From a Research Center in the Heart of the Hurricane

Gershon Baskin

From a Research Center in the Heart of the Hurricane

Dr. Gershon Baskin is co-director of the Israel-Palestine Center for Research & Information, which for years has been the best source of fair-minded and well-founded assessments of what is necessary to a continuing peace between Israel & a viable Palestine.

IPCRI has a Palestinian co-director. The "Zakaria" whom Gershon refers to below is that co-director, Dr. Zakaria al-Qak.

The following letter from Gershon is one of the most caring and careful analyses I have seen of the causes and results of the explosions in Israel/Palestine. I commend it to us all.

Shalom, Arthur
(Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Director, The Shalom Center)

Thursday, October 19, 2000

Dear friends,

For all of those who are interested to know how we have been facing the current situation, the following is a bit of an update and a bit of analysis on the present situation. This analysis is my own and although, to a great extent it is shared by Zakaria, he is not here right now and I will not speak on his behalf.

But from extensive discussions of the situation — I believe that we pretty much see eye-to-eye (which is quite different from most Israelis and Palestinians who are talking about "eye for eye").

The IPCRI Office Getting to the IPCRI office in Bethlehem can only be done now by taking considerable personal physical risk. On Wednesday of last week, one day before the lynch of the Israeli soldiers in Ramallah, I was stopped at a Palestinian check point in Bethlehem and told to wait in front of the check point. Within minutes about 6 young men in civilian dress holding weapons surrounded my car and began interrogating me. I explained to them who I was and that I had an office in Bethlehem. I gave them my ID and asked to use my phone. I called Zakaria, who was in the office and he spoke to the officer there.

The officer told Zakaria that they were taking me to the headquarters of the Preventative Security in Bethlehem — something that I didn