The subjects of Palestine and Israel raise the emotional level for almost all Christians no matter what opinions they presently hold. When the editorial team decided to include Palestine in the study selection, we were faced with a difficult decision. Who should write it? From what perspective? Is there any neutral perspective?
We decided on a different approach. We would offer two studies on the same piece of land, written from two different perspectives. This study, "Understanding Palestine" was written by someone familiar with the Palestinian situation. A companion study, "Understanding Israel," is by an Israeli Jew living in Israel. Both authors attempt to help thoughtful Christians understand that there is more than one position held by Palestinians and Israeli Jews. We strongly encourage your group to use both studies.
In 2008, Israelis celebrated sixty years of statehood. What was cause for celebration among the Israelis was instead a time for remembering what the Palestinians call "the Nakba," which means catastrophe. In 1948, thousands of Palestinians were run out of their homes and villages by Jewish commandos who then created the modern State of Israel. This study, in two sessions, will briefly recount the history before and after the Nakba, explore the current conditions under which Palestinians live, and examine efforts to make peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. As important, the study clearly outlines what is at stake for Americans as the conflict continues.