Recently, a writer to the Portland Press Herald posed questions for Gaza protesters. I hope my response may be somewhat helpful. I have been protesting the genocide in Gaza since October 2023. I am a member of Pax Christi Maine, committed to nonviolence as the only lasting strategy for conflict resolution and peace. I pray for an end to the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis, including those Israelis taken hostage by Hamas and those imprisoned and vilified by the Netanyahu government for rejecting right-wing Zionism.

I’d like to suggest to the writer that he read “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” by Ilan Pappe, a book foundational for anyone interested in facts rather than propaganda. Pappe is an Israeli historian and professor of history at the University of Exeter. His book details extensively the founding of the State of Israel, dispelling the myth of “a land with no people for a people with no land.”

One person’s “freedom fighter” is another person’s “terrorist.” Zionist paramilitary groups violently expelled 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in order to form the State of Israel. Palestinians have been murdered and displaced for the last 75 years. The current campaign simply continues the ethnic cleansing and genocide.

We will never be free of “terrorists” or “freedom fighters” until Israelis and Palestinians can live together in one state in peace, a home for Palestinians, Jews and others. This is not idealism. It is realism.

Constance Jenkins

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