUNCH (pick up box lunches in the Parlor)


:30 PM       KEYNOTE


Campaigning  for Palestinian Rights  in the Age of Trump: Obstacles  and Opportunities

Yousef Munayyer Executive Director, The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights


Facilitated by Elaine Hagopian Professor Emerita, Simmons College


2:30 PM


Panel III: Connecting  Struggles, Building  Power


Making the Connections: Why Israel Fears ‘Intersectionality’

Nadia Ben-Youssef  USA Representative, Adalah


From Ferguson to Palestine: Black-Palestinian Solidarity

Carl Williams, Attorney, National Lawyers Guild


The ‘Two Walls, One Struggle’ Campaign

Gabriel Camacho, Project Voice, American Friends Service Committee


Indigenous Peoples Unite

Mahtowin Munro, United American Indians of New England


Facilitated by Yamila Hussein-Shannan  Boston Teacher Residency



3:45 PM       BREAK


4:00 PM       WORKSHOPS ( ee next page for description of workshops and presenters)


Together We Rise: Fighting for Justice, from the US to Palestine

Location: The Church Sanctuary


To Secure All Water Resources’: Israel’s Water Wars

Location: The Parlor (first floor)


Opposing Anti-BDS Legislation and Changing US Policy: How You Can Get Involved

Location: The Chapel (first floor)


Campus Organizing

Location: The Barn Room (second floor)


The Future of Zionism: Personal Reflections

Location: Stebbins Gallery (basement)





Workshop Reports and Closing Remarks

Leila Farsakh and Yousef Munayyer


5:45 PM       CLOSE



Together We Rise: Fighting  for Justice, from the US to Palestine


This workshop will continue the discussion initiated by Yousef Munayyer’s Keynote and the ‘Connecting Struggles, Building Power’ panel.  The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights is a national coalition of hundreds of member groups working together for freedom, justice and equal- ity.  In 2017 it launched ‘Together We Rise: Palestine as a Model of Resistance.’ This political education curricu- lum provides critical voices, context and resources to strengthen liberation struggles from the US to Palestine.

The workshop will describe resources that the curricu- lum provides and how the US Campaign is forging con- nections with other freedom struggles. It will also high- light JVP’s ‘Deadly Exchange’ campaign to end the training given US police by Israeli security forces.

Facilitators Yousef Munayyer, Nadia Ben-Youssef and

Ari Belathar

Location:The Church Sanctuary


‘To Secure All Water Resources’: Israel’sWater Wars


From its early years, the Zionist movement has seen the control of water as critical to its success. This can be seen in the draft resolution presented by the Zionist Organization to the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 when it asked for recognition of ‘the right of Jews to reconstitute in Palestine their National Home.’ The resolution stated: ‘The economic life of Palestine...depends on the available water supply. It is, therefore, of vital importance not only to secure all water resources already feeding the country, but also to be able to conserve and control them at their sources.’

This workshop will raise awareness about Israel’s discrimi- natory water policies, and its use of water as a tool of dis- possession in the creation of ‘Eretz Israel.’ At a time when Israel is offering its ‘water expertise’ to demonstrate that

it is an indispensable force for good in the world, the workshop will describe how The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine organized to put on hold the Israel-Massa- chusetts Water Partnership, and the connections being formed today around water issues, from Flint to Palestine.

Facilitators Nidal al-Azraq and Jude Glaubman

Location:The Parlor (first floor)


Opposing  Anti-BDS Legislation and Changing

US Policy: How You Can Get Involved

What will it take to change US policy on the question of Palestine? Is this an impossible task? To many people it appears so, a view reinforced by the dozens of measures that have over the past year been introduced into state legislatures and the US Congress to condemn time-honored boycott activity if it targets Israeli practices toward Palestinians. However, there are also signs that public opinion – especially among Democrats -- is changing significantly, which may provide new opportunities for organizing effective political advocacy. The anti-BDS mea- sures have offered a valuable opening to educate elected officials and the public.

This workshop will focus on the organizing carried out in Massachusetts to defend BDS at the state and federal lev- els. It will describe how a campaign coordinated by Jewish Voice for Peace - Boston, Massachusetts Peace Action and The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine has harnessed the broad spectrum of civil society to oppose anti-BDS legislation, the prospect for success of those efforts, and the lessons learned.

