EngageEventsThe Conflict Over the Conflict: The Israel/Palestine Campus Debate While Finding Common Ground
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The Conflict Over the Conflict: The Israel/Palestine Campus Debate While Finding Common Ground

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Even before the Hamas attack on October 7, and Israel’s response, some campuses were seeing efforts from partisans on each side to vilify, and silence, partisans on the other. How do we understand the current moment?

This event will be held in person at Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, Orrery Pavilion, 6th Fl, 3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

Penn Student Post-Dialogue Sessions

Join other Penn students for a light meal (Halal and Kosher) and a chance to share perspectives on the campus dialogue on the Israel/Palestine conflict in light of Ken Stern’s talk. The conversation will be facilitated by Penn students affiliated with the SNF Paideia Program. The dialogue will begin immediately after the talk in the 6thfloor classrooms of Van Pelt Library.

If you’re a Penn Student, registration here for the post-dialogue sessions.

Presented by the University of Pennsylvania’s Jewish Studies Program, SNF Paideia Program, and the Penn Libraries, with support from the Office of the Provost. Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences in association with the Living the Hard Promise Initiative in the School of Arts and Sciences.

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About Kenneth S. Stern:

Kenneth S. Stern is the director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate.

Mr. Stern is an award-winning author and attorney, and was most recently executive director of the Justus & Karin Rosenberg Foundation. Before that he was director of the division on antisemitism and extremism at the American Jewish Committee, where he worked for 25 years.

Mr. Stern’s op-eds and book reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, The Boston Globe, the Guardian, the Forward, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and elsewhere. Mr. Stern has appeared on the CBS Evening News, Dateline, Good Morning America, Face the Nation, the History Channel, NBC Nightly News, CNN, PBS, and many other television and radio programs, including National Public Radio’s Fresh Air and All Things Considered, and WNYC’s On the Media.

He has argued before the United States Supreme Court, testified before Congress (as well as before committees of parliamentarians in Canada and the U.K.), was an invited presenter at the White House Conference on Hate Crimes, and served as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Stockholm Forum on Combating Intolerance.

Mr. Stern’s report on the militia movement, released 10 days before the Oklahoma City bombing, predicted attacks on the government, and the covering memo to the report said such attacks might occur on April 19, 1995, the anniversary of the deaths of members of the Branch Davidian sect. Mr. Stern’s report was called “prescient,” and his resulting book—A Force Upon the Plain: The American Militia Movement and the Politics of Hate—was nominated for the National Book Award.

Mr. Stern was the lead drafter of the “working definition” of antisemitism. He was also an integral part of the defense team in the historic London Holocaust denial case of David Irving vs. Deborah Lipstadt. Mr. Stern was also defense counsel for Dennis Banks, cofounder of the American Indian Movement (chronicled in his award-winning book Loud Hawk: The United States vs. The American Indian Movement). He has also written books on antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

His newest book, The Conflict Over the Conflict: The Israel/Palestine Campus Debate (New Jewish Press, 2020), has been called a “must read,” “thoughtful and provocative,” a “gift,” a “rare and uncompromising testament to free expression” and a “blueprint for how to navigate the ‘conflict over the conflict’ on campus.” Its first chapter is entitled “Thinking about Thinking,” and draws from hate studies to explain how our thinking changes when our identity is tethered to an issue of perceived justice or injustice.

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