Foreigners are flocking to Palestine, but not for Holy Land pilgrimages or beach vacations. This book tells two stories that have become intertwined in the Middle East: the Palestinians who, tired of waiting for U.N. peacekeepers, have called upon the world’s activists for protection, and the people who are putting their lives on the line answering that call. Together these Americans, Palestinians, Israelis, and Europeans are making a non-violent, grassroots attempt to challenge the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
The core of this collection lies in the riveting eye-witness accounts of life under the Occupation. From the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to refugee camps under siege, these accounts give incontrovertible evidence of the terror generated by the Israeli army. Giving context to these stories is an interview with the founder of the Palestinian-led International Solidarity Movement, which brings “internationals” to Israel and the Occupied Territories, and essays by other human rights activists such as prominent Palestinians Hanan Ashrawi and Edward Said.
While Bush’s “war on terrorism” continues to be hampered by the unresolved Palestinian quest for statehood, almost 100,000 activists converged upon Washington in April, 2002 to demonstrate against militarism and for global economic justice, with a particular focus on Palestine. In the only book capturing the new international movement to end the Occupation, these harrowing and poignant stories create a portrait of diverse people making unprecedented efforts for peace.
Nancy Stohlman is co-organizer of the Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace. Her journals from Palestine have appeared in Counterpunch and Common Dreams.
Laurieann Aladin is a writer and member of both the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and Amnesty International. She lectures throughout the country.