ACTION ALERT: Pressure University of Chicago to Drop Olmert Speech

ehud olmertl

A coalition of Palestinian, Muslim, and human rights groups is outraged by news that the University of Chicago has invited former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to speak this Thursday, Oct. 15th. He has been invited by the University’s Harris School of Public Policy, which is using grant money supplied by King Abdullah II of Jordan to pay for the program.

Olmert was prime minister during the January 2009 Operation Cast Lead in which Israel Defense Forces killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and wounded more than 5,300. He was also prime minister when Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006, in which they used inaccurate cluster bombs, killed an estimated 1,000 civilians, and displaced half a million people. Olmert is also responsible for implementing the siege on Gaza, now well into its third year. The siege has plunged more than 80 percent of the population into abject poverty. More than 400,000 people have no access to clean drinking water, according to the United Nations. Ironically, the University of Chicago is bringing Olmert as a leader with a vision of “achieving prosperity through peace.”

Please come out to protest the event:

Israel is violating international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention in denying basic human and civil rights to the occupied people of Palestine. In light of the Goldstone Report, which found Israel guilty of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during Operation Cast Lead, the coalition denounces the Harris School’s unacceptable and reprehensible invitation to Olmert, who as leader of the Israeli Armed Forces is ultimately accountable for its human rights transgressions.

In addition to the protest, please take the following actions:

1. Call Colleen Peterson, director of external relations of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and demand she cancels the event because Olmert has been implicated in war crimes. Call her at 773.702.5641. E-mail her at

2. E-mail His Royal Highness King Abdullah II of Jordan and ask him to pressure the university to cancel the program, which is being paid for with his donation at and click on ‘feedback.’

3. Contact HRH Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, Jordanian ambassador to the United States at and politely ask him to ask King Abdullah to pressure the university to cancel this program. Call him at 202.966.2664, ext, 2. Please blind copy (bcc) Kristin Szremski, AMP director of media and communications, with each e-mail you send at

For more information and developments, go to AMP’s Web site at

Contact: Awad Hamdan Chairman, American Muslims for Palestine-Chicago, 773.951.2020 Amina Sharif, Communications Coordinator, CAIR-Chicago, E-Mail:, 312.212.1520