“They don’t want our pity, but they do welcome our solidarity.”
–Dr. Mads Gilbert
By Jeff Smith
Dr. Mads Gilbert, author of the books, Eyes in Gaza and Night in Gaza, in which he describes what it was like to work under the bombs with Palestinian colleagues during Israel’s 2008 – 2009 and 2014 invasions of the Gaza Strip, recently completed a US speaking tour that took him to various venues in Michigan, Indiana, and Texas.
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dr. Gilbert spoke to an audience of about 100 people at Calvin College. A Christian liberal arts college associated with the Christian Reformed Church, Calvin has previously hosted various speakers who focus on Palestine, among them Ali Abunimah, Nora Barrows-Friedman, and Mazen Qumsiyeh.
A guest of Grand Rapids-based non-profit, Healing Children of Conflict, as well as of Calvin College’s History Department and Middle East Club, Dr. Gilbert provided an astute fact-based analysis of the situation in Gaza. However, Dr. Gilbert’s presentation did not just rely on facts. It was also structured around powerful stories of Palestinian civilians whom he has met while working in makeshift operating rooms at Gaza’s Al-Shifa’ hospital.