Mon, Jan 08|
East Rec Center
Prof. Beverly Voloshin on the background of the current war in Gaza
Oakmont Progressives will sponsor a talk on the background of the current war in Gaza by Prof. Beverly Voloshin, Professor Emerita at San Francisco State University and Visiting Professor at Al Quds University in the West Bank.
Time & Location
Jan 08, 2024, 6:30 PM
East Rec Center, 7902 Oakmont Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95409, USA
About the event
On Oct. 07, Hamas fighters attacked Israeli towns, peaceful gatherings and kibbutzim near Gaza. Over a thousand Israelis and eighteen thousand Palestinians have died so far, along with 49,500 wounded. (Reuters, Dec. 10, 2023) Over a hundred hostages remain in captivity. 1.8 million residents of Gaza are now refugees in the south, and the lack of food, medicine, water and fuel is creating a massive humanitarian crisis. Gaza is almost exactly the same land area as Las Vegas, but one of the most densely populated areas on earth. Thus far, over 15,000 bombs have dropped on Gaza and about 60% of the housing is now rubble.(PBS Newsroom, Dec. 08)
But history did not start on Oct. 07. Palestine and Israel have been a site of struggle for 100 years, with periodic outbreaks of violence and brutality on all sides. Prof. Voloshin will explore the background of the current struggle from the special perspective of her students and the people on the ground in Israel and Occupied Palestine. She was in Abu Dis in the Occupied Palestinian territory in October working with her students, and was invited to return to work with students at Bethlehem University in the near future, though she noted, “I have no idea when that will again be possible.” She is herself Jewish, and describes herself as “keenly aware of the importance of the State of Israel to Jewish people around the world.” Her work with Palestinian students has given her the perspective to understand the background to the struggle from various perspectives. And her experience with her students has deepened her commitment to the movement to end the Occupation, believing that "Palestinians should live without the burdens and the continuing violence of the Occupation. Ending the Occupation will also call Israel back to the founding principles articulated in its Declaration of Independence of 'freedom, justice, and peace.”
The Progressives recognize that this can be a difficult issue and personally painful to people on all sides. We will allow plenty of time for discussion and conversation, and we remain committed to civil discourse as a way of searching for common ground on even the most controversial issues.