Read short bios for each speaker event. Bassam Eid from Israel in person; Anita Tucker from Israel via Zoom.
Excerpts from website of Bassam Eid
"Bassem Eid publicly condemned the widespread murder of Palestinian dissidents, often for reasons unrelated to the Intifada. In 1995, following his report about the Palestinian Preventive Security Forces (PSF), he came under attack by some Palestinian leaders for revealing human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA). He continued his criticisms of human rights policies of both Israeli and Palestinian armed forces. Arrested by Arafats' Presidential Guard (Force 17), he was released after 25 hours following widespread international condemnation."
"In response to the deterioration of the human rights situation under the PA, Bassem Eid founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG), which monitors abuses committed by the PA and also deals to some extent with Israel. It is a non-partisan human rights organization, dedicated to exposing human rights violations and supporting a democratic and pluralistic Palestine. Bassem Eid has spent 26 years researching UNRWA policies and has written extensively on the subject of UNRWA reform. He also is an outspoken critic of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, otherwise known as BDS."
"His publications include Neither Law Nor Justice: Human Rights in the Occupied Territories Since the Oslo Accords (co-written by PHRMG and B’Tselem); The State of Human Rights in Palestine I: The practice of torture by the Palestinian Authority, violations of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, deaths in custody, and police brutality (PHRMG); The State of Human Rights in Palestine II: In-depth report on the judicial system, illegal arrests, and long term illegal detention (PHRMG); Fatah and Hamas Human Rights Violations, in The Israel-Palestine Conflict, published by the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011. He also often contributes editorial articles to publications such as The Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel."
"The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has awarded him its Emil Gruenzweig Memorial Award. He is also the recipient of the Robert S. Litvak Human Rights Memorial Award granted by the McGill University Faculty of Law and the International Human Rights Advocacy Center, Inter Amicus; the International Activist Award given by the Gleitsman Foundation, USA; and the award of Italy’s Informazione Senza Frontiere (Information without Boundaries). In 2009, a book, Next Founders, profiled him as the leading Palestinian human rights activist."
Anita Tucker is a survivor of the 2005 Israeli expulsion from Gush Katif in Gaza.
2024 is the nineteenth year since Anita was forced out of Gush Katif by IDF soldiers after refusing to leave in peaceful protest. She and husband Stuart eventually built a new roof over their heads in an agricultural community formed by and named for her original Gush Katif neighborhood, Netzer Hazani. Rather than disperse across the country, Netzer Hazani’s residents reconstituted their neighborhood in central Israel.
Anita had a taste of her life and leadership before being expelled. She had grown 3-foot-long celery in her hothouses in Netzer Hazani in Gush Katif. She often speaks of the spirit of that area, which she says still lives among the former residents. She helped so many with their needs post-expulsion. She stresses the need to deal with the ongoing trauma of the “second generation,” and the yearning to return to their incomparable “golden sands.”
She also reminisces about her Arab friends in Gaza, who had welcomed the Jews there and marveled in their agricultural success — but who are all probably dead by now at the hands of Hamas.
With much talk emerging about “re-settling” Jewish communities in “Gaza,” Anita will update us on this struggle and the prospect of returning to reclaim and rebuild communities in the legally owned Israeli land once known as Gush Katif. Is it possible for Israel to reclaim all of Gaza? Why should Arab residents who want to leave Gaza be barred, as they now are, from emigrating? What questions must we ask to arrive at the answers we so clearly need?
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