George Bisharat: Professor and commentator
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Born in 1954 in Topeka, Bisharat earned his B.A. from UC Berkeley, an M.A. from Georgetown University, graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, and earned a Ph.D. in anthropology and Middle East studies from Harvard University in 1987. Upon finishing school, Bisharat served as deputy Public Defender for San Francisco until assuming his current position at UC Hastings College of the Law in 1991.
Though he grew up surrounded by his father's extended Palestinian family, it was not until the 1967 war that Bisharat fully understood his Palestinian identity. "After 1967, my parents became outspoken in the community," he says. "Being a member of this family entailed being part of a bigger community. That was when I awakened to the sufferings of the Palestinian people."
Bisharat has spent extensive time in the Middle East, visiting Palestine for the first time in 1977. "It was an amazing experience in many ways," he says. "I visited my grandfather's home in Jerusalem and met the Jewish residents. I went to Akka, north of Haifa, which was a really sobering and rich experience because I got my first exposure to the plight of the Palestinian citizens of Israel."
In 1989, Bisharat's book Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule: Law and Disorder in the West Bank was published by the University of Texas Press. He has also been widely published in the opinion pages of papers such as the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Houston Chronicle, and San Francisco Chronicle. "In my writings, I try to bring a legal analysis to the issues and I'm a strong believer that respect for international law and human rights are the keys to finding a just and durable peace in the region."
Bisharat has also worked with the Palestinian Legislative Council to develop and reform its judiciary system and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Palestine Studies. Currently, he is working on a book on the legal aspects of a one state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Op-Eds by George Bisharat:
A double standard on academic freedom, The Baltimore Sun
Boycott movement targets Israel, San Francisco Chronicle
The mirage of the two-state solution, San Francisco Chronicle
The persistence of memory, San Francisco Chronicle
From personal experience, Houston Chronicle
Truth at last, Philadelphia Inquirer
Unilateral action by Israel spawns violence in Gaza, Baltimore Sun
Did Israel really need to savage the beauty of Beirut?, USA Today
Israel will harvest a future of violence and conflict with Lebanon, San Francisco Chronicle
What did Bush signal?, San Francisco Chronicle
Remembering the future, San Francisco Chronicle
They chose a government that will stand up for their rights, The Dallas Morning News
Aid to Israel is out of hand, Topeka Capital-Journal
Prosecuting other people's terrorists, San Diego Union-Tribune
New page in Israeli-Palestinian relations. Sharon - no negotiator, San Francisco Chronicle
Who caused the Palestinian Diaspora?, Sacramento Bee
In Arafat's aftermath, San Francisco Chronicle
Advance US - not Israel's - interests, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Rite of return to a Palestinian home, San Francisco Chronicle
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