Film Screening and Discussion with the Director: “Some of My Best Friends Are Zionists” (March 25, 7PM)

Directed by Bruce Robbins
March 25, 2016 | 7 PM
Martin E. Segal Theatre
The Graduate Center, CUNY

Some of My Best Friends are Zionist pdf

About the Film
How do people change their minds? On a subject like the Middle East, positions are so entrenched and feelings run so deep that it sometimes seems no change is possible. Yet, even in the heart of the American-Jewish community, there is more diversity of opinion than one might imagine from the statements ofthe official Jewish organizations or the reports of the mainstream media. Change appears to be happening. “Some of My Best Friends Are Zionists” interviews both young people like 11th grader Jesse Lieberfeld, who won the Martin Luther King Award in 2012 for an essay comparing uncritical support for Israel to the role played by segregationists in the white south, and notable Jewish artists and intellectuals like Tony Kushner, Judith Butler, James Schamus, and Gary Shteyngart, asking them what they were told about Israel as they were growing up, why that world view was as compelling as it was, and how they came to change their minds. The film is not about the history of the issue; it’s not a polemic for one political position or another. It’s about how people change their minds.

About the Director
Bruce Robbins is the Old Dominion Professor in the Humanities in Columbia University’s Department of English and Comparative Literature. In 2012 he published Perpetual War: Cosmopolitanism from the Viewpoint of Violence, a book of essays on figures including Anthony Appiah, Noam Chomsky, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Edward Said, framed by a discussion of the concept of cosmopolitanism and how it has developed over the past three decade.

Introduction: Oyku Tekten (English Department, The Graduate Center)
Moderator: Tony Alessandrini (Kingsborough Community College & The Graduate Center)

Screening Co-sponsors:
KAF Collective (Brooklyn/Istanbul/Tel Aviv)
Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (CUNY Graduate Center)
Middle Eastern Studies Organization (CUNY Graduate Center)
Critical Palestine Studies Association (CUNY Graduate Center)
The Center for Place, Culture, and Politics (CUNY Graduate Center)
The Committee on Globalization and Social Change (CUNY Graduate Center)
The Space Time Research Collective (CUNY Graduate Center)

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