Geoffrey Levin in conversation with Paige Alexander - Our Palestine Question

Geoffrey Levin in conversation with Paige Alexander - Our Palestine Question

Monday, Mar 25, 2024 7:00 PM

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
441 John Lewis Freedom Parkway, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30307

A new history of the American Jewish relationship with Israel focused on its most urgent and sensitive issue: the question of Palestinian rights.

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and A Cappella Books welcome Emory University professor and author Geoffrey Levin to discuss his new book, "Our Palestine Question:
Israel and American Jewish Dissent, 1948-1978." Levin will appear in conversation with Paige Alexander, Chief Executive Officer of The Carter Center.

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the venue. Masks are optional.

About the Book

American Jews began debating Palestinian rights issues even before Israel's founding in 1948. Geoffrey Levin recovers the voices of American Jews who, in the early decades of Israel's existence, called for an honest reckoning with the moral and political plight of Palestinians. These now‑forgotten voices, which include an aid‑worker‑turned‑academic with Palestinian Sephardic roots, a former Yiddish journalist, anti‑Zionist Reform rabbis, and young left‑wing Zionist activists, felt drawn to support Palestinian rights by their understanding of Jewish history, identity, and ethics. They sometimes worked with mainstream American Jewish leaders who feared that ignoring Palestinian rights could foster antisemitism, leading them to press Israeli officials for reform. But Israeli diplomats viewed any American Jewish interest in Palestinian affairs with deep suspicion, provoking a series of quiet confrontations that ultimately kept Palestinian rights off the American Jewish agenda up to the present era.

In reconstructing this hidden history, Levin lays the groundwork for more forthright debates over Palestinian rights issues, American Jewish identity, and the U.S.‑Israel relationship more broadly.

About the Author

Geoffrey Levin is assistant professor of Middle Eastern and Jewish studies at Emory University. He specializes in the history of modern Israel and in the politics of international discourse about Israel/Palestine. He lives in Atlanta, GA.

About the Conversation Partner

Paige Alexander serves as chief executive officer of The Carter Center, a nonprofit organization founded by President and Mrs. Carter to advance peace and health worldwide. She also serves on the boards of the Romanian American Foundation, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, the ADL Southeast Region, and the Free Russia Foundation, and as an advisory board member of several human rights organizations.