Lee Road Library programs present perspectives on Middle East peace
Israelis celebrate Independence Day on April 23, this year. Palestinians mark the same event as the Nakba, meaning “catastrophe” in Arabic, on May 15. Recent and upcoming programs presented by Cleveland Peace Action’s Education Fund, at the Lee Road Library, give some insight into the history and current perspectives on the region.
On March 7, two Palestinian Americans presented their family stories at the time of the Nakba, when more than 700,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes or killed.
The changing map of Israel/Palestine, illustrates the progressive loss of Palestinian land since 1948 due to wars and occupation over the last 67 years. The presenters at the March event connected the Palestinian experience to other tragedies: the Holocaust, the Native American’s Trail of Tears; Jim Crow laws and recent racially charged events in the United States.
Solutions are difficult to imagine when positions are so entrenched. Palestinians seek their own state, or at least the Right of Return under international law. Both are viewed as a threat to the Jewish state by some.
On April 26, three Jewish Clevelanders will share their experiences in the region and insights into peace between Israelis and Palestinians in a program titled Jewish Perspectives of Peace in the Middle-East.
Then on May 31, a program featuring a full-length film and discussion, will provide further insight on this difficult issue.
For more information on these and other programs, visit www.peaceactioncleveland.org.
Jennifer Blakeney is co-chair of Cleveland Peace Action's Middle East Peace Committee.