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Violating Sanctions

An American Woman’s Listening Tour Through the Axis of Evil

Archive for the Christian Peacemaker Teams ( Category

Life in Hebron

March 25th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments 1 Comment »

Christian Peacemaker Teams ( ) has a “team” on-the-ground in Hebron, a delightful old city now defined by its tension. The maze of above-ground tunnels twist in every direction, leading to a labyrinth of shops and homes. The CPTers live in the “chicken district,” a more airy area living up to its fowl-neighbored name. There are 6 rotating “CPTers” who either work full-time in 3-month in-country stints, or act as volunteer “reservists,” spending up to several weeks supporting the skeletal staff.
CPT has few hard and fast rules. Among them are they live as locals do, in modest conditions. In our case, that means a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom drafty apartment shared by 9 people. The bathroom is considered a bit upscale because it boasts a hand-held showerhead with an anemic drizzle and water charitably described as tepid during its best moments. A separate closet features a squat toilet with a handy pitcher of greywater to pour down to “flush” the waterless toilet.shuhada-street.jpg

The other rule is that unmarried men and women room separately. Reread the paragraph above for clues on how little rule #2 interferes with my desire to intermingle with the opposite sex. (more…)

Disarming Soldiers

March 24th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments 1 Comment »

My first few hours in Hebron, I was detained for over an hour by two remarkably young, polite, armed soldiers. As we waited … and waited … and waited at the checkpoint for some unseen voice at the end of one of the soldier’s radio to clear us, I engaged one of the soldiers in a game of Tic-Tac-Toe.
222soldiers-stopping.jpg (more…)

Apartheid Roads: Roadblocks to Human Dignity

March 23rd, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments 1 Comment »

I live in a town where freedom is defined by freeways. In Los Angeles, we are so obstinate about our 24-hour ability to get around, we build roads before we build schools, parks or moderately priced housing.

So, it’s jarring here in Jerusalem to be confronted with arbitrary roadblocks that restrict more than travel.
The “Separation Barrier” is what peace activists call The Wall. “‘Wall’ sounds too innocuous,” says Risa Zoll, International Relations Director for B’Tselem, an impressive human rights organization that documents the human and civil rights violations Palestinians endure.

The 700-km wall is more than a concrete barrier, it’s a series of slabs, trenches, electrified wires, and fences that snakes through neighborhoods, farms, playgrounds, migratory routes. (more…)

Westerners in the West Bank

March 21st, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

It’s 2:00 am and I’m sitting in the bathroom of my bedroom at the Jerusalem hostel that I share with 5 other women. Since I left Los Angeles one week ago today, I’ve not slept more than 5 hours at a time. (I will be able to post this tomorrow evening at “Mike’s Internet Café.”)

Tonight, our Christian Peacemaker Teams ( delegation convened for our first dinner and meeting. (more…)

Smuggling Democracy

March 18th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

I smuggled in Jimmy Carter’s book. I wasn’t sure what scrutiny I might be under coming into Israel, and I didn’t want to chance being denied entry, so I hid the book, hoping it would elude any searches. When I mentioned this to a Jew, she was politely offended and assured me the former US president’s book is available here. When I mentioned this to a Palestinian, he shook his head, marveling at the chance I took.

I haven’t yet read Mr. Carter’s book with the incendiary title “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.” But, I am beginning to learn of the insidious ways Palestinians are subtly subjugated, and how ingrained this conflict is. (more…)

Flipping Perceptions

March 16th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

“How the world sees you depends on how you see the world,” begins a provocative ad campaign gracing London’s Heathrow Airport’s walls. Several sets of 4 posters juxtapose 2 similar images and 2 single-word taglines. For example, a photo of a celebrity fending off paparazzi, palms out, hands covering face, has the tagline “INFORMATIVE.” The next photo shows a pack of hungry paparazzi, cameras flashing, with the tagline “INTRUSIVE.” The following photo shows the paparazzi repeated with the tagline “INFORMATIVE,” and the last photo repeats the reluctant celebrity with the tagline “INTRUSIVE.”

Hit the pause button and think about this for a minute. The first 2 photos/taglines depict how the celebrity and paparazzi are typically characterized.

Now, flip it. (more…)

Leaving for Palestine & Israel

March 13th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

“It’s one thing to have your political values,” a former director from the Israeli town of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam once told me. “It’s another thing entirely to live them 24 hours a day.”

Tomorrow, I fly to Israel and Palestine, where I will spend 5 days at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, ( a village whose name means “Oasis of Peace” in both Hebrew and Arabic. Fifty Israeli and Palestinian families have lived biculturally in this community for 30 years, celebrating each other’s holidays, learning each other’s languages and respecting each other’s differences.

I’ll be visiting their primary school and speaking with children who are learning to respect another culture while their media, government and culture are showing them just the opposite.

On March 20, I will join a Christian Peacemaker Teams ( delegation in Jerusalem. We will spend part of our time in Hebron, on the West Bank, helping Palestinians cross the armed checkpoints so they can get to school and work.

Join me! I will be blogging and posting photos regularly. To be notified when something new is posted, please click the RSS red button above. It’s free!

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