2018 Palestine-Israel Homeland

Talking with Jewish Settlers

imageOn a cloudy day Jonathan and I took a bumpy bus-ride to Gush Etzion where Palestinian Ali Abu Awad started talking to Jewish settlers. We heard the following story from 3 settlers. The three work for the program Roots. They organize after school programs for both Arab and Israeli, summer camps, photography club, and field trips to sites. The children come from settlements where Jews want their kids to know Palestinians and vice versa. Gush Etzion seems to encompass a huge block of land with 8 nearby settlements.

The Jewish men at Roots defined Zionism as a movement to let Jews live fully their religion, be close to the land and build their livelihood from the land in Israel. This was revealing and similar to aspirations of what Arabs have told me living in Palestine. One of our hosts left his settlement where he was replacing car windows broken by stones thrown, to make time to talk with us at Roots. I was very appreciative of their openness and very aware of their privilege and comfort traveling wherever, and whenever they want.Read more

Peacework in Hebron Palestine

imageHebron is a tinderbox. There are confrontations daily. Before the sun rises the melodic cry of the muezzin drifts across the dark city. People cook their tea and have pita, yogurt, and diab (mix of tahini and grape syrup) for breakfast. Hebron, maybe 1/2 million people, is full of traffic by 7 am. People are tense, wondering what clashes may happen today. The last prayer from the minerets is about 6:20, after sunset. We rest and heal in the cocoon of the Assfour, our adopted family.Read more

From Europe's End to Asia's Beginning

imageI've completed El Camino, and now I immerse myself in the thick problems of conquest and domination. My friend in Seville wants to go on a trip in to Cuba before it is wide open to US traffic. Cruise ships will be going there next May. How strange is that? Let's rush over to this exotic country before other US people go. It just doesn't sit right with me although I'll felt the impulse. My Cuban friend Kirenia was visiting us in August and she insists, "Cuba has already changed and evolved." Who are we to think that we can find a culture in a purer state today than it will be in 6 months? To think the US culture has that much influence is a bit imperialist.Read more