|Asunto:||[GAP] Fw: Paz - Jerusalem Peacemakers newsletter Sept 2006|
|Fecha:||Sabado, 23 de Septiembre, 2006 15:16:16 (+0200)|
|Autor:||cecilia rouvrais <cecilain @....fr>
----- Message d'origine -----
De : Pam Perry/ JP UK
À : JP
Envoyé : samedi 23 septembre 2006 13:45
Objet : Jerusalem Peacemakers newsletter Sept 2006
Aid, friendship and support for grassroots peacemakers in the Holy Land
Subscription/unsubscription information near the bottom
This newsletter is from Jerusalem Peacemakers, a non-profit support network
based in Glastonbury and Jerusalem, supporting independent peacemakers and joint
Palestinian/Israeli reconciliation projects in the Land of the Prophets.
You're welcome to forward this newsletter far and wide.
Our online credit card donations system is running well. Please support a
peacemaker or project, or contribute to Jerusalem Peacemakers general funds. http://www.jerusalempeacemakers.org/donate
Each individual peacemaker's site has a support section too. Every contribution,
however small, makes a difference, adds up and is greatly appreciated by the
peacemakers. It really does help their work.
All Jerusalem Peacemakers both in the Holy Land and in the UK wish to give
heartfelt thanks to those who have kindly donated already.
Ibrahim Issa and the Hope Flowers School
Bethlehem, West Bank
In 2004 the school began its psychological support program 'Listen to My Voice'
with money raised by its friends in the UK.
The program is in its second year of implementation and has been extremely
successful. Its director has been told by the Palestinian Union for Psychologists
and Social Workers that the school has become a profound professional in the
Ibrahim Issa says, "As a result, in our interactions with educationalists and
interested people in other countries, we have found that this program is more
widely significant than we first understood. Palestinians are by nature peaceful
and friendly – violence has grown over time because of the sheer scale of
problems and violations they have faced. Yet there is inherent moral support in
our local community for non-violence and, after initial reluctance was overcome,
a momentum of support has built up in the local community".
The Listen to My Voice Project objectives are:
* To provide help for the children at the school and for their families in
Bethlehem to address the effects of the downward-spiralling cycle of violence and
trauma that has arisen from the Intifada and the occupation, and to remove the
basis of future hostile behaviour.
* To create a model for wider use in Palestinian schools, to become a centre of
excellence and dissemination of psychological support for people of the West
Bank, and to share our accumulated knowledge and experience with the wider world.
The Program details are:
* Observation of individual children at the school - in some cases teacher
attention can assist them; personal counselling and attention for children by our
psychologist, helping them bring out their feelings and develop ways to transform
their attitudes, behaviour and plans;
* Discussion and home visits with parents, to help them manage family and
neighbourhood problems; coordination between psychologists, social workers and
teachers, to incorporate new educational methods for emotional release and
* Training of teachers from Hope Flowers and other schools; holding meetings and
forums for parents; generally taking initiatives and innovating according to need
and as situations develop.
Unless issues arising from trauma and deprivation are positively resolved,
violence is likely to carry on into future generations. The program arose from
behavioural and learning difficulties observed amongst children at the Hope
The situation is further deteriorating as security barriers are being built to
surround Bethlehem and other West Bank towns. They will limit the movement of
residents, reducing contact with the surrounding area and the outside world,
further damaging possibilities for growth and revival, stopping integration and
negatively affecting living conditions. Ghettos are being created which will
increase the strain on everyone living in our towns, damaging the developing
psyches of the young. The Bethlehem barrier will pass very near to the Hope
Flowers School, directly impacting on it and its visual environment, and causing
the likely demolition of the school cafeteria. The Listen to my Voice program
intends to prevent deterioration in the mental health of families and children
due to increased pressure.
Despite their difficulties Palestinians have become one of the world's most
highly qualified ethnic groups in academic terms. Through this program and our
educational work we enable our children, hungry for education, to continue this
trend because it gives us HOPE. Palestinian society is by nature friendly,
peaceful and cooperative, and it is important that bitterness and psychological
problems do not weaken and undermine this.
