Are we ever really “ready” or “set” for what life places in our path? But ready or not, we can choose to open to what presents itself ~ Here I am, send me! ~ And so I find myself in Palestine and Israel for two months, providing interim staff support for the East Jerusalem EAPPI office and team support to Bethlehem, Hebron, and South Hebron Hills. I join EAPPI in thanking the United Church of Canada for their unflagging commitment and continued support of this important work. It is good to be here.
When I arrived late last week, the outgoing Group 57 consisting of 23 EAs was winding up their last few days in their placements ~ the incoming Group 58 with 30 EAs was completing their training near Bethlehem and about to be launched. And no one would have predicted that this level of ongoing violence would erupt as it has. Yet again, the status quo on the ground has shown that it is unsustainable ~ that it must change. Even if the current wave recedes, this cycle will only recur and ultimately spin out of control unless the root cause ~ the occupation~ is addressed.
I was in Bethlehem the day that Abdelrahman Obeidallah, a 13-year-old boy from Aida refugee camp, who was returning from school, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers ~ a bullet in his chest. Killing after killing, one supposedly answering the other ~ and no one seems to ask why. In the international media, the context is either missing or skewed. Yet deep down we know that violence answered with violence only results in more violence. Increasing the pressure in the pressure cooker only insures it will explode ~ Everyone who is killed is somebody’s son or daughter ~ Every death is tragic ~ Every life is precious.
In these next months I will resume my blog, sharing both my experiences and the stories of those among whom I live and who are all in one way or another impacted by this cruel, inhumane military occupation.
I invite you to journey with me…