Change Agents 12/3/20: Palestine and Efforts to Silence the Voices of Palestinians in the USA

Producer/Host: Steve Wessler

-The Nabka led to Palestinians being expelled or fleeing from safety from Palestine. Many are still refugees.
-Some Jewish settlers in the West Bank engage in serious harassment of Palestinians.
-There are ongoing efforts in the USA to silence the voices of Palestinians.

Diala Shamas, 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. She regularly advises human rights advocates as they come under attack by state and private actors. 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. She’s a Palestinian native of Jerusalem. View a video of her work documenting harassment and violence toward Palestinians in the West Bank here

Tarek Ismail, Associate Professor of Law at the City University of New York School of Law where he co-directs the Family Law Practice Clinic and is counsel to the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project. His clinical work and scholarship focuses on the surveillance, profiling, punishment, and separation of families. Prior to joining the faculty at CUNY Law, Tarek was a Senior Staff Attorney at the CLEAR Project, staff attorney in the Family Defense Practice at the Brooklyn Defender Services, and a Fellow at Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute.

About the host:
Steve Wessler will soon will be starting his 28th year of working on human right issues. He founded the Civil Rights Unit in the Maine Attorney’s Office in 1992 and led the Unit for 7 years. In 1999 he left the formal practice of law and founded the Center for the Prevention of Hate. The Center worked in Maine and across the USA. He and his colleagues worked to reduce bias and harassment in schools, in communities, in health care organization through workshops and conflict resolution. The Center closed in 2011 and Steve began a consulting on human rights issues. For the next 5 years much of his work was in Europe, developing and implementing training curricular for police, working in communities to reduce the risk of hate crimes, conflict resolution between police and youth. He has worked in over 20 countries. In late 2016 he began to work more in Maine, with a focus on reducing anti-immigrant bias. He continues to work in schools to reduce bias and harassment. Wessler teaches courses on human rights issues at the College of the Atlantic, the University of Maine at Augusta and at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in northern Virginia.