Facilitators Elsa Auerbach, Sara Driscoll and Jeff Klein

Location:The Chapel (first floor)


Campus Organizing


It is a lively time to be a student organizer for Palestin- ian rights. While groups like the Anti-Defamation League conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism and advise students on how to block events on Palestine from hap- pening on campus, Jewish American students, as the US pollster Frank Luntz reports, have an increasingly negative image of Israel and students across the country are reject- ing the notion that there is a ‘Palestinian exception’ to the First Amendment.

This workshop will discuss the nuts and bolts of campus organizing, and where students can turn if they encounter well-financed efforts to shut them down.


Facilitators Leila Aruri, Dalia Fuleihan,Thomas Abowd

Location:The Barn Room (second floor)


The Future of Zionism:  Personal Reflections


Zionism took various forms as it emerged in the 19th century as a response to a vicious and pervasive anti- Semitism and the rise of European nationalism.With the creation of the State of Israel and its ongoing colonization of Palestinian land, ‘political Zionism’ as a settler colonial movement has been in the ascendancy. What is its future?

This workshop will explore the pitfalls and potential of moving beyond Zionism at a time when criticism of Zion- ism and Israel is all too often conflated with anti-Semitism. It invites personal reflections as it seeks answers to these questions: should and can Zionism be ‘overcome,’ to use Joel Kovel’s term? What would it take for Israel to be ‘de- Zionized’ and integrated into the Middle East? Is this the direction the current struggle should take?

Facilitators: Eleanor Roffman and Eve Spangler

Location: Stebbins Gallery (basement)




THOMAS ABOWD an urban anthropologist and historian with a PhD from Columbia University, teaches in Tufts University’s American Studies and Colonialism Stud- ies programs, as well as the Department of Anthropology. His book on spatial politics and colonial urbanism in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem is entitled Colonial Jerusalem. He has been involved in activist and scholarly projects related to the Middle East for more than 25 years and is currently writing about neo-liberal urban space, environmental rac- ism, and housing politics in Flint and Detroit.

SUSAN AKRAM directs BU Law’s International Human Rights Clinic, in which she supervises students engaged in international advocacy in domestic, interna- tional, regional, and UN fora. She has taught courses in International Human Rights, Refugee and Migration law, US Immigration law and Palestinian Refugees under Interna- tional Law. In addition to her numerous articles, her book projects include (with Tom Syring) Still Waiting for Tomorrow: The Law and Politics of Unresolved Refugee Crises and Inter- national Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Rights-Based Approach to Middle East Peace (with Dumper, Lynk and Scobbie). She has worked on resettlement and refugee claims of Guantanamo detainees, and has been co-counsel on a number of high profile cases. She has taught at the American University in Cairo, and at Al-Quds and Birzeit Universities, and regularly teaches in the summer institute at the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University.

NIDAL AL-AZRAQ is a Palestinian refugee who was born and raised in the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, where he became administrative director of the Lajee Center youth organization. He is now Executive Direc- tor of, a US based organization that focuses on water, food, health, and environmental work in West Bank refugee camps. For the past five years, he has been orga- nizing and leading medical missions from the US to Pal- estine as well as water testing delegations in partnership with the WSSS program at Tufts University  He worked

on a documentary, ‘Degrees of Incarceration,’ and co-au- thored with Amahl Bishara ‘A Refugee’s Childhood in the West Bank,’ in The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion (2009) and The Boy and the Wall (2005), a bilingual children’s book which received an award in 2008 from Psychologists for Social Responsibility.

LEILA ARURI is a current undergraduate at UMass Amherst, where she is the president of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). She studies public health with a focus in reproductive health, rights, and justice. She de- veloped her passion for social justice from her grandpar- ents, Naseer and Joyce Aruri, who impressed on her their unwavering commitment to human rights for everyone.

ELSA AUERBACH Professor Emerita at the Univer- sity of Massachusetts Boston, is the daughter of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and currently serves on the Steering Committee of Jewish Voice for Peace Boston.

