This issue’s theme “A Gateway to Understanding” introduces the Jewish perspective on the Israel-Palestine conflict. The Jewish perspective was forged by centuries of oppression and the teachings of the Torah. The articles herein focus primarily on material from both Jewish and Israeli sources. Palestinian sources are also valuable for understanding Palestinian perspectives.
This issue’s theme “An Evolving View” explores how Jewish opinions about the relationship between Israel and Palestine has changed in favor of supporting non-violent coexistence and the Palestinian right to return.
A better understanding will lead to what we all truly desire: peace for both Jewish and non-Jewish families living between the river and the sea.
The UN Apartheid Convention of 1973 defines the crime against humanity of apartheid as the perpetration
of serious human rights violations with the “purpose of establishing and maintaining” a system of “domination
by one racial group… over [another] and systematically oppressing them.” In March 2019, Israel’s then prime
minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Israel is not a state of all its citizens…[but rather] the nation-state of the
Jewish people and only them.”
Before the early 1900s, Palestine was a largely peaceful, multi-faith region. But after 1917, under the
British mandate, there was more violence, including terrorist attacks by both Arab and Jewish groups.
Today, Palestinians suffer continuous attacks on their homes and infrastructure. Palestinian suffering has become institutionalized as collective punishment by Israel.
Some believe that before Israel’s war for independence there was no Palestine, there were no Palestinian
people, and the land was desert and had no inhabitants. This belief is easily found, distributed, and shared
It is not difficult to see that Jewish, Christian, and Muslim families live peacefully together in many places and can again in Israel/Palestine, just as they had in the past.