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Violating Sanctions

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

Archive for the Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam ( Category

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…)

String Theory

March 17th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments 2 Comments »

In nature, there are four universally recognized physical forces of interaction: gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear interaction and weak nuclear interaction. So, which of these forces best describes Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam, the award-winning village of 25 Jewish and 25 Palestinian families who have forged a bicultural community in this violently divided nation?nswasnursery.jpg

Meaning “Oasis of Peace” in both Hebrew and Arabic, Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam ( is a somewhat isolated village high in the hills overlooking the Latrun Monastery between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. This intimate community runs a bilingual, bicultural primary school for 180 children from the surrounding area, a School for Peace that hosts conflict-resolution seminars, a Spiritual Center and Israel’s only swimming pool where Jews and Palestinians can make more peaceful waves. (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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