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Sunday, November 10 • 9:30am - 10:15am
Almost Within Reach: An Israeli Experience of Gaza

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For many years, as an activist and then as a professional worker in human rights organizations, I tried to have a positive impact on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza through research and advocacy, while constantly struggling with what it means to be Israeli in this line of work: having the burden of what Gaza signifies to Israelis to unpack, while also not being able to go and experience Gaza, its beauty and challenges first hand. In this lecture, I will be sharing some of my experiences from this work, including co-authoring the B’Tselem submission to the Turkel Commission and witnessing reception (2010); Exploring how gender-blind policies that restrict movement to and from Gaza end up having a harsh impact on women (2014); and learning about the water crisis, its origins and its tragic impacts on the lives of some two million people (2014-16). After years of this work, a “aha moment” in 2017 led me to an unfortunate realization: The only time I had ever had a real, tangible positive impact on lives in Gaza was as an IDF officer. What did this mean about my complicated relationship with a place that was so elusively almost within reach?

avatar for Naama Baumgarten-Sharon

Naama Baumgarten-Sharon

Naama Baumgarten-Sharon has been a peace and anti-occupation activist since she completed her military service as an intelligence officer in 2001, and has worked professionally for Israeli NGOs, most notably as a researcher at B'Tselem, and for international NGOs operating in Israel-Palestine... Read More →

Sunday November 10, 2019 9:30am - 10:15am EST