Gambier — Longtime Middle East scholar Phyllis Bennis, a critic
of U.S. policies on the region who works for a think tank that promotes
peace, will give a talk Tuesday, Oct. 20, at Kenyon College titled
“Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror.”
Bennis, a regular political commentator and a fellow with the
Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., is expected to discuss
the Syrian refugee crisis and its relation to ISIS at the 7 p.m. speech
open to the public in the auditorium of Higley Hall, 202 N. College
Promotions for her 2015 book by the same title say that she tries to
answer basic questions including, “What is ISIS?” “Why are they so
violent?” and “Can you really go to war against terror?”
Bennis, who has studied the Middle East for 30 years, is director of
the institute’s New Internationalism project to try to change what the
group says are failed U.S. policies on military action in Iraq and
Afghanistan and on Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. The
project also challenges what it sees as U.S. domination of the United
Professor of Religious Studies Vernon Schubel, whose teaching focuses
on Islam, said Bennis is an important scholar and thinker on the Middle
East. “We’re lucky to have someone of her caliber here to speak on this
issue,” he said.
She has written and edited 11 books, including “Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.”
Student Quossay Alsattari, a senior, invited Bennis on behalf of the
Middle East Students Association after he interned for her this summer
doing policy analysis and advocacy work.
“I was constantly amazed by Phyllis' knowledge about the American
foreign policy, United Nations and Middle East politics,” he said.
“Also, I was very inspired by her commitment to anti-war movements and
challenging mainstream analysis of issues facing the Middle East.”
Bennis will take questions after her lecture, and a book signing will follow.
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