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past presenters 

       Monthly Forums

 March 10 th

“Foreign Aid & Community Education in the West Bank”

Melanie Meinzer

“Foreign Aid & Community Education in the West Bank”

Melanie Meinzer, who earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut, is currently a Visiting Professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where she teaches upper-level courses in International Relations and Comparative Politics including “Decolonizing International Relations,” and “Middle Eastern Politics and Identity.” She has received a variety of grants and scholarships for her research efforts and has been recognized for teaching excellence.

Dr. Meinzer’s presentation will focus on her eleven-month field research on education in the West Bank where she studied how aid-funded community education programs use critical pedagogy to raise their participants’ political consciousness. Her presentation will describe how social movements use foreign aid and education to subvert state-sanctioned forms of knowledge, identity, and political activism. She will also speak on how grassroots organizations in the West Bank can support community education there.

9:30 Refreshments & Socializing
10:00 Presentation & Discussion
St Stephen Lutheran Church

8400 France Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55431


Community Events

1.    Middle East Committee – 30

How a Just Peace in Palestine-Israel Can Save Our Planet!

Robert Massoud

  1. From north of the border, Robert Massoud brings his Canadian-Palestinian perspective to Minnesota.

    Learn what some of our neighbors might be saying about the manipulations of U.S. policies and pronouncements affecting the Middle East and North America.

    Robert Massoud is the founder of ZATOUN Fair Trade Olive Oil from Palestine. Zatoun is a non-profit, grassroots organization building bridges between Palestine and North America through the sale of cultural and symbolic products from Palestine. The main offering is fair trade extra virgin olive oil.

    Sponsored by: WAMM – Middle East Committee

    2.   Robert Massoud in Northfield

Sunday, February 18th,  Northfield United Methodist Church, 1401 Maple Street S.      9:30am-10:30am
Sunday, February 18th,  First UCC, 300 Union Street,  11:30am
Monday, February 19th,  St.Olaf College, Viking Theater, 
   Buntrock Commons,  5:00pm

3. “Sundays with Nour” at Lord of Live Lutheran Church.  7401 County Road 101, Maple Grove, MN 55311 in the Luther Room.     Feb 11 Hebron. Every day Struggles “.                                                              Feb 18 Palestinian prisoners and violations against them 3

4. Windows Into Palestine – Encountering the Heart of a People Through ART     A three day festival of Palestinian Art and Culture – May 17-19, 2018   Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1200 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis

 Past Forums


Jan 28           Islamophobia Jaylai Hussein, Exercutive Director,             CAIR-MN

Feb 18          Youth in Palestine:  When abnormal becomes normal Darin Hussein, from Palestine, spoke on her experiences working with youth in her home city of Ramallah. Her presentation focused on her efforts to build job-training programs that can help young adults find appropriate and productive employment in a limited and stressful work environment.

March 18,    Life in an American Concentration Camp:The Japanese-American Experience during World War II John Matsunaga 

April 8           A Human-Rights Based Approach to Palestinian Self-Determination Lubnah Shomali

May 20          Repression of the BDS Movement: An update and analysis of reactionary tactics, Jordan S. Kushner and Dominique Najjar

June 17         Documentary Films Presentation, Rebecca Pierce,

August 12     Father and DaughterA Jewish American-Palestinian Marriage, Maya Amber  and Craig Harris


September 11    Film, The BDS Movement Explained  Omar Barghout

October 29        Where Are We Headed in Israel/Palestine Jeff Halper

November 12    The Israel Lobby’s Impact on America  Grant Smith

December 3       What Foreign Policy Can We Expect from Trump Presidency? Coleen Rowley


Jan 17           “The War Around Us” A video documentary on Gaza

Feb 14           “The Son of Eilaboum” Documentary video indroduced by Dr. Eilabouni

March 14      “Water Issues in Israel Palestine”  Prof David Van Wylen”

