Featuring Dima Khalidi (Palestine Legal), Yousef Munayyer (Arab Center DC), and Hadar Susskind (Americans for Peace Now).
In this session we examine current attempts to curtail criticism of Israel/Zionism or advocacy for Palestinian rights and their implications for free speech and a healthy policy debate on Israel and Palestine.
This webinar is Part 6 of an 8-part series of webinars. For recordings of the other sessions in this series, please click here.
Resources shared during this webinar:
Follow our panelists (and their organizations) on Twitter:
Yousef Munayyer → https://twitter.com/YousefMunayyer
Stay up to date with Dima Khalidi ‘s work at Palestine Legal — > https://twitter.com/pal_legal
Hadar Susskind — > https://twitter.com/HadarSusskind
- BDS FAQs: https://bdsmovement.net/faqs
- Palestine Legal maintains a website tracking attacks on Palestine advocates including anti-BDS legislation in Congress and state legislatures: https://legislation.palestinelegal.org/
- APN’s position on BDS: https://peacenow.org/entry.php?id=19053#.YEpf-l1KiYI
- FMEP resource: “Constitutionality Issues & BDS Legislation: Source Docs & Expert Views” https://fmep.org/resource/constitutionality-issues-bds-legislation-expert-views/
- An example of new legislation targeting other boycotts (such as oil & gas): http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=hb2034&Session=2100
- Here is a compendium of resources from APN on its position on settlement boycotts and BDS: https://peacenow.org/page.php?id=3408#.YEpdGl1KiYI
- “The Palestine Exception to Free Speech” (a report by Palestine Legal) https://palestinelegal.org/the-palestine-exception
- Palestine Legal’s resource page, where you can find a ton of incredible fact sheets, backgrounds, and analysis of the topics we are discussing today: https://palestinelegal.org/resources
- In the Washington Post, Youseff wrote: “The hypocrisy of anti-BDS laws is a slap in the face of Palestinians” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/19/hypocrisy-anti-bds-laws-is-slap-face-palestinians/
- You can see more about the Israeli government’s work in the US in this FMEP webinar, “Foreign Influence: How Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs Funded Lobbying & Extremism in the U.S.” https://fmep.org/event/foreign-influence-how-israels-ministry-of-strategic-affairs-funded-lobbying-extremism-in-the-u-s/
On antisemitism and the IHRA definition:
- APN’s position on the IHRA definition of antisemitism: https://peacenow.org/entry.php?id=37124#.YEpbbV1KiYJ
- “Americans for Peace Now refuses to adopt ‘weaponized’ definition of antisemitism” https://peacenow.org/entry.php?id=37127#.YEpbxF1KiYI
- Palestine Legal provides a helpful background on efforts to redefine antisemitism to quash free speech: https://palestinelegal.org/redefinition-efforts
- To see more on the opposition to the IHRA definition, look at Lara Friedman’s database, “Challenging the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism – Expert Views & Resources” —> https://fmep.org/resource/challenging-the-ihra-definition-of-antisemitism-expert-views-resources/
- Yousef Munayyer on the Trump Executive Order on anti-semitism: http://arabcenterdc.org/policy_analyses/repressing-criticism-of-israel-in-the-united-states-trumps-executive-order/
- FMEP is hosting an ongoing webinar & podcast series on the IHRA definition of antisemitism and the consequences it has on free speech – – find more info, recordings, and resources from the series here: https://fmep.org/resource/the-ihra-definition-the-fight-against-antisemitism-a-webinar-series/
- And for more specifically on the impacts of the IHRA definition on Palestinians, see FMEP’s webinar on exactly this topic. Dima Khalidi was one of the speakers: https://fmep.org/resource/the-ihra-definition-the-fight-against-antisemitism-part-6-implications-and-impacts-of-the-ihra-definition-on-palestinians/
On additional efforts to silence speech:
- See Lara Friedman’s database, “Lawfare: Targeting US Academia – Tracking the Cases” — > https://fmep.org/resource/lawfare-targeting-us-academia-tracking-the-cases/
- “A Pro-Israel Lawyer is Weaponizing Public Records Law Against Palestinian Activists” by Alex Kane (The Intercept, March 2021) https://theintercept.com/2021/03/06/palestine-israel-students-ucla-public-records/
- “Palestinians: Victims of ‘cancel culture’,” by James Zogby: https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2020/12/07/palestinians-victims-of-cancel-culture/
- On what’s happening at UCLA →
Dima Khalidi is the founder and director of Palestine Legal and Cooperating Counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). She oversees Palestine Legal’s array of legal and advocacy work to protect people speaking out for Palestinian rights from attacks on their civil and constitutional rights. Prior to founding Palestine Legal in 2012, Dima worked with CCR as a cooperating attorney on the Mamilla Cemetery Campaign, submitting a Petition to United Nations officials to stop the desecration of an ancient Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem, and advocating on behalf of Palestinian descendants of individuals interred in the cemetery. Dima has a JD from DePaul University College of Law, an MA in International and Comparative Legal Studies from the University of London – SOAS, and a BA in History and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan.
Yousef Munayyer, PhD, is a non-resident Fellow at Arab Center Washington DC (ACW). He writes on the Arab-Israeli conflict and is a member of the editorial committee of the Journal of Palestine Studies. Some of his published articles can be found in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, Journal of Palestine Studies, Middle East Policy, and others. Dr. Munayyer holds a PhD in International Relations and Comparative Politics from the University of Maryland.
Hadar Susskind is the President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now. Before assuming this role, Hadar served as Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the Council on Foundations, and prior to that as the Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action and Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC. Before joining Bend the Arc, Hadar was Vice President of the Tides Foundation. Hadar also served as Vice President for Policy and Strategy at J Street and Vice President and Washington Director for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA). Previously, Hadar held positions at a number of other Jewish organizations including the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the Israel Policy Forum.