Last October 2004, Kelly P. Beischel and her family generously offered to host a Palestinian Christian child in their home in Mount Healthy, Ohio.”The Children’s Peace Project”, a program of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), arranged for this once in a lifetime experience to build & strengthen spiritual bonds of unity between American & Holy Land Christians.
Last October 2004, Kelly P. Beischel and her family generously offered to host a Palestinian Christian child in their home in Mount Healthy, Ohio.”The Children’s Peace Project”, a program of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), arranged for this once in a lifetime experience to build & strengthen spiritual bonds of unity between American & Holy Land Christians. Accepting this Palestinian Christian child into her home, Kelly’s heart has opened up to a whole new world of joy. Armed with her new found education of the decades-long conflict, and outraged by the predominantly bias news reporting of local & national media networks over the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, Kelly wrote & had published the following article in the Cincinnati Enquirer. To learn how you too can take part in HCEF’s “Children’s Peace Project”, please contact Tarek Abu Ata of HCEF at tabuata@HCEF.org or (301) 951-9400 Ext. 201.
Tell both sides of Mideast conflict
I am incensed about the one-sided journalism we are fed in the United States regarding the Middle East. For years I, too, believed that the Palestinian people were simply war-mongering, bomb-making terrorists. That is what the media and the politicians in our country would like us to believe, because that makes it easier to deal with and rationalize why we back the Israeli people in their fight for “their” land.
My awakening to the truth began several months ago. My family hosted a Palestinian Christian eighth-grader, who has become our son, as part of a Children’s Peace Project in our parish. We were enlightened by these peace-seeking children who yearn for freedom in their country. They were in America to seek our prayers for peace and to tell their side.
It was then that I began to realize that what we are hearing is only one side of the story.
Where is the reporting about the checkpoints the Palestinian people have to endure? What about their wait for hours to go miles? Where are the stories about Israel’s erection of a wall 30 feet tall and 453 miles long that divides the country? Where are the pictures of the Palestinian people being shot trying to climb that wall to seek medical assistance? The International Court of Justice deemed it illegal for such a wall to be there. Why, then, are we not clamoring in the name of justice for it to be torn down?
Do Americans know about the curfews that are imposed on the Palestinian people and shown pictures of children being shot because they dared to step out of their homes during curfew? No, and I will tell you why – because the media are failing to tell the American people both sides.
In talking with these Palestinian Christian people, I learned they do not want war. They, too, do not agree that the answer lies in suicide bombs; those come from militant groups seeking retaliation. My son told me he has no hatred for the Jewish people and that he believes they, too, want peace. This all came as a surprise to me, a result of being misinformed.
I implore the media to please treat the American people with respect by reporting both sides, allowing us to make our own educated conclusions.
Kelly P. Beischel of Mount Healthy is a school nurse and an adjunct nursing faculty member at Xavier University.