2016 touring and Invitation to host

California – Texas – Ohio . . . . tour from late April through late May 2016

Refusing to Be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation presentations include update on nonviolent resistance to the occupation and how “internationals” can help achieve a just peace in the region.  Overall cosponsors of the tour are the Canadian Friends Service Committee (quakerservice.org), Independent Jewish Voices (IJV)-Vancouver and IJV-Canada (ijvcanada.org).

Public events:

April 29, 7 – 9 a.m. Los Angeles, CA – Friday Forum at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd. Plus coffee and bagels to start off your morning! All are invited to join us from 7 to 9 am (yes that is AM)! Sponsor: ICUJP (Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace).

May 3, 7 – 9 p.m. – Los Angeles, CA – at The Markaz (formerly Levantine Center), 5998 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles (between Fairfax and La Cienega; park on street and basement of CVS across Pico from center)  Sponsors: LA Jews for Peace and The Markaz. The Markaz phone number is 310-657-5511. Donation requested: $10/$5 students.  RSVP and/or prepay donation at 323-413-2001.

May 7, 6:00 (vegetarian meal – donations accepted); 7 – 8:30 (presentation and QA)- Austin, TX – at the Friends Meeting House, 3701 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX  Hosted by the  Peace and Social Concerns Committee  of Friends Meeting of Austin, co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Austin. Contact:  Joanna, 217-417-4694

May 8, 10-10:50 am. Forum at Friends Meeting of Austin, 3701 East MLK Jr. Blvd Austin 

May 8, 7 – 9:00 pm – San Antonio, TX – at the Quaker Meetinghouse, 7052 N. Vandiver (at Eisenhower.)  Hosted by Friends Meeting of San Antonio, co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) San Antonio.  A reception will follow the presentation. Contact: Judith Norman, sanantonio@jvp.org

May 9, evening  – Live Oak Friends Meeting, Houston, TX  – 1318 West 26th St.

May 10, 7:00 pm – Bookwoman bookstore in Austin, TX , 5501 N Lamar Blvd, Ste A105, Austin, Texas  additional info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1682711461979660/

May 15, 7:00 pm- Englewood Friends Meeting, Clayton, OH

May 19, 7:30 pm – Albuquerque, NM – at the Albuquerque Friends Meetinghouse, 1600 5th St., NW. Sponsored by the Albuquerque Chapter of the United Nations Association (USA) and the Albuquerque Center for Peace and JusticeContact: Arthur Shurcliff: ashurcliff@icloud.com, Rosemary Blanchard: rblnchrd@emeritus.csus.edu .

May 28, 7:00 – 8:30 pm –  Olympia, WA at the Olympia Friends Meeting  (OFM) meeting house, 3201 Boston Harbor Rd.  Hosted by OFM, cosponsored by the Rachel Corrie Foundation.

May 29, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm – Tacoma, WA at the Tacoma Friends Meetinghouse, 2508 South 39th Street.


Invitation to host speaker on nonviolence in Palestine and Israel


If your organization or faith community is interested in hosting a presentation, please complete the form at the bottom of the “Information” page.  To find out what this involves, please read on.

Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, author of Refusing to be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation, is a Quaker Jew and a dual citizen of Canada and Israel, who describes herself as a “semi-retired activist” and occasional journalist.  She lived in Jerusalem for seven years (December ’88 – mid-October ’95), during which time she was very involved in activism of the sort described in her book; i.e., nonviolent actions by Israelis and Palestinians, separately and together, challenging the Israeli occupation. She has subsequently made eleven trips back to the region, most of these in connection with research for the book or to update the information for her presentations—most recently in September of 2014.

Despite the long history of nonviolent campaigns by Palestinians challenging both British and Zionist colonialism, culminating in the overwhelmingly nonviolent first intifada (1987-93) and the present struggle against the Israeli occupation, this aspect of the Palestinian resistance is vastly under-reported. In her interview-based book, Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta highlights both nonviolent resistance by Palestinians and Israelis to the Israeli occupation and ways in which US and other foreign citizens can support this resistance.  Her presentations expand on both of these foci.

Since the hardcover edition of Refusing to be Enemies first came out in early 2010, Kaufman-Lacusta has toured extensively in both Canada and the US. She also gave presentations in Jerusalem and Ramallah in April of 2011, and in the spring of 2012 (the second year of the paperback) spoke to some twenty groups in the UK and Ireland, including at Britain Yearly Meeting (Quakers).

Reviews of Refusing to be Enemies have appeared in a variety of print and on-line publications. Please see Appendix 2, below.

For more information about the book and to access most of the reviews, please refer to the “Information” page of https://refusingtobeenemiesthebook.wordpress.com, where you can also hear a radio interview by Mark Helpsmeet of Northern Spirit Radio from January 2014 and connect to a video interview by Eduardo Carli de Moraes done at the People’s Social Forum in Ottawa, ON in August of 2014.

Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta states:

Visiting Friends’ Meetings is a big part of what I do, but I also very much want to do presentations for the wider nonviolence and Palestine-solidarity communities (and beyond, where feasible).  I’m sometimes hosted by individual organizations or Quaker meetings, but what has seemed to work best is having a committee, preferably made up of folks from two or more groups working together.

