Crisis in Jerusalem

May 11, 2021

In May 2021, the following was happening: Israeli settlers are forcibly removing Palestinians from their homes in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. A far-right Israeli Knesset member has moved his office into the embattled community, while members of the Knesset’s Joint List party have joined Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah in longrunning efforts to protect their community. These tensions are escalating as Jerusalem Day, a historical flashpoint for violence, approaches this weekend.

Join us for a discussion of that moment in Jerusalem, its long and fraught history, and what may lie in its future.

Mahmoud Muna is a Palestinian cultural worrier, know to many as the bookseller of Jerusalem. In addition to running the city’s main bookshop, he regularly organizes events on various literature and cultural themes, including the Kalimat Literature Festival. His interest lay somewhere between identity and culture, behaviors and language. When Mahmoud is not reading, he is writing for local and international outlets on current affairs with special focus on the role of culture as a form of resistance.

Dr. Yudith Oppenheimer is an activist and a researcher of Jerusalem. For the past decade she has served as the Executive Director of Ir Amim, an Israeli NGO working for an equitable and stable Jerusalem with an agreed upon political future.

Diala Shamas is a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she works on challenging government and law enforcement abuses perpetrated under the guise of national security, both in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to joining the Center for Constitutional Rights, Diala was a Clinical Supervising Attorney and Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School, and a Senior Staff Attorney supervising the CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility) project at CUNY School of Law. Read her full bio here.

Peter Beinart teaches national reporting and opinion writing at the Newmark J-School and political science at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is editor-at-large for Jewish Currents, a CNN political commentator, and a fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a nonfiction author and former Rhodes Scholar. Find his full bio here.