Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects

FORT FRANCES ONTARIO: Letter to President-Elect Obama

Dear President-Elect Obama,

Here and in the Middle East analytical paradigms are entrenched and have not brought peace to the Middle East.  Because of your organizing work you already know that without new thinking there is no hope for renewal.  

For twenty-five years I lived in Chicago’s neighbourhoods and I know about the problems of neighbourhood violence.  I know you do too.  Evenhandedness, honest words, respect and confidence-building actions that reach across divides help create the way to resolution.  Eventually all episodes of human violence do end, either by burnt out buildings and abandoned civilizations or through new visions.

Author of PALESTINE REFLECTION: Gaza and Jeremiah

Jim Roynon, currently serving on the CPT exploratory team in Palestine, was the author  "PALESTINE REFLECTION: Gaza and Jeremiah."


The Old Testament reading last Sunday was Jeremiah 31:7-14.  The
pastor at our church in Jerusalem, Mike Powell, pointed out that this
passage is often labeled as Zionist, seemingly supporting the
establishment and preservation of a Jewish homeland.  Netanyahu even
quoted the passage in a letter to the United Nations, stating, "For
what, after all, is Zionism, but the fulfillment of ancient
prophecies?  Jeremiah 31:10 tells us "He that scattereth Israel will
gather him."

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: "Resistance will not be tolerated"--from Gaza to At-Tuwani

At the time of this writing, casualties in the ten-day Gaza conflict have reached approximately 699 Palestinians and ten Israelis, according to news reports.  Here in at-Tuwani, in the West Bank's South Hebron district, we witness Palestinians' mourning and outrage over Israel's latest military actions.  At the same time, we witness army collusion with settlers' harassment and attacks of Palestinians.

PALESTINE REFLECTION: To move, to grow, to explode

When trees and people cannot move or grow, the result is death, or a twisted, hobbled, bonsai sort of existence.  Feeling trapped only makes people want to leave—a boon to Israel’s expansion plans—or explode in futile attempts to shatter the walls of ghettos hemming them in.  And, as we see in the case of Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison, when people cannot move, they also become sitting ducks.

Gaza: Just such a time as this

Today I grieve over what is happening in the region of Gaza.  Is there anything I can do?  Am I limited to government statements, last minute diplomacy, or immobilizing personal outrage?  How do I respond from this place of despair?  What do I tell the children?  Is this the time when the posture of prayer may provide the openness toward a solution waiting for recognition?

AT-TUWANI: Israeli army fails to escort Palestinian school children twice in three days

In the last three days the Israel army has twice failed to escort Palestinian children between their village of Tuba and their school in At-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank.

After school on Monday, 29 December, the army began the escort.  However, the soldiers accompanied the children only about 150 meters, stopping to chat with settlers and directing the children to continue alone most of the two km journey between the Israeli settlement of Maon and outpost of Havat Maon.  On the morning of Wednesday, 31 December, the soldiers failed to arrive at all.

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Hope for the New Year

As I write this, Advent and Christmas are over.  The new Christian year has begun; the new calendar year is about to begin﷓Gregorian and Hijri.*  It is a time for looking forward to the New Year, the lengthening of the days again and, in due time, the earth's new growth in spring.


As I sat in a church in Jerusalem listening the words of this beautiful Christmas song, I became immediately uncomfortable.  Living in a place where immense injustice is perpetrated in the name of, and by, Israel, I feel uneasy when I listen to hymn and Old Testament references to a righteous Israel. I understand it's a gross misreading of Scripture to equate "Israel" with the State of Israel; it's more accurate to equate "Israel" with the people of God. But nevertheless, the word "Israel" conjures up some negative feelings and emotions inside of me because of my experiences in Palestine/Israel.  But, as the verses progressed and eventually came back to repeat the first verse, I was struck by the power, hope, and the significance of these words.

AT-TUWANI UPDATE: November 2008

Saturday 15 November 2008
Benvie and Knight were accompanying shepherds on Mshaha hill when twelve to fifteen masked settlers appeared on the ridge above them.  The masked settlers made a loud cry as they began to run down from the ridge, throwing stones and wielding sticks.  They pursued the shepherds, sheep, and CPTers into Mshaha valley, and up and over Khoruba ridge, still throwing stones.  The stones injured Knights’ left arm and ankle.  The attacking settlers also temporarily stole two donkeys belonging to the Palestinian shepherds.  The villagers later found one donkey stabbed in the neck, who survived, while the other donkey was stabbed in the lung and bled to death on the hillside.  (See “AT-TUWANI: Israeli settlers attack Palestinian shepherds, kill donkey, injure internationals,”