School History: The Hope Flowers School is an independent, integrated private
school with conference facilities located in south Bethlehem. Internationally
renowned and respected since 1984 it has worked to become a unique example of
education for PEACE and DEMOCRACY and is much cited as a hope for peace in this
region of great conflict. Website: http://www.hope-flowers.org
Can you help the school fund the third year of this project? Money is
desperately needed. PayPal facilities (online donations) are available at http://www.jerusalempeacemakers.org/hopeflowers/support.html
Bethlehem requests the presence of internationals in its attempt to remain an
open town. Hope Flowers School has conference facilities and good accommodation.
It welcomes people wishing to visit and 'bear witness'. Do consider a trip to
Bethlehem. See http://www.openbethlehem.org
Recently Hagit wrote movingly about the war with Lebanon:
There is so much to say that media is not expressing. I know it is very
challenging not to take sides in this crazy aggression, not to judge who is right
who is wrong! Will you join me in practicing it? And if only because we get what
Massive destruction in Lebanon cannot diminish the pain of the destruction in
Israel, children getting killed in both sides – is forbidden to be the answer! It
is not the solution! Wars are not the way out, as history has taught us already -
no one ever won a war, not even when it is justified, if any violence can ever be
justified... When will they ever learn?
And again sirens tear the air, frightening loud noises of aircraft carrying
bombs, horrifying bombing blasts and weaseling rockets falling all over,
indiscriminately, spreading bereavement and devastation, seeding fear and anger,
increasing revenge and ignorance... When will they ever learn?
People cry for help; Lebanese, Palestinians and Israelis mourning, wounded,
refugees, left with nothing... children – the same children I once believed would
not have to suffer again the trauma of war, this generation for whom I was
praying they would be saved of older generations’ experience of useless
hostility. When will they ever learn?
WHEN WILL THEY WAKE UP?
Nevertheless in such times, when emotion fogs any clarity, especially in such
times I spend more and more time with the children, who are sitting non-stop for
the fourth week in smothery shelters. I never know if I help them or they help me
- it must be both! That is my share; that is my self-healing. So little in such a
huge ocean of pain! If I could only go to visit the children in the Gaza Strip
too, and those in Lebanon... children are children are children! Any drop of hope
that can be offered might bring change, if only little bit. That is what I offer
– hope and trust in the goodness (GODness) within humanity.
Meanwhile I can spend time only with Israeli children in the north of Israel,
Jews, Muslims, Druze, Christians... The 'Almighty' is not discriminating - all
share in this insanity scenario. They are the light! I wish you could join me
when I tell the kids the story about Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl born in
Hiroshima during WW2. The poisoning effect of the deadly atomic bomb dropped on
her home-town appeared only twelve years later - she was diagnosed with leukemia.
Shortly before, subdued by what was then a terminal illness, she committed
herself to folding 1000 paper cranes which, according to an ancient Japanese
tradition, would make one’s wishes and prayers come true.
When I share this story with the children, over 60 years later, I tell them that
Sadako's wish referred also to them, since she asked very clearly for ALL the
children of the world, ALL OF THEM, never to be part of the adults' conflicts,
always to be left out! Then I tell them that she was too sick to complete her
task, but they can help bring her wish come real by folding 1000 paper cranes,
you should see the sparkle in their eyes – yes! Enthusiastically they cry, "We
are committed to fold 1000 paper cranes! We are ready to make it happen! For ALL
the children of the world!". Those little fingers folding small colored papers
into the shape of the crane, then closing eyes, praying silently together for
peace on earth, blowing the spirit of the prayer into the paper bird, wishing it
to spread the message all over mother earth, for all her children! Also, when
youngsters are not yet able to fold paper into cranes, they paint colorful 'peace
drawings'. Or older children write Praying Mandalas! What a sight!
In the midst of all these events I discovered some new friends, including a
group of people in little town called Rosh Pina, willing to have an International
Day of Peace ceremony on September 21st at their town, including the planting of
a Peace Pole, with a World Peace Ceremony with all the nations' flags! I couldn't
ask for more! Oh no! I could ask for so much more... how about simply envisioning
peace on earth!?
