Thank you, dear fellow-members, for helping to send me to Jordan this summer to train with Christian Peacemaker Teams. Your money, prayers and interest are a gift to the people of Palestine as they face increasing pressure from Israeli occupation of the West Bank. I met many Palestinians a year ago when I went on a CPT delegation. I heard their stories which they asked me to share with people back home so that they are not forgotten in the impossible situation they are living with. I’ve been doing that as much as I can.
CPT is a Chicago organisation that has had a team in Hebron since 1994. They are there at the invitation of local people and support them in every way that is non violent. In practice, most of the day to day work consists of monitoring the checkpoints every morning and responding to the regular emergencies that happen in a city where the Israeli settlers live right on top of the long-term Arab population.
I went for training this summer in Jordan. Nearly half of the trainees, like me, were hoping to join the team in Hebron but there are also teams in Iraqi Kurdistan, Colombia, with the indigenous people in Canada and with refugees trapped on the Greek island of Lesbos.
Training was hard! We were a dozen or so, and we spent all day, every day in workshops on nonviolent activism; sharing your spiritu- ality with others who may have different beliefs; sexism, racism, heterosexism, white supremacy; your personality type and how you tend to respond in different situations; in role plays relating to the different projects; in increasing our skills around creating songs and videos and speeches; in what to do if you are refused entry, kidnapped, faced with tear gas or bullets; in how it’s a good idea to leave a letter just in case you die. Above all, not to draw attention to your own role, but to the people on the ground living with the injustice day by day; to have a proper humility as you seek to be of use.
I hope my domestic circumstances will allow me to offer for month in Hebron next summer. Meanwhile, I am learning Arabic (again! It isn’t an easy language for an older Westerner to learn) and continuing to share the stories and spread the word in all ways possible.
Thank you for being part of that work.