All material is the thoughts, opinions, and exact words of the participant. Changes were only made for grammar and flow.
Issa Amro currently lives in the West Bank city of Hebron. He is a Palestinian human rights defender and activist. He is the coordinator and co-founder of Youth Against Settlements. He advocates the use of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience focused on the city of Hebron. In 2010, he was declared “human rights defender of the year in Palestine” by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human and is recognized as a human rights defender by the European Union.
Yossi Beilin was a member of the Israeli Knesset for twenty years, and the former chairman of Israel’s Meretz party. Yossi has held ministerial positions in the governments of Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak. Identifying Israel’s national interest as being best served by achieving a fair, just, and comprehensive peace in the region, Yossi made peace his personal and national mission. He is a leading proponent of the Peace Process between Israel and her neighbors. Most notably, he is the initiator and architect behind the 1993 Oslo Accords as well as the Geneva Initiative. Over the years, Yossi has worked on the issue of Jewish continuity and relations between Israel and Diaspora Jewry. He is the creator of the ‘Birthright’ program, which over the years has brought tens of thousands of Jews to Israel.
Noam Chomsky is an American political theorist and activist, and professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Besides his work in linguistics, Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today, and is widely regarded as the world’s top public intellectual.
Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi is a Palestinian who was born in Jerusalem and currently lives in East Jerusalem. He previously worked as Chief Technical Advisor for the United Nations Development Programme in Public Administration, as professor of political science and founding director of the American Studies Graduate program and General Director of Libraries at al-Quds University in Jerusalem. In 2007 he became founder of the Wasatia movement which aims to promote moderation, understanding, tolerance, coexistence, and interfaith dialogue as a pathway to reconciliation in midst of strife. Between 2015 – 2017, he worked as an inaugural Weston Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He gained international recognition for his extensive record in helping to raise awareness concerning the Holocaust. In March 2014, he became the center of a controversy when he led a group of 27 Palestinian students to the Nazi death concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland. The public outcry led to his resignation from his posts at the university. He is currently the founding director of the Wasatia Academic Institute which aims at establishing an interdisciplinary doctorate program for Palestinian students on the topics of reconciliation, moderation, and ethics.
Alan Dershowitz has been referred to as “America’s most public Jewish defender” and “Israel’s single most visible defender—the Jewish state’s lead attorney in the court of public opinion.” He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He graduated from Brooklyn College and then attended Yale Law School. He has published more than 1000 articles in magazines, newspapers, journals and blogs such as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, Huffington Post, Newsmax, Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz. He is the author of 30 fiction and non-fiction works including “The Case for Israel” and “The Case for Peace.”
Bassem Eid currently lives in East Jerusalem. He has an extensive career as a Palestinian human rights activist. His initial focus was on human rights violations committed by Israeli armed forces, but for many years has broadened his research to include human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestinian armed forces on their own people. He founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group in 1996, although it ceased operations in 2011. He now works as a political analyst for Israeli TV and radio.
Norman Finkelstein is a writer and lecturer. He received his doctorate in 1988 from the Princeton University Politics Department. He is the author of ten books that have been translated into 50 foreign editions, including the international bestseller, The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering. His forthcoming book is Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom (University of California Press).
Yishai Fleisher is the International Spokesperson for the Jewish Community of Hebron. He is also an Israeli broadcaster and a frequent columnist for major news websites including a recent oped in the NY Times. He holds a JD from Cardozo Law and rabbinic ordination from Kollel Agudat Achim. Yishai is a paratrooper in the IDF reserves and lives with his family on the Mt. of Olives in Jerusalem.
Hamas’ perspective was gathered from a non-Israeli, non-Palestinian professor who has studied Hamas for over a decade. This person wishes not to be named.
Badran Jaber is a Palestinian that currently lives in Hebron. He was a former leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Amal Jamal is an Arab-Israeli academic and is head of the International Graduate Program in Political Science and Political Communication at Tel Aviv University. He is General Director of I’lam Media Center – Nazareth. He is also Co-Editor in Chief of the Public Sphere: Tel Aviv Journal of Political Science. He is the author of the book “Arab Minority Nationalism in Israel: The Politics of Indigeneity” and has published several articles in professional journals. He was born and currently lives in the Galilee.
