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One State for Palestine/Israel: A Country for All Its Citizens? Conference March 28-29

posted on: Feb 23, 2009

Trans Arab Research Institute (TARI), an independent American think tank registered in the state of Massachusetts, and the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Its Social Consequences of the University of Massachusetts are convening an international conference to undertake a critical assessment of the current status of the two state solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and to explore the logic and feasibility of a one-state solution based on equal citizenship for Palestinians and Israelis. The conference will be held on March 28 and 29, 2009 on the campus of the University of Massachusetts.

This conference is timely and relevant to the challenges facing Palestinians and Israelis. The two parties, supported by many international efforts, have been seeking to resolve their conflict and achieve peace based on a two state solution for more than 15 years. Yet they are still far from achieving this goal. Their visions differ irreconcilably to date, and the obstacles to a peaceful and just resolution of the conflict have multiplied. The impact of the Israeli assault on Gaza has further complicated the pursuit of a just solution. Leading scholars from Palestine, Israel, the US, Canada and Europe will take part in the discussions in the two-day program examining paths to a just and lasting resolution of the current conflict.

The two sponsoring institutions invite you to attend what promises to be a noted event. Since places are limited, we ask those wishing to attend to register in advance. Admittance to all conference functions are restricted to registered individuals, space permitting. There are no registration fees. Come, listen & participate in this unique event.

Please visit the website below for more information:


All speakers have confirmed their participation.

Saturday March 28th, 2009 (Day 1)
9:00 — 9:15 Welcome and Rationale of the Conference

Dr. Hani A. Faris, Conference Co-Chair and Acting Chairperson of TARI
Dr. Kevin Bowen, Director, William Joiner Center for the Study of War and its Social Consequences

9:15 — 11:15 Panel I: Is the Two State Settlement Feasible?

Chair: Professor Duncan Kennedy
A. Land Confiscation, Settlements and the Feasibility of a Two State Solution
Speaker: Dr Meron Benvenisti
B. Quiet Transfer: Judaization of Jerusalem
Speaker: Professor Saree Makdisi
C. The Fragmentation of the Palestinian Body Politic
Speaker: Professor Karma Nabulsi
D. Challenging the Consensus Favoring the Two State Model
Speaker: Ali Abunimah
E. Is The Two State Settlement Still Viable? An Overall Assessment of the Present Situation.
Speaker: Professor Naseer Aruri

11:15 — 11:30 Break

11:30 — 1:15 Panel II: A Historic Settlement in Harmony with the Jewish and Palestinian Ethos

Chair: Mr. Howard Lenow
A. A Sense of Justice: World Jewry & the One State Solution
Speaker: Professor Oren Ben-Dor
B. Israel, Ethnic Particularism & Universalist Values
Speaker: Professor Marc Ellis
C. Jerusalem and the future Solution to the Conflict
Speaker: Dr Mahdi Abdul-Hadi
D. The Palestinian Right of Return in the Context of the One and Two State Solutions
Speaker: Professor Susan Akram

1:15 — 2:00 Lunch Break

2:00 — 3:45 Panel III: The Vision: One Country, One State

Chair: Dr Mark Solomon
A. The Geographic and Demographic Imperatives of a Single State
Speaker: Dr Salman Abu Sitta
B. The Contours of the One State: Shapes of Sovereignty
Speaker: Professor Michael Lynk
C. A New Arab / Jewish Narrative
Speaker: Professor Gabriel Piterberg
D. The Palestinian National Movement and the One State Vision
Speaker: Professor Nadim Rouhana

3:45 — 4:00 Break

4:00 — 6:00 Panel IV: Strategies for Building One Country

Chair: Dr Hani A. Faris
A. Popular Sovereignty and Justice
Speaker: Professor Karma Nabulsi
B. Charting a Diplomatic Course for Alternative Thinking: Arab, Western & Other Governments
Speaker: Dr Husam Zomlot
C. Mobilizing Palestinians
Speaker: Professor George Bisharat
D. Mobilizing World Jewry
Speaker: Professor Norton Mezvinsky
E. Awakening the American Conscience
Speaker: Professor Joel Kovel