I am so privileged to be here accomplishing this mission, knowing I am protected
by the unconditional love of God and by your prayers! In humble modesty I thank
In Oneness and infinite loving gratitude – Hagit
For more about Hagit: http://www.jerusalempeacemakers.org/hagit
Ibrahim Abu el-Hawa
from the Mount of Olives
Recently Ibrahim wrote the letter below to a contributor to his house funding.
In it he writes of hosting refugees from the north of Israel who were deeply
affected by the war with Lebanon.
I want to express my deep gratitude to you and tell you how much you have
touched me. Your generous offering has come at a very appropriate time.
My open home is offering a bed and a meal to everybody, regardless of race,
nationality or religion, and regardless of social and financial status.
We have people from many countries, and especially Christians and Jews who like
to spend time in a Muslim environment and enjoy our hospitality.
In the last months I was hosting, in addition to guests and visitors from Europe
and America, refugees from the north of Israel who fled from the war and the
shells falling in their villages.
Your contribution will go towards paying the expenses of the open home that
could not be covered by the donations of the guests.
In deep respect and gratitude,
May God Bless You,
Ibrahim Abu el Hawa, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
For more about Ibrahim: http://www.jerusalempeacemakers.org/ibrahim
The invitation below was issued to people throughout the Holy Land this August.
It was to an event that Ibtisam Mahamid helped to organise near her home.
You are cordially invited to a special event, "Healing Abraham's Family" hosted
by the Abrahamic Reunion in the Arab city of Faradis, near Zichron Yaakov. The
event takes place on Wednesday, September 6th from 15:00-18:00.
Given the recent conflict in Lebanon, Gaza and northern Israel, relations
between Jews and Arabs in region have reached an all time low. A group of Jewish,
Christian, Muslim and Druze religious leaders, the Abrahamic Reunion, helps to
rebuild trust among the wounded family of Abraham.
The Abrahamic Reunion empowers the voice of moderate religious leaders.
Founding Members of the Abrahamic Reunion:
Elias Jabbour, Founder of the House of Hope, Shefar'amer;
Sheikh Hussein Abu Rukun, elder of the Mowahhidoon faith, Isfiya;
Rabbi Menachem Froman, Tekoa;
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari, Sheikh of Uzbekhi Naqshbandi Sufis, Jerusalem;
Reverend Abouna Abu Hatoum, Minister of the Greek Melkite Church, Nazareth;
Rabbi Yosef Hadane, Chief Rabbi of the Ethiopian Jews of Israel, Tel Aviv;
Imam Khalil al-Baz, Imam and spokesperson for the Bedouin, Tel Sheva;
Ibrahim Abu El-Hawa, peace ambassador, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem;
Elana Rozenman, United Religions Initiative Global Council Trustee, Jerusalem;
Eliyahu McLean, Rodef Shalom international peacemaker, Jerusalem;
Ibtisam Mahamid, coordinator of Arab-Jewish co-existence activities, Faradis;
Deacon Jiries Mansour, Deacon of the Greek Catholic Church in Rama, Galilee;
Shahabuddin David Less, worldwide director, Universal Worship, USA;
Kothreneda Anna Less, president, Rising Tide International, USA;
Ferishta Andrea Blanch, Director, Centers on Conflict, Women and Violence, USA
While the media focuses on the conflict, we urge you to join us in this positive
initiative that helps to renew hope for a better future in the Middle East.
The public gathering of over 75 Arabs and Jews will include:
- participatory dialogue
- blessings and prayers for peace by religious leaders
- shared meal, "kibud kal".
For more about Ibtisam: http://www.jerusalempeacemakers.org/ibtisam
Eliyahu McLean and Sheikh Bukhari will be in England and Northern Ireland in
Dates so far:
Nov 15th, Worcester;
Nov 16th, Gloucester;
Nov 19th Ammerdown Centre, Radstock, Somerset;
Nov 23rd Crawley;
Nov 27th Belfast.
For more information please email: jerusalem.peacemakers@...
