We traveled along both sides of the Jordan River and visited cities in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The Sea of Galilee, Magdala, Capernaum, Jericao, Amman, Petra and Jerusalem were just a few of our stops. We looked at historic peoples in the region and examined the historic religious and political claims on land on both sides of the Jordan River.
This was our journey.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Posted by Picasa The group spent time at the Tent of Nations today with about ten Palestinian students from Bethlehem University joining them.  Tea upon arrival and some play (see photo)  before the presentation by Daoud Nasser who manages the family farm of about 400 acres and the Tent of Nations tentofnations.org  Daoud explained how the Nasser family has owned the property since decades but that the Israeli military attempted to confiscate it.  It is on the top of a hill which is surrounded by five Jewish settlements in the West Bank.  Surprised that the family had deeds and papers proving ownership, the Israeli high court could not but rule in the favor of the family.  Nevertheless, the matter remains in the hands of the court after almost twenty years.  Instead of giving up, emigrating, or being the victim, the Nasser family has been working with the system and continues to invite foreigners to the farm.  The demand is simply that Israeli abide by international law and convenants to which it is a signatore.  "We refuse to be enemies" is the motto.  Daoud made it clear that it is no the role of outsiders to take sides in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but to be informed and to demand equity from all parties to the conflict.  Peace, justice and environmental responsibility are the goals for Israelis and Palestinians.

The group were guided around the farm by Bshara Nasser, Daoud's nephew and recent graduate from Bethlehem University.  The students then planted olive trees.  OVer one million trees were uprooted by the Israelis in an attempt to rid the farm of the family.  After a traditional Palestinian lunch, the Americans challenged the Palestinians to a soccer match.  While sophomore Taylor Bradshaw made two goals, the Palestinians won the match.

Jacoub Sleibi, senior at Bethlehem University, invited the group to dinner and traditional music at his family's restaurant, Al-Rosana, next to Bethlehem University - a two minute walk from our Hospice.

A beautiful day, much-needed rain may arrive this evening.

Brother Donald

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