Sunday March 29th, 2009 (Day 2)

9:00 — 11:00 Panel V: Methods for Building One Country

Chair: Professor Seif Da’Na
A. Dealing with the International Organizations’ Consensus on the Two State Solution
Speaker: Ms. Phyllis Bennis
B. The Palestinians in Israel and the One and Two State Solutions
Speaker: Professor As’ad Ghanem
C. Modes of Non Violent Activism to Achieve Palestinian Human Rights
Speaker: Ms. Nadia Hijab
D. Israeli Feminism and the One State Solution
Speaker: Professor Smadar Lavie
E. Grassroots Organizing in the U.S. of Palestinians, Labor and Students for the Right of Return & the One State Solution
Speaker: Mr. Monadel Herzallah

11:00 — 11:15 Break

11:15– 1:00 Panel VI: The Organization for Building One country

Chair: Professor Najib Saliba
A. Building An International Movement To Promote the One State Solution
Speaker: Dr Ghada Karmi
B. Building Movements for the One State Solution in Palestine & the Arab World
Speaker: Professor Leila Farsakh
C. Organizing for Self Determination, ethical De Zionization & Resisting Apartheid
Speaker: Omar Barghouti
D. Proposal For A New Israeli Political Organization: Building A Movement For The One State Solution
Speaker: Professor Ilan Pappe

1:00 — 1:15 Break

1:15 — 2:30 Panel VII: Israel’s Strategies of Destruction and Debilitation: The Implications of the War on Gaza to Coexistence, Cohabitation & Future Statehood

Chair: Professor Michael C. Hudson
Speakers: Professor Ilan Pappe, Mr. Omar Barghouti, Dr. Nancy Murray

Summaries, Recommendations & General Discussion


1. Mahdi Abdul-Hadi — Elected Secretary General of the Council for Higher Education in the West bank from 1977-1980. Founded in 1987 and chairs the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Academic Society for the study of International Affairs (PASSIA). Editor of 100 Years of Palestinian History, A 20th Century Chronology (2001), & authored numerous articles, monographs & essays. Member of the Board of Trustees of the Yasser Arafat Foundation, & of various Palestinian & Arab organizations.

2. Ali Abunimah — Palestinian political activist and co-founder of the leading on-line analytical forum on Israel-Palestine, “Electronic Intifada”. Author of many related studies and essays, and the book One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (2006). Co-authored The Palestinian Right of Return (2001).

3. Salman Abu Sitta — Researcher on Palestine; land and people. Founder and President of Palestine Land Society (London). Author of The Atlas of Palestine 1948 (2005), The Return Journey (2007) and From Refugees to Citizens at Home. (2001) Member of the Palestine National Council and general coordinator of the Right of Return Congress.

4. Munir Akash — Visiting Professor at Suffolk University, Boston. Founding editor of Jusoor. Co-author of On Poetry, Sex and Revolution (1971), co-editor of The Adam of Two Edens (2001) and Post Gibran (2000), authored The Right to Sacrifice the Other (2002), The Talmud According to Uncle Sam (2004), The Idea of America (2003), Understanding America (2006) and edited The Open Veins of Jerusalem (2005). [Co-Chair of the Conference and member of the Program Committee]

5. Susan Akram — Clinical Professor of Law, Boston University. Specializes in immigration law, refugee law, & domestic & international refugee advocacy. Author of numerous articles on the Palestinian right of return.

