I had an excellent whirlwind visit to Brown University on Tuesday at the initiative of three student groups: Common Ground: Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel, Puzzle Peace, and Brown Students for Justice in Palestine. It was a joy to speak with so many engaged and knowledgeable students and a few faculty.
My talk, like the one I gave at Cornell last week, focused on Israel’s apparent attempts to undermine Palestinian civil society, even when in its stated policy it says it wants Palestinians to have civil institutions. The iconic representation of this is Israel’s destruction of the American International School in Gaza. I argued that my deportation was just another (very small) example of this policy. I also tied this in with Israel’s undermining of West Bank development projects, like the planned hospital at Oush Ghrab, the former Israeli military base next to my apartment in Beit Sahour.
My lecture also made the front page (below the fold) of the Brown Daily Herald. On Wednesday I had an engaging conversation with Christopher Lydon, a former New York Times political reporter who now does a podcast based at Brown’s Watson Institute for International Studies.