Conference Speakers:
Dr. Azmi Bishara
A leading Palestinian political activist and member of the Israeli Knesset. Dr. Bishara is former head of the Philosophy Department at Bir Zeit University and Senior Researcher in the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem.

Paul Findley
Former U.S. Congressman (member for 22 years) and author of "They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israelís Lobby" and chairman emeritus of the Council for the National Interest. He writes books and articles and lectures widely on international affairs.

Pete McCloskey
Former U.S. Congressman (served 8 terms in Congress) and author of four book including "Truth and Untruth: Political Deceit in America".  He is an attorney and a farmer.  He served in the United States Navy and the Marine Corps, and has been to Vietnam and the Middle East.

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh
Associate professor of genetics and director of cytogenetic services at Yale University School of Medicine, founder and president of the Holy Land Conservation Foundation and ex-president of the Middle East Genetics Association. He won the Raymond Jallow Activism Award from the national Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee in 1998. He is co-founder and national treasurer of Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and has written extensively about the Middle East.
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Ora Wise
Born in Jerusalem, the daughter of a rabbi and Jewish day school teacher.  She was raised believing in the importance of an exclusively Jewish state and returned to live in Jerusalem as a young adult.  There she experienced the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank for the first time as she worked with the Jahalin Bedouin recently displaced from their land.  She consequently committed herself to joining Palestinians in their struggle for self-determination and challenging Jewish racism towards Palestinians. She returned to the U.S. and co-founded the Committee for Justice in Palestine at Ohio State University, continuing on to serve as a spokesperson for the national network of student divestment groups.  Ora has worked extensively with Jews Against the Occupation NYC and currently coordinates the New York section of the Palestine/Israel Education Project.  Ora designs the curriculum and teaches at a progressive synagogue in Brooklyn. 

Jeff Blankfort
Currently hosts Takes on the World on KPFT and KZYX, the public radio station for Mendocino County in Northern California, and Connecting the Dots, for KPOO in San Francisco. He has been active as a journalist and documentary photographer since the Sixties and was a co-founder of the Labor Committee on the Middle East and the editor of the Middle East Labor Bulletin.

Dr. Robert Jensen
Journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity. He is also on the board of Third Coast Activist Resource Center.  In addition to teaching and research, Jensen writes for popular media, both alternative and mainstream. His opinion and analytic pieces on such subjects as foreign policy, politics, and race have appeared in papers around the country. He also is involved in a number of activist groups working against U.S. military and economic domination of the rest of the world.

Josh Ruebner
Co-founder of Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel, and lobbyist for End the Occupation.  After graduate school, Ruebner worked on Capitol Hill as an Analyst in Middle East Affairs for Congressional Research Service (CRS), a nonpartisan government agency providing Members of Congress with information and analysis. Since leaving government service, Ruebner has focused on providing peace activists with access to and influence on Capital Hill.

Mohammed Abed
Palestinian exile from the city of Jaffa. He is currently in the last year of his PhD studies in Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works on issues in practical ethics and political philosophy, in particular, political violence, reparative justice and conflict resolution. As an activist, Mohammed has worked for the rights of the Palestinian refugees with Al-Awda - The Palestine Right to Return Coalition and with Alternative Palestinian Agenda, a group that organizes around and advocates for a Bi-national politics of resolution in historical Palestine.