April 11         ” The Beauty of Judaism and the Perils of Zionism” Dr. Daniel Maquire

May 30         “Boycott, Divestments & Sanctions: A Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights”  a panel discussion

June 13          “Stone Cold Justice, Israeli Abuse of Palestinian Children”  film

Dec 12            ” Live in Palestine” Nour Nabris


Jan 18  “Nonviolent Resistance to a Violent Occupation” Soraya Dango & Graison Chapman

Feb 15 “Israel’s Secret Weapon” BBC documentary on development of Israel’s nuclear weapons

March 8 “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel” Video of Max Blumenthal’s discussion of his  book

April 26 “Addressing Challenges of Christian Zionism” Rev Robert Smith

May 31  “Israel – ‘the only Democracy in the Mid-East’ – Is it?” Alex Vella

June 14 “Walking with Faith Communities in the Search for Holy Land Peace” Bryna Dodar & Miriam Samuelson

July         Hiatus

August     Hiatus

Sept 13     “Solidarity with Gaza” film

Oct 19       “After Kerry & Gaza, What’s Next?”  Jeff Helper

Nov 1        “Steadfast Witness” Daoud Nassar

Dec 13      “Jewish Voices Against the Occupation” Six Jewish Activist from Minneapolis


Jan.  12th   “Where Should the Birds Fly?”, video 

Feb. 23rd   “Statehood & National Liberation: A discussion on Palestine  in the U.N. & Diaspora” speaker:  Hatem Abudayyeh

Mar.30th   “U.S. Military Aid to Israel – At What Cost?”, speaker: Alex Vella

Apr. 20th   “Israel/Palestine 101”, video & “Witness: The Great Book Robbery”,  video

May 18th  “USS Liberty: Dead in the Water”, video; speaker:  Glenn Oliphant, USS Liberty Survivor

June 22nd “Roadmap to Apartheid”, video

July             Hiatus

August       Hiatus

Sept.           “What’s Needed in Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Is a Hand-Up, Not a Hand-Out.”  Walid Issa

Oct 26         “The Power of Narrative: Mainstreaming Palestine”  Speaker: Pamela Olson

Nov                “Syria Today” Mazim Halibi

Dec 14            “Introduction to CAIR-MN” (Council on American-Islamic Relations – Mn) Ellen Longfellow, Esq


Jan. 14th      “Seeking Israeli/Palestinian Peace: Four Jewish Voices” Video of Jordan Ash – Jewish Voice for PeaceMN; Steve Lear — Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota/Dakotas; Ron Garber — J Street Minnesota; Sylvia Schwarz — International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

Feb 11th       “The Arab Spring, Iran and the U.S. Future in the Middle East” Presenter: Professor William Beeman

Mar. 17th     “The Jewish National Fund: Colonization, Occupation, and Apartheid” Presenter: Karen Redleaf

April 14 th   “Eyes on Gaza” Dr. Mads Gilbert

May 12 th     “Lest We Forget” Presenter Alex Vella

June 23 rd     “Razing Human Rights: Demolition and Dispossession in the West Bank” Presenter: chris Cowan

Sept 15 th     “Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World” Video

Oct 27 th       “Looking at the Zionist – Arab Conflict from Many Angles” Presenter: Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh

Nov.  17th   “Faiths  & the Land Called Holy:  Too Much Fundamentalism, Not  Enough Faithfulness”   speaker:  Chuck Lutz

Dec. 1st         “5 Broken Cameras”, video

Dec.   8th    “Life in Bil’in & Strategies for Non-violent Resistance”, speaker: Iyad Burnat    


Jan. 22nd      “With God on Our Side”, Christian Zionism Video

Feb. 12th     “What Went Wrong in Egypt: A Future Perspective”, Dr. Abdu Mawgoud

Mar. 19th    “Facts on the Ground: Questioning the Dominant Israeli Security Narrative”, Dr. Arland Jacobson

