2014 Olive Harvest Delegation

Interfaith Peace-Builders Delegation Arrives in Israel/Palestine

This delegation is traveling concurrently
with the African Heritage Delegation > > >

October 27, 2014 - Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB), is pleased to announce that our 26-member delegation to Palestine/Israel arrived at Ben-Gurion airport Monday and is now safely in Jerusalem.

The purpose of this delegation - the 51st 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.

Meanwhile, US military aid to the region continues to flow unabated.  The Obama Administration has continued to funnel $3.1 billion in military aid to Israel.

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.


Photos from the 2014 Olive Harvest Delegation:


The delegation includes the following people:

Anna Baltzer (co-leader) - St. Louis, Missouri
Madeline Buthod - St. Louis, Missouri
Ashara Ekundayo - Oakland, California
Sam Frida - Oakland, California
Eleanor Gottesman & Richard Keller - Cleveland, Ohio
Joe Groves - Washington, D.C.
Jennifer Humiston - Huntsville, Alabama
Colleen Kelly (co-leader) - St. Louis, Missouri
Jill Kirshner - Poulsbo, Washington
Carol Kuczora - Grass Valley, California
Virginia Lapham - Vienna, Virginia
Jana Mackin - Boise, Idaho
Denise McArthur - Brisbane, Australia
Nestor Nazario - Bedford, Ohio
Andrea Nore - Vienna, Virginia
Mary Poor - Arlington, Massachusetts
Joe Schoolcraft - Concord, Vermont
Emily Siegel - Washington, D.C.
Josh Standig - Corvallis, Oregon
Brooke Thompson - Bainbridge Island, Washington
George Vasil - Lake Stevens, Washington
Janet and Phil Vitiello - Bedford, Massachusetts
Angela Wellman - Oakland, California

Although 26 delegates arrived in Jerusalem, an additional member of the delegation was denied entry at Ben Gurion Airport. The list of delegates above includes only those who were granted entry and are with the delegation currently.

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 media[a]ifpb.org or 415.240.4607.