Fwd: Veterans to Speak on Israel/Palestine

From: Dud Hendrick <dudhe@myfairpoint.net>

Veterans to Speak of Israel/Palestine

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 1, Curtis Memorial Library, Morrell Rm, Brunswick, 7 pm

Few foreign policy issues are so central to the many problems that beset our country as the decades-long Israeli/Palestinian conflict.   Many Americans know that the violence has continued for years and think of the problems as being intractable; but few of us have first-hand knowledge.

On Saturday evening, February 1st, the Tom Sturtevant Chapter of Veterans for Peace is offering an exceptional opportunity to hear the informed perspectives of two widely heralded Veterans for Peace leaders, Ellen Davidson and Tarak Kauff, and Israeli Combatant for Peace, Yonatan Shapira. 

Kauff and Davidson, along with four other VFP members, traveled to the West Bank last November to observe the Israeli occupation of Palestinian settlements.  Their talk and slide show will document meetings with Palestinian leaders and the non-violent resistance of the people against the construction of the 26-foot wall that has disrupted their lives, frequently separating them from their agricultural lands.  While standing in solidarity with the villagers of Al Masra, south of Bethlehem, the veterans were confronted by Israel Defense Forces.   Kauff has written, “We came face to face with the IDF and were tear-gassed with U.S.-made tear gas.  Our clothing and banners identified us as U.S. military veterans opposed to the occupation, to Israeli apartheid, and to billions of U.S. dollars going to support the Israeli military”.

Kauff and Davidson will be joined by Israel native Yonatan Shapira, who as an 11-year veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces piloting Black Hawk helicopters, has a unique and qualified perspective of Israeli-Palestinian history and conflict.  A co-founder of Combatants for Peace, Shapira was on board the Irene (2010), the Audacity of Hope (2011), and the Estelle (2012) as each vessel attempted to deliver medical supplies to Palestinians under siege in Gaza.

Kauff, Davidson, and Shapira will suggest strategies for concerned citizens. 

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