Michael Omer-Man, Israel and Palestine Research Director, and Adam Shapiro, Israel and Palestine Advocacy Director, will lead Program
Washington, D.C., January 31, 2022)- Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) is pleased to announce the launch of its Israel and Palestine program with the hiring of two new senior staff, Research Director Michael Omer-Man, and Advocacy Director Adam Shapiro.
DAWN's Israel and Palestine program will aim to reform U.S. policies that have enabled Israeli abuses of Palestinians by providing military and political support to Israel, expose Israeli culprits and American lobbyists who contribute to Israeli abuses, and formulate a new blueprint for democracy, equality, justice, and freedom for all peoples subject to Israeli sovereignty.
"Challenging U.S. support for Israeli abuses is central to our mission to ending our government's support of abusive governments in the Middle East and complicity in the violations of rights of millions across the region," Executive Director Sarah Leah Whitson said. "Our ambitious new program for Israel and Palestine will not only work to end America's shameful support for an apartheid government, but also work to develop a clear plan for how Israel can transition into a rights-respecting state."
DAWN launches its program with the hiring of two senior professionals with decades of experience working on Israel and Palestine matters and commitment to justice and human rights. As DAWN's Israel and Palestine Research Director, Michael Omer-Man will guide our on the ground research and investigations, and work to develop a new roadmap for an end to Israeli apartheid and occupation.
Previously, Omer-Man served for seven years as the editor-in-chief of +972 Magazine, an independent, online, non-profit magazine providing in-depth reporting and analysis in Israel and Palestine. Before joining +972, Omer-Man worked as an editor at The Jerusalem Post. In these roles, Omer-Man closely covered Israeli and Palestinian grassroots movements, civil society campaigns, as well as diplomatic and other efforts to strengthen accountability for Israeli abuses and the rule of law. He is regularly interviewed on these topics, and his analyses and reporting have been quoted by the BBC, Al Jazeera, Haaretz, The Daily Beast, NPR, and others.
"As a former high-level editor and journalist in premier publications covering Israel and Palestine, Michael brings a depth of experience and understanding of the issues, as well as a demonstrated and profound commitment to democracy and the rule of law," said Whitson.
"DAWN's two new hires — Michael Omer-Man as Research Director and Adam Shapiro as Advocacy Director – will go a long way to establishing DAWN's Israel and Palestine Program as an important actor in Washington demanding change in U.S. policies towards Israel and Palestine."
- Sarah Leah Whitson, DAWN's Executive Director
Adam Shapiro, a long-time human rights leader and filmmaker, joins DAWN as Israel and Palestine Advocacy Director, where he will be responsible for developing and leading DAWN's advocacy to end U.S. military and political support for Israel in light of its systematic and widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Previously, Shapiro served as Head of Communications and Visibility for the Ireland-based international human rights organization, Front Line Defenders.
An independent documentary filmmaker, Shapiro has also worked for Global Rights in Afghanistan and for Avaaz, organizing its initial support for activists in the Middle East during the 2011 uprisings. Shapiro's films include About Baghdad (2004), Darfur Diaries (2006), and Witness Bahrain (2014), and he co- authored Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival and La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico.
Shapiro also co-founded the International Solidarity Movement, to bring civilians from around the world together to resist nonviolently the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and was an organizer with the Free Gaza Movement. He is co-creator and co-editor of 'zine Cypher, a digital comics non-fiction magazine, that promotes human rights.
"A seasoned human rights advocate, Shapiro also brings to the position a breadth of grassroots experience, high-level advocacy and creativity in storytelling that will help expand the reach of and magnify DAWN's message."
"DAWN's two new hires — Michael Omer-Man as Research Director and Adam Shapiro as Advocacy Director – will go a long way to establishing DAWN's Israel and Palestine Program as an important actor in Washington demanding change in U.S. policies towards Israel and Palestine," Ms. Whitson said. "Together, Michael and Adam provide a strong backbone for DAWN's research and advocacy to promote equality and democratic rights for all peoples in Israel and Palestine."
DAWN, founded in 2018 by Jamal Khashoggi and board members Nihad Awad, Dr. Esam Omeish, and Asim Ghafoor, was relaunched in September 2020 under the leadership of its new Executive Director, Sarah Leah Whitson. DAWN is a nonprofit organization that promotes democracy, the rule of law, and human rights for all of the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa and advocates for U.S. policies that align with these goals.