On a walk through Deheisheh Refugee Camp, a target of many Israeli attacks and an even greater target of psychological warfare, I was greeted enthusiastically by no fewer than 20 young children and 10 adults. Back home in New York, that’s unfathomable.Read More
Ours is an environmental delegation so it is natural that we should have visited as many as six farms during our tour of Palestine. Farmers anywhere will tell you of their difficulties - the price of seed and feed, the price they can make in the market, and the vagaries of the weather. All this and more is sent to try the farmers of Palestine.Read More
And what can be said of the actual olive harvest, an opportunity to touch, to commune with, to bear witness to spirit trees that are hundreds of years old, some even thousands of years old! I traveled back in time to places that I had read about, to peoples that existed in ancient times and felt connected to the land and to humanity.Read More
We were fortunate to participate in the harvesting of olives. Our group was welcomed warmly as we walked to a stand of trees, where men and women had gathered to tend to the various tasks of the day. Black tarps were laid upon the ground under the trees to collect the olives picked or shaken off of the branches.Read More
It was nearly dark when we arrived for dinner in Battir, a village near Bethlehem. As we descended the stairs to the Terraces Cafe, we could dimly discern all around us the two thousand year old stone structures from which the Cafe took its name, and the imposing Roman-era pool at its edge. Battir is known for its beauty and its water.Read More
I knew I was going to learn a lot on this delegation, but hearing a message that resonates with my personal experience and aligns with the African American struggle in the US has been uplifting and reaffirming. Hearing from Daoud from the Tents of Nations has expanded my view on what it means to be resilient in the midst of an oppressive and dehumanizing struggle.Read More
A small hilltop family farm
Surrounded by predators.
Olives, almonds, figs and vines
Clinging to the stony ground,
Their owners too.
“Come and see and go and tell,” the gentle man with the soft voice bid us. We sat in one of the caves at the Tent of Nations outside of Bethlehem and listened as he chronicled 27 years of nonviolent community building. We came from different locations throughout the U. S., came to listen as he instructed on the value of staying put, of staking a claim, of valuing what we have been given.Read More
On Wednesday we were in Bethlehem, the tear gas capital of the world. There is so much tear gas sprayed here, just blocks from Israel’s separation wall, that the gardeners at Dar Jacir are trying to find out what plants are most tolerant of the chemicals in tear gas, which is manufactured somewhere in Pennsylvania.Read More
The Palestinian Heirloom Seed Library is based on the property of a beautiful, recently restored Palestinian home just beyond the annexation/ expansion wall in Bethlehem. The beauty of the house, of the terraced gardens, and of the vision guiding this work stand in profound contrast to the slabs of cement, the barbed wire, and the violence of wall.Read More