This conference will be guided by:

Dr. Azmi Bishara
Palestinian activist and member of the
Israeli Knesset


Paul Findley
former US Congressman and author of
"They Dare to Speak Out"

A coalition of local and national peace and justice organizations, including Al-Awda, Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Arab Voices, Free Press Houston, Jewish Voice for Peace, Houston Coalition for Justice Not War, KPFT 90.1 FM Radio (Pacifica Station), Latinos Por la Paz, Palestine Affairs Council, and Pax Christi USA, will sponsor a conference on the weekend of April 29-May 1, with the twofold purpose of identifying all the significant needs of Palestinians in any just settlement of the Middle East conflict, and of building political support for the resulting consensus

The headliner for this conference will be Dr. Azmi Bishara, writer, philosopher, and one of the leading political thinkers in the Arab world. Born in Nazareth, he is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, a member of Israel's Knesset (parliament), and the leader of the National Democratic Assembly party, an Arab party established by Dr. Azmi Bishara [which] advocates Israelís turning into 'a state of all its citizens'.  He is the first member of Israel's Knesset to be put on trial for making political statements in the 56-year history of that state. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Humboldt University in Berlin, and writes in Arabic, Hebrew, English and German. Dr. Bishara will help guide the conference to identify and formulate the needs of Palestinians in any ultimate settlement with Israel.

Conference organizers are also in communication with other officials who they hope will also be able to participate in this momentous project. Workshops and presentations on a variety of topics including the racism inherent in Israeli policies, encountering and countering organized opposition and smear campaigns in the course of seeking justice for Palestine, the role of the UN in effecting justice in the Middle East, how activists can work with and around the pro-Israel biases of the mainstream corporate media, the Palestinian right of return, the Israel economic divestment campaign currently supported by some American churches, and several other very current issues for activists.  These workshops will be presented by such activist-experts as Jeff Blankfort (whose commentaries are featured on KPFT radio), and UT-Austin journalism professor-activist Robert Jensen.

The second goal of the conference will be pursued under the leadership of former Congressman and renowned author Paul Findley, whose classic "They Dare to Speak Out" first exposed the machinations of AIPAC, JDL and ADL, the organized political and social forces that support Israel through a variety of tactics including smear campaigns and character assassination, as well as the less noxious but possibly more effective targeted campaign financing and vote mobilization that allows the US Congress to be considered, in the eyes of many, "Israeli-occupied territory."  Congressman Findley, after serving for decades in Congress, is widely believed to have lost his seat because he was targeted for defeat by these pro-Israeli forces.  He will be assisted by Jeffrey Blankfort, whose expertise on AIPAC and its power is definitive.

Other scheduled guests include Ora Wise, Jewish activist for Palestinian rights whose Spoken Word artistry has moved many hearts and minds to greater sympathy with the quest for justice for Palestine.
Additionally, organizers are planning public and festive cultural event at the Arab-American Cultural and Community Center in Houston for the mid-conference evening of Saturday April 30.  Planned are brief remarks by Dr. Bishara and Paul Findley, together with performances by Ora Wise and Palestinian folkloric performers.

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