(CHICAGO, IL, 10/15/09) CAIR-Chicago along with a coalition of Palestinian, Muslim, and human rights groups are opposing the University of Chicago’s invitation of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to speak today, Thursday, Oct. 15th. Despite an abysmal record on human rights, he has been invited by the University’s Harris School of Public Policy, as a leader with a vision of “achieving prosperity through peace.” The school is largely funded by grant money supplied by King Abdullah II of Jordan.
A protest will take place outside the hall where Olmert’s speech will begin at 3:30. Leaders of the coalition will begin the press conference at 4:00. Speakers at the press conference will include CAIR-Chicago’s Civil Rights Director, Christina Abraham, Chairman of American Muslims for Palestine-Chicago, Awad Hamdan, President of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee –Chicago, Fadi Zanayed, and Palestinian-American journalist and author, Ali Abunimeh.
WHAT: Press Conference Opposing the Invitation of Ehud Olmert
WHERE: University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th Street, Chicago (Hyde Park)
WHEN: TODAY, Thursday, October 15th, at 4:00 PM
Speakers will be questioning why such a respected institution as the University of Chicago would invite someone who has violated international law and has been indicted for corruption. Olmert was the Prime Minister of Israeli during the January 2009 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, in which, according to the Goldstone Report, Israel is guilty of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. Mr. Olmert is also facing legal battles at home. In August he was indicted by Israeli authorities on corruption, fraud, breach of trust and tax evasion charges. The indictment prompted his resignation as prime minister and head of the Kadima Party.
Sponsors Include: American Muslims for Palestine(AMP), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)-Chicago, Al-Awda, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)-Chicago, ANSWER, Arab Student Union at Moraine Valley, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) International Solidarity Movement (ISM), MAS Freedom Foundation, Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at DePaul, University of Illinois Chicago, University of Chicago, and Northwestern University, United States Palestine Community Network (USPCN), and CAIR-Chicago.
CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil rights group, which has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: Amina Sharif, Communications Coordinator, CAIR-Chicago, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; 312.212.1520 or 630.935.5562; Christina Abraham, Civil Rights Director, CAIR-Chicago; 312.212.1520