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Brunch Discussion with Jessica Montell
September 8, 2013 @ 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
PLEASE RSVP by Wednesday, September 4 to Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org
The revival of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was met with cynicism and optimism in near equal parts. Jessica Montell provides a unique perspective on the significance and potential of the talks. As Executive Director of B’Tselem, the organization that has become the brand-name for human rights in Israel, Ms. Montell will give a human rights analysis of the diplomatic process, the opportunities and pitfalls, based on a wealth of past experience and on the reality on the ground in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
For the past twelve years Jessica Montell has lead B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. She joined the organization in 1995 and took over as Executive Director in 2001. Jessica is the author of B’Tselem’s comprehensive report Prisoners of Peace: Administrative Detention in the Oslo Process as well as numerous articles on human rights, international humanitarian law and counter-terror policies. She is a native of Northern California and lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three children.
In 2011, Ha’aretz selected Jessica as one of Israel’s ten most influential Anglo immigrants. This year, the UK-based Action on Armed Violence selected Jessica Montell as one of the 100 most influential people working to make the world a safer place.
B’Tselem is the leading Israeli organization monitoring, documenting and advocating to improve human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Founded in 1989, B’Tselem combines first-class research and innovative advocacy and public education strategies. The organization has pioneered the use of video as a tool to advance human rights.
The name of the organization is derived from the biblical Book of Genesis. According to the creation story, God created human beings “in the image of god” (b’tselem elohim). In Hebrew, b’tselem is used to mean human dignity, echoing Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “All human beings were born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
Cosponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Center for Jewish Studies and the Duke Islamic Studies Center.