Eliyahu recently wrote about his Sulha Journey:
Hello friends and supporters,
From Monday to Wednesday, August 28-30, over 50 Arab and Jewish teenagers and
adults embarked on a bus journey throughout the Galilee, to bring the spirit of
Sulha – reconciliation - to communities affected by the recent war in Israel and
Lebanon. This bus ride was a positive response to the deep rift that has
developed between the Arab and Jewish societies within Israel after the war. On
the bus were people from places like Nazareth, Daburiya, the Golan Heights and
The larger annual Sulha gathering, originally scheduled for the previous week,
was postponed. Many Jewish-Arab peace initiatives in the Holy Land have suspended
their activities due to anger felt in both societies towards the actions of the
other during the recent war. Support for Hezbollah expressed by some Arabs in
Israel deeply disturbs Israeli Jews. Similarly, the civilian casualties in
Lebanon at the hands of the Israeli army in Lebanon deeply upset Arab
communities. Some Jewish towns in the Galilee said the time wasn't yet ripe to
welcome a mixed delegation of Jews and Arabs; emotions were still too raw in the
Given all these difficulties, it was remarkable that this Sulha journey brought
so many Jews and Arabs together during these three days.
The Sulha caravan opened Monday evening with a gathering in the community center
of the Galilee Arab village of Tur'an. Christian Arab dialogue leader Rhonda
Sabag and local Christian and Muslim teenagers welcomed us. Sulha director Gaby
Meyer thanked everyone for coming together to re-establish the spirit of
cooperation after the most difficult month for all of us. Muslim co-director Ihab
Barha blessed the gathering in the name of all the prophets. Israeli Jews as well
as guests from USA, Hungary, Norway and China joined the circle. Elias, a
Christian Palestinian from Bethlehem, joined the gathering for two hours before
having to return to Bethlehem. After a shared meal, the group broke into three
listening circles where Jews and Arabs could sit face to face and share their
experiences of the recent war.
On Tuesday morning, we met in Rhonda's home to develop concrete projects and
visions for the future. That afternoon, the bus left Tu'ran for I'bilin, an Arab
village in the Western Galilee, where we set up camp on the lawn of the community
center. At this point the caravan doubled to over 200 people. Joining us were
more Jews, Arabs from I'bilin and a peace bus that had driven all the way from
Germany to join us. Jews and Arabs prepared a communal feast, with Christian,
Muslim and Jewish prayers offered to bless the meal. We ate and then danced
Debka, the traditional Arab folk dance. In the listening circles that followed,
an atmosphere of honesty and trust was created. Some expressed anger at the war,
others hope for a peaceful future. The listening circles were followed by a
celebration that lasted into the night, an opportunity to release some of the
tension of having recently lived through a war.
The Sulha journey culminated Wednesday afternoon in the Upper Galilee Bedouin
Muslim town of Tuba. There, hundreds of mothers and young children gathered to
welcome us. Also joining us were Jewish friends from Tsfat and Rosh Pina. As the
mothers spoke in listening circles, Elad Vazana led games for the children. After
more singing and Debka dancing, the local teenagers joined those of us travelling
with the bus in a closing circle to reflect on the triumphs and tribulations of
the journey, and to anticipate the upcoming Sulhita youth projects.
The journey was at moments chaotic; arrival to Jewish towns was missing.
However, for many who joined this tour a feeling of hope was rekindled... the
delicate flame of hope had been kept alight amidst the winds of despair.
'On the Way to Sulha' board member,
Jerusalem Peacemakers, director
For more about Eliyahu: http://www.jerusalempeacemakers.org/eliyahu
This is a web-based project supporting and honouring the efforts of grassroots
peace-builders and interfaith workers who stand on the frontline of the
reconciliation movement in the Holy Land. They bring a spiritual-humanitarian
dimension to the peace process, working to heal separation between two peoples
who in reality are so intertwined.
We welcome donations, practical support and contacts. See our site for details.
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the peacemakers and projects we're involved with. http://www.jerusalempeacemakers.org/donate
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PO Box 2427, Glastonbury BA6 8XX, England
USA contact Suzanne Keehn: dskeehn@...