Brendan Byers
Foreign Policy Intern


Brendan Byers is a second-year Masters student at Princeton Theological Seminary after having received his undergraduate in history from Appalachian State University.  His conjoined studies in history and theology allow for the sociopolitical developments within Palestine-Israel to be understood from both political and religious contexts.  Having lived in Palestine for a month of study, Brendan’s grasping of the intersections of society, history, religion, and geopolitics came to the fore.  His studies have included Islam’s role in post-colonial Arab nation-states, Christian liberation theologies involvement in anti-dictatorship movements within Peru and the rest of Latin American in the 1960s and 1970s, the evolving relationship between Christian and Jewish communities from Christianity’s inception through contemporary conflations of religio-political identities, and civil rights activism in American on racial and economic equality as well as same-sex marriage.  Living alongside the Separation/Annexation Wall for one month destroyed seeing these as separate, isolated, unrelated entities. 

ATFP’s model of mainstream advocacy for policy making within Washington, and its reimaging of Palestinian Americans posits a positive future, one where Palestinians and Israelis live their lives with dignity and security, and one where American government effectively stands against exclusive, oppressive policies.  With his present studies in religion, Brendan’s philosophical and theological understandings will add a dimension of accounting for identities predicated upon religious dogma.  

ATFP’s focus on human dignity and peace allows for a readdressing of nationalism within an American context as it extends to foreign policy, specifically in the US’s significant financial and military aid.  Within much of American political and religious discourse, Palestinian has become Other instead of part of Us.  Brendan feels fortunate to be part of an organization that reevaluates identity for the benefit of all, both the haves and have nots.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017