POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—Maya Wind, an Israeli conscientious objector who is opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestine will present a talk about growing up in Israel on Sunday, October 4, at Vassar College. She will discuss various ways to learn more about the Israel-Palestine issue, and how campuses can lead change in the situation. Free and open to the public, the discussion will begin at 4:00pm in Rockefeller Hall, room 200, and is presented by the American Culture Program, Department of Earth Science and Geography, Vassar Green Party, and Student Activist Union at Vassar College.
Wind grew up in Jerusalem during the second Intifada, where she was raised in a secular home but educated in religious schools. Her first experience with conflict resolution was at age 15 in “Face to Face,” a dialogue group for Israeli and Palestinian youth. Later she became involved in various co-existence initiatives in the West Bank.
She joined the group Shministim, a group of young conscientious objectors, in December 2008. Wind then refused to serve in the Israeli army upon graduation, which is mandatory for high schoolers in Israel. She spent several weeks in detention and 40 days in military prison, and was subsequently exempted in March 2009.
In a 2008 letter, signed by approximately 100 Israeli youth, the members defined their goals as “It is impossible to harm and imprison in the name of freedom, and thus it is impossible to be moral and serve the occupation.”
Today Wind works for Rabbis for Human Rights, and guides political tours in East Jerusalem and the West Bank for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. She also co-leads the Jerusalem dialogue youth group of New Profile, the feminist movement for the demilitarization of Israel.
This discussion is part of a larger tour of American campuses this fall titled “Why We Refuse: A National Tour of Young Israeli Women for Peace,” which was organized by the peace groups CODEPINK and Jewish Voice for Peace. For more information, including, visit the tour website, www.whywerefuse.org.
People with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Directions to the Vassar Campus are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.