Becoming advocates for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel requires that we become as conversant as possible with the complex history of the region and the conflict which has occupied its people for so many years. There is a wealth of information (and misinformation) available – books, articles, study guides, DVDs, films – which may at first seem daunting. In the following pages PIN will describe some of the resources we consider useful to understanding this most complicated of conflicts.
The better informed we are, the more effective we will be as advocates for a just and lasting peace for our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Israel. Nothing replaces the impact of witnessing for oneself the injustice of the Occupation, but it is possible through study to understand the narratives of both peoples and the facts on the ground that have led to the current situation. Such knowledge is a necessary first step to becoming effective advocates for non-violent actions to confront the injustice of the Occupation and our own government’s complicit policies. We are called upon to become peacemakers; to be effective peacemakers, we must first be well-informed.
Though the issues are many and complex, our grasp of them is essential if we are to refute the standard arguments of the supporters of Israeli government policies. As Americans, we will not be effective advocates if we cannot challenge the assumptions that have driven our own foreign policy and uncritical support of Israel for so many years. As peacemakers, we can use the tool of knowledge to help the Palestinian people achieve their goals, their peaceful co-existence with the Israeli people.