Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Iowa Groups Sponsor Palestine/Israel Conference

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Iowa Groups Sponsor Palestine/Israel Conference

Article excerpt

Representatives of a growing coalition of mostly faith-based Iowa peace and social justice groups met in Ankeny at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Church on June 4 to advance their plans for an Oct. 14-15 conference on "Changing U.S. Policy in Palestine-Israel: Engaging Faith Communities in Pursuit of a Just Peace."

Conference planners Kathleen McQuillen, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Iowa program coordinator, and Joe Aossey of Cedar Rapids said the purpose of the conference is to increase awareness within Iowa faith communities regarding the importance of a just resolution of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

One meeting participant, Hugh Stone, pastor of Osceola United Methodist Church (UMC), teaches a course on the Middle East and Islam at Des Moines Area Community College. "I've seen young men and young women who leave my college classes to go off to fight. So, it [U.S. foreign policy] affects me personally in my relations with my students," said Stone. Getting U.S. Middle East policy right is very, very important, he stated.

"The tremendous amount of tax money that goes for these wars is money that can't be spent to feed hungry children or educate children in this country. …

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