Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Israeli – Palestinian conflict: A Struggle for a Homeland

A commitment I made to myself when I started this blog was to avoid politics. It’s not that I don’t have any thoughts on politics, I do. But there are plenty of other blogs out there that deal with that area.

I say this as an introduction to announcing a lecture I will give next week on the Middle East conflict. I have been asked by the Ashland Center for Non-Violence to provide a historical overview of the conflict. I know this is a political topic, but I don't plan to take sides.

The Israeli – Palestinian conflict is often presented as a struggle between competing ideologies and religions. While religion and ideology both play a significant part in this ongoing conflict, a more fundamental element is at work. Both hold aspirations for a homeland where they can live in peace. Israelis and Palestinians represent two people groups that live in a land that has experienced some form of occupation for more than two thousand years. I plan to provide a historical framework for understanding the history of the conflict. The focus of the evening will not be on the validity of each group’s claim, but on the way this very complex situation has evolved over the last one hundred years.

The lecture will take place at Ashland University on Wednesday September 15th at 7:30pm in the Ronk Lecture Hall of the Schar College of Education.

This is the first of three programs on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict sponsored by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence at Ashland University and the Department of Religion.

The other programs include a new documentary film on nonviolent peacemakers in Israeli and Palestinian, “Little Town of Bethlehem,” which will be shown Sept. 22 at 7 and 9 p.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall in the Schar College of Education; and a speech by Dr. Elizabeth Phillips, visiting scholar in the Department of Religion at Ashland University, on the role of Christian Zionism in supporting and expanding settlements in the Occupied Territories on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium.

The Ashland Center for Nonviolence is a group of citizens committed to exploring and promoting alternatives to violence in ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world. It does this through programming and training that foster discussion and consideration of issues, both historical and contemporary, related to nonviolence. It serves as a resource center for people exploring nonviolence. It links people to information about nonviolence and to activities exploring and promoting nonviolence.

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