Apr. 16th    “Palestine Papers”, Leaked Documents Video

May 21st     “Been to Palestine Lately?  The FBI Might Come Knocking at Your Door”, Sarah Smith & Sarah Martin

June 18th     “Our Story”, Mustafa Barghouthi Video

July                Hiatus

August          Hiatus

Sept. 24        A Film: “Jordan Valley Blues” Presented by Sylvia Schwarz with Discussion Following

Oct. 8            New Film – “Occupation Has No Future

Nov. 12       “Historical Perspectives on Palestinian Current Events” Speaker: Jennifer Loewenstein

Dec. 11        “Little Town of Bethlehem, Today’s Realities” Presenter: Walid Issa


Jan. 16,          “Steadfast Hope: Palestinian Quest for a Just Peace” DVD

Feb. 13           “Eyewitness Reports on the Gaza Freedom March” Ouahib Chalbi, Sylvia Schwarz, Duane Suess

Mar. 27           “Getting to Know Children of the Middle East” Mary Davies

April 24          “Seven Jewish Children” A Play for Gaza; read by Board members

May 22           “Voices of Holy Land Women on Peace, Justice and Human Rights” Kathy Adam, Duaa and Gaidah Azem

June 26           “Has the Zionist Solution for the Jewish Problem Worked?” Arafat ElBakri, Samir Saikali

July                 Hiatus

Sept 11           “International and Maritime Law Regarding Gaza Flotilla” Phil Benson

Oct 16             “Is Iran a Threat?”  William Beeman

Sept. 11th           “Legality of Attacking Gaza Flotilla”, Phil Benson

Oct. 16th         “Is Iran a Threat?”,  Professor William Beeman

Nov. 20th             “Life Under Occupation & Non-Violent Resistance”, ElisabethGeschiere, SylviaSchwarz and  SusieGad

Dec. 4th            “Palestinian Youth from Gaza and the West Bank Tell Their Stories”  Walid Isse, Amal Ashour and Tasneem Morshed


January 24            “Transforming Palestine/Israel Into a Single, Secular, Democratic State” DVD

February 14              “The Misrahi Population,  Intra-Dynamics of Israel and The Question of Palestine”

Dr.Samadar Lavie

March 21              “Gaza: What is going on?  How did we get here?” David Smith

April 18                ”Jewish Anti-Zionist Perspectives on Palestine/Israel” Lisa Albrecht, Karen Redleaf

May 16                  “Building Holy Land Peace: Will Americans Play a New Role?” Warren Clark

June 20                 “Israel’s Secret Weapon” BBC Documentary

July                       Hiatus

August                 Hiatus

September 19      “Is a Peaceful Solution Still Viable?” Dominique Najjar

October 31           “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: Update on the Growing BDS Movement” Amber Michel  and “Faith Groups Try to Move Money Where Mouth Is.” Chuck Lutz

Nov. 21                 “First Time Visitors to Palestine” Ellen Abbott, Nasrin Jewell, Fouzi Slisli, Ken Tilsen

Dec. 12                  “Seeking Holy Land Peace: the Role of Palestinian


January 12         “Rachel Corrie, A Life for Others” Dramatic reading

February 9         “Easiest Targets – Israeli Policy of Strip Searching Women & Children” Film & discussion/evaluation MEPN forums.

March 22            “Life in Occupied Palestine Eyewitness Stories & Photos” Video of Anna Baltzer,

April 26              “The Palestine-Isreael Conflict: A Primer” Physllis Bennis

May 17                “Gaza Today” Jennifer Loewenstein

June 21                “Jimmy Carter Talks to Hamas” DVD Charlie Rose Interview

July                       Hiatus

August                 Hiatus

September 13    “Israel: Myths and Propaganda”  Ilan Pappe on DVD

October 4            “False Alarms on Iran” William Beeman

November 1       “Jerusalem, The East Side Story” DVD Documentary

December 6       “The Makba: Memory, Reality and Beyond” Florence Steichen