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Silencing Palestine: a Panel with Richard Becker and Dr. Hatem Bazian

Monday, May 23, 2011
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Merrill Classroom 102, UCSC

Silencing Palestine:
A panel on American Middle-East discourse, Islamophobia, and Academic Freedom

Featuring Dr. Hatem Bazian, Richard Becker, UCSC Students, and more..
7:00pm Merrill Classroom 102

The Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the most controversial and pressing issues in international politics today. As a world superpower, the organizer of peace talks, and funder of the Israeli military, the United States has considerable influence over the issue, yet national discourse on the topic is often non existent or stunted by a lack of context and perspective.

American college campuses and academic circles are some of the few places where open and vigorous discussion of conflict takes place. But a pervasive trend of ignoring, disparaging, and censoring discussion that challenges Israeli policy towards the Palestinian people, leads to frequent denial of their experience and a lack of understanding of the conflict.

This has become an increasingly important issue in national news as a variety of academics, journalists, artists, activists, and students speaking out on this topic face attempts at censorship, often in the form of institutional or personal attacks.

The panel will discuss the silencing of open Israel-Palestine discourse, the ways in which Islamophobia and misconceptions about the Middle-East inform and contribute to it, and the larger impact it has on campus climate, academic freedom, and US foreign policy.


Several UCSC students will speak about their experiences trying to organize and promote open Middle-East discourse on campus.

Richard Becker is a noted writer and commentator on Middle East affairs. He has been a featured speaker at political forums and conferences in the United States and across the world.He led fact-finding delegations to Palestine in 2000 and 2002, delivering medicine to Palestinian hospitals. Becker helped produce the video Palestine Fights for Freedom (2002) based on his experiences. In January 2000, Becker was co-leader of the Iraq Sanctions Challenge, which delivered $2 million of medicine to Iraq. He first traveled to Iraq in 1994 with a fact-finding delegation headed by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

Becker is the Western Regional Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). ANSWER has organized mass protests of hundreds of thousands of people against the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine from mid-2002 to the present

In late 2009 Becker published the book "Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire" and spoke at more than 100 campuses and communities from 2009 to 2010.

Dr. Hatem Bazian, received his Ph.D. in Philosophy and Islamic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, Bazian is a senior lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies. Dr. Bazian between 2002-2007, also served as an adjunct professor of law at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches courses on Islamic Law and Society, Islam in America: Communities and Institutions, De-Constructing Islamophobia and Othering of Islam, Religious Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies.

As an activist, Dr. Bazian has played a significant role almost in every human and civil rights movement in the Bay Area, nationally and internationally including the defense of Affirmative Action in California, American With Disabilities Act, Anti-Apartheid, Anti-Globalization Movement, and Central American Solidarity struggles.

We want to make this event accessible to people with disabilities.
If you need accommodation please call SOAR at (831) 459-2934
Added to the calendar on Sun, May 22, 2011 10:14PM
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