Palestinian Rights Activist to Speak at Hinckley Institute of Politics

By Kylee Ehmann

Susan Abulhawa, a Palestinian-American writer and a human rights activist, will host the next installment of the Hinckley Institute’s Pizza and Politics.

The forum will take place in the Hinckley Caucus Room in OSH from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and will focus mainly on Abulhawa’s activism.

Abulhawa’s work includes openly opposing Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory and campaigning for children’s right to play. Although Abulhawa is no longer the head of the organization, Playgrounds for Palestine has built over 20 playgrounds from donated materials.

One U graduate and member of Students for Justice in Palestine, who asked not to be identified, said he thinks this lecture is a good way for the U to show another side in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and their neutrality in global politics.

“Americans always stand for freedom and justice but, on the other hand, support Israel for its occupation and inhumane treatment of Palestinians,” he said. “It is important to raise awareness at the U and show them the Palestinian side of the story.”

Thirty-two countries in the United Nations do not recognize or interact with Israel as a country. Conflict in the area emerged when European powers founded Israel in 1948; Israelis claimed the land was promised to them by God, and Palestine maintained the settlers were invading the land they had lived on for centuries.

According to the Congressional Research Service, American taxpayers have provided $124.3 billion in assistance to Israel since World War II and is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance. In 2007, President Bush and the Israeli government agreed to 10 years of $30 billion dollar military aid.

Recently, Israel denied Abulhawa entry to Palestine due to her vocal opposition to settlements.

The graduate said his Pakistani background is part of the reason he wants more events talking about the Palestinian side of the conflict.

“As a Pakistani,” he said, “we have always supported Palestinian people, peace in Palestine and always advocated for the return of Palestinian people back to their land.”

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