I am just finishing up my packing, making sure I have my toothbrush, enough underwear, and clothes suitable for the warm weather. Tomorrow I begin leading a tour of 3 other women; two of whom have never set foot in Israel. The planning has been daunting--how can I share months of experiences in a little less than a week? After the week I have planned we will be attending a conference which will be awesome with many speakers, many viewpoints.
The news of late is frustrating. We have the report of a tunnel in Gaza that had been discovered so the Israeli military came into Gaza (illegally) to destroy the tunnel. They were met by a boobie trapped tunnel, and 4 were injured, one seriously. The next day 4 young Palestinian men were "neutralized." in other words, 4 deaths to pay for 4 injuries. Neither side is right. All violence is wrong.
The Prawer Plan will be back in the Knesset. This is a plan to bulldoze all of the Beduoin villages in the Negev. It passed in the spring but is coming up for final discussions this week. Hopefully all will remain peaceful in Bethlehem while we are there.
On this journey we will be staying with a Palestinian family in a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home. I'm excited to do that, because I know the family and they are awesome! We will be visiting refugee camps, Beduoin villages, Hebron, the Tent of Nations, villages of Al Masara where we will take part in their weekly peaceful demonstration where we will see the IDF (Israeli military) in action, Al Walaja, Battir, and other locations where the occupation is particularly difficult on its citizens, although I'm not sure it's fair to say or believe that some have it worse than others. It is all difficult. And best of all we will enjoy the hospitality of Palestinians and will enjoy their food.
I ask you all to keep us in your prayers so that Jan, Marcia, Lisa, and I will all return safely home in two weeks. Then we will tell you all about it!