6. Naseer Aruri — Chancellor Professor (Emeritus) of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Published nine books, including THE DISHONEST BROKER, THE OBSTRUCTION OF PEACE: THE US, ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS, JORDAN: A STUDY IN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT and PALESTINE AND THE PALESTINIANS: A SOCIAL AND POLITICAL HISTORY (WITH SAMIH FARSOUN). Co-edited (with Muhammad Shuraydi) REVISING CULTURE, REINVENTING PEACE: THE INFLUENCE OF EDWARD W. SAID. Edited OCCUPATION: ISRAEL OVER PALESTINE. Authored numerous articles and book chapters and is a founding member of the Arab Organization for Human Rights (Cairo and Geneva) and former member of the boards of Amnesty International USA and Human Rights Watch/Middle East. A former President of the Arab American University Graduates and a member of the Palestine Center and a board member of the Jerusalem Fund in Washington, D.C. (President of TARI & Member of the Conference Program Committee).

7. Omar Barghouti — Researcher and human rights activist, founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), choreographer and cultural analyst.

8. Oren Ben-Dor — Lecturer of Legal and Political Philosophy, School of Law, Southampton University, UK. Author of Constitutional Limits and Public Sphere (2000) and the forthcoming Thinking about Law: In Silence with Heidegger, and other works on law, ethnicity and politics, including numerous essays on the Palestinian problem.

9. Phyllis Bennis — Fellow & Head of the M.E. Program at the Institute for Policy Studies (Washington D.C.). Fellow of The Transnational Institute (Amsterdam). Specializes in Middle East & U.N. issues. Author of Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer (2007), Altered States (1997), From Stones to Statehood (1990), Before and After (2003), and others.

10. Meron Benvenisti — Senior Israeli geographer and former director of the West Bank Data Base Project. Author of The Crusaders in the Holy Land (1973), Conflicts & Contradictions (1986), Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared Land (1995), City of Stone: the Hidden History of Jerusalem (1996), Sacred Landscapes: The Buried History of the Holy Land since 1948 (2000), The Morning After: The Era of Peace-No Utopia (2002), Son of the Cypresses (2007) and numerous titles on the historical geography of Israel-Palestine.

11. George Bisharat — Professor of Law at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. Author of Palestine Lawyers and Israeli Rule (1989). Member of the editorial board of the Journal of Palestine Studies. Presently researching the subject of the legal aspects of the one state.

12. Seif Da’Na — Assistant professor of Sociology and International Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Author of “Revolutionary Islam and Liberation Politics” (2009), “The Palestinian Authority’s Un-revised Curriculum: Constructions of Identity and the Contested Historical Narrative in High School Religion Texts” (2007), “Correcting Correction: De-Reifying the New Israeli Historiography” (2006), “History and Race Consciousness in the Arab World: Colonial Capitalism and the Construction of Race in the Arab World” (2004) & “The Rise of Palestine and Demise of Oslo: The Historical Significance of the Palestinian Intifada” (2001).

13. Marc Ellis — Marc H. Ellis is University Professor and Director of the Centre for Jewish Studies at Baylor University. He is the author and editor of more than twenty books including Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation, now in its 3rd edition, and most recently Judaism Does Not Equal Israel.

14. Hani Faris — Professor of Political Science. Presently serves as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science & Fellow in the Institute of Asian Research at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Acting Chairperson of Trans Arab Research Institute (TARI) & former President of the Association of Arab American University Graduates (AAUG). Member of the editorial board of the journal Contemporary Arab Affairs (London). Author of Sectarian Conflict in the Modern History of Lebanon (1980), Beyond the Lebanese Civil War (1982), co-authored The Arab Position on the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon (1983), U.S. Policy in the Middle East: The Nixon Era (1984), The Nexus Between Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon (2007), and edited Arab Nationalism and the Future of the Arab World (1987). [Co-Chair of the Conference and member of the Program Committee]

15. Leila Farsakh — Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Author of Palestinian Labor Migration to Israel: Labor, Land and Occupation (2005) and of Commemorating the Naksa, Evoking the Nakba (2008, EJMES special edited volume). She has numerous articles on the political economy of the Arab-Israeli conflict and is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Development Studies at Birzeit University.

