Conference early feed, highlights below. The expanded feed will be posted soon.
Grant Smith, Hanan Ashrawi, John Mearsheimer, Ilan Pappé, Wajahat Ali, Tom Hayes, Khalil Jahshan, Maria LaHood, Jim Moran, Nick Rahall, Jack Shaheen, Clayton Swisher.
Expert keynote speakers and panelists will present their analysis of:
U.S. foreign aid, intelligence and diplomatic support to Israel. Since 1948, the U.S. has provided more foreign aid to Israel than to any other country. In 2016 the U.S. signed a new pledge to provide it $38 billion over 10 years. Is the aid unconditional? Will the U.S. provide it no matter how many illegal settlements Israel builds or what military actions it takes?
Israel as a U.S. ally. During the Cold War, many claimed Israel was America’s “cop on the beat” in the Middle East, squaring off against Soviet client states and protecting U.S. access to oil. Were these claims ever true? Does Israel currently serve any identifiable U.S. strategic interest, or is it in fact a liability?
Israel lobbying organizations have launched many programs in the U.S. They transfer billions of dollars in tax-deductible charitable contributions to support Jewish immigration to Israel (including from the former Soviet Union), and fund Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program. Do these programs further harm American interests?
Israel affinity organizations and prominent neoconservatives have long demanded that the U.S. should militarily engage Israel’s rivals, including Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria and Iraq. Is the list of targets growing? What future wars are these neocons currently agitating for? How likely is it the U.S. will comply?
The Israel-Palestine conflict is the longest running confrontation in the region. It generates terrorist attacks and other blowback against the United States. What are the latest views from the region about prospects for a viable Palestinian state vs. Israel’s continual territorial growth as a foreign-supported settler-colonial enterprise?
American public opinion is rapidly turning against unqualified support for Israel. How do Americans really feel about U.S. aid to Israel, Israel’s huge influence with U.S. elites, and its treatment of Palestinians?
Beyond changing perceptions, increasing numbers of Americans are actively working against Israeli programs. What is currently being done at the grassroots level, in courtrooms and internationally to confront, expose and challenge Israel lobby initiatives?