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Long Table Discussion: On the Situation in Israel/Palestine
19 October at 19:00 – 20:45 America/New_York/
October 19, 7:00 pm EST
In Person & Online (register for Zoom link)
Adair Auditorium, Atwater Library (4023 Tupper Street, Westmount, QC)
Revised Topic for Tonight’s Long Table Discussion:
“How are you feeling about the situation in Israel/Palestine?“
As we planned tonight’s event on what is a painful and complicated issue, we at QWF chose a specific question as a way into the topic.
We had a lot of feedback about the event. We want to say that all feedback was positively received and very beneficial to us.
We admit that we always knew that there is no ideal angle from which to approach this subject, but we also knew one other thing: the issue has to be discussed amongst us as writers. So let us consider tonight’s event a chance for those who want to, to express themselves in a public forum.
Please come with your feelings, your questions, and your point of view, or just come to listen. It is a safe space and there will be no “expert” who owns the truth.
All over the world, people of conscience are mourning the death and suffering of Israeli and Palestinian civilians. Many are hoping for a long-term, sustainable solution to the conflict. Our different backgrounds—familial, cultural, and educational—can lead to starkly contrasting and often passionate points of view that make it challenging to engage in productive conversation.
The Quebec Writers’ Federation invites our community to a discussion around a question we believe to be important, one that some of us may not yet have considered in depth:
“Is the media portrayal of Israel/Palestine skewed?” (Note: This question has been revised; see explanatory note at the top of the page.)
The format will be that of the Long Table (see explanation below). Our host—QWF President Tawhida Tanya Evanson—will explain the rules and then the conversation will follow its own course.
QWF’s organizational values include intellectually honest and respectful discourse, which we believe is even more critical when topics are difficult (like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict). It is our hope that this format will allow those who wish to speak an opportunity to do so in an environment free from fear and hate. We ask that all who attend listen deeply in a spirit of openness and mutual respect and try to understand and learn from one another.
- When: Thursday, October 19, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30)
- Where: The Adair Auditorium at the Atwater Library and Computer Center (4023 Tupper Street, Westmount, QC)
The venue is wheelchair accessible via a ramp from the Tupper Street side. See our accessibility policy for details.
The discussion will last from 7:00 to 8:15, after which light refreshments will be served until 8:45.
The discussion will be live-streamed, but to participate, you must attend in person.
To attend online: Fill out the “RSVP” form at the bottom of this page. You will receive the link to the Zoom meeting the day before the event. RSVPs will close at 5:00 pm EST on October 19.
You do not need to RSVP if you plan to attend in person.
About the Long Table Format
Conceived in 2003 by Lois Weaver in response to the divided nature of conventional panel discussions, the Long Table allows voices to be heard equally, disrupting hierarchical notions of expertise. A long table with 12 chairs is set up for those who wish to share their thoughts on the central question, one at a time. Interruptions are not permitted.
Those who prefer to simply listen are invited to sit in the auditorium chairs and do so; if they have a thought they want to share, they may at any time get up and tap someone at the table and take their seat.
Long Table Etiquette:
- The long table is a performance of a dinner party conversation
- Anyone seated at the table is a guest performer
- Anything is on the menu
- Talk is the only course
- No hostess will assist you
- It is a democracy
- To participate simply take an empty seat at the table
- If the table is full you can request a seat
- If you leave the table you can come back again and again
- Feel free to write your comments on the tablecloth
- There can be silence
- There might be awkwardness
- There is an end but no conclusion
Note: RSVPs close at 5:00 pm EST on October 19. To get the Zoom link after 5:00 pm, contact John Wickham at [email protected].