In this new episode of “Occupied Thoughts,” Peter Beinart interviews Sulaiman Khatib and Penina Eilberg-Schwartz about their new book, In This Place Together, which the publisher describes as a “narrative meditation on joint nonviolence, opening a window to the questions of power, multiple narratives, and imagination that touch on struggles for justice everywhere.”
As a Palestinian youth, Sulaiman Khatib encountered the occupation in his village and attempted to fight back, stabbing an Israeli. Imprisoned at the age of 14, he began a process of political and spiritual transformation still unfolding today. In a book he asked Penina Eilberg-Schwartz, an American Jew, to write, and based on years of conversation between them, Khatib shares how his activism became deeply rooted in the belief that we must ground all work—from dialogue to direct action to healing—in recognition of the history and humanity of the other. He reveals how he became convinced that Palestinian freedom can flourish alongside Jewish connection to the land where he was born….Still, as he built friendships with Israelis and resisted the occupation alongside them, he could not lose sight of the great power imbalance in the relationship, of all the violence and erasure still present as they dreamt forward together. Intimate and political, In This Place Together opens us up to the dangers and hopes of working with others across vast differences in power and experience. (In This Place Together)
Sulaiman Khatib was born in Hizma/Jerusalem and lives in Ramallah. He is an active member of various programs aiming to promote a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He is cofounder of Combatants for Peace, a joint nonviolent Israeli-Palestinian movement to end the occupation, and has been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the movement.
Penina Eilberg-Schwartz lives and writes in the Bay Area. She has worked on issues of justice in Israel-Palestine with several organizations and is a member of IfNotNow, a movement working to end American Jewish support for the occupation. She co-wrote the chapbook Everything in the speaking of it (Alley Cat Books, 2019) and is currently working on a novel as well as a book-length essay about the myth of the Jewish nose.
Peter Beinart is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, an Editor-at-Large at Jewish Currents, and a CNN Political Commentator.