While MPT works on always improving our programs, and readies the next team of our own to Palestine, we thought our readers would be interested to hear some first-hand stories of internationals in Palestine during the month of May 2012.
Here is an except:
In Sderot we listened to an Israeli woman, Nomika Zion, who has lived in Sderot for 25 years in the collective community of which she is an original member. She spoke of the "Safe Room" in her house that is a bomb shelter, and said the State requires all homes built in Israel to have one. Given the way the state has chosen to live with its neighbors, it probably makes sense. The idea of all Jewish Israelis having a "safe room", when Palestinians are the ones under rather constant bombardment is ironic beyond bearing. What privilege and what fear-mongering.
She seemed a good woman, and certainly is a brave woman, for she has always spoken out against Israel's attacks on Gaza. She spoke for a long time about what it is like there, how they had good Palestinian friends from Gaza for many years, and how people on both sides of the border crossed regularly to shop and visit in each other's towns.
She was honest about Israel breaking various cease fires, and of her conflict as Summer Rains 2006 and Cast Lead 2009/10 happened. She said she had to support her army even though she was against the attacks. She called them wars, but in fact, they were not - only one side had weapons....
For more of these reports, visit: http://www.ifpb.org/del40/report3.html.
To learn more about the amazing organization Interfaith Peace-Builders, who send regular delegations to Israel/Palestine, visit: www.ifpb.org.