Standing together – Practising “Active Hope” in Palestine/Israel and where you live

I invite you to read a recent posting by Aaron, an Ecumenical Accompanier with the newly formed Ar-Ram team, located in the north part of occupied East Jerusalem near the location of the Israeli government’s Separation Wall. Click here.

Aaron describes a situation that might seem hopeless: the proposed expansion of an Israeli national park with disregard for the Palestinians who actually live in occupied Nabi Samwil. I had the privilege of visiting this village on 1 March 2011. Please see my posting for additional information and photos (click here).

However, Aaron also describes what happened recently when about 50 people held a demonstration; villagers, Israeli peace activists, and international visitors stood together. Their solidarity surprised the Israeli armed police officers that arrived. When the demonstrators were told to move, the local organizer, Aeed Barakat, spoke for the group. He declared that, “This is our village. We won’t move.” After trying a few more times to disperse the group, the police left.

In keeping with Active Hope (click here), the demonstrators acted amidst a seemingly hopeless situation. As Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone (2012) state, “Active Hope is a practice”. “The guiding impetus is intention; we choose what we aim to bring about, act for, or express. Rather than weighing our chances and proceeding only when we feel hopeful, we focus on our intention and let it be our guide.” (p. 3)

I invite you to share my blog posting and Aaron’s posting, far and wide. In 2014, we can choose to look at our realities, name our hopes, and then… act with intention.

Reference  Macy, Joanna, and Johnstone, Chris. (2012). Active hope: How to face the mess we’re in without going crazy. Novato, CA: New World Library.

Response to a Letter from East Jerusalem to Canada – Part 1

Dear Friend in Palestine (responding to the letter to Canada – click here):

Yes, so sadly and unjustly, what you have heard about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) (click here) is true. At this time, there is no plan to include the stories of 65 years of oppression, dispossession, occupation, and human rights violations against the Palestinian people in The West Bank or Gaza.

But do not think that this has gone unnoticed. In Winnipeg, groups of people from the student movement, from the Palestinian Diaspora, from the Independent Jewish Voices (click here), and even from the United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel (click here) are joining together to strategize how to address this with the board of the CMHR. Many of us feel deeply that the story of ‘Never Again’, the lessons of the Holocaust, must move all of humanity to say ‘Never Again’ to genocide, cultural genocide, and the slow death of a people’s aspirations for statehood, justice, peace and self-determination.

So do not despair that the state of the decision today is how it will be tomorrow! We are working from an inter-religious, inter-cultural, ecumenical, social-justice orientation to ensure that the Palestinian story will be told, and that the story will represent the real voices of Palestine as they recount their history. Keep asking!

And don’t just ask us as Canadians. Ask the Museum board, the Provincial and Federal Governments, and other churches and social-justice bodies to turn their eyes and questions toward Winnipeg. The land the museum sits on is land of the original treaty peoples of Turtle Island. They know about dispossession, and oppression.
Faithfully and in hope!
Dianne at