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End the Israeli Occupation…Free the Palestinian Territories

Fall 2005


Major Articles

  • A Palestinian Christian’s Perspective:  An Interview with Mazen Badra – by Mark Chmiel
  • Nonviolent Strategies for Ending Occupation – Jenny Truax
  • From the West Bank: An Interview with Eman Aldumairi – Dianne Lee
  • Imagine - Mark ChmielEaeli Occ
  • Palestine, Oh Palestine – Hedy Epstein
  • Letter to the Editor – Larry Willard
  • A RoundTable Response – Teka Childress

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Regular Features

  • Cover – Photo by Miki Kartsman
  • Why This Issue – Annjie Schiefelbein
  • Centerfold – Palestinian Loss of Land...A Brief History of the Conflict - Teka Childress, Jenny Truax
  • From Abroad – Ivory Coast – Rob Boedeker
  • From Karen House – Christen Parker

Why This Issue:

My Uncle John is a retired driver. For most of his adult life he has hauled cases of Pepsi Cola from the factory to the stores. He has lived in Nebraska his entire life, and has a typically Nebraska view of things. I am allowed to speak of a typical Nebraska view, incidentally, by being born and bred in the Comhusker state. Without speaking too much for him, I can tell you that Uncle John thinks that we should not let foreign-born people into our country, and that our country should provide some moral guidance for the other countries, in that we are the moral authority in the world. Uncle John spent a lot of time goading me as a child (my tendencies leaned toward radical early on). He continues to enjoy talking politics to me, mostly to see if he can get a good rise out of me. I, for my part, mostly try to avoid hot topics that will be sure to offend both of us. You can imagine, then, my alarm, when he brought up "that Middle East problem" at my last visit back home. After his initial assessment that "they should just put a wall up around all of them and let them sort it out themselves, I pointed out that, without assistance from the US, it would be a much fairer fight He shocked me by saying, "You know, when I look at a situation where one side has tanks and fighter planes, and the other side has kids throwing rocks, something just seems wrong." I don't think he believed me when I told him that we give heaps of aid to Israel, but he still knew somewhere in him that something wasn't quite right.


Uncle John is right. Something isn't right. Palestinians live in a land occupied.  Looking at the maps in the centerfold of this issue offers a dramatic vision of the vanishing of land and rights of the Palestinian people. Their attempts to work (harvesting olive trees), to educate their children, to live in safe homes in neighborhoods, to move about in freedom without harassment, are made impossible. Their farm lands and homes are systematically destroyed by tanks, their families and children methodically persecuted by military presence and force, their movement restricted by laws, military posts, and physical structures (such as the apartheid wall and roadblocks) created for the purpose of disallowing trade or visits. These things are destroying the lives of the Palestinian people. This situation has led individual Palestinians into their own acts of violence in the form of suicide bombings. We often react to these individual instances in horror while we ignore the systematic violence happening every day.


On their own, these horrors would be enough to command our attention, and warrant an issue of the Round Table. Add to this the fact that our country is paying for most of it, and the topic of Palestine demands our focus. And so we offer this issue.


Uncle John, at least, knows about the "Middle East situation." Most Americans could quote the media regarding the suicide bombings and great "Palestinian threat" but could tell you little else. To counter-our collective confusion and misinformation, we learn from Mazen Badrnand and Eman Aldumairi what it is like to live under the "Israeli threat" and occupation. Both discuss a desire to be free not only from occupation, but also hatred within themselves. Jenny Truax gives us a report regarding nonviolent movements currently happening, and possibilities for a nonviolent resolution based in Gandhian philosophy. Hedy Epstein shares with us experience and education from her visits to Palestine, encourages us not to be silent, and gives us ideas on how to act.


This conflict deserves our thoughtful analysis and action to find a nonviolent end to the occupation. As we are complicit in the degree of violence occurring, let us be active in seeking a solution that is just and peaceful for all. I think Uncle John would agree!


-Annjie Schiefelbein



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