ARI BELATHAR, Organizer for JVP Boston, is a Mexican writer and human rights defender who has been active in several grassroots movements in Mexico, Canada and the United States and worked with organizations such as Amnesty International, Planned Parenthood, and Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.

ANAT BILETZKI is the Albert Schweitzer Professor of Philosophy at Quinnipiac University and Professor of Philosophy (retired) at Tel Aviv University. She has been a visiting scholar/professor at Cambridge University, Har- vard, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Ber- gen University, Boston University, MIT, and the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. Outside academia, Biletzki has been active in several human rights organiza- tions in Israel for over four decades. She was founding member of Open Doors (against administrative deten- tion);The Twenty First Year (civil disobedience against the Occupation);The Campus Is Not Silent (campus political action); and Chair of the Board of B’Tselem – the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories – during the second Intifada (2001-2006). Her article ‘Making it Explicit in Israel’ (New York Times, May 2015), received the American Philosophical Association’s Public Philosophy Award.

NADIA BEN-YOUSSEF is a lawyer and human rights advocate serving as the first USA Representative for Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. After four years in the Naqab (Negev) in south- ern Israel leading Adalah’s international advocacy efforts on behalf of the Palestinian Bedouin community, she is now developing Adalah’s US advocacy strategy to shape American discourse and influence US policy and practice towards a human rights-based approach in Israel/Palestine. Nadia holds a B.A. in Sociology from Princeton University, and J.D. from Boston College Law School.

AMAHL BISHARA is Associate Professor of Anthro- pology at Tufts University whose research revolves around settler colonialism, expressivity, place, and media. She is the author of Back Stories: US News and Palestinian Politics (2013), an ethnography of the production of US news dur- ing the second Palestinian Intifada which won the Middle East Section honorable mention for the 2015 book prize. She directed or co-directed the documentaries ‘Degrees of Incarceration’ (2011) and ‘Take My Pictures For Me’ (2016). During 2017, she is an ACLS Burkhardt Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. There, she is writing a book on the different conditions of expression for and exchange between Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank.

GABRIEL CAMACHO was born and raised in the South Bronx. Both his parents, who emigrated from Mexico, were life-long union members in the US. In the 1990s he worked as a union organizer, business agent, and contract negotiator for SEIU locals in New York and Massachusetts. He also served on the boards of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (AFL-CIO), US Labor Education on the Americas Program (US LEAP), Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, United for a Fair Econ- omy and Centro Presente, and is currently on the Board of the ACLU of Massachusetts. For 15 years he has been the Immigration Programs Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in New England.

LAWRENCE DAVIDSON is Professor Emeritus of History at West Chester University in West Chester, PA. He specializes in Middle East history with a particular emphasis on the evolution of US foreign policy toward that region. He has written five books and innumerable articles on these subject areas. His books include America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Is- raeli Statehood (2001), Privatizing America’s National Interest (2009) and Cultural Genocide (2012). Over the last 20 years Professor Davidson has taken on the role of ‘public intel- lectual’ and has sought to heighten public awareness of the nature and consequences of US policies in the Middle East. He maintains the blog ‘To the Point Analyses.’

SARA DRISCOLL is a 50-year community activist for justice. She started with anti-war work in the Honeywell Project in Minneapolis, and after moving to Boston in 1970, she was a co-founder of City Life/Vida Urbana hous- ing organization in Jamaica Plain in which she still partici- pates. She has spent the last 29 years working for justice for Palestine with Women in Black, Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Boston BDS, and The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine. Recognizing the importance of inter- sectionality, she also works with Boston Climate Action Network in confronting environmental racism and pushing for policy that embraces a new, renewable future.

LEILA FARSAKH is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her publications include Palestinian Labor Migration to Israel: La- bour, Land and Occupation (London: Routledge, second edi- tion, 2012). She edited Commemorating the Naksa, Evoking the Nakba a special volume of Electronic Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (Spring 2008). She holds a Ph.D. from the University of London and has worked with a number of international organizations, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Since 2008 she has been a senior research fellow at the Center for De- velopment Studies at Birzeit University in the West Bank.

DALIA FULEIHAN was a member of Northwestern University’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter and one of the organizers of the NUDivest campaign. She is currently a student at Boston University School of Law where she participated in the International Human Rights Law Clinic and organizes with BU’s National Lawyers Guild chapter. She has interned with both the National Immigrant Justice Center and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and is currently the BU Chapter Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project.

