Groundbreaking Chicago Hearing to Ask : Does US Policy on Israel/Palestine uphold our values?

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Tomorrow the American Friends Service Committee in Chicago will hold a mock Congressional Hearing on US foreign policy in Israel/Palestine to look at the question – "Does US Policy on Israel/Palestine uphold our values?" The event will take place 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time (GMT -5) at the University of Chicago, but anyone can watch online at the website

Event organizer Jennifer Bing-Canar explained, "We hope this Hearing will bring the question of values into the discussion about US policy. The American people voted for "hope and change", and we see neither when it comes to US policy towards Israel and Palestine. It’s critical that people around the world see that ordinary Americans — as well as our elected officials — care about the lives of people who are affected daily by US policies in the Middle East." There are already over 30 viewing events planned around the country to watch the live webcast including in Boston, New York, Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., to Indiana and Idaho, to Walla, Walla, Wash., and San Francisco. You can email [email protected] to see if there is a viewing planned near you.

The event, moderated by journalist Helena Cobban, will bring together witnesses from Israel/Palestine and the United States who will testify to the impact of U.S. foreign policy on property rights, freedom of movement, and military aid.

Witnesses include:

* Cindy Corrie, whose daughter Rachel was killed by an Israeli bulldozer while she tried to stop the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home;

* Amer Shurrab, a Palestinian peace activist from Gaza who will speak of his family’s devastation during Israel’s 2009 war in Gaza;

* Jeff Halper, coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions;

* Jad Isaac, an environmental expert and director of the Applied Research Institute, Jerusalem.

A Listener Panel of Chicago-area religious leaders and academics will question the witnesses. Panelists include:

* John Mearsheimer, professor of political science at the University of Chicago;

* Cantor Michael Davis, member of the Jewish Fast for Gaza;

* Ghada Talhami, professor emerita of politics at Lake Forest College;

* Cotton Fite, associate priest at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Evanston;

* Barbara Ransby, associate professor of gender and women’s studies, African American studies, and history at the University of Illinois at Chicago;

* Zaher Sahloul, M.D., chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.

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