Speaking Out- Peace Activists
Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States (1977-1981), author of "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid", a New York Times Best Seller, and winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.
While President, Carter hosted talks between Menachem Begin of Israel and Anwar Sadat of Egypt that led to the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. In this book Carter argues that "Israel's continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Middle East." That perspective, coupled with "Apartheid" in the titular phrase "Peace Not Apartheid" (which many regard as a subtitle) and allegations of errors and misstatements in the book, sparked criticism. Carter has defended his book and countered that response to it "in the real world…has been overwhelmingly positive."
Ilan Pappé is an Israeli historian and socialist activist. He is a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, director of the university's European Centre for Palestine Studies, and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies.
Pappé is one of Israel's New Historians who, since the release of pertinent British and Israeli government documents in the early 1980s, have been rewriting the history of Israel's creation in 1948, and the corresponding expulsion or flight of 700,000 Palestinians in the same year. He has written that the expulsions were not decided on an ad hoc basis, as other historians have argued, but constituted the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, in accordance with Plan Dalet, drawn up in 1947 by Israel's future leaders. He blames the creation of Israel for the lack of peace in the Middle East, arguing that Zionism is more dangerous than Islamic militancy, and has called for an international boycott of Israeli academics.
His work has been both supported and criticized by other historians. Before he left Israel in 2008, he had been condemned in the Knesset, Israel's parliament; a minister of education had called for him to be sacked; his photograph had appeared in a newspaper at the centre of a target; and he had received several death threats.
Anna Baltzer is a American pro-Palestinian activist, author, and public speaker.
Baltzer's activism centers around nonviolent protests, as well as providing documented information to those interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the purpose of education and encouraging dialogue towards taking action on the issues. She claims that critical information doesn't show up in the United States mainstream media. According to Balzter's own account, she first went to Israel on a free birthright trip in January 2000, where she saw "a beautiful picture of Israel" but nothing of what was happening to thePalestinians. "A Jewish student-life coordinator at Hillel, called the SJP event very well organized and well attended. It seemed very non-threatening and very non-violent. (Speaker) Baltzer made an extra special point that just because she was anti-Israeli policy, it doesn’t mean she is anti-Jewish".
Gideon Levy (Hebrew: גדעון לוי; born 1953) is an Israeli journalist. Levy writes opinion pieces and a weekly column for the newspaper Haaretz that often focus on the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. A notable journalist on the Israeli left, Levy has been characterized as a "heroic journalist" by some, by others as a "propagandist for the Hamas".
Going Against the Grain
Amira Hass (Hebrew: עמירה הס; born 28 June 1956) is an Israeli left-wing journalist and author, mostly known for her columns in the daily newspaper Ha'aretz. She is particularly recognized for her reporting on Palestinian affairs in the West Bank and Gaza, where she has also lived for a number of years.
Rachel Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American peace activist and member of International Solidarity Movement (ISM) from Olympia, Washington, who was crushed to death by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) armored bulldozer in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
She had come to Gaza during the height of the second Palestinian intifada as part of her senior-year college assignment to connect her home town with Rafah in a sister cities project. While there she had engaged with other ISM activists in efforts to non-violently prevent the Israeli army's demolition of the homes of Palestinian people.
Less than two months after her arrival, on March 16, 2003, Corrie was killed after a three-hour confrontation between two bulldozers and eight ISM activists. Wearing a bright orange fluorescent jacket and, until shortly before her death, using a megaphone, she was killed while standing in the path of a bulldozer that she believed was about to demolish the house of local pharmacist Samir Nasralla's family whom she had befriended. She was run over twice by the bulldozer resulting in a fractured skull, shattered ribs and punctured lungs.
In 2005 Corrie's parents filed a civil lawsuit against the state of Israel. The lawsuit charged Israel with not conducting a full and credible investigation into the case and with responsibility for her death, contending that she had either been intentionally killed or that the soldiers had acted with reckless neglect. They sued for a symbolic one U.S. dollar in damages to make the point that their case was about justice for their daughter and the Palestinian cause she had been defending.
Rachel Corrie's life has been memorialized in several tributes, including the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie and the cantata The Skies are Weeping. Her collected writings were published in 2008 under the title Let Me Stand Alone, opening "a window on the maturation of a young woman seeking to make the world a better place". The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice has been established to continue her work.
Ali Hasan Abunimah is a Palestinian American journalist and co-founder of Electronic Intifada, a not-for-profit, independent online publication about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
Omar Barghouti is a founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel who is currently studying for a masters degree in philosophy at Tel Aviv University. He speaks frequently in the United States.
Mark Braverman has devoted himself full-time to the Israel/Palestine conflict. He is a co-founder and Executive Director of Friends of Tent of Nations North America, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Palestinian land rights and peaceful coexistence in historic Palestine. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA, the advisory committee of Friends of Sabeel North America, and the advisory council of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace. He is a charter member of American Jews for a Just Peace.
Dr. Jeff Halper has been a peace and human rights activist for more than three decades. Born in Minnesota in the United States, he participated in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements of the 1960s. Halper emigrated to Israel in 1973 after attending rabbinical school and resisting military service in the Vietnam War.
In Israel, Halper taught anthropology at Haifa and Ben-Gurion Universities. His academic research has focused on the history of Jerusalem in the modern era, contemporary Israeli culture, and the Middle East conflict. He is the author of Between Redemption and Revival: The Jewish Yishuv in Jerusalem in the Nineteenth Century. During his mandatory Israeli military service, he refused to bear arms or serve in the occupied Palestinian territories. In 1997, Halper co-founded the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD) to challenge and resist the Israeli policy of demolishing Palestinian homes.
A tireless writer and speaker, Halper travels extensively to build international support for ICAHD and its international sister organizations, ICAHD-USA and ICAHD UK. He realized early on that the Israeli government did not intend for the Oslo peace process of the 1990’s to lead to the recognition of Palestinian rights. He developed the “Matrix of Control” framework that accurately predicted the course the Israeli Occupation would take as the Oslo process collapsed and Israel continued to build settlements, settler-only highways, and the Separation Wall. Dr. Halper was an early voice warning about the development of Israeli apartheid policies in the Occupied Territories, a subject on which he frequently speaks.
His book, Obstacles to Peace, is a resource manual of articles and maps on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and is published by ICAHD. Dr. Halper will be publishing An Israeli in Palestine in 2008, which follows his work against the Israeli Occupation.
For this work, the American Friends Service Committee nominated him, along with Palestinian activist Ghassan Andoni, for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Dr. Halper has also served on the steering committee of the United Nations Conference on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.