DR. HANNAH SAFRAN:
Dr. Hannah Safran teaches at Emek Izrael College and used to teach at the University of Haifa. Safran is a co-founder of Women in Black, Haifa, which according to facebook, holds vigils “against the occupation” every Friday and has also been involved in accusations claiming that Israel tortures Palestinian prisoners. She has also spent years working in the Haifa Feminist Center, Isha L’Isha as a coordinator, which gave a statement in solidarity with the “Freedom Flotilla,” wrote a report defending the Goldstone Report, and issued a declaration in response to the Gaza War calling upon Israel to “end the cruel siege on Gaza, to stop immediately its attacks.”
On April 26, 2011, Safran spoke at an event entitled “Palestinian and Jewish women from Israel: A dialogue,” which was sponsored by the anti-Israel groups Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Say No, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine, Brooklyn for Peace, and Code Pink. The talk was about how women serve as the “backbone of much of the political resistance in the Middle East” and sought to “bring the voices, experiences, activism and perspectives of women so often absent from the US public discourse on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.” She has signed onto a petition to Minister Gideon Sa’ar, stating that lecturers that support boycotting Israel should not be penalized. Safran also gave her support to a petition supporting students and lecturers who refuse to serve in the IDF.
In response to the Gaza War, Safran decided to go on a solidarity tour of a Palestinian village that was destroyed during the 1948 war and participated in many demonstrations, together with other people who were active with her in protesting the “occupation.” In this same essay where Safran described her activism, she spoke out against the “occupation,” mentioned her experience of participating in vigils against the occupation, claimed that Jewish and Arab left wing activists’ experience “racism,” that Palestinians are oppressed, and claimed to be part of the “resistance movement in Israel” that is struggling “against the war in Gaza and the racism prevailing within Israeli society.” During the Second Lebanon War, she wrote a letter to an American friend, where Safran claimed that many people in Israel celebrate the death and destruction of other human beings, asked why Israel has done such evil to another people, and claimed that the Palestinians are an occupied nation. In addition, Safran has signed onto a petition initiated by Prof. Noam Chomsky, which accused Israel of committing war crimes, claimed that Israel engaged in “state terror” in both Lebanon and the “Gaza ghetto,” and offers solidarity and support to “the victims of this brutality and to those who mount a resistance against it.”
Hannah Safran and Ola Shtiwi
April 26, 7-9 p.m.
The Community Church
40 E. 35th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues)
Women have been the backbone of much of the political resistance in the Middle East. Women have led the struggle for a just peace in Israel/Palestine. This event will bring the voices, experiences, activism and perspectives of women so often absent from the U.S. public discourse on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Ola Shtiwi earned her LL.M degree in international human rights law at the University of Notre Dame in 2010 and her LL.B (JD equivalent) from the University of Haifa in 2002. She coordinated the legal department of Kayan, a Palestinian feminist organization based in Haifa. Ola started her human rights work as an advocacy coordinator in Women against Violence, a Palestinian organization based in Nazareth. Her work included advocating for Palestinian women's rights among Palestinian and Israeli policy makers.
Hannah Safran is a long-time feminist and peace activist who combines grass-root activism with academic research. Her book on the history of the Jewish suffrage movement in 1920's and the feminist movement in Israel in the 1970's was published in 2006. She teaches women’s studies at Emek-Yisreel College and at the extension of Leslie University in Israel. She is a member of Isha L'Isha the Haifa Feminist Center and has been active at Women in Black the Coalition of Women for Peace.
Co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Say No, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine, Brooklyn for Peace, Code PinkNewYork