It’s a voice she said America is ignoring.

It’s a voice she said the media are not publicizing.

It’s the voice of the Palestinians, and Wednesday night, Reema Dodin, a Palestinian-American student from University of California, Berkeley, spoke to a group of Lodians about the conflict in Israel from the Palestinian perspective.

And Lodi listened.

“The American public has a history of being a fair-minded people, but the information the public is getting is biased, awful and wrong,” Dodin said. “If you’re going to present this information to the public, you need to do it in a holistic manner.”

Dodin, who was born to Palestinian immigrants in North Carolina, has spent time in Israel working as an emergency medical technician. She spoke Wednesday night at the United Methodist Church to an audience of about 40.

Sprinkling her presentation with personal anecdotes from her visits to Israel, Dodin described a conflict that began in 1948 with the decolonization of the Middle East, and explained a political and military struggle that has lasted for the half-century since, leading to many violent outbursts, including the battles being waged in Israel today.

She described a place where Palestinians are not given fair rights — a place where water is so scarce that the Israeli government will cut off the supply to coerce the Palestinian population.

Dodin laughed while recounting a recent visit to her uncle when her brother brought home some colorful rocks and washed them in their uncle’s scant water supply, dirtying the household’s only drinking water.

She shook her head as she described an emergency room where a malnourished woman going into shock was ignored and left untreated because she was not in need of help as much as the others in line for the doctor.

She described an Israel where Palestinians have lost hope and are getting desperate.

“The suicide bombers were the last resort of a desperate people,” Dodin said.

A crowded room of Lodians listened attentively for nearly two hours and hounded Dodin with questions after her speech, which was organized by the Lodi branch of the American Association of Educated Women and Lodi’s Breakthrough Project.

Dodin is an economics and political science double major and hopes to return to Israel after she graduates in May to work as an EMT in West Bank. She wants to eventually attend law school.


Comments about this story? Send mail to the News-Sentinel newsroom.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE LODI NEWS-SENTINEL

To subscribe to the Lodi News-Sentinel, fill out our online form or call our Subscriber Services Department at (209) 333-1400.

Recommended for you

comments powered by Disqus