News Release

Perspectives on Mideast Crisis


Director of the Center for American and Jewish Studies at Baylor University in Texas and author of Oh Jerusalem: The Contested Future of the Jewish Covenant, Ellis said today: “The escalation of the Israeli helicopter gunships firing into civilian areas is just appalling…. Justice would mean a shared real sovereignty of all of Jerusalem: political, economic, spiritual…. The Israelis are still occupying the Palestinians; the Oslo ‘peace process’ is not one of justice and reconciliation — it is a solidification of a victory by Israel over the Palestinians. Israel has taken just about all of Palestine. Those of the Abrahamic faiths who claim religious tradition should be aware of…the Jubilee tradition [which] calls for a periodic redistribution and return of land and wealth — today, for Jews, this means a decision to share the land…”
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Director of the Shalom Center and author of Godwrestling — Round 2, Waskow said today: “The violence has to stop, whether it’s a lynch mob or a bombing. It is inconceivable to me that the two peoples aren’t going to be living like conjoined twins for the rest of history, and if conjoined twins are not insane, they know that the health of the other one is crucial to the health of each one. Two conjoined twins who share a single, vital organ have to nurture each other and protect each other, and these two peoples share a single vital organ: the land.”
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Coordinator of Friends of Sabeel-North America, which supports an ecumenical center for liberation theology in Jerusalem, Barlow said: “One must express regret for all loss of life including the many Palestinians and the two Israeli soldiers who were killed yesterday. One also needs to ask what the soldiers were doing there.”
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Professor at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, Haddad said today: “Much of this was set in motion with Clinton’s criticism of Arafat for not signing the Camp David agreement. We should be sending food and medicine to the Palestinians — not arming Israel. Israeli violence seems to be considered justifiable while Palestinian despair is being condemned. Palestinians are being told that they have to accept their situation, sign on the dotted line and be quiet. Israel seems to be expecting Arafat to kill his own people for them. Many in the U.S. think the Palestinians are attacking Israel, but the Palestinians are seeking liberation from a repressive occupation — Israel has yet to fulfill withdrawals it has agreed to.”
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Professor of international relations at California State University and author of The Newest Explosions of Terrorism, Grosscup said today: “The essential definition of ‘terrorism’ is that it is against innocents — but the U.S. Navy patrolling the Mideast and enforcing the strangulating economic sanctions against Iraq doesn’t really qualify it as ‘innocent.’ When a force has a global presence, people tend to resist its plans for domination, even if they have to kill themselves to strike just a minor blow. In skewed language, many refer to violent acts against Western military power as ‘terrorism’ while violent acts by Western powers are deemed humanitarian heroism.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167