Mordechai Kedar is an Israeli scholar of Arabic culture and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. He holds a Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University in Arabic Studies. Kedar is an academic expert on Arab societies. He served for twenty-five years in IDF Military Intelligence, where he specialized in Islamic groups, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic press and mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena. He is one of the few Arabic-speaking Israeli pundits seen on Arabic satellite channels defending Israel.
Yisrael Medad is an American-born Israeli columnist and author. He was Director of Educational Programming and Information Resources at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and a volunteer spokesperson for the YESHA council. He was born in America and made Aliyah (moved to Israel) in 1970. He has resided in Shiloh since 1981. He was a member of the Betar Youth Movement World Executive. He holds a MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University.
Emmanuel Navon is an International Relations expert who teaches at Tel-Aviv University and at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center. He is a Senior Fellow at the Kohelet Policy forum (a Jerusalem-based conservative-libertarian think tank) and a Senior Analyst for I24News (an Israel-based international TV channel). He has addressed the American Enterprise Institute, AIPAC, the Jewish Federations of North America, as well as leading universities such as Georgetown, Columbia, and Rice. Navon is a frequent guest for American, French, and Israeli media, and he has appeared on Voice of America, on France 24, and on the Knesset Channel. Dr. Navon was born in Paris, France, in 1971 and went to a bilingual (French/English) school. He graduated in public administration from Sciences-Po, one of Europe’s most prestigious universities. In 1993 he moved to Israel, enrolled in the IDF, and earned a Ph.D. in international relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Elie Pieprz is Director of External Affairs for the YESHA Council, an umbrella governing organization of the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria. He is also the founder of IvoteIsrael. He was born in the United States and made Aliya (moved to Israel) in 2010. He currently lives in Neve Aliza (Samaria).
Magid Shihade is a Palestinian academic who was born in the Galilee and currently lives in Ramallah. He teaches graduate courses in the M.A. program of Israeli studies, a graduate course in the International Studies Program, and undergraduate courses on Israeli society in the Anthropology-Sociology Department at Birzeit University in the West Bank. He is the author of Not Just a Soccer Game: Colonialism and Conflict among Palestinians in Israel as well as numerous articles and book chapters. He holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Near/Middle Eastern Studies and an M.A. in International/Middle East Studies from the University of Washington, and a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.
Murad Shtewi is a leader in the Fatah movement in the Qalqilya district of the West Bank. He is the director of The Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission of the Northern West Bank. He is also the coordinator of non-violent resistance marches in the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum, where he was born in 1973.
Yuli Tamir served as a member of the Knesset for the Labor Party between 2003 and 2010 and as Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Minister of Education. She received a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Oxford University, a BA in Biology and an MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She has written many articles on liberalism, education, nationality, feminism, and human rights. She is the author of Liberal Nationalism (1993) and editor of Democratic Education in a Multicultural State (1995) and Moral and Political Education (2001).
Einat Wilf is a leading intellectual and original thinker on matters of foreign policy, economics, education, and Israel and the Jewish people. Dr. Wilf was a member of the Israeli Parliament from 2010-2013 on behalf of the Labor and Independence parties. Dr. Wilf has a BA in Government and Fine Arts from Harvard University, an MBA from INSEAD in France, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cambridge. Born and raised in Israel, Dr. Wilf served as an Intelligence Officer in the Israel Defense Forces. Dr. Wilf’s past experience includes service as Chair of the Education, Sports and Culture Committee, Chair of the Knesset Sub-Committee for Israel and the Jewish People, and Member of the influential Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the 18th Knesset. She served as the Baye Foundation Adjunct Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a Senior Fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, Foreign Policy Advisor to Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres, and a strategic consultant with McKinsey & Company. Dr. Wilf is the author of four books that explore key issues in Israeli society: “My Israel, Our Generation”, about Israel’s younger generation; “Back to Basics: How to Save Israeli Education (at no additional cost)”; and “It’s NOT the Electoral System, Stupid”. Her fourth and most recent book, “Winning the War of Words”, compiles her key essays on Israel and Zionism.