2008 Investing in Peace Delegation
Interfaith Peace-Builders & US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Investing in Peace Delegation Arrives in Israel/Palestine
July 28, 2008
Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB) and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation are pleased to announce that their 14-member delegation to Israel/Palestine entered Israel at the Ben-Gurion airport early Tuesday morning and is now safely in Jerusalem.
Interfaith Peace-Builers has organized 28 delegations since 2001, successfully educating more than 400 North American citizens about Middle East and deepening their understanding of its conflicts through eye-witness experiences. This is the first delegation that IFPB and the US Campaign have co-sponsored.
World leaders and civil society groups have increasingly termed Israel’s domination of the Palestinian territories as a form of Apartheid. This delegation will examine the structural segregation of Israeli and Palestinian space and the physical separation of the two peoples. Delegates will also explore methods proposed by Israeli, Palestinian, and international peacemakers to challenge war and occupation.Meetings will address the ongoing debate surrounding boycott and divestment from companies supporting violence in the Middle East. Additional meetings will explore opportunities for investment in projects which promote peace and cooperation.
The group will tour the Israeli town of Sderot which has been targeted by Palestinian militants from within the impoverished Gaza Strip and will visit Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum. Bassam Aramin, a Palestinian whose daughter was killed by an Israeli soldier, will also address the delegation. Mr. Aramin works with Combatants for Peace, a joint Palestinian and Israeli organization which has rejected violence and promotes reconciliation between the two peoples.
In addition, the delegation will hear from the nonviolent peace movement in Israel and Palestine. The group will visit the Palestinian village of Bil’in, which organizes weekly nonviolent demonstrations and recently won a high-profile case in the Israeli High Court challenging the route of Israel’s Separation Wall and the confiscation of their village lands. Delegates will also participate in a weekly vigil by the Israeli organization, Women in Black, which takes place every Friday in West Jerusalem.
A photo of the delegates at orientation in Washington, DC.
The delegation includes the following people:
Several delegation participants are also blogging about their experiences. Like the trip reports posted here, individual blogs reflect the views of delegation participants only, and not necessarily Interfaith Peace-Builders or the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
Tony Bahl - Chicago, Illinois
Michele Bahl - Madison, Wisconsin
Felicia Eaves - Washington, DC
Jessica Heaton - Bellevue, Washington
Isaac Kassis - Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania
David Lamarre-Vincent - Concord, New Hampshire
David LaMotte - Montreat, North Carolina
Gustavo Nystrom - Dublin, California
Margaret Nystron - Dublin, California
Jacob Pace - San Francisco, California
Madeleine Rowe - New York, New York
Phil Wagner - Washington, DC
Jake Williams - Bellevue, Nebraska
Denise Yarbrough - Keuka Park, New York
Interfaith Peace-Builders believes in the power of eye-witness experience and transformation. Given the opportunity to speak directly with Israelis and Palestinians, delegates return to the United States better informed, more energized, and with a deeper understanding of the possibilities for true justice in the Middle East.
Upon their return to the United States in August, delegates will share their experiences with the public, the media, and their political representatives. Media interested in interviewing the participants when they return, and groups wanting information about speaking engagements, should contact Interfaith Peace-Builders (firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.244.0821).
Reports and photos will also be posted on the web site of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
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