Events include in-person or internet conferencing presentations by Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli activists, artists, journalists or scholars, poets, musicians, American imams, rabbis or pastors, documentary films, concerts, photography or art exhibits, etc., with Q & A.

To invite Common Ground to host an event, please contact Exec. Dir. —– (——-) or Rains Rouner (

November 2016

First Baptist Church, Jamaica Plain, MA: Ayman Nijim, Child Trauma Recovery Specialist, will discuss the Gaza siege and humanitarian crisis, “conflict transformation” in Palestine/Israel, the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” and the need for a one-democratic-state solution w/ equal rights for all — .

March 2016

First Baptist Church, Jamaica Plain, MA: Ayman Nijim, Founder of the Gaza program Let the Children Play and Heal , and Dr. Jeff Halper, Co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, discuss the urgent need for a political “end-game” to establish one secular, democratic, culturally binational state in Palestine/Israel. —  Facebook Event 

October 2015

First Baptist Church, Jamaica Plain, MA: Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh discusses Palestine: A Key to Peace in Western Asia. Dr. Qumsiyeh is a Palestinian human rights activist , author , scientist and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History . His lecture will address the current upheaval throughout Palestine/Israel and consider its global ramifications . “Sadly, civilians suffer for US/Israeli policies of destabilization and mayhem. My view is that Palestine will remain an Achilles heel of western hypocrisy, and the key to conflict generation in Western Asia. Our freedom will be a key to regional and global stability.” — Facebook Event

October 2015

Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, Palestine Solidarity Committee: Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor at Bethlehem University and Founder of the Palestine Museum of Natural History discusses Palestine: A Key to Peace in Western Asia.

February 2015

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Palestine Solidarity Committee: Building a Binational, Secular, Democratic State in Israel/Palestine  ( — Co-Sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace Boston).
Join Palestinian political economist Professor Leila Farsakh, co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Dr. Jeff Halper, and Tuft’s Lecturer in Peace and Justice Studies Sa’ed Atshan, for a panel discussion on how to build a secular, democratic state in Israel/Palestine. Professor Farsakh and Sa’ed Atshan will discuss the issue from a Palestinian perspective, while Dr. Halper will speak to how different Israelis view such an initiative.

February 2015

First Baptist Church, Jamaica Plain, MA: Discussion with Jeff Halper, Co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions ( ). Dr. Jeff Halper will lead a discussion around building a binational, secular, democratic state in Israel/Palestine. Dr. Jeff Halper has been a peace and human rights activist for more than three decades. In 1997, Halper co-founded the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD) to challenge and resist the Israeli policy of demolishing Palestinian homes. As the Coordinating Director of ICAHD, Dr. Halper has organized and led nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience against Israel’s occupation policies and authorities. He has put his own personal safety on the line, facing bulldozers in front of Palestinian homes and confronting Israeli soldiers. He also organizes Israelis, Palestinians, and internationals to help rebuild demolished Palestinian homes.

February 2015

Northeastern University, Boston, MA, Students for Justice in Palestine: Forward Together ( ). Please join us as we welcome three panelists to Northeastern to discuss how Israelis and Palestinians can work together to create a future of justice, peace, equality and liberation. Jeff Halper is an Israeli anthropologist, author, and activist. He co-founded the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions to challenge and resist the Israeli policy of demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Gaza. Halper has written extensively in support of non-violent strategies to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sa’ed Atshan is a Palestinian anthropologist, author and activist. He has been a lecturer in Peace and Justice Studies at Tufts University for five years and is currently a fellow in International Studies at Brown University. Atshan is also a member of Al-Qaws, an organization promoting LGBTQ rights for Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Leila Farsakh is a Palestinian Political Economist who teaches at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and is a research affiliate at MIT. Farsakh is the Project Co-Director for Jerusalem 2050, a problem-solving project jointly sponsored by MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Center for International Studies. She has written extensively on issues related to the Palestinian economy and the Oslo peace process, international migration and regional integration.

