Keynote Speaker - Diana Buttu, a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer, negotiator, and analyst coming to Fort Wayne from Ramallah.
Diana Buttu is a Ramallah-based analyst, former legal advisor to Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian negotiators, and Policy Advisor to Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.
One of the founding members of the joint Palestinian-Israeli One Democratic State Campaign, she has also been a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
After earning a law degree from Queen's University in Canada and a Masters of Law from Stanford University, Buttu moved to Palestine in 2000. Shortly after her arrival, the second Intifada began and she took a position with the Negotiations Support Unit of the PLO.
"I had mixed feelings about negotiating," Buttu says. "There is a structural problem when Palestinians negotiate with Israelis. It's like negotiating with a gun to your head; where the people under occupation have to negotiate their own release."
Her media work angered Israel's supporters and cost her her NSU job, but Buttu continues to speak out, working with journalists with the Institute for Middle East Understanding. She lives in Ramallah and teaches at Birzeit University.
Buttu believes someday freedom and equal rights will come to the Palestinians. "I think this absurdity is going to lead to a real awakening and people will eventually hang their heads and say, 'What were we thinking?' I hope justice comes sooner rather than later."
This celebration will include a silent auction and, heavy hors d'oeuvres.
Registration information coming soon!
Watch Here: Al Velshi’s 6½ minute interview with Diana Buttu from MSNBC (March 11, 2023)