In Susiya: ” ‘There is Another Way’ in Hebrew, Arabic and English.”

So read the placard at a demonstration yesterday in Susiya.

On Wed., 22 July 2015, the possibility was great that many of the structures of the Palestinian community of Susiya would be demolished. On the next day, I exchanged emails with Dianne, one of the Canadian Ecumenical Accompaniers ( who is currently there; she wrote that a temporary reprieve seemed to arise… until Tues., 28 July 2015. Living with this uncertainty characterizes life across occupied Palestine.

In the meantime, many Israelis joined Palestinians and some internationals yesterday to stand with the Palestinians of Susiya. I invite you to read a recent blog posting by the Israeli, Adam Keller, titled, “A traffic jam in the middle of the desert”. The reference to “another way” comes from Keller’s posting. Click here.

We are one Earth community – Canada shares responsibility…

Canada is a part of the global community. If we are concerned about the future, we need to understand that what happens elsewhere (e.g., Palestinian refugees in Syria) also impacts Canadians. To sustain life ‘there’ is linked to sustaining life ‘here’.

I invite you to learn more about the need for international (including UN-member states like Canada) support for Palestinian refugees in Damascus, particularly Yarmouk refugee camp. Peter Larson posted on his blog, recently (click here), referring to CBC Radio’s program, “The Current”, on Thurs., 9 Apr. 2015 (click here).

For additional info, please follow these links:

Through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians (UNRWA), the UN protects Palestinian refugees and calls for urgent support (click here).

This appeared in a left-leaning, Israeli newspaper (click here).

Walking in the lands we love, without fear

As we reflect on 2014 and dream into the future, I wish to share two recent blogs from a Canadian Ecumenical Accompanier (EA; click here), Zoë. She provides insight into the beauty of the land in the West Bank and how it is being changed (click here and here).

Her reflections bring to mind the intense joy that I experienced when I visited the tiny village of Yanoun in January 2011 – the place was a salve for my soul, after an intense six weeks in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem. Click here for more information about Yanoun and for a slide show of my photos from my visit.

Shortly after my visit to Yanoun, I found a book of poetic prose by Raja Shehadeh, a Palestinian lawyer, Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape. It won the Orwell Prize in 2008. Click here to learn more and to read some excerpts. See his additional commentary from 2009 here.

I share Shehadeh’s lament:

“How unaware many trekkers around the world are of what a luxury it is to be able to walk in the land they love without anger, fear or insecurity, just to be able to walk without political arguments running obsessively through their heads, without the fear of losing what they’ve come to love, without the anxiety that they will be deprived of the right to enjoy it. Simply to walk and savour what nature has to offer, as I was once able to do.” (Shehadeh, 2008, p. 33)

Let this lament be a basis for hope that, together, we might realize that we are collectively responsible for the political-economic conflicts in the world and that we might help to heal with the lands that we love…


At the kitchen table, we can begin again…

“The world begins at a kitchen table.” This is the first part of the first line of Joy Harjo’s poem, Perhaps the World Ends Here (click here and here).

I sought out these poetic words, after I received a notice in my Inbox from Zoë, a Canadian Ecumenical Accompanier (EA) placed in Jayyus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. She posted a photo essay of a cooking lesson with Lina, from earlier today (click here).

Then, I read a recent comment on my blog, a comment from Debbie, the Canadian EA placed in East Jerusalem. She wrote to say that she participated in a recent gathering to consider how Palestinians and Israelis might gather around food and art… to build trust and relationships. (See her full comment by clicking here and then scroll down.)

“The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table.” (Joy Harjo continues…)

“At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.” (Joy Harjo adds…)

We begin, again…


Access to learning – Access to understanding

“This idea of conversation – talking together, reaching mutual understanding, and making meaning together across hierarchies – that’s the work that needs to be done” (Samantha Tan, quoted in Brown, 2003, p. 201).

How will we enable the next generation to engage in meaningful conversation if we restrict opportunities to learn and grow? My question arises as I read a recent posting by two Ecumenical Accompaniers currently placed in East Jerusalem. Debbie (click here) is one of the two EAs and is from Edmonton. Here’s the posting that she wrote with a teammate, Nkosi (click here).

Brown, Juanita. (2003). The World Café: Shaping our futures through conversations that matter. With David Isaacs and the World Café Community. Foreword by Margaret J. Wheatley. Afterword by Peter Senge. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.