Saturday, September 24, 2016

Changing American minds

Guest: Salam Qumsiyeh, a young woman living in Palestine, whose visit to the US is being sponsored by the Reformed Church of Woodstock, talks about her life as a Christian Palestinian living in the occupied West Bank.

Salam talked about a time in Palestine when Jews, Christians and Muslims lived side by side and got along. "Jewish Palestinians?" I asked.

Salam stated that Palestinians had lived there for 2,000 years, just changing religions as various invasions befell the land. Could that be true, I wondered. Then it was the British and American colony building that tore it all apart?

A war between the Shia and the Sunni was prompted by a similar imperial invasion. And the US dominance of Saudi Arabia led to the rise of Wahhabism, the Taliban, and the collapse of our World Trade Center. Using religious and ethnic conflicts to subdue an occupied country has been around for a long time. Why don't we see it as the root cause of the Israel/Palestinian conflict?

Salam was joyous to be in the US. She told me that changing American minds is the only way that Israelis will change theirs and grant equal rights to all. That's what keeps me going, and maybe keeps you going too. Someday, Palestine will be free.

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