Social Justice lecture focuses on Israeli conflict

Political revolutionists, civil rights advocates and environmental awareness movements all sing the same tune for social justice.

“Systemic transformational change has always been initially advocated by third parties,” said David Cobb, a Green Party member who spoke on ‘How to Engage Electoral Politics in an Age of emerging Fascism’ at Sonoma State University’s Social Justice week. The week long focus on social justice, included workshops and lectures that took place Monday through Friday.

Sonoma State’s Social Justice and Activism Club helped organize the events which focused on issues affecting city locals and also expanded out to global injustices. 

The third annual presentation of the program was produced by students who helped choose every scheduled event. With four keynote speakers and over 28 lectures the five day event was also co-sponsored by the Sociology department. 

The North Coast Coalition for Palestine gave an informative talk about the current issues between Israel and Palestine including common myths on the issues, documented photos as witness to the problem and the history of the land.

Israel is a newly formed country that was created in 1948 by the United Nations. It was implemented by Zionists who strongly believe that in written biblical scripture the land is meant for Jews and given by God.

Therese Mughannam, a speaker at the event, is a native Palestinian woman whose family fled the country when she was a child, and she now brings awareness to the issue. Four years ago she went to visit Israel and Palestine in order to document, and see for herself, the truth of the situation.

Mughannam shared pictures of her experience in her presentation and explained that she is an advocate for both Israelis and Palestinians. She doesn’t want any harm to come to the Jewish settlers, but shows the unfairness that the Palestinians are enduring.

“As a Palestinian I am not against the state of Israel, nor am I against Israelis being there. But I’m against taking people’s land and taking over what belongs to other people,” Mughannam said.

North Coast Coalition for Palestine speaker Lois Pearlman is a Jewish woman herself and clarified many details in her talk.Pearlman explained Judaism as a religion and Zionism to be what created Israel.

Pearlman has been to Israel and Palestine to see for herself the situation and says that she indeed felt connected to the land when visiting historic cemeteries and other landmarks but still says that God didn’t give Israel to Jews. 

“I even think that people who have moved there recently shouldn’t be pushed out. I’m not sure how to get here but I believe the only solution I see is for there to be a country where everyone has equal rights,” said Pearlman.

Third Party advocate Cobb explained that the formula for systemic change consists of a social movement and secondly, an electoral arm at the ballot box. Currently third parties have no strength at the ballot box but Cob is optimistic about the green party.

The Green Party receives zero corporate money and it stands for proportional representation Cobb said. The lack of funds is one of the differences between the Green Party and its larger competing parties. Corporate funding to a political party creates an influential problem that both the Republican and Democratic party are involved in Cobb explained further. 

Cobb’s opinion is that if any conducive or effective change is to take place about significant matters, like black lives matter, guaranteed living wage and environmental consciousness, then one must be courageous and get involved in alternative political parties

“I’m a Green Party member not out of idealism, but out of calculated strategy,” Cobb said.