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Israeli grassroots activist to speak

Former Israeli Defense Forces soldier and grassroots activist Micah Kurz will host a discussion today about grassroots organizations in Jerusalem.

The Coalition for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, a UNM student organization, organized Kurz’s lecture, which will take place at the SUB.

Kurz said the discussion will focus on his work to map out the many local organizations in Jerusalem. He said his organization, Grassroots Jerusalem, is creating a network with the various groups.

“There are a bunch of different grassroots organizations in Jerusalem,” he said. “They all work creating a civil foundation for society.”

The groups are nonpartisan and provide help wherever they can, Kurz said.

“Where there’s a humanitarian need, they take care of it without paying attention to religion,” he said.

Guida Leicester, co-chairwoman of the CPJME, said Kurz will speak about how UNM students can help bring peace to the Middle East.

“(He will cover) the most effective ways we UNM students can directly network … to encourage human rights, justice, nonviolent communication and social and environmental stability,” Leicester said.

Kurz said his talk should encourage UNM students to take part in grassroots activism. He said American students on exchange programs in Jerusalem are also helping with his project.

CPJME co-chairman Elvis Recinos said Israelis aren’t the only ones to blame in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. He said that after serving for IDF, Kurz offers a well-rounded perspective on the centuries-old fight.

“Clearly, (the Palestinians) have done plenty of wrongdoing,” Recinos said. “What we’re seeking for is justice for both sides.”

Recinos said the speech will emphasize the human element on both sides of the conflict.

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“We’re trying to make this as nonpartisan as possible, showing the reality of the situation,” he said. “It’s not just the plight of the Palestinians, or the plight of the Israelis, it’s the plight of humanity.”

*Micah Kurz, former Israeli Defense Forces soldier and grassroots activist
Fiesta Rooms A & B in the SUB
12-2:30 p.m.*


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