16. As’ad Ghanem — Visiting researcher at the University of Maryland. He is a professor of Political Science at the University of Haifa and the head of the board of the Ibn Khaldoun Association in Tammra/Jalil and the Head of the board of the Civic Forum in Ramallah. Author of The Palestinian Regime. A Partial Democracy. (2001) His forthcoming publications(2009) are: Palestinian Politics after Arafat: The Predicament of a Failed National Movement, by Indiana University Press and Ethnic Politics in Israel – The Margins and the Ashkenazi Centre by Routledge – Middle Eastern Studies.

17. Monadel Herzallah — Founder and President of the Arab American Union Members Council which seeks to improve the social, political, and employment conditions of Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities. Served as the Political and Community Coordinator in Northern California for the Service Employee International Union (SEIU). Currently an instructor in the National Organizing Institute for the Classified School Employees Union. A member of the U.S. Popular Palestinian Conference (USPCN) since its inception in Detroit in June 2006 and the chair of its National Coordinating Committee.

18. Nadia Hijab — Senior Fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies. Consultant on human rights, gender, and development to the UN and other international organizations. Author of Womanpower (1989) & Citizens Apart (1990).

19. Michael C. Hudson — Director of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and Professor of International Relations and Seif Ghobash Professor of Arab Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Held Guggenheim, Ford, and Fulbright fellowships and is a past president of The Middle East Studies Association. Publications include The Precarious Republic: Political Modernization in Lebanon (1968 and 1985), The World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators (1972, co-author); Arab Politics: The Search for Legitimacy (1977), The Palestinians: New Directions (editor and contributor), and Middle East Dilemma: The Politics and Economics of Arab Integration (1999, editor and contributor). Author of numerous articles and chapters.

20. Ghada Karmi — Honorary Research Fellow, Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies, Exeter University. Visiting Professor at London Metropolitan University. Author of Married to Another Man (2007), In Search of Fatima (2002), The Palestinian Exodus (1999) & Jerusalem Today (1996).

21. Mujid S. Kazimi — Professor of Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the current and founding director of the Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES) at MIT. He has authored more than two hundred papers in journals and conferences and the two-volume textbook Nuclear Systems on thermal hydraulic analysis of nuclear reactors. Former president of the Association of Arab American University Graduates (AAUG). [Member of the Conference Program Committee]

22. Duncan Kennedy — Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence at Harvard Law School. Teaches a course on Israel/Palestine Legal issues. One of the founders of the critical legal studies movement. Most recent book is Legal Reasoning: Collected Essays (2008). Among his recent publications are “Iraq: The Case for Losing” (2006) and “Coherence, Social Values & National Identity in the Europeanization of Private Law” (2006).

23. Joel Kovel — Distinguished Professor of Social Studies at Bard College. He is the author of Overcoming Zionism (2007), and founded the Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism when his book was suppressed by the University of Michigan Press. His most recent work is Overcoming Impunity (2009).

24. Smadar Lavie — Huber H. Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Studies at Macalester College. Author of The Poetics of Military Occupation (1991), co-author of Displacement Diaspora and Geographics of Identity (1996) and co-editor of Creativity/Anthropology (1993).

25. Howard Lenow — A founding member of American Jews for a Just Peace (AJJP), an alliance of progressive and predominantly Jewish activists in the United States working to ensure equal rights, safety, and dignity for all the people of historic Palestine. Coordinator of AJJP’s Health and Human Rights Project that takes delegations of human rights activists each year to Israel/Palestine to document conditions on the ground. A union and civil rights attorney in the Boston area for thirty years.

26. Michael Lynk — Associate Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, The University of Western Ontario. Teaches labour, constitutional, human rights and administrative law. Worked on human rights issues with the United Nations in the West Bank during the first /Intifada/. Published numerous articles on the application of international law in the region.

