2013 Olive Harvest Delegation
Interfaith Peace-Builders Delegation Arrives in Israel/Palestine
co-sponsored by the Resource Center for Nonviolence
and the Santa Cruz Palestine-Israel Action Colaition
October 29, 2013 - Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB), the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), and the Palestine-Israel Action Coalition (PIAC) are pleased to announce that our 23-member delegation to Palestine/Israel arrived at Ben-Gurion airport Monday and is now safely in Jerusalem.
The purpose of this delegation, the 48th to make the trip since 2001, is to educate North Americans about the region and deepen their understanding of its conflicts. Updates from the delegation will be posted on IFPB's website, Facebook page, and Twitter stream.
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.
The US-brokered peace process between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators continues to show few results and the United States has not acted to stop the expansion of Israeli settlements.
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Meanwhile, US military aid to the region continues to flow unabated. Despite the ongoing debt crisis which recently paralyzed the United States government, the Obama Administration has continued to funnel $3.1 billion in military aid to Israel as well as an additional $316 million for joint US-Israeli anti-missile systems in the 2014 fiscal year.
Participants on this Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation have the unique opportunity to hear directly from Palestinians and Israelis regarding their hopes for peace and the role of the United States, the US government, and other international actors, in promoting a resolution to the conflict.
The delegation includes the following people:
Karen Ackerman and Bob Muehlenkamp - Takoma Park, Maryland
Sami Abed - Felton, California
Gail Burnaford - Boca Raton, Florida
Carolyn Cicciu - Goffstown, New Hampshire
Sara Driscoll - Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Susan Etscovitz - Brookline, Massachusetts
Ariel Gold - Ithaca, New York
John Jeffery - New Harmony, Indiana
Carolyn and Martin Karcher - Washington, DC
Janet Loehr - Cleveland, Ohio
Guillermo Marquez-Sterling - Miami, Florida
Jan Miller - Denver, Colorado
Nancy Murray - Cambridge, Massachusetts
Jacob Pace - San Francisco, California
Jared Rodriguez - Santa Fe, New Mexico
Casey Stinemetz - St. Louis, Missouri
Will Thomas - Auburn, New Hampshire
Jo Ann Wacker-Farrand - Denver, Colorado
Melinda Ward - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Ann White - Temple Terrace, Florida
Haven Whiteside - Temple Terrace, Florida
A photo of the delegates at orientation in Washington, DC
In addition to the reports linked from this page, IFPB delegation participants may be blogging and tweeting about their experiences. Like the trip reports posted here, individual blogs and tweets reflect the views of delegation participants only, and not necessarily Interfaith Peace-Builders or partners.
Blogs by delegation members:
• Ariel Gold may be blogging here twopeopleonefuture.blogspot.com
• Jan Miller may be blogging here apilgrimstale.blogspot.com
• Gail Burnaford and Guillermo Marquez-Sterling will be blogging here gablesucc.org/peace-builders
Twitter streams by delegation members:
• Jan Miller may be tweeting here
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, 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 email@example.com or 415.240.4607.
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