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Anna Baltzer

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Anna Baltzer
AnnaBaltzer lecture.jpg
Baltzer at Columbia University, New York in 2008
Born 1979 (age 37–38)
Nationality American
Alma mater Columbia University
Occupation Public speaker
Known for pro-Palestinian activism
Website www.annainthemiddleeast.com

Anna Baltzer (born 1979) is a Jewish-American public speaker, author and activist for Palestinian human rights.[1]


Noam Chomsky's review of Baltzer's book statement

After graduating from Columbia, Baltzer traveled to the Middle East in 2003 on a Fulbright grant to teach English in Ankara, Turkey.[2] Since then, she has traveled to the West Bank as a volunteer for the International Women's Peace Service to document human rights abuses and support nonviolent resistance. Her publications have documented Palestinian living conditions while on assignment in the West Bank for the International Women's Peace Service.[3]

Since the summer of 2005, she has been touring around the United States and abroad with a presentation and has written a book (Witness in Palestine) describing her experiences, observations, and photographs from eight months of documenting human rights violations in the West Bank. Noam Chomsky's review of Baltzer's book states, "Even those who are familiar with the grim reality of the occupied territories will quickly be drawn into a world they had barely imagined by these vivid, searingly honest, intensely acute portrayals",[better source needed] while Tanya Reinhart author of "Roadmap to Nowhere" call it "Moving and vivid."[citation needed] Mark Chmiel, teacher at St. Louis University and Webster University and author of "Elie Wiesel and the Politics of Moral Leadership",[4] has also written about Baltzer's book.[5]

On October 28, 2009, Baltzer was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, alongside Mustafa Barghouti.[6]

Anna has spoken at over 500 locations [1] and has a presentation titled, "Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories & Photos". Her presentation provides people with ideas to what they can do to join her and additionally she discusses, settlements, the Wall, censorship, the 1948 Nakba, Palestinian refugees, Gaza, Israeli activism, Palestinian-led nonviolent resistance movement, and other things as well. She states that the reason she presents is because she wants to provide necessary information to those interested in the Israel/Palestine conflict with critical information since many times it is difficult to obtain this from mainstream media sources. Her presentation can be found on her website.[1]

Political activism

Baltzer's activism centers around nonviolent protests, as well as providing documented information to those interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the purpose of education and encouraging dialogue towards taking action on the issues. She claims that critical information doesn't show up in the United States mainstream media.[7] According to Balzter's own account, when she first went to Israel on a free birthright trip in January 2000, she saw "a beautiful picture of Israel" but nothing of what was happening to Palestinians. "A Jewish student-life coordinator at Hillel, called the SJP event very well organized and well attended. It seemed very non-threatening and very non-violent. (Speaker) Baltzer made an extra special point that just because she was anti-Israeli policy, it doesn’t mean she is anti-Jewish."[8]


Baltzer has over 29 published articles online, and additionally has both letters and articles published in: The Wall Street Journal, The Exponent, If Americans Knew, United Civilians for Peace (Melbourne, Australia), Information Clearing House, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Des Moines Register, Leaf Chronicle, Washington Times,[9]

In April 2007, Baltzer wrote a piece called Whose Responsibility? [10] in this article she writes that while internationally people place blame on the Palestinian authority for the flooding that caused five people to drown to death and left many more injured and missing, they are only part of the problem. She stated that per the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, the reason the cesspool collapsed was because of project delays by the Israeli Defense Forces. Her article also states that while Israel had said they would be withdrawing from Gaza, they have not and gives several examples as to why she thinks that Gaza is under the control of Israel and imprisoned by them. Additionally, In May 2007, she wrote an article titled "Dedicated and resilient women on both sides of the Green Line" [11] In this article she writes about the struggles that people who live in Palestine face. One of the examples that she presents is that of her friend Fatima Khaldi. She talks about Fatima's hardships growing up with a physical handicap and without a father, and tells us how despite her incredibly difficult life she became an activist who founded Women for Life" (WFL),[12] and is empowering other women like her. In an article published in September 2008, Baltzer wrote an article titled "Where are the American voices"?.[13] In this publication, she states that America has openly condemned illegal settlements, and yet they continue to provide Israel with 10 million dollars a day. She states that Israel gives money to their citizens if they live in settlements on Palestinian land, and that money comes from American tax dollars.


Baltzer, was given the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee's [1][14] prestigious Annual Rachel Corrie Peace & Justice Award [1][15] In addition, she was given a Certificate of Commendation from the Governor of Wisconsin in 2009.[1]

In 2011, she received the Inspiration for Hope Award from the American Friends Service Committee, along with author and Pulitzer Prize Winner Alice Walker and Palestinian-American student activist Sami Kishawi.[16]

Further reading

  • Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories (Updated & revised ed.), Anna Baltzer, Paradigm Publishers, 2007, paperback, 400 pp.[17]
  • "Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories & Photos", Matt Quinn (journalist for Citizens for Justice in the Middle East) on Anna Baltzer.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "About Anna Baltzer". AnnaInTheMiddleEast.com. 
  2. ^ "Peacemaking Workshop explores Mideast conflict". Journalstar.com. 2009-04-01. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  3. ^ Lawrence Davidson (2007-10-10). "Caliber - Journal of Palestine Studies - 36(4):112 - Citation". Caliber.ucpress.net. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  4. ^ "Mission". ctsastl.org. 
  5. ^ "Caliber - Journal of Palestine Studies - 36(4):i - Citation". Caliber.ucpress.net. 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  6. ^ "Video: Exclusive - Anna Baltzer & Mustafa Barghouti Extended Interview Pt. 1 | The Daily Show | Comedy Central". The Daily Show. 2009-10-28. Archived from the original on 9 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  7. ^ Michael Nuñez. "Speaker addresses Palestinian-Israeli conflict". Columbia Missourian. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  8. ^ "Archives > News > Local > Pro-palestinian group at Case hosts 1st event". Cleveland Jewish News. 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  9. ^ "A Witness In Palestine: Anna Baltzer, Jewish-American Activist". annainthemiddleeast.com. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  10. ^ "Whose Responsibility? By Anna Baltzer". www.countercurrents.org. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  11. ^ "Dedicated and resilient women on both sides of the Green Line by Anna Balzer - Common Ground News Service". www.commongroundnews.org. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  12. ^ "women for life | Anna Lindh Foundation". www.annalindhfoundation.org. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  13. ^ "Where are the American Voices?". OpEdNews. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  14. ^ "ADC | American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee". www.adc.org. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  15. ^ "The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice". The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  16. ^ "Sami Kishawi". Sixteen Minutes to Palestine. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  17. ^ Witness in Palestine: journal of a ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  18. ^ "Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories and Photos (2005)". CJME. 2009-08-31. Archived from the original on 26 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 

External links