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Jerusalem women speak for peace

April 5, 2007

The Middle East is a hot topic issue in the world today. How much do people really know about some of the conflicts and actions that go on in the differing countries of importance?

Three women from Israel and Palestine are going on tour in the United States to speak on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has involved the occupation of Palestinian land by Israelis and decades of ongoing violence.

One woman is Christian, another Jewish, and the third is Muslim. They bring unique and personalized experiences to their presentation, giving first-hand knowledge of the conflict. They also bring their ideas on how to stop the violence and once again bring peace to a region that has been torn by a seemingly never-ending torrent of war.

The women will address important issues such as dealing with the violence, loss of family, occupation and the persecution that goes with living in this region. They are three different women with three different religious beliefs and they are going to show how, though never easily done, peace is possible.

Chancellor Don Betz is in charge of bringing the tour to River Falls, and said he strongly believes in the importance and impact this will have on UWRF students.

“The event is very unique in the different perspectives that the three women bring to the topic,” Betz said.

This is an important event to bring to the school to give students an insight into the Middle Eastern world from the three women’s perspectives as a complementary addition to the information they receive from the U.S. media.

“The presentation is not only informative, but it is inspirational as well,” Betz said.

The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Terry Brown has been equally involved in bringing the tour to the campus, and is an advocate for the message that it brings.

“Understanding the Middle East is one of the most pressing concerns today, and it is important to help people understand the complexities of politics and discord there,” Brown said.

Though this is the viewpoint from a small portion of the Middle East, it gives Americans an insight that can be a way to see into the bigger issues of the Middle East from the people who live there.

“The topic is relevant to the issues in Iraq and Afghanistan as well,” Brown said.

A Chicago-based group, Partners for Peace, is bringing the tour to the United States.

“The hegemonic discourse in the United States tells us that Israelis and Palestinians have been locked in a religious conflict that has lasted centuries. This discourse is false,” Partners for Peace representative Jacob Pace said.

The women attempt to shed light on the problems that are going on in the Middle East as an alternative to the information that is given to us by onlookers from the United States government.

“They show that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a political conflict based on control of land and resources. By bringing women who have rejected violence and animosity, the program shows that there is an alternative to the pain of Israeli occupation,” Pace said.

These women will bring a well-rounded discussion that the media in this country may not be capable or interested in covering, according to Pace. The event will begin at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24 in the Falls Room of the University Center. Students, staff, and community members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

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