Monday, July 31, 2006


So yesterday at church we had an own arrangement service and andrew had put together some interactive creative prayer ideas from our pray without ceasing awe service and i spoke a bit about my time in Israel/Palestine. helen and chris came along to hear my stories, which I appreciated, though i am immensely jealous that they will be going out with highway projects to Jordon in just over a month.

So I shared stories of working in Raineh, introducing the teenagers who were in my group, the facilitators who helped with translation. I talked of the camp partners, the local episcopal church, the arab association of human rights, the local council and highway projects. The games we played, the workshops on womens rights, living with disabilities (blindness in this case), how the media distorts stories, promoting non-violence. Our trip to see a mosque forced into disrepair by being surrounded by jewish settlers, the graffitti that spoke of death to arabs scrawled on it's walls. A trip to a water park where it's the norm for leaders of jewish parties to walk around in their swimsuit with automatic weapon strapped to their backs. Imagining what impression these images must make on arabs growing up in an environment where they are feared to an extent that protecting yourself with such weaponry is acceptable. Our trip to a mosque and a church in the village, promoting interfaith relations within the arab community, and of course sharing the sad news of being caught within a war zone. Our departure to a safer haven, whilst leaving our friends in a place of danger and uncertainty.

And as Hezbollah continue to rage a war born out of frustration of the way israel seems to treat it's indiginous arab neighbours, the response is of such disproportion it makes me almost sick to hear about it. A campaign that has killed countless civilians, hundreds of children and is condemned by the UN. Yet it continues, and this morning I am frustrated listening to an Israeli MP justify the onslaught and killing of innocents as the fault of Hezbollah using human shields. This kind of argument is so poor, it beggars belief. They say, we have given the lebanese warnings to leave their homes. I say, but where do they go, how do they leave, how will they live once displaced? The bombs of Israel do not discriminate between man and women, adult and child, christian and muslim. Hezbollah's return strikes are likewise indiscriminate between arab and jew. The resolution of the situation is simple, as we wrote on our flag in Raineh - No more violence. Both sides could stop tomorrow, but there are agendas that seems to weigh more heavily then the price of human life. It is a sad situation. A word of wisdom from the muslim chaplain at cambridge uni on radio 4 this morning suggested that in it's true form religions would live harmoniously seeking truth and justice, at such a time politicians would draw up boundary lines, and the religious would seek to transcend them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cannot agree more with your sentiments. hey lost your email address please write. rodi ojoo