Tonight at the Reform temple, Muhammed Muslih, a professor of political science at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, will discuss the ideology of Palestinian nationalism, changing attitudes toward Israel and interpretations of the Palestine Liberation Organization's position regarding peace with Israel. Speaking next Tuesday will be Bishara Bahbah, editor-in-chief of The Return or Al-Awda Palestinian Magazine, a monthly based in Washington, D.C.
"I think it's very rare. I think it's a very welcome trend," he said. "I think most of the Jewish community views the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with a predetermined opinion. We are solidly on the side of the Israelis but more and more, a number of liberal rabbis and liberal intellectuals within the Jewish community are bringing to our attention concerns that we need to face."
[Esor Ben-Sorek], who similarly invited Palestinian speakers to address the board of rabbis last year, said the events in the last year in Israel had raised the level of interest in Palestinian perspectives. The sometimes brutal Israeli response to the 10-month-old Arab uprising in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip had created for many in the Jewish community, Ben-Sorek said, "a conflict of our souls."