All tagged Palestinian Israeli Conflict
I have recently had several interesting conversations with my adult daughter. Growing up in our home, she was exposed to a wide variety of people and learned to respect those from vastly different communities and cultures. Our home was always open, and over the years we had many guests. Meal times were often occasions of deep and interesting conversations. She internalized values of respect for others, fairness, kindness and a sensitivity to issues of justice and human rights.
During the Christmas season, we are often busy with family and friends as we prepare for the holiday. While it’s an important time where we recall and celebrate the birth of our saviour Jesus Christ, we should also remember that the same city Jesus was born into and the Christian descendents of some of his earliest followers are today under political occupation. As you shop this holiday season, consider supporting these nonviolent and creative Palestinian Christian efforts to raise awareness and support themselves this holiday season.
Yesterday morning, I drove out of Jerusalem on one of the busiest days of the year as the city is packed with Israeli Jews celebrating Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. I went to pick up my Palestinian friends in Beit Jala, Bethlehem and Beit Sahour. Since they are from the West Bank, they are not allowed to be on Israeli roads, so we drove through “The Valley of Fire”’ and the back roads to Jericho in order to get to Area C, where both Israelis and Palestinians can drive. We were on our way to Jesus’ baptismal site to join the march for peace initiated by Women Wage Peace.
A few weeks ago, my cousin visited from Italy. We were supposed to drive from the Galilee to Jerusalem together, and from there she would continue on her own to visit Hebron.
A woman, beautiful but with the weight of the world seeming to rest on her shoulders, stands alone struggling to grasp what has happened to her-the loss, the violation. What can be done now? Her body still feels the pain of her attack, of this attempt to dominate and destroy because of one selfish man’s desire to wield power. Beyond the physical injuries is a much deeper wound, though; it is an assault on her very identity, an attempt to use the physical fact of femininity to force her into subjugation, without regard to the emotional, mental and physical toll on her.
Come my friend, let me paint a portrait for you, not with brush strokes and color but a portrait of words, if possible. It is a portrait of a place I have come to love dearly. I do not think words can do it justice but I am compelled to try.
As Christians, we believe that as a community we should get along, yet at times we fail at implementing this ideal. On a collective scale, there are significant differences between the Messianic Jewish community and the Palestinian Evangelical community regarding how we view peace and how we put it into practice. Of course this is a generalization and there are individuals who think differently than the majority, but collectively, we are moving in distinctly opposite directions.
As I write this Christmas post, my heart is heavy as I’m reminded of the millions of Iraqi/Syrian refugees that will be spending this season away from their homes and families. I’m also reminded of the Palestinian mothers who will be spending this season missing their sons/daughters who have been killed in the latest round of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The sounds of sirens and helicopters seem to have intruded the air all around me in Jerusalem, interrupting life on a consistent basis. As I drive my children to their daycare, I am suddenly passed by dozens of emergency vehicles. I arrive and find that, sure enough, another attack has taken place just down the street. It’s not the first time, and everyone is worried. Another desperate Palestinian teenager with a knife has been shot dead and a Jewish civilian is seriously injured with wounds inflicted by the knife in the dead teenager’s hand, his life likely forever changed and scarred.
During the height of violence, I was struck by a force that I had felt only a few times in the past. The first time was in university when someone had ignited my apartment’s front door with gasoline and I had so much adrenaline pumping trying to control the fire. The force stayed way longer than the actual fire. The second time I felt it was at my uncle’s house when a sniper had just fired a rubber bullet at him, and all of us at the house ducked instinctively. Then the rush of adrenaline helped us find a way to get my uncle to the hospital for treatment. That same force stayed with me longer than it took for his wounds to heal.