From the Editors

Bearing witness to multiple stories

Israelis and Palestinians alike are traumatized people who love the land and deserve to live there in peace.

In Israel and the Palestinian territories, there are many stories—many lived experiences, cultures, religions, and political perspectives. There are also two overarching stories, each the story of a people.

Here’s one story: On October 7, terrorists from Gaza entered Israel, brutally massacred more than 1,300 people—most of them civilians—and abducted 200 more. The attacker was Hamas, an explicitly anti-Jewish organization that was founded to fight Israel’s existence and has frequently employed violence to that end. Since the initial attack, Hamas—joined by Islamic Jihad in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon—has fired thousands of rockets into Israel.

The Jewish people’s connection to the land goes back to antiquity. In diaspora, again and again Jews were expelled from their homes, prohibited from worshiping, accused of imaginary crimes, mocked, tortured, and killed. It seemed as if the world, and especially Christian Europe, wanted to wipe them from the face of the earth. Israel was created—with the UN’s blessing—to give Jews a homeland in a world that so often has turned them away or worse. But that homeland is surrounded by hostile neighbors, and its people are scarred by generational trauma.