Over the last year and a half, even as I was preparing to go to East Jerusalem, I have been asked, “Which side are you on?” A natural starting point for many of us, in trying to find our way into understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seems to be to ‘pick a side’. Why?
As this internationally acknowledged military occupation of Palestine continues, I choose to stand with all those who are working toward a just peace. We are a diverse group, internationally, and include both Israelis and Palestinians who can see and feel the pain caused by the Israeli government’s occupation. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to live in East Jerusalem, for “Reflection, with deep time spent in the consideration of others, opens the door to becoming a compassionate participant in the world” (Terry Tempest Williams, The Open Space of Democracy, 2004, p. 88).
I continue to watch the news in East Jerusalem because I feel connected now. For example, see this recent story about two home demolitions. (Click here.)
Let’s move away from ‘either/or’ side-making. We are in ‘this’ together; people are hurting right now. Shall we focus on opening this door together?