27. Saree Makdisi — Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UCLA. He has published extensively on the culture of modernity in Europe and its afterlife in the contemporary Arab world. He is the author of three books, Romantic Imperialism (1998); William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s (2003), Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation (2008) and has contributed articles to leading academic journals as well as edited volumes. In addition to his scholarly publications, he has published a number of commentaries on the Middle East in the editorial pages of newspapers including The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Houston Chronicle, An- Nahar (Beirut), The Nation, The London Review of Books, and The Los Angeles Times. [Member of the Conference Program Committee]

28. Norton Mezvinsky — Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University. Holds the title of University Professor in the Connecticut State University System. Co-edited Anti-Zionism: Analytical Reflections (1989) and co-authored with Israel Shahak Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (1999). Authored numerous other publications. Serves as the Executive Director of the recently founded Washington D.C. think tank; The International Council of Middle East Studies.

29. Nancy Murray — Founder and president of the Gaza Mental Health Foundation, Inc. She is on the advisory board of US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and a member of various activist groups, including the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights. She has campaigned and written on civil liberties, civil rights, and human rights issues and serves on the editorial committee of the journal Race & Class. Among her publications are Palestinians: Life Under Occupation (1991) and numerous articles on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most recently “Dynamics of Resistance: the Apartheid Analogy”.

30. Karma Nabulsi — Fellow in Politics at St. Edmund Hall and University Lecturer in International Relations at Oxford University. Author of Traditions of War: Occupation, Resistance and the Law (1999); Palestinians Register: Laying Foundations and Setting Directions, (2006); and numerous scholarly articles and chapters on the philosophy of war, European political history, and Palestinian refugees and representation.

31. Ilan Pappe — Professor of History at the University of Exeter. Author of Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1947-51 (1994), The Israel/Palestine Question (1999), The History of Modern Palestine (2003), The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006) and many other titles on Israeli/ Palestinian history and politics.

32. Gabriel Piterberg — Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Author of An Ottoman Tragedy (2003) and The Returns of Zionism (2008).

33. Nadim Rouhana — Nadim N. Rouhana is Professor of International Negotiation and Conflict Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is the Founding Director of “Mada al-Carmel—The Arab Center for Applied Social Research” in Haifa and the author of Palestinian Citizens in an Ethnic Jewish State: Identities in Conflict (1997).

34. Najib Saliba — Professor of Middle East history. Author of Emigration from Syria & the Syrian Lebanese Community of Worcester, Massachusetts (1991). Published numerous chapters & articles on the Ottoman Empire, the Lebanese civil war & Syrian-Lebanese relations including “Lebanese Christians & Secularism” (1989), “The Cultural Contribution of Medieval Islam to the West” (1995) & “Christians & Jews under Islam” (2008).

35. Mark Solomon — Professor Emeritus of History at Simmons College, Boston. Authored or edited five books: The Cry Was Unity: Communists and African Americans, 1917-1936 (1998), Afterword, Crossing The River: A Memoir of the American Left, the Cold War and Life in East Germany by Victor Grossman(2003), Red and Black: Communism and Afro-Americans, 1929-1935 (1988), Death Waltz to Armageddon: E.P. Thompson and the Peace Movement (1984), Stopping World War III (1981). Past member of the Presidential Committee of the World Peace Council and is currently a National Co-Chair of The Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS).

36. Husam Zomlot — Visiting fellow at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Served as a PLO representative to the UK (2003-2008). His previous work experience includes the United Nations, the London School of Economics, the Oxford Research Group and the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute. His most recent work appeared in the volume State Formation in Palestine: Viability and Governance During a Social Transformation (2005). In January 2007, he helped establish the
Palestine Strategy Study Group. A document by the group entitled Regaining the Initiative: Palestinian Strategic Options to End Israeli Occupation was launched in Ramallah on the 27th of August 2008, generating an on-going national and international debate.