On Monday evening, October 19th, WESPAC and JVP Westchester held a community forum at the Greenburgh Town Hall to explore how we can serve as agents of change in supporting human rights in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.  We would like to thank the Greenburgh municipal authorities, Natalie Kabasakalian and the local JVP chapter, Tree of Life and all who were involved for their resilience, support and commitment to making this event happen and for contributing to the evening.

We set the tone for this forum as one of solidarity and hope, bringing our hands and voices together in song, led by Rev. Dr. Frozine Reece-Smith, the Associate Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in White Plains, singing “We Shall Overcome”  as a reminder of our solidarity with all marginalized and oppressed peoples.  However, the evening was not without struggle, as the speakers were repeatedly interrupted by hecklers. Local mainstream media coverage has been unsatisfactory and has not provided the proper context and purpose that this event deserves.

Some video coverage of this event was taken by Phillip Weiss from Mondoweiss who also wrote an article covering the event which can be seen/read in full here.  If you were in the room on Monday evening and would like to provide your feeback, please email us here as we would like to compile the responses that we have been receiving from those who attended.


Photographed above is Rev. Dr. Frozine Reece-Smith, Associate Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church (left) and 20 year-old violinist Aleen Masoud from Bethlehem (right). Photo: Andrew Courtney

Video coverage of this event was taken by Phillip Weiss from Mondoweiss who also wrote an article covering the event which can be read in full here.

More photos from Andrew can be viewed here: https://picasaweb.google.com/110504553935561902687/JVPWESPACEventAtGreenburghTownHall?feat=email#

October 19, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
An Evening with Gideon Levy and Suheil Khalilieh

How Can We Be Agents of Change to Secure Human Rights for Israel and the Palestinian Territories?
On this panel, we will hear from Israeli and Palestinian voices of conscience who will help us understand that in the long struggle toward justice and peace in the Holy Land, the fulcrum of change must involve the international community.

Monday, October 19th at 6:30pm
Greenburgh Town Hall
177 Hillside Avenue
Greenburgh, NY 10607

The discussion will be moderated by Natalie Kabasakalian, an active member of Jewish Voice for Peace – Westchester. She is an attorney who holds an LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the University of Geneva.
Gideon Levy is a Haaretz columnist and a member of the newspaper’s editorial board. Levy joined Haaretz in 1982 and spent four years as the newspaper’s deputy editor. He is the author of the weekly Twilight Zone feature, which covers the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza over the last 25 years, as well as a writer of political editorials for the newspaper. Levy was the recipient of the Euro-Med Journalist Prize for 2008; the Leipzig Freedom Prize in 2001; the Israeli Journalists’ Union Prize in 1997; and The Association of Human Rights in Israel Award for 1996. His new book, The Punishment of Gaza, has just been published by Verso Publishing House in London and New York.
Suheil Khalilieh is the Head of the Settlements Monitoring Department at the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ). He joined ARIJ over two periods of time, the first of which between 1997 and 1999. He then moved to work in the Human Rights Field working at the Citizen Rights Center (CRC) with The Arab Thought Forum (ATF), where he gained an extensive experience in the field. Khalilieh has also worked with the Palestinian Trade Center – PALTRADE as the Publications & Communication Officer. He is considered a political analyst and an expert on Israeli settlements and policies practiced by the Israeli Army in the occupied Palestinian territory.
This event is free and open to the public. Contributions will be requested to cover honoraria and travel costs. The evening is co-sponsored by JVP – Westchester and WESPAC Foundation. For more information, contact [email protected] or call 914.449.6514.