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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Israel and the Muddle East Update
Peter J. Haas, Ph.D. - Abba Hillel Silver Professor of Jewish Studies, Department of Religious Studies at Case Western Reserve University
Friday August 28, 2015
12:30-1:30 p.m.

Alternate Location: Room LL06 on the Lower Level of the Library
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

I hope you all had an excellent, restful, relaxing, and/or productive and certainly healthy Summer. There is almost a month further to go, but Case Western Reserve University does not adhere strictly to the calendar when it begins "Fall" semester, so classes begin on August 24. And that means the Friday Public Affairs Discussion Group resumes on August 28.

I hope we have put together an attractive set of topics and speakers for the Fall semester. Of course events always mean one or two changes are necessary, and we have a whole "Spring" semester to schedule. So I am always interested in hearing ideas for potential speakers and topics. Please pass them along by e-mail to, or in conversation at the discussions.

Back in March, Professor Haas was kind enough to join us for a discussion about the possible aftermath of the Israeli election. After his election victory, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent six weeks working to put together a new governing coalition, finally settling on May 6 for a bare majority group with 61 seats, combining right-wing and religious parties. Now the news is dominated by the Israelis' efforts to get the U.S. Congress to reject the nuclear arms control agreement between Iran and six countries, including the Obama administration. But that has been joined by incidents of Jewish religious terrorism against Arabs; the stabbing at the Jerusalem gay pride parade; the Israeli government's responses to these attacks; fears of a new intifada; further controversy about settlements; claims that ISIS has appeared on the West Bank; and more misery in and controversy about Gaza.

So please join us as Professor Haas reviews events and we discuss what might happen next.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Peter Haas received his Bachelor of Arts in ancient Near East history from the University of Michigan in 1970, after which he attended Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, receiving ordination as a Reform rabbi in 1974. After ordination, he served as an active U.S. Army chaplain for three years and then remained in the Army National Guard for another 19 years.

Upon completion of active duty, Rabbi Haas enrolled in the graduate program in religion at Brown University, earning a Ph.D. in Jewish studies in 1980. He joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 1980, where he taught courses in Judaism, Jewish ethics, the Holocaust, Western religion, and the Middle East Conflict.

Dr. Haas moved to Case Western Reserve University in 2000 and was appointed chair of the Department or Religious Studies in 2003. During this time he also was a visiting professor at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago, Ill.

Professor Haas has published several books and articles dealing with moral discourse and with Jewish and Christian thought after the Holocaust. He has continued to teach courses on Western Religion (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and on the religious, historical and social context of the current Middle East crises. He has lectured in the United States, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Israel. His most recent book is on human rights in Judaism.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. For a few weeks construction on East Boulevard will block northbound traffic to the Severance garage. So if you are coming from Euclid Ave, please turn north at Ford Drive, then left at Bellflower and left from Bellflower onto East Boulevard, heading south. From the Severance lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can also get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

September 4: The Supreme Court: Looking Back & Looking Ahead. With Jonathan Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director, Center for Business Law and Regulation, and Jonathan Entin, Professor of Law and Political Science.

September 11: The United States Since 9/11. A panel discussion with Michael W. Clune, Professor of English; Pete Moore, Marcus A. Hanna Associate Professor of Political Science; and Joe White, Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy.

September 18: The New Wave of Abortion Restrictions. With B. Jessie Hill, Judge Ben C. Green Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

September 25: What's Happening in Lake Erie? With Gerald Matisoff, Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences.

October 2: Moving Towards Health Care Justice: Navigating the ACA and Beyond. With Rachel Rosen DeGolia, Director, Universal Health Care Action Network and Health Benefits Exchange navigator.

October 9: China’s Aging Population: Policy Decisions and Program Challenges. With M.C. “Terry” Hokenstad, Distinguished University Professor and Ralph S. and Dorothy P. Schmitt Professor, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. ***Alternate Location: Mather House Room 100***

October 16: The Issues About Issue 3, The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative. With Mark Naymik, Columnist, The Plain Dealer.

October 23: Energy, Climate, and the Historian's View of the Future. With Peter A. Shulman, Associate Professor of History.

October 30: From "9 to 5" to What? New Work Patterns and Their Implications. With Jenny Rae Hawkins, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics.

November 6: A Year Away from the 2016 Election…. With Paul Herrnson, Professor of Political Science, University of Connecticut.

November 13: Why Virtual Schools are Growing So Fast, and What it Might Mean for the Future of Public Education. With Peter Robertson, Senior Vice President of School Operations, Connections Education.

November 20: Integrating the Inner City Through Mixed-Income Development. With Mark Joseph, Associate Professor at MSASS and Director, National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities; Taryn Gross, Project Coordinator for the Initiative, and Emily Miller, Project Associate for the Initiative. Co-sponsored with the Schubert Center for Child Studies. ***Alternate Location: Mandel Community Studies Center Room 115, 11402 Bellflower Road***

November 27: Thanksgiving Break

December 4: Making Clean Energy Work. With Walter Money, Whole House Energy Solutions.

August 24, 2015

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Upcoming Events

Sexual Misconduct on College Campuses: Justice and Due Process

A discussion with Cynthia Grant Bowman, Ph.D., J.D., Dorothea S. Clarke Professor of Law, Cornell University Law School and Howard Kallem, J.D., Director of Title IX Compliance, Duke University.

Wednesday September 16, 2015, 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Moot Courtroom, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106-1769. Sponsored by the Office of the President, Office of Government and Community Relations, Department of Political Science, Center for Policy Studies, and School of Law. A reception will follow at The Law School.

Our annual Constitution Day program addresses one of the most controversial issues on university campuses. In response to many reports that universities did little to help victims of sexual assault on campus and to sanction perpetrators, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights in 2011 established new standards for how universities should respond to complaints. The Department has made making college campuses safer through this effort a major priority. As of August of this year, the OCR had 129 outstanding investigations, having already settled others. But the effort has been challenged by faculty who say universities' new policies manifestly abuse standards of due process. The critics have included some of the best-known legal scholars of women's issues in the country.

Join us as a prominent participant in the enforcement effort and a prominent critic discuss the issues, responding to questions from a panel of CWRU students.

The Revenge of the Nerds, and Other Dispatches from the Intellectual Property Wars

A Global Currents Lecture Discussion with Susan K. Sell, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, The George Washington University.

Monday October 5, 2015, 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Case Western Reserve University, Tinkham Veale University Center, Senior Classroom A, 11038 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH. This program is made possible by the generosity of Ms. Eloise Briskin and sponsored by the Center for Policy Studies.

In the 1980s the United States government made negotiation and enforcement of strong “intellectual property” rights one of the guiding principles of its foreign policy. It was backed by major corporations and in many cases governments from developed nations. One stage was the 1994 Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), but TRIPS, as Susan Sell argues, in retrospect was only a step in a much more extensive series of restrictions that have been achieved in a series of forums since.

Yet this campaign has met major setbacks. In 2001 the WTO Doha Declaration underscored countries’ rights to put public health before patents. In 2012, legislation to restrict downloading, streaming, and file-sharing on the internet was breezing through Congress, until it was suddenly swamped by a tidal wave of net-based protest.

The newest battle in the now nearly Thirty-Years War about intellectual property involves the Trans-Pacific Partnership. What might we learn from the past about what could happen next? To help us understand the battle and the war, we will be joined by Professor Susan Sell, one of the leading scholars of the conflict.

August 2015







































About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

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