As part of an effort to encourage, enable, and defend university-based teaching, learning, and discussion of the history and politics of Israel/Palestine the Open University Project sponsors events that deepen our knowledge of these issues. Led by prominent faculty with expertise in Middle East studies, as well as student leaders and activists, these events aim to diversify the discussion of Israel/Palestine on University campuses.
• February 11th: Developments in the International Criminal Court: Israel/Palestine
Columbia Law School professors Lori Damrosch and Katherine Franke, and Claus Kress (University of Cologne), and Jamil Dakwar (CUNY & ACLU)
This panel discussed Israel and Palestine and developments in the International Criminal Court (ICC). After the Palestinians acceded to the Rome Statute on January 2, 2015, Fatou Bensouda, the ICC Prosecutor, opened a preliminary investigation into the possibility of war crimes committed “in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014.” This panel discussed these developments, international criminal law and the legal/political issues involved.
• December 2nd: Palestine's South Africa Moment? The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement
Omar Barghouti, Palestinian Human Rights Activist & Co-founder of the BDS Movement; Mahmood Mamdani, Herbert H. Lehman Professor of Government, Columbia University
At this event the speakers explored the connections between the Palestinian call for BDS and that of the ANC in South Africa. Speakers discussed the similarities and limits of such a connection.
• December 1st: Race, Violence, Resistance: From Gaza to Ferguson
Katherine Franke, Columbia Law School; Nikhil Singh: Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University Patricia Williams: James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia Law School Jamil Dakwar: Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Human Rights Program (HRP), Adjunct Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)
In response to the discourse on freedom of speech in the realm of Academia and the recent removal of the CSJP banner, I organized an event with Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine and President Debora Spar on Race, Violence, and Resistance: From Gaza to Ferguson, discussing the many intersections of race, militarized policing, and structural state violence faced by communities in Palestine and Ferguson.
• November 19th: Comparative Indigeneities: Dispossession, Belonging, and Human Rights in Palestine and Puerto Rico
Katherine Franke, Columbia Law School; Steven Salaita, Independent Scholar; Christina Ponsa, Columbia Law School; Elsa Stamatopoulou, Director of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University