Format of my presentations:

What I do most often is a public meeting with a PowerPoint presentation (this requires an appropriate projector or large-screen monitor with VGA cord) of approximately an hour (or shorter, if necessary, with prior notice) followed by QA, with books available for sale by one or more of my hosting organizations or by a local bookstore.  In addition, I’d be glad to meet informally with meeting or church groups, groups of activists, or students in relevant fields in or near the same towns (projector or large-screen monitor is not absolutely necessary for small groups around a table, although visibility is always improved by having one or the other).

Objectives of the tour:

The main objective of my presentations is to share information about nonviolent activism by Palestinians and Israelis, separately and together, in challenging the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land–as this is a much under-publicized aspect of the Palestinian struggle–as well as ways in which “Internationals” can support these efforts.  My other objective is to promote the book in a more personal way than just sending out emails and finding reviewers.

So it’s important to me that, as far as possible, at least one event in each city or town is one where copies of Refusing to be Enemies are available for sale.

Ordering books: The new North American distributor for this book is Consortium Books in Minneapolis. Since they offer a 50% author discount and free shipping to US addresses on orders for $100 US or more (i.e., 8 copies or more), host groups are asked to place your orders with me and I will order and pay for the books, on the understanding that I will be reimbursed my costs as books are sold. Those with tax-exempt status in a US state will be requested to fax or email a copy of their certificate to Consortium before I place their order so as to avoid paying state sales tax.  Unsold books may be returned (pay own shipping for that), although I am often willing to carry a few books with me to my next stop.  Shipping to Canada is not free, unfortunately, but the deeper discount offered by this new distributor will help keep the book relatively affordable.

Other costs: Minimal. I’m not looking to make a profit, but I also have no funding to cover expenses. So what I generally do is request billeting with local activists plus some help with local food and travel costs, averaged among the cities I visit.  Up to now this has come to between $25 and $50 per city, usually towards the lower end of that range.  Certainly an amount that is easily recoverable by requesting a small donation at the door (with excess retained by the hosting group or donated to a worthy cause in Palestine or Israel).

In solidarity and with thanks for your interest,

Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta

Appendix 1 – Past hosts and cosponsors:

The Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC – quakerservice.ca), on which I served for 12 years and am currently an associate member for Middle East projects and which gave me much support during my researching of this book, has given permission to be named as a cosponsor or endorser of any of my book-related events. My 2016 tour is also cosponsored by Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) – Vancouver and IJV-Canada (ijvcanada.ca).

Additional groups and organizations that have hosted or co-sponsored my public presentations up to now include: Several book stores and a variety of Quaker meetings, local branches of the American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International (including in Galway, Ireland), Project Ploughshares, the Council of Canadians, and Kairos-Canada;  Building Bridges-Vancouver, churches in the US and Canada (United Church of Canada, Mennonite, Unitarian, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and United Methodist),  Ahavat Olam progressive synagugue (Vancouver), the Islamic Centre of Niagara (Niagara Falls ON), Independent Jewish Voices-Canada, Jewish Voice for Peace (Detroit), Canadian Friends of Sabeel and Canadians, Arabs, and Jews for a Just Peace (Halifax), the Peace Studies Program at St. Thomas University (Fredericton, NB), Fredericton Jews for a Just Peace, Canadian Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salaam (Calgary), Scottish Jews for a Just Peace, the Scottish Palestinian Forum, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Justice for Palestinians (UK), Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign (BIAC), Gaza’s Ark, International Solidarity Movement – Vancouver (ISM – Vancouver), Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights – UBC (SPHR – UBC), the Southern Interior Peace Coalition (BC), the Human Rights Committee of the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Faculty Association,  TRU Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Law, the Friends International Center in Ramallah, the Rachel Corrie Foundation, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (Saltspring Island, BC), Church Women United and Women in Black (Eugene, OR), and various local peace and justice groups.

I have also been invited to speak to university classes in Canada (Waterloo, ON, Edmonton, AB, and Kamloops and Langley, BC), Ireland (Dublin and Limerick), and the US (Bellingham, WA), and have given presentations related to the book and/or related research at conferences of the Middle East Studies Association (MESANA.org – 2007), Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA PeaceJusticeStudies.org – 2010), Fellowship of Reconciliation (FORUSA.org 2011), Friends General Conference gathering (FGCquaker.org 2013), and at the People’s Social Forum in Ottawa (Aug 2014).

Appendix 2 – Reviews of Refusing to be Enemies

Reviews have appeared in a number of print and on-line publications and include review essays by Simona Sharoni in the Journal of Palestine Studies and by US Quaker scholars Steve Chase and Stephen Zunes in the online journal Nonviolent Change Journal and in Middle East Policy, respectively. There are also reviews in Canadian and US Quaker publications and in Outlook–Canada’s Progressive Jewish Magazine. A review by Quaker academic and Middle East activist Anthony (Tony) Bing appeared in the January 2013 issue of Peace and Change: A Journal of Peace Research.  A review by Judith Deutsch appears in the October 2014 edition of the Science for Peace online bulletin.

Outside of North America, Refusing to be Enemies has so far been reviewed in Palestine Chronicle (online), De Brug, a progressive Dutch-Jewish magazine, and in a Norwegian publication (unfortunately not available in English), and a July 2013 review by Rene Wadlow of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation appears on that organization’s website.

These may be accessed from the Reviews page of https://refusingtobeenemiesthebook.wordpress.com