On April 17th An-Najah National University’s Political Science Department in the Faculty of Law successfully hosted a webinar titled "Empowering Voices: Educating and Mobilizing for Palestinian Advocacy in the U.S." The webinar convened experts from diverse backgrounds to discuss critical issues surrounding the influence of the Israel lobby in U.S. politics, U.S. complicity in the current genocide and ongoing Nakba, and strategies for advocating for Palestinian rights.


The webinar began with remarks by Mr. Raed Debiy, the President's Assistant for Community Affairs and Chair of the Political Science Department. He expressed gratitude to the moderator and speakers for their time and expertise, highlighting the significance of the event occurring on Palestinian Prisoners' Day Mr. Debiy also noted the unprecedented number of Palestinian political prisoners and the critical situation in Gaza and the West Bank, emphasizing the timeliness of this panel.

The panel, moderated by Michaelle Browers from Wake Forest University and visiting researcher with An-Najah, featured distinguished speakers including Zaha Hassan, a human rights lawyer and fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP); and Iman Abid-Thompson, Director of Advocacy and Organizing at the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR).

The discussion covered a range of topics, focusing on the significant role the Israel lobby plays in shaping U.S. domestic and foreign policies and its intersectional impact across various spheres such as media, academia, and local politics. The panelists provided insights into the tactics employed by the lobby and discussed the challenges faced by progressive figures in the U.S. when advocating for Palestinian rights.

Furthermore, the webinar delved into the strategies employed to counter the influence of pro-Israel lobby groups, emphasizing the importance of coalition building. The session also highlighted the evolving American consciousness regarding Palestine and the urgency of reshaping political dynamics to stop complicity in war crimes.

The event aimed to equip both the local Palestinian community and international allies with the knowledge and tools necessary for effective advocacy. It was attended by students, academics, and community members from Palestine and internationally.


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