Josh Ruebner
Josh Ruebner

Sunday, January 18, at 7:00 p.m., as part of the Mountaintop Film Festival, Josh Ruebner, author and political analyst, will speak at the Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield, Vermont.

Ruebner is National Advocacy Director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 400 groups working to end U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. He will speak specifically about the U.S. government's role in funding and providing cover for the occupation during the Obama years. He will conclude by suggesting things we can do as individuals, and in terms of communicating with the government, to end U.S. support for the occupation.

Ruebner has recently released a book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace. It is a hard-hitting investigation that charts Obama's journey from optimism to frustration in Middle East diplomacy and explains why the president failed to make progress on the critical issue of Israel-Palestine. He argues that Obama's unwillingness to challenge the Israel lobby has shattered hopes for peace. Before becoming Advocacy Director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Ruebner was a Middle East analyst for the Congressional Research Service.

Ruebner's talk will be prefaced by the showing of a short (25 min.) documentary film, My Neighborhood, to provide background on the current situation in East Jerusalem regarding Israeli property confiscations - a central component of the occupation. The film looks at these issues through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy whose home is confiscated by the military for settlers and the coalition of Jewish and Palestinian activists who try to assist his family to resist the confiscation. The trailer may be viewed at http://mountaintopfilmfestival.com/films.

Ruebner's talk and the film are jointly sponsored by the Mountaintop Film Festival, Green Mountain Global Forum, and Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel. The Mountaintop Film Festival is entering its 12th year, and commemorates the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., by showing films and leading discussions focused on national and international human rights issues. The 2015 schedule may be found at http://mountaintopfilmfestival.com/.

Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel works to support the survival of the Palestinian people and to end the Israeli occupation through education, advocacy, and action. For more information, go to http://www.vtjp.org/.

Venue: The Big Picture, 7 p.m. start. This is a free event and open to the public.