“. . . this tragedy with a terrible root is too big for us. . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

Delegation to Palestine/Israel
MAY 16-29, 2015
Co-Sponsored with the University of Georgia’s Catholic Center
and the Central Presbyterian Church of Atlanta
Leaders: Ilise Benshushan Cohen & Julie Norman

The United States has been the most dominant international player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This delegation will examine the historic and current role of U.S. government and civil society intervention in the region. The delegation will meet with Palestinian and Israeli civil society leaders, activists and experts who will discuss the role of U.S. military, humanitarian and diplomatic aid, as well as its legal implications.


From The Electronic Intifada

Israeli Demolition of Palestinian woman’s home “a double crime”
Budour Youssef Hassan
11 February 2015

A massive Israeli police force raided the Palestinian neighborhood of Bayarat Shannir in Lydd, a city in present-day Israel, on Tuesday morning.Armed to the teeth and accompanied by bulldozers, hundreds of police officers stormed the neighborhood and sealed all entrances. At 10am, the police demolished the home of Hana al-Naqib, a mother of four, saying that it was built without a permit. Hana and her children, aged 7, 8, 14 and 15, were violently expelled from their newly-built home, as were the neighbors who came to support them.”



Thirteen Palestinians revive lawsuit against US “charities” funding violent Israeli settlers

Submitted by Charlotte Silver on Wed, 02/11/2015

A group of Palestinians has decided to continue a lawsuit against several US-based “charitable organizations” accused of supporting violent Israeli Settlers in the occupied West Bank.




“Blood,” by Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952)
“A true Arab knows how to catch a fly in his hands,”
my father would say. And he’d prove it,
cupping the buzzer instantly
while the host with the swatter stared.

In the spring our palms peeled like snakes.
True Arabs believed watermelon could heal fifty ways.
I changed these to fit the occasion.

Years before, a girl knocked,
wanted to see the Arab.
I said we didn’t have one.
After that, my father told me who he was,
“Shihab”—“shooting star”—
a good name, borrowed from the sky.
Once I said, “When we die, we give it back?”
He said that’s what a true Arab would say.

Today the headlines clot in my blood.
A little Palestinian dangles a toy truck on the front page.
Homeless fig, this tragedy with a terrible root
is too big for us. What flag can we wave?
I wave the flag of stone and seed,
table mat stitched in blue.

I call my father, we talk around the news.
It is too much for him,
neither of his two languages can reach it.
I drive into the country to find sheep, cows,
to plead with the air:
Who calls anyone civilized?
Where can the crying heart graze?
What does a true Arab do now?

“. . . Salaam upon you the day you were killed in the land of peace. . . “ (Mahmoud Darwish)

This blog as of today will become a regular collection of links and short introductions to articles about Palestine and the search for peace in the Middle East centered on the (seemingly) endless war of occupation in Palestine and Israel.

I am committed on this blog to provide information that is not readily available in “mainstream media” about the search for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel.

PLEASE HELP ME FIND PERTINENT MATERIAL TO NOTE HERE (contact me here or Email me–or post on Facebook, and I will lift it).

The material here will be loosely organized, but it will be limited enough so to be easily understood.


February 08, 2015
500 rabbis urge Israel to stop demolition of Palestinian homes
demolition.siA Palestinian Bedouin near his dwelling that was demolished by Israeli bulldozers near the Jewish settlement of Karmel, near the West Bank city of Hebron (Reuters / Mussa Qawasma)

  • Conference
    Canadian Friends of Sabeel (CFOS)
    “Seeking the Peace of Jerusalem: Overcoming Christian Zionism in the Quest for Justice”
    23 – 25 April 2015
    St. Mary’s Kerrisdale Church, Vancouver, B.C.
    Anglican Church of Canada
    Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)
    Presbyterian Church in Canada
    United Church of Canada
  • Playgrounds for Palestine annual fundraiser, March 28, 2015


Rev. Robert Assaly, Chair of Canadian Friends of Sabeel was in Palestine for the 5th anniversary of the Kairos Palestine Document (December 2-4, 2014) as well as for a CFOS organized witness trip – focusing on models of popular resistance and liberation theology. While there, Robert met with CFOS partners in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. He wrote a series of reflections which are published on the CFOS website. The last, his reflections on visiting Gaza, is particularly important.

Reflections from Palestine – VII
“Gaza: When ‘Apartheid’ becomes a polite understatement.”

“I Belong There,” By Mahmoud Darwish
I didn’t apologize to the well when I passed the well,
I borrowed from the ancient pine tree a cloud
and squeezed it like an orange, then waited for a gazelle
white and legendary. And I ordered my heart to be patient:
Be neutral as if you were not of me! Right here
the kind shepherds stood on air and evolved
their flutes, then persuaded the mountain quail toward
the snare. And right here I saddled a horse for flying toward
my planets, then flew. And right here the priestess
told me: Beware of the asphalt road and the cars
and walk upon your exhalation. Right here
I slackened my shadow and waited, I picked the tiniest
rock and stayed up late. I broke the myth and I broke.
And I circled the well until I flew from myself
to what isn’t of it. A deep voice shouted at me:
This grave isn’t your grave. So I apologized.
I read verses from the wise holy book, and said
to the unknown one in the well: Salaam upon you the day
you were killed in the land of peace, and the day you rise
from the darkness of the well alive!

From Unfortunately, It Was Paradise by Mahmoud Darwish translated and Edited by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché with Sinan Antoon and Amira El-Zein. Published 2003 University of California Press.

On March 13, 1941 Mahmoud Darwish was born in Al Birweh, Palestine, into a land-owning Sunni Muslim family. During the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, his village was destroyed and his family fled to Lebanon. They returned the following year, secretly re-entering Israel.
As a young man, Darwish faced house arrest and imprisonment for his political activism and for publicly reading his poetry. He joined the official Communist Party of Israel, the Rakah, in the 1960s. In 1970, he left for Russia, where he attended the University of Moscow for one year, and then moved to Cairo. He lived in exile for twenty-six years, between Beirut and Paris, until his return to Israel in 1996, after which he settled in Ramallah in the West Bank. Darwish died on August 9, 2008, in Houston, TX, after complications from heart surgery.