“The Wall and The Gate” Book Tour

Top Pick January 29, 2018 Cambridge Free
(Photo: FredFroese/iStock)
West Bank wall in Israel (Photo: FredFroese/iStock)

Join us for a book reading and discussion of “The Wall and The Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights” with author Michael Sfard, professor Arthur Applbaum and Harvard student leader Isabel Slavinsky, sponsored by Metropolitan Books and the New Israel Fund, in partnership with Harvard Hillel, the Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

A farmer in the West Bank, cut off from his fields by Israel’s separation barrier, wants to petition the courts to build a gate in the wall. But while the gate would help the farmer harvest his crop, would it not also confer legitimacy on the wall itself? For Michael Sfard, pursuing justice means encountering such dilemmas on a daily basis.

“The Wall and The Gate” examines the ethics and challenges of legal work for human rights. Recounting key cases and issues, Sfard lays bare the reality of the occupation and exposes its surreal legal structures. With emotional force and penetrating analysis, he offers both a moral reckoning with the occupation and a blueprint for a hopeful future.

Note: We expect this to be a full event. So that we can keep track of numbers, registration in advance is requested. Please click on the red “GO” icon at the top or bottom of this page to RSVP. Thank you!

About our speakers:
Michael Sfard is one of Israel’s leading human rights lawyers. A former conscientious objector, he received the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award and an Open Society Fellowship. His writing on human rights has appeared in The New York Times, Haaretz, The Independent and Foreign Policy. He lives in Tel Aviv.

Professor Arthur Applbaum is Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values at Harvard Kennedy School. His work on political legitimacy, civil and official disobedience, and role morality has appeared in journals such as Philosophy & Public Affairs, Journal of the American Medical Association, Harvard Law Review, Ethics and Legal Theory. He is the author of “Ethics for Adversaries,” a book about the morality of roles in public and professional life. Applbaum has written about the ethics of executioners and of butlers, and he has consulted to the government about the ethics of spies. Recent articles include “Legitimacy without the Duty to Obey” and “Forcing a People to Be Free.” Applbaum recently completed a political philosophy novel for teenagers and hopes to complete a book on political legitimacy for adults soon. He was acting director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, where he currently directs the undergraduate fellowships in ethics. Applbaum established the core course in political ethics at the Kennedy School, and also teaches the political theory field seminar in the Government Department and a freshman seminar, “What Happened in Montaigne’s Library on the Night of October 23, 1587, and Why Should Political Philosophers Care?” He has been a member of Harvard’s Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility and chairs the ethics advisory board of a stem cell research foundation. Applbaum holds degrees from Princeton and Harvard. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Jerusalem, a Faculty Fellow in Ethics at Harvard and a Rockefeller Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values.

Isabel Slavinsky, originally from Columbia, Md., is a sophomore at Harvard University studying government and statistics. She is a nationally competitive policy debater who travels monthly to compete at inter-collegiate tournaments. She spent the previous summer in Israel researching public opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Fact Sheet
Monday, January 29, 2018, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Harvard Hillel
52 Mt Auburn St
Cambridge, MA 02138
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