Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'm Returning

In September Jim and I spent two perfect weeks in Hawaii. This was a gorgeous day in Kailua where we enjoyed swimming in the ocean, eating fabulous food, and drinking mai tai's. The vacation is now over and its time to be back to doing advocacy.

I have been spending a lot of time reading and digesting the multitude of email reports I am getting through New Profile, Mondoweiss, Electronic Intifada, and EAPPI. There is very little positive news except that I keep reading and listening to more American and Israeli Jews who are standing up and talking about the injustice being done to the Palestinians. I listened to Meko Peled, the son of an Israeli General who served as a young man in the 1948 war and in the 1967 six-day war, at a Sabeel Conference in Albuquerque, NM earlier this month. His perspective of these wars is far different that our mythology. Read his book, The General's Son.  He says it better than I can summarize it, and his story is compelling.

Jeff Halper of ICAHD was also present, and between the two of them, and echoed throughout the conference is that the two-state solution is dead. According to Peled there was never a two-state solution in the hearts and minds of Israeli leaders.

The hope is that there are many Israelis who understand that their country is in danger of losin its soul through the actions the government and military are taking. As more Israelis speak up, there is hope. An apartheid situation is not acceptable. Continuing to ethnically cleanse the land of Palestinians is not acceptable. A one state solution where all can live peaceably and where Palestinians (or Arabs as they are called by Israelis) have equal rights, the opportunity to vote, equal education, the same opportunity to own property, the ability to move freely within the country, to drive on the same roads, and to expect economic equality is a good solution. Until then, what we are experiencing is apartheid.

This Sunday at 4:25am my shuttle van will quietly pull into my building's entrance and I will be whisked off to PDX for a series of flights that will take me to Tel Aviv. Jim leaves at 8:30 for a different set of flights and we arrive within a couple of hours of each other. We will have 2 days before we are met by 4 others for a private 4 day tour of things we will not see on our 12 day Sabeel trip. I will be in Jerusalem on November 4th, the day of the 10th Anniversary celebration of EAPPI. Whatever is on our schedule for the day I will likely duck out of so that I can join with EAPPI.

People ask me if I am excited. Yes and No. I am looking forward to being with Jim as he sees what I have experienced. I am not looking forward to the continued loss of land being experienced in villages like Al Khadr and Khallet Sakariyya. I am not looking forward to experiencing more settler evidence in Hebron. I am not excited about visiting East Jerusalem and witnessing more loss of property. I am looking forward to seeing the work of the EAs. I am not looking forward to beeping every time I go through the Bethlehem 300 checkpoint. I am looking forward to seeing Majdi, Claire, Abu Iyad, and those friends I made while living in Bethlehem.

And I am definitely not looking forward to the long flight from JFK to Tel Aviv sitting in a middle seat in coach. Pray that Delta Airlines, who changed equipment and then reassigned us new seats. Thank heaven for Ambien, which I will take as soon as I get on the plane. I know I will survive. I will eventually catch up on my sleep. And I will return.

The Dunhams and I will be speaking at Trinity Cathedral on December 16th at the Sunday Forum, and then in January Darlene, Tom and I will be leading a 4-week class in Steadfast Hope. I hope you will be able to join us.


No comments:

Post a Comment