JUDE GLAUBMAN works on water and land rights of indigenous people.  Last year, she had the honor of being part of the Water Protectors Legal Collective in Standing Rock, North Dakota and the privilege of interviewing farmers and villagers in the West Bank, Palestine.

ELAINE HAGOPIAN is Professor Emerita of So- ciology at Simmons College. She is a recipient of two Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Grants to do research on Palestine and Lebanon, and is a former President of the Association of Arab-American University Graduates (AAUG) and co-founder of the Trans Arab Research Insti- tute (TARI). She was co-organizer with Dr. Nancy Murray of the first (April 2000) conference in North America on the Palestinian Refugees: ‘Right of Return - Palestinian Refugees and a Durable Peace.’ She was appointed as a special consultant to UNICEF in the United Arab Emirates and later as an Expert on a UNESCO team to do a feasi- bility study for a Palestine Open University for Palestinian Refugees. Her publications focus primarily on Palestinian and Arab regional issues as well as Arab-Americans.

YAMILA  HUSSEIN-SHANNAN, a Palestinian born in Colombia and raised in Jerusalem is a scholar, educator, activist and public speaker dedicated to social-economic and political justice. Holding a doctorate in education, she teaches at the graduate level and has developed academic programs and curricula in Boston and internationally. She currently works at the Boston Teacher Residency, where her courses examine the complicity of schools in sustain- ing systems of oppresson.

JEFF KLEIN is a retired machinist and local trade union president active with the anti-war group Dorchester People for Peace and Massachusetts Peace Action, where he is a leader of its Palestine-Israel Working Group. He is also the statewide coordinator of the NEW DAY initiative to change US policy on Israel and Palestine, which focuses on our elected officials. Since 2004 he has traveled almost every year to Palestine-Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East, including to Syria in 2016. He has been a frequent speaker on Palestine-Israel and written many articles and op-ed pieces on US policy and Middle East issues. He regularly teaches a course on ‘The US in the Middle East’ at the UMass Boston Lifelong Learning Institute.

RAMI GEORGE KHOURI is an internationally syndi- cated political columnist and book author, and professor of journalism and Journalist-in-Residence at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He was the first director, and is now a senior fellow, at the Issam Fares Institute at AUB. He also serves as a nonresident senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School.  He teaches or lectures annually at AUB and Northeastern University, and has been a visiting schol- ar at many universities including Harvard, Mount Holyoke, Princeton, Syracuse, and The Fletcher School at Tufts. He is a member of the Brookings Institution Task Force on US Relations with the Islamic World and a Fellow of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (Arab East Jerusalem). He was editor-in-chief of the Jordan Times for seven years and for 18 years was gen- eral manager of Al Kutba Publishers in Jordan, where he was also a consultant on biblical archaeological sites.

YOUSEF MUNAYYER is the Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. He was born in Lod, Israel and holds both US and Israeli citizenship. Previously he directed The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development and its educational pro- gram, the Palestine Center and was also a policy analyst with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Holding a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, he is widely published on issues relating to Palestine, Israel, the broader Middle East as well as the civil liberties of Arab and Muslim Americans. His op-ed contributions have appeared in every major US metropolitan newspaper and he makes frequent appearances on television and radio programs, on policy panels and at universities to discuss the Middle East and Palestine.

MAHTOWN  MUNRO is the co-leader of United American Indians of New England (UAINE), which has been protesting the US Thanksgiving holiday since 1970 with an annual National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, MA. She is the lead organizer for Indigenous Peoples Day Massachusetts (, which works to get communities (including Cambridge in 2016) to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day on the 2nd Monday in October in lieu of Columbus Day.

