Our Roots Are Still Alive - Introduction

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Our Roots Are Still Alive is a book about the Palestinian people. It is the story of a people uprooted by force of arms from their homeland, deprived of their means of existence, branded as refugees. Yet the Palestinians have survived, kept alive their history and culture, and have unceasingly sought to return to their homeland.

This is the story of a people who have faced immense difficulties. It is not a difficult story to understand, yet it is rarely told in the United States. Understanding what has happened to the Palestinians unlocks the history of the Middle East in this century: for the Palestinian people are at the heart of the conflict in the Middle East today.

This book is necessarily a story of war and conflict. It tells how powerful European countries fought to control the land, waterways and rich resources of the Middle East; how Jews from Russia and Europe, in a movement called Zionism, fought to establish the state of Israel on Palestinian soil; how the United States became involved in the Middle East, what its interests are, and how it uses every weapon at its command to protect those interests.

This book is also a story of the human spirit - its strength and vision. The Palestinians are not exceptional people. They share with people everywhere a most common and persistent longing: to live in peace, with the dignity possible only in a society that is free and just. Only their particular circumstances and history set them apart. It is here, in their story, that the spirit of sacrifice and determination emerges once again, as it does among all people who take their hopes and dreams in hand, to forge a better future for themselves and their children.