[logo image - The Wall and the Gate Book Tour with Michael Sfard]

Book Reading and Discussion with Leading Human Rights Lawyer Michael Sfard

In conversation with Lara Friedman, President of Foundation for Middle East Peace

Opening remarks by Professor Herman Schwartz,
Founder of the U.S./Israel Civil Liberties Law Program

Sponsored by Metropolitan Books and the New Israel Fund

  In partnership with the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law
and the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University Washington College of Law,
Temple Sinai, Temple Micah, the Foundation for Middle East Peace,
Americans for Peace Now, and J Street DC Metro

Wednesday, January 31st
6:00 - 8:00 pm

 Book signing reception will follow the discussion. The book will be available for purchase.

American University Washington College of Law
Room NT01, Ceremonial Classroom
4300 Nebraska Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016


A farmer in the West Bank, cut off from his fields by Israel’s separation barrier, wants to petition the courts to build a gate in the wall. But while the gate would help the farmer harvest his crop, would it not also confer legitimacy on the wall itself? For Michael Sfard, pursuing justice means encountering such dilemmas on a daily basis.

This groundbreaking work examines the ethics and challenges of legal work for human rights. Recounting key cases and issues, Sfard lays bare the reality of the occupation and exposes its surreal legal structures. With emotional force and penetrating analysis, he offers both a moral reckoning with the occupation and a blueprint for a hopeful future.


Michael Sfard is one of Israel’s leading human rights lawyers. A former conscientious objector, he received the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award and an Open Society Fellowship. His writing on human rights has appeared in The New York Times, Haaretz, The Independent, and Foreign Policy. He lives in Tel Aviv.

Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Prior to coming to FMEP, Lara was the Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now, and before that she was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis and Beirut. Lara is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular focus on the Israeli-Arab conflict, settlements and Jerusalem, and on the role of the U.S. Congress. She frequently briefs Members of Congress, Administration officials, and others in the foreign policy/national security community, and is regularly published in the U.S. and Israeli press. Lara works closely with Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann and his NGO “Terrestrial Jerusalem,” participates in various Track II Israeli-Palestinian efforts, and is a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP). She holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and speaks French, Spanish, Arabic and (rather poor) Italian.


Metropolitan Books, established in 1995, publishes American and international fiction and nonfiction. With a mission to introduce unconventional, uncompromising and sometimes controversial voices, Metropolitan publishes titles in categories ranging from world history to American politics, foreign fiction to graphic novels, social science to current affairs. Barbara Ehrenreich, Atul Gawande, Susan Faludi, Joe Sacco, Noam Chomsky, Andrew Bacevich, and Thomas Frank are among the authors published by Metropolitan. Regardless of the writer, topic, or genre, Metropolitan strives to uphold its commitment to inquiry, diversity, and distinction.

The New Israel Fund is the leading organization advancing and defending democracy in Israel. Widely credited with building Israeli progressive civil society, NIF has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel since its inception in 1979. More about NIF here: www.nif.org

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