NANCY MURRAY made her first of over a dozen vis- its to Palestine early in 1988 and subsequently co-founded and directed The Middle East Justice Network. Holding a Ph.D. from Oxford University, she has taught at universi- ties in the UK and Kenya and was for 25 years the Direc- tor of Education at the ACLU of Massachusetts. She has written widely on civil liberties and Israel-Palestine and the editorial committee of the British journal Race & Class The co-founder of The Gaza Mental Health Foun- dation in 2001, she is active with The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine and other organizations. She is on the advisory board of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

HILARY  RANTISI is the Director of the Middle East Initiative (MEI) at Harvard’s Kennedy School. She has expanded MEI’s program offerings to best serve a variety of constituents, including Harvard students, faculty, and the general public. Prior to joining HKS, she worked with civil society organizations in Israel-Palestine that focused on religion, politics, and grassroots mobilization efforts in Jerusalem. She co-edited the book Our Story:The Palestin- ians (1999) and has written numerous journal articles.

ELEANOR ROFFMAN, Professor Emerita at Lesley University, is an advocate and activist working towards peace and justice for Palestinians. She is a member of The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine as well as Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine. She has visited the area many times over the years and has witnessed the results of the Occupation on both Israelis and Palestin- ians. She ardently believes that Palestinians deserve their homeland and her political efforts support that goal.

EVE SPANGLER is a sociologist at Boston College, and a human rights activist whose work has focused on justice for Palestinians for more than a decade. She teaches a seminar on the subject and has brought two hundred students in 10 annual trips to meet with human rights activists and bear witness to the injustices of the Occupation. She is a member of JVP and a board member of the Human and Civil Rights Organizations of America.

TOM SUÁREZ’ first experience in historical research was in the field of early mapmaking. A violinist by training, his long interest in Palestine heightened when he joined the faculty of Palestine’s National Conservatory of Music. His 2009 book, Palestine 60 Years Later, was followed by his ecent State of Terror: how terrorism created modern Israel, which documents the campaign of violence waged by the Zionist movement to force its still-unrequited goal of an ethnically ‘pure’ settler state in all of historic Palestine.

CARL WILLIAMS joined the ACLU of Massachusetts as staff attorney in 2013. He was previously a criminal defense attorney with the Roxbury Defenders Unit of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, he is a long-time resident of Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, and has been an activist and organizer on issues of war, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ rights, racial justice and Palestinian self-de- termination. He has served on the board of the National Lawyers Guild, and during the Occupy Boston movement he was part of its legal defense team. More recently, he was a Givelber Distinguished Lecturer on Public Interest Law at Northeastern University School of Law, where he taught a class on social justice movements and the law.



The conference organizers are grateful to everyone who made this event possible:

all the speakers, donors,  volunteers  Aceituna Grill and Andala  Coffee House for providing food, and The Arabic Hour and This Week in Palestine (WZBC 90.3) for ensuring that ‘Balfour’s Legacy’ will reach beyond the audience gathered here.

We give a special thanks to United  for Justice  with Peace and all of our many co-sponsors

Alliance for a Secular & Democratic South Asia

American Friends Service Committee Peace & Economic Security Program

Arlington Street Church Social Action Committee

Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights

Boston University Students for Justice in Palestine Cambridge Bethlehem People to People Project Faculty & Staff for Justice in Palestine

First Baptist Church of Jamaica Plain

Friends of Mada al-Carme Friends of Sabeel - New England Grassroots Internationa

Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine

Jewish Voice for Peace Boston

Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine

Massachusetts Peace Action

Middle East Education Group at First Parish in Cambridge

National Lawyers Guild - Massachusetts North Shore Coalition for Peace & Justice Palestine Caucus at Harvard Kennedy School Palestinian House of New England

Smith College Students for Justice in Palestine Suffolk University Students for Justice in Palestine The City School

Tree of Life Educational Fund

Tufts University Students for Justice in Palestine

University of Massachusetts Amherst Students for Justice in Palestine Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East - Massachusetts Chapter Unitarian Universalist Massachusetts Action Network

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice & the Environment

Western Massachusetts CodePink

Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom

Young Abolitionists


The Alliance  for Water Justice  in Palestine


The Trans Arab Research  Institute



Conference: Balfour's Legacy, Part 1 - Introduction and Keynote Address


Conference: Balfour's Legacy, Part 2 - Panel I: Balfour, Israel and Palestine


Conference: Balfour's Legacy, Part 3 - Panel II: Confronting the Consequences


Conference: Balfour's Legacy, Part 4 - Panel III: Connecting Struggles, Building Power