Sunday, October 4, 2009

One Last Pitch for Sabeel in Iowa

A speech worth listening to

Published: Sunday, October 4, 2009 12:08 AM CDT
Is a two-state solution for Israel/Palestine possible? Consider how far 60 years of Zionist regimes have taken Israel into belligerent gathering of land to make one state, a Jewish state, a land without borders, millions of brokenhearted people living in occupation and, because of occupation, an angry population within and without Israel proper and Israel far and wide.

Does Israel really want two states after all, and how do the demographics of the region affect probability of two states or even one state or, even, a disastrous ecological ruination of the region?

The Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek is a Christian Arab who will speak from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at First Christian Church in Ames and again at 7 p.m. at Collegiate Methodist. He’s worth hearing because he’s lived in Jerusalem and environs his entire life. He’s what is called a Jerusalemite, an elite category for Israeli and Palestinian both.

Ateek will speak from his own perspective, but when he heads up to the University of Northern Iowa to lead a conference called “A Secure Israel and A Free Palestine,” he will bring four leading Jewish intellectuals to tell their stories: Phyllis Bennis, policy wonk from D.C.; Anna Baltzer, traveling star of discussion circles in towns all over the United States; Jeff Halper, formerly from Hibbing, Minn., and now a staunch Israeli citizen; and psychologist Mark Braverman, member of Jewish Voice for Peace.

I expect to get a better sense of what’s actually happening in the Middle East by listening to what Ateek and friends have to say. I expect it to be challenging.

Elizabeth S. Mayfield



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