October 2014
Boston, MA protest of Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) — Imam Abdullah Faaruuq of Masjid Alhumdulillah in Roxbury, MA and Israeli refusenik Danielle Yaor address activists from Boston4Palestine, Youth Against Mass Incarceration, Jewish Voice for Peace and other groups picketing a fundraiser for the “non-profit” Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, exposing Israeli military war crimes and calling out FIDF for their support: The IDF is No Friend of Mine . “I speak to you not as a Muslim or as an African-American but as a human being,” Imam Faaruuq said. “What Israel is doing to the people of Gaza is inhuman!”

The IDF is one of the world’s best financed armies, responsible for the slaughter of thousands of innocent Palestinians, most recently massacring over 2,000 men, women, and children in the world’s largest open-air prison, Gaza. FIDF materially supports this slaughter, sending thousands of dollars to Israeli soldiers and sponsoring trips for Americans to visit Israeli bases.
As the U.S. begins its newest stage of the endless ‘War on Terror’ in Syria and Iraq and draws on Islamophobia to justify its newest campaigns, it is important the Palestine solidarity movement takes this opportunity to demonstrate that Boston (and the rest of the world) stands with Palestine and all oppressed peoples — from Ferguson, U.S.A. to Israel, Gaza, the West Bank and beyond — and opposes racism, discrimination, imperialism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in every form.

March 2014

Lowell House JCR, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA — A conversation with Rabbi Arik Ascherman (President & Senior Rabbi of Rabbis for Human Rights) and Zacharia Sadeh (RHR field coordinator in the West Bank) on RHR’s legal and activist work in cooperation with Palestinian communites and NGOs to stop Israeli settler “Price Tag” violence against Palestinians, Israeli military demolition of Palestinian homes, denial of Palestinian building permits, detention of Palestinian children without charge, denial of access to Palestinian farmland, olive groves, orchards, etc. and RHR’s ongoing effort to uphold Palestinian civil rights.

March 2014

Harvard Hillel, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA — A talk by Rav Arik Ascherman on the activist work of Rabbis for Human Rights, which is based on a commitment to uphold prophetic Jewish values, contribute to Tikkun Olam (“the healing of the world”) and uphold equal civil rights for Jews and Palestinians inside Israel and Palestinian rights in areas of the West Bank where Israel holds control (Area C), including RHR’s legal advocacy, in partnership with Adalah, to stop Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian homes to displace the Bedouin community in the Negev (via the Begin/Prawer plan) and displace Palestinians in Area C — From Al-Araqib to Susiya . RHR has petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to restore Palestinian civil planning rights in Area C.

December 2009

St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, Boston, MA — Gaza: One Year Later, An Interfaith Response: “Not by Might, Nor By Power But By My Spirit…” Zechariah 4:6. Speakers included Rabbi Brain Walt (Co-Founder of Jewish Fast for Gaza and Director Emeritus of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America), Dr. Abdul Cader Asmal (President Emeritus of the Islamic Council of New England), Imam Abdullah Faaruuq (Imam for Masjid Al-Humdullilah, Roxbury MA), Reverend Ann Franklin (Pastor for Church of the Good Shepherd, Watertown, MA), Dr. Nancy Murray (ACLU and MA coordinator for the Gaza Freedom March) and Dr. Sarah Roy (Senior Research Scholar, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard).

April 2009

Peace Lutheran Church, Wayland MA — Introducing the American Medical Mission to Gaza. A conversation on valuing our common humanity in times of  crisis w/ Shaheen Akhtar (Founder of the Interfaith Book Club at the Islamic Center of Boston), Rev. Jeff Johnson (Pastor of Peace Lutheran Church) and community members. We discussed the courage of Palestinian Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish after his three daughters, who’d worked for peace w/ Israeli teens, were killed by Israeli tank shells mistakenly targeting his Gaza home: “We can live together. As human beings, we are more similar than different.” — Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, On Point w/ Tom Ashbrook, NPR, April 15, 2009 ( ).

