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“After Netanyahu Speech, Congress Is Officially High School.” So claimed Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi in response to the Israeli Prime Minister being invited by Speaker of the House John Boehner to address the U.S. Congress March 3.

What was really going on in this event — just weeks before the Israeli elections and one week before 47 U. S. Senators inserted themselves into delicate diplomatic negotiations with Iran? All of the issues in the entire Middle East — including debates about a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine and how to respond to ISIS — create an interlocking system. As complex as it all is, we’ll try to sort it out this Sunday at 10:15 in the Rector’s Forum.

To assist us in that important work we are deeply grateful to welcome our Forum speaker Ron Young — Consultant for the National Interreligious Initiative for Peace. Ron is a trusted bridge-builder among Jews, Christians, and Muslims and his years of experience working for Middle East peace — both in the region and in the United States — have equipped him to provide analysis and guidance to grassroots peace-making groups: especially those seeking interreligious partners in their endeavors.

Ron will help us consider these and other compelling questions: What are the causes of ISIS and how can the US contribute to countering extremism? What outcome can we hope for with current negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program at a very sensitive stage? And how have those negotiations been dangerously put at risk by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent visit to Congress and by this week’s letter to Iran from 47 Republican senators? With Israeli-Palestinian relations at a new low point, should the US risk another attempt to achieve peace? What should the United States do?

If you can’t be with us in person, please join our growing online community and watch our live video stream of the Rector’s Forum at 10:15 a.m. and the 11:15 a.m. service.

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