Why Just World Educational? Why Now?

Just World Admin Blog, JWE news

We know that the issues of war, peace, and international justice that the people of the United States face will not be resolved through one act of voting in November. We know that grave problems will remain in the way the United States relates to the rest of the world– in 2017, and for many years beyond that.

Just World Educational is our attempt to intervene at the level of the public discourse in the United States and elsewhere in a way that will better educate the public… and will build the informed citizenry that can urge legislators and leaders to take the kinds of action that are needed to improve our country’s relationship with the rest of the world.

Our focus for the foreseeable future will be on issues of war and peace in general, and on issues of peace and justice in the (Greater) Middle East, in particular. The Greater Middle East has, after all, been the locus of the two very damaging wars our country has launched in this century. It has seen our country take part in numerous other grave military activities and a high-stakes confrontation with Iran. And it is the place where Washington’s backing of a country, Israel, that has held its neighbors’ lands under military occupation for 49 years has had dire consequences for the peoples of the region, as well as for world peace and the international order.

In launching Just World Educational we are building on the experiences all of us on the Board have had, in different ways, in trying to build a more just and peaceful world, and using educational means to do so.

We are building, too, on the experience the Just World Books team has had of producing high-quality, book-length resources and working with a variety of educational and community institutions, as well as bookstores, so that these books have become a valued part of the community discourse in many parts of the United States.

Our role at JWE is a little different from that of Just World Books. Just World Books will continue to publish excellent and timely books on, roughly, the same range of issues that we’ll be addressing. (Check out their list of existing and forthcoming titles here.) For our part, we will work in partnership with them and with many other organizations and individuals, to ensure that these issues get the widest and most thoroughly informed consideration in communities throughout the United States.

We will also be producing and making freely available to the public a range of other resources that can further our educational mission. This website itself will be a major portal for you to find out about and access these resources. Please check back here often to see what we’ve added, as the site is still very much a work in progress!

(We’d love to invite you to contribute some of your own wisdom or informational resources to the site. This might be anything from a comment on one of our blog posts, to a whole blog post– to an entire super map collection if you happen to have one lying around! Let us know what you can offer. Or if it’s a comment on a blog post, simply post it right away.)

Why now?

We believe that 13 years after Pres. Bush’s deeply flawed decision to invade Iraq, and 17 years after the evident failure of the Oslo-launched “peace process” between Israel and Palestine, there are now many broad stirrings of criticism of a U.S. stance that for far too long has relied too much on military power in its conduct of foreign affairs, and that has also given unquestioned backing to Israel. (These two aspects of Washington’s policy are indeed linked.)

The questioning of the reliance on military power can be seen everywhere in America – except perhaps in a U.S. Congress beholden to the interests of the well-endowed lobbies.

And the questioning of the stance of uncritical support of Israel has also become far more widespread in American society. On university campuses, in community groups, K-12 schools, churches, and even synagogues people want to talk about and understand the “Israel/Palestine Question” more deeply than they have before. And we have vital informational resources that can facilitate that debate.

We know there is a new hunger among many Americans for informational and educational resources that can help them understand these issues of war, peace, justice, and the Middle East in a new and more realistic way.

Through the provision of the new range of resources we will be offering, through the partnerships with broad educational and social-justice networks right across the United States that we inherit from Just World Books, and through the live events that we plan to co-sponsor all round the country over the years ahead, Just World Educational plans to meet those needs.

We invite you to join our efforts. There are many ways in which you can do so:

  • As noted above, we’d love any contribution you can make to this website itself, that would make its offerings richer.
  • We look forward to working with a variety of community groups, congregations, and educational institutions around the country, to plan and host live events of the type Just World Books has held over the past six years; to help your group organize a “Just World” discussion series; or to work with you in numerous other ways.
  • And finally, we would deeply appreciate any financial support you feel moved to give. If you share our vision of a more deeply informed citizenry that has access to fact-based, humane, and timely information on international affairs, then please go to our Donate page and give what you can. (Tell your friends about this chance to help build a more just world, too… or if you want to help us with our fundraising, be sure to let us know!)