Joe DeVoir

The easiest solution

Twenty-four Palestinian and Israeli men and women sat outdoors in a circle on a sleepy street in al-Ram, Palestine. Spread about the garden and into the house-office are five other groups of similar size and make-up. For many, it is the first time to a Combatants For Peace event. Most of them have never even met someone from the “other side” before except in the worst of circumstances in very different roles. You can tell who the new ones are right away by the way they hang back and observe. EI contributor Joe DeVoir writes from al-Ram. 

The king's pardon

Throughout history there has been a misconception concerning the true nature and influence of power. Many of us recognize correctly that power comes from strength, but where we fail to capture it is in the recognition of its ultimate use. To most of us, power — especially within the context of occupation — is determined by one’s ability to inflict violence unilaterally and with impunity. However, this is wrong. Power, in its ultimate and perhaps most abusive form, is the ability to pardon. Anyone can kill but only the king can pardon — the acceptance of which by the pardoned is the recognition of the king and his power.