Voices of Palestinians and Israelis (12-16-14)

Just back from separate trips to Palestine and Israel, Dumbarton's Doris Warrell and Ginny Lapham lost no time in sharing their perspectives with Adult Ed. on Dec. 16.

Warrell's trip, sponsored byChurches for Middle East Peace, where she works as a field organizer, took her to historic and Biblical sites around the Sea of Galilee. She showed photos of Bethlehem at Advent (above), Roman ruins...an ancient synagogue,...a resort built under Jordanian rule near the receding Dead Sea...even the traditional baptism site of Jesus on the River Jordan. "Don't ask me if familiar Biblical stories really happened there," Warrell said. "The people living there say they did and I'm OK with that."

Ginny Lapham, who regularly houses Palestinian students visiting the U.S., traveled to Palestine and Israel with Interfaith Peace Builders. She shared highlights of her experience through the voices of four people whom she met during the trip--Nomika, a Jewish Israeli, who lives with her husband and children two miles from Gaza; Tamer,  an internationally known Israeli Palestinian hiphop artist; Ruth, a Jewish woman who emigrated to Israel in 1972 and who launched an organization called "New Profile";  and Anna, the Jewish American woman who led the Interfaith Peace Builders trip. Here's some of what they had to say:
--"Fear of violence occupies every waking moment." 
--"When you stop seeing others as human beings, you stop being human yourself."
--"Israelis  get their trash picked up all the time, but Palestinians have to burn it."
--"No exit strategy exists for Palestinians."
--"In Israel, the military is a part of kids' lives from the very beginning."
--"It's OK to kill someone if they're in a place they're not allowed to be."
--"In Hebron, troops go from house to house all night to make sure everyone is there."
--"A one-state solution has to be with equal rights."

--By Ginny Finch