Trees of Peace: 2008 Olive Harvest Delegation

Interfaith Peace-Builders and the American Friends Service Committee
Olive Harvest Delegation Arrives in Israel/Palestine

November 10, 2008

Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) are pleased to announce that our 21 member delegation to Israel/Palestine entered Israel at the Ben-Gurion airport Monday morning and is now safely in Jerusalem.

The purpose of this delegation, the 29th to make the trip since 2001, is to educate North American citizens about the region and deepen their understanding of its conflicts. This is the fifth delegation that IFPB and AFSC have co-sponsored since 2006.

The delegation focuses on the Palestinian olive harvest which takes place each autumn. The olive harvest is an occasion of particular cultural and economic importance for Palestinian communities and a time when tensions between Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents of the West Bank run high.

As the Bush Administration’s 2008 deadline for a peace agreement draws near and an Obama administration prepares to take power, the situation on the ground continues to worsen. Participants have the unique opportunity of hearing directly from Palestinians and Israelis regarding their hopes for peace and the role of the US government in promoting a resolution to the conflict.

delegation 29

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 American Friends Service Committee.

Blogs by delegation members:
Martha Honaker’s Blog
Niki McCuistion’s Blog
Ken Ring's Blog
Fellowship of Reconciliation-UK Blog

Martha Beale – Oxford, UK
Jennifer Bing-Canar – Chicago, IL
Alta Schwartz – Atlanta, GA
Jessica D’Itri – Rocky Face, GA
Wanda Dodson – Monticello, KY
Myrna Hammond – Anchorage, AK
Martha Honaker – New Harmony, IN
Nancy Humphrey – Okmulgee, OK
Elizabeth Lavelle – Cleveland, OH
Jennifer Malkoun – Philadelphia, PA
Fred Marchant – Arlington, MA
David Masters – Manchester, UK
Niki Nicastro McCuistion – Dallas, TX
Lynn Pollack – Chicago, IL
Kenneth Ring – Kentfield, CA
Anna Rogers – San Rafael, CA
Beryl Shahan – Mount Pleasant, IA
Lenore Sheridan – San Jose, CA
Rachel Smith – Oxford, UK
Ruth Tracy – South Euclid, OH
Jonathan Williams – Leeds, UK

Interfaith Peace-Builders and the American Friends Service Committee believe 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 June, 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 at office@ifpb.org or 202.244.0821.

Trip reports and photos will also be posted on the web during the delegation at the website of the American Friends Service Committee.

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