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Violating Sanctions

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

Archive for the Palestine Category

Jewish Conscientious Objector Translates for Palestinian Prisoners

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

The following blog is one of a series of interviews with hopeful, intelligent young adults who grew up in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (nswas.org), an Israeli village of 25 Jewish and 25 Arab families who have lived biculturally — and peacefully, if not always harmoniously — for 30 years. The full interview and podcast may be heard at American Friends of Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (oasisofpeace.org).

“I think that every person in Israel experiences the conflict in his own way,” says Naomi Mark, a poised, articulate 21-year-old who grew up in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam. “I think what Neve Shalom does is make it natural for people to live together.”
Naomi Mark
Naomi’s Jewish parents are founding members of the Village. “I don’t like to feel like I grew up differently than my friends who grew up in Tel Aviv,” continues the bright young woman. “I just had a different experience. Only now, when I look backwards, it feels different. But, while growing up, I felt like any other kid. I think that’s the significance of the Village. Just making it work from the roots and making it really natural and true and real.” (more…)

Young Woman Hopes to Raise Third Generation at Peace Community

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

The following blog is one of a series of interviews with hopeful, intelligent young adults who grew up in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (nswas.org), an Israeli village of 25 Jewish and 25 Arab families who have lived biculturally — and peacefully, if not always harmoniously — for 30 years. The full interview and podcast may be heard at American Friends of Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (oasisofpeace.org).

“In one month I am going to marry!” said a proud and excited 24-year-old Laila Najjar. “I am getting married here in the garden [at Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam].
Laila Najjar
Laila met her future husband at a university in Jerusalem. Although his new job will take the young couple to northern Israel, far from the extraordinary village where Laila was born, she hopes someday to raise her children in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam, “the way I was raised!” (more…)

“We Have to Open Our Minds!”

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

The following blog is one of a series of interviews with hopeful, intelligent young adults who grew up in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (nswas.org), an Israeli village of 25 Jewish and 25 Arab families who have lived biculturally — and peacefully, if not always harmoniously — for 30 years. The full interview and podcast may be heard at American Friends of Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (oasisofpeace.org).

“The people who live here like their children to be very open-minded,” stated a forceful Adi Frish, 24, who still lives in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam. “You grow up without prejudice. This is the best start for life.”
Adi Frish
After attending the Village’s Primary School and a local Jewish high school, Adi works in Jerusalem for the national Ministry of Education, the government body that recently stated Jews and Arabs should not be taught together. (more…)

NSWAS Graduate Creates Summer Camp for Palestinian Refugee Children

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

The following blog is one of a series of interviews with hopeful, intelligent young adults who grew up in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (nswas.org), an Israeli village of 25 Jewish and 25 Arab families who have lived biculturally — and peacefully, if not always harmoniously — for 30 years. The full interview and podcast may be heard at American Friends of Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (oasisofpeace.org).

“I think it’s an achievement,” said an adamant Ranin Boulos, 22, of Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam’s accommodation of schoolchildren from outside the Village. “When I started going to the school, it was a very small school [of] only the children from the Village. [There were] only 10 kids. We used to sit in the same class studying different books. Slowly, the school grew up. When you see people from outside the Village sending their kids to a school that is not in their area, it means the message of the school is really working. People want their kids to get the kind of education our school provides.
Ranin Boulos
“The kids who get this kind of education tend to be really strong people who can make a change. I do believe that change comes from individuals. So encouraging this kind of change and making it happen, is basically helping a generation make a change!” (more…)

“I Learned How Important My Role as an Ambassador Is”

September 8th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

The following blog is one of a series of interviews with hopeful, intelligent young adults who grew up in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (nswas.org), an Israeli village of 25 Jewish and 25 Arab families who have lived biculturally — and peacefully, if not always harmoniously — for 30 years. The full interview and podcast may be heard at American Friends of Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam (oasisofpeace.org).

“Growing up [in Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam], I feel like there is so much to do and I feel that my voice has to be heard. People have to see that there is an alternative,” said Noam Shuster, an earnest, intense woman who hopes to run for political office someday. “We need more of a feminine voice in politics.”

“But the thing is,” continued Noam, “in Israel all the people who get to high positions in politics are people who got to high positions in the Army. This is one thing we need to change. We need people who [studied] philosophy, more human things, less generals and less ex-Army.”
Noam Shuster
“Israel is a Jewish country, and I think that [making] rules for only Jewish people and increasing the racism is not helping anyone. As a Jew, I would be more proud if [Israel] had more justice, were more liberal and was a country for all its citizens. I think a lot of people want that. I think most people want peace.”

Noam is a conscientious objector, refusing the mandatory military service required of all Jewish 18-year-olds. (more…)

Pass the Peace Olive Oil with Me on May 5th

May 3rd, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments No Comments »

If you live in LA, join me Saturday, May 5th at 4:00 pm at a private home in Santa Monica to hear more about my experiences with the Christian Peacemaker Team (www.cpt.org) in Israel and Palestine and to sample some Palestinian olive oil. (Call me at 310.392.8715 for details.)

Co-hosted by Wafa Shami of the American Friends Service Committee (www.MEPeaceLA.org), we will sample olive oil grown and pressed by Palestinians who have trouble getting their products to market.
destroyed-olive-trees.jpg
It’s sad irony that olive trees are destroyed by the conservative Jewish settlers’ fierce display of intimidation. In At-Tuwani, this grove of broken trees tried to recover, and the Palestinian farmers who existed off the trees were devastated.

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Off the Wall: Graffiti on the Israeli Wall

March 26th, 2007 | Username By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | Comments 1 Comment »

65-usa.jpg
$$USA$$

62-screaming.jpg
“This dumb wall is SCREAMING.”

68-make-love-not-walls.jpg
“Make Love, Not Walls.” (more…)

Life in Hebron

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

Christian Peacemaker Teams (www.cpt.org) ) 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.
soldiers-in-hebron.jpg
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.
cpt-at-wall.jpg
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…)

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