Bates College presents discussion about Israel and Palestine


LEWISTON — An author, scholar and rabbi, Jay Michaelson will discuss optimum ways to discuss Israel and Palestine in campus settings at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, in a Bates College presentation at the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Ave.

Michaelson’s talk is titled “Multiple Narratives of Israel/Palestine: Or, Will Alan Dershowitz and Steven Salaita Ever Get Along?” Open to the public at no cost, the Zerby Lecture is sponsored by the Multifaith Chaplaincy at Bates.

At Bates, Michaelson will look at flashpoints of debate — around academic freedom, “pinkwashing” and the conflict in general — from the perspective of multiple narratives. Can American allies of Israel and/or Palestine understand the narratives of the “other side” in a way that advances conversations? What lessons can we bring from our own efforts at respectful dialogue?

Michaelson is a visiting scholar at Brown University, adjunct professor at Chicago Theological Seminary and director of the LGBT Global Rights Initiative at the Democracy Council.

His work has been featured on NPR, CNN and in The New York Times. He is a contributing editor to the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper and a weekly columnist for the Daily Beast. His influential article “How I’m Losing My Love for Israel” was the first major statement of the growing divide between American liberals and Israel. It won the Society for Professional Journalists award for opinion writing.

Michaelson is the author of five books and more than 300 articles on religion, sexuality, law and contemplative practice. His most recent book, “Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism and the Next Generation of Enlightenment,” was published in 2013 by North Atlantic.


His other books include “God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality” (Beacon Press, 2012) an Amazon best-seller and Lambda Literary Award finalist; “Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism” (Trumpeter, 2009); and “Another Word for Sky: Poems” (Lethe Press, 2007).

For more information, call 207-786-8272.