Both Security and Justice

for Palestinians as well as Israelis

The Founder

The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict - A Personal Story

My name is Ed. Here is my story. I spent nearly four decades as a Management Psychologist, consulting with business leaders about people and organizational issues. I retired in 2007. During my career, I consulted with leaders in Fortune 500 companies, managed a staff of psychologists and owned a solo practice.

 

In April 2007, my wife and I traveled with about 20 others to Israel and Palestine. As a couple, we had traveled internationally nearly every year since 1986. This was just another international trip. However, the experience resulted in a dramatic transformation of how I view the world and how I use my time.

Over the course of the previous four decades, I was heavily invested in my career. Only a handful of times did I speak out and engage in any kind of advocacy. I voted in every election, sometimes for Republicans and sometimes for Democrats. I would characterize myself as an independent who handed authority to politicians to do the best thing for the country. As a student in the 60s, I was not an active participant in the civil rights movement.

Before that April 2007 trip, my images of Palestinians, like most Americans, were of Palestinian kids throwing rocks and of Palestinian women and children dancing in the streets after 9/11. I believed that Palestinians were responsible for the violence in that land called Holy and for the lack of peace in the Middle East.


Upon seeing the wall at Bethlehem, I was taken aback. It felt like we were entering a prison, not the birthplace of Jesus Christ. At B’Tselem, I learned that the Israeli government demolished Palestinian houses. I was appalled. At Augusta Victoria Hospital, I learned about the obstacles that Palestinians faced when they sought healthcare services. I was overwhelmed. I saw firsthand the restrictions on Palestinians' freedom of movement in the form of walls, fences, checkpoints and Israeli-only roads. I learned that, even in the West Bank, permits were required for Palestinians to be legal outside of areas where they reside. I was shocked. I learned that the wall separated students from their schools, employees from their work places, farmers from their fields and sick people from healthcare facilities. I was outraged. These practices and policies violated my deeply held Midwestern, American and Christian values.

 

When I learned that U.S. foreign policy provided unconditional diplomatic, financial and military support to Israel, I was ashamed. How could the most powerful country in the world give unconditional support to a country that oppressed another people by denying them freedom of movement, property rights and "innocent until proven guilty"?

 

I returned home from this trip with a deep sense that what was happening to Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli government was simply wrong. The Both-Security-and-Justice Initiative is designed to help people experience what is happening in that land called Holy. As a video enthusiast, I believe that video can give a "virtual tour," an up-close experience--since most Americans are unlikely to take a trip to Israel and Palestine.

After many thousands of hours reading, listening, talking and advocating, I have concluded that it is extremely difficult to influence politicians who shape U.S. foreign policy. U.S. foreign policy will change only when American public opinion forces a change. If enough people experience what is happening in Israel and Palestine, I believe that public opinion will tip. When this "tipping point" is reached, elected officials are likely to change U.S. foreign policy on Israel and Palestine.


This website provides virtual experiences about what is happening in the Holy Land. Video Reality Snippets and Myth Buster Conversations are designed to educate the American people about ideas and realities that seldom appear in mainstream media. This is a private undertaking. I take full responsibility for all the material on this website. I welcome your emails whether critical or complimentary.