December 2008

Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts, West Springfield, MA — Friday prayers followed by a fundraising luncheon and discussion of interfaith relations in the U.S. with Dr. Mohammad Bajwa (President of ISWM) and community members.August 2008Islamic Society of Boston, Cambridge, MA — “Working for human rights in Israel/Palestine,” an interfaith conversation with Rabbi Arik Ascherman (Director of Rabbis for Human Rights), Hossam Al-Jabri (President of the Muslim American Society/Boston) and ISB community members.April 2008Islamic Society of Boston, Cambridge, MA — Fundraiser for “American Interfaith Aid to Palestinians” with an international speakerphone address by Sari Sammour (Common Ground facilitator) in Jenin refugee camp, West Bank, Palestine followed by group discussion with Sheik Basyouny Nehela and ISB community members.March 2008Lent House Mass with Rev. Philip Jacobs (Pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church, Canton, MA) — Lent Homily on “Interdependence in Israel/Palestine,” with slideshow presentation of Palestinian life in occupied West Bank followed by group discussion.

October 2007

Palestine Awareness Day/Cambridge MA — An activist social event and speakout, with international speakerphone address by Sari Sammour (Common Ground facilitator) in Jenin refugee camp, West Bank, Palestine.August 2007Islamic Center of Boston — “Building Connections Between Self and Other in America and Israel/Palestine.” Fundraiser for “American Interfaith Aid to Palestinians” and an interfaith discussion w/ Rabbi Arik Ascherman (Director of Rabbis for Human Rights), Hossam Al-Jabri (President of the Muslim American Society/Boston), Rev. Raymond Helmick (Professor of Theology at Boston College and international peace negotiator) and Rev. Robert Neville (Professor of Theology and Dean Emeritus of Marsh Chapel at Boston University).

December 2006

Islamic Center of Boston, Wayland, MA — Fundraiser for “American Interfaith aid to Palestinians,” with a speakerphone address by Raed Abubadawia (Co-founder of Common Ground from Jenin camp, West Bank) in Paris, France.

October 2006

Harvard Arab Student Association — Conference on Palestine/Israel with Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh (author of Sharing the Land of Canaan ) and the Wheels of Justice tour, with an address by Dr. Qumsiyeh and also Rabbi Arik Ascherman (Director of Rabbis for Human Rights), who appeared via video conference from Jerusalem, Israel.

August 2002

St. Paul’s Cathedral, Boston, MA — Fundraiser for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, with addresses by Professor Jeff Halper and Salim Shawamreh on Israel’s “matrix of control” in the West Bank and policy of discrimination against Palestinians — e.g. expanding Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, Jewish-only roads in the West Bank, Israeli checkpoints limiting Palestinian freedom of movement, Israeli courts denying building permits to Palestinian families and businesses, IDF demolition of Palestinian homes (with American-made Caterpillar buldozers), etc. Dr. Halper declared: “Due to Israel’s expansionist identity, the Israeli matrix of control over the West Bank cannot be undone, but its controlling aspect can be eliminated.”

Iyad Burnat, Chair of Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Rains Rouner, President of Common Ground

Iyad Burnat, Co-founder of the Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee, and S. Rainsford Rouner, Co-Founder of Common Ground, March, 2016

Photos from One Year After the '08/'09 Israeli invasion of Gaza -- Operation Cast Lead -- An Interfaith Response: "Not By Might, Nor By Power But By My Spirit..." Zechariah 4:6, St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, Boston, MA, December 2009

"When MECA asked the children of Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza what they could do to help them, they responded that what they wanted more than anything was to have a clean glass of drinking water at school. Because of the Israeli occupation and the diversion of water to the settlements in the West Bank and Israel, the water table has been lowered to such an extent that the water in Gaza is almost undrinkable and causes disease."