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William Hague

Bombs in Palestine, then and now

Bombs falling on Arab neighborhoods ... Homes demolished ... Civilians killed or wounded ... Soldiers shooting at anything that moves.

That may sound like a description of the past week's violence between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. But in fact, it comes from the letters and diary of a Baltimore teacher who volunteered to spend a year at a Quaker school in British-ruled Palestine in 1938-1939, only to find herself in the middle of a war between Arab terrorists and the British army.

When Nancy Parker McDowell's "Notes from Ramallah" was published 10 years ago by a small Quaker press in Indiana, it attracted little attention. But her eyewitness account of life...