Anna Baltzer – a Jewish American woman in the occupied territories
“Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories and Photos”
Thursday October 28, 6.45 for 7.00 pm
The Chapel, 333 Swanston St
Like many Americans and many Jews, Anna grew up with a positive view of Israel as a peace-seeking democracy. Israel symbolized to her the one protection that Jews had against the type of persecution that had plagued families like hers throughout history. She saw the Jewish state as a tiny and victimized country that simply wanted to live in peace but couldn’t because of its aggressive, Jew-hating Arab neighbors.
In 2003, during a backpacking trip through the Middle East, Anna began to meet Palestinian refugees from 1948. “I didn’t know who the Palestinians were, or where Palestine was” she said, “and through my new acquaintances I began to hear a narrative about the history and present of Israel/Palestine that was entirely different from the one I had learned growing up in the United States”.
Anna’s first reaction was disbelief, and anger. Palestinian families told stories of past and present military attacks, house demolitions, land confiscation, imprisonment without trial, and torture. It seemed that these actions were not carried out for the protection of Jewish people, but rather for the creation and expansion of a Jewish state at the expense of the rights, lives, and dignity of the non-Jewish people living in the region. It was hard for her to believe that Israel could act so unjustly.
Not believing what she heard, she decided to do research events both past and present. Immediately, she was shocked to find how little she knew about the situation on the ground. Not knowing who or what to believe anymore, she decided to go to see the situation with her own eyes. On her return to the USA, Anna dedicated her life to informing fellow Americans and others about what she found, and what they could do to support a just peace for all peoples in Israel/Palestine.
UPCOMING LECTURE: TARIQ ALI
BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW for WEDNESDAY 6th OCTOBER
Writer, journalist and film-maker Tariq Ali was born in Lahore in 1943. He was educated at Oxford University, where he became involved in student politics, in particular with the movement against the war in Vietnam. On graduating he led the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign. He owned his own independent television production company, Bandung, which produced programmes for Channel 4 in the UK during the 1980s. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio and contributes articles and journalism to magazines and newspapers including The Guardian and the London Review of Books. He is editorial director of London publishers Verso and is on the board of the New Left Review, for whom he is also an editor.
His fiction includes a series of historical novels about Islam: Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree (1992), The Book of Saladin (1998), The Stone Woman (2000) and A Sultan in Palermo (2005). His non-fiction includes 1968:Marching in the Streets (1998), a social history of the 1960s. His books of essays include The Clash of Fundamentalisms (2002), and The Protocols of the Elders of Sodom (2009).
Tariq Ali’s non-fiction works include Conversations with Edward Said (2005); Rough Music: Blair, Bombs, Baghdad, London, Terror (2005); and Speaking of Empire and Resistance (2005), which takes the form of a series of conversations with the author. The Leopard and the Fox (2007) is the script of a three-part TV series commissioned by the BBC and later withdrawn, and includes the background to the story. His latest book is The Idea of Communism (2009).
[Source: Contemporary Writers]
Tariq Ali joins the panel of ABC’s QandA Monday October 04