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Rabbi Brian Walt lecture: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America,
Rabbi Brian Walt Spoke at Hampshire College March 5

“The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Two Narratives, Two Peoples, A Shared Land”

Rabbi Brian Walt, executive director and a founder of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, spoke at Hampshire College on March 5, 2009. His talk was titled “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Two Narratives, Two Peoples, A Shared Land.”

Rabbi Brian Walt
His lecture at Hampshire College addressed questions such as: Can one be a supporter of the state of Israel while disagreeing with many of its government’s policies? Can one be pro-Israeli and also pro-Palestine?

Rabbi Walt talked about being a lover of Israel, even when he does not support its government’s policies. He focused on traditional Jewish values and teachings regarding human rights and how they can affect Israel’s ability to work out a lasting peace with the Palestinian people so that both can flourish and grow. He presented a vision that focused on respecting the rights and dignity of all while seeking a solution to the conflict that will allow all to live in peace with mutual respect.

Rabbi Walt is co-author of The Seder of the Children of Abraham, a haggadah dedicated to Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation. He works to promote open discussion in the Jewish community of ethical issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Rabbis for Human Rights-North American (RHR-NA) is a group of more than 1,000 rabbis, including presidents and deans of major American rabbinical schools, leaders of various rabbinical associations, and many of the rabbis in the Pioneer Valley.

Prior to the founding of RHR-NA, Walt served as a congregational rabbi for 17 years. He was the founding rabbi of Congregation Mishkan Shalom in Philadelphia, a synagogue dedicated to the integration of spiritual life and social justice. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, he was an activist in the struggle against apartheid. He is a board member of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

The lecture was funded by a grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and sponsored through Hampshire College’s Spiritual Life Office.

For more information, please contact Rabbi Steve Nathan at

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