Kachemak Bay Campus to host panel on the Israel-Palestine conflict

The Kachemak Bay Campus of the University of Alaska will host a five-member open-format conversation about the Israel-Palestine conflict in Pioneer Hall on Friday, Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. The discussion will be moderated by Jeff Meyers, associate professor of history.

In a press release to the Homer News, the Kachemak Bay campus states that “the campus is committed to community engagement and education and hopes to help further understanding of this complicated conflict by facilitating a dialogue in our community guided by history and information from individuals who have studied and been personally involved in the history of these communities.”

Meyers teaches several history courses at the KBC campus, including history of the Middle East, history of the Soviet Union, the Roman Empire and the history of warfare. In the press release he states, “the organizers and I hope to add our perspectives on the history and events unfolding in the region in a way that leads our community to a better understanding of the conflict.”

Other members of the panel include Jason Davis, Shaddin Tirhi, Alex Koplin and Andy Haas. The press release provides background on how each member can contribute insight to the panel.

Davis spent nearly 30 years working in Israel and various Arabic-speaking countries. He served in the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv where he had the opportunity to meet with Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu. Davis also served as political chief at the United States Consulate in Jerusalem where he met with Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat and his top advisors. Following his 2020 retirement from the U.S. Department of State, Davis has run his business, the Sweetgale Meadworks & Cider House, as a winemaker in Homer.

Shaddin Tirhi comes to the panel with a personal composition regarding traumatic stress disorder in Palestinian youth living under occupation and is working on another collection of accounts of current and historical events in the region.

Long-time Homer resident and teacher Alex Koplin is a reformed Jew, originally from a suburb outside of Chicago.

Attorney Andy Haas been in Homer for 30 years and has a master’s in law from Oxford University in international human rights and has practiced in Armenia, Ethiopia and India.

Tim Steinberg has recently returned from the conflict zone where he worked as a cook.

The event will take place in the two large classrooms on the second floor of the main campus building.

Meyers expects to see substantial turnout. Screens will also be available in the main student lounge area of the second floor.

The event will not be posted on Zoom. Anyone wishing to attend is welcome.