السلام عليكم dear Ahmed. I hope you and your family are all well.
I am writing because I am planning to come to your country soon, ن شاء الله
Do you think I can safely visit Jericho? Would you be interested in me visiting you?
I am an American-Canadian Jew and am a rabbi. I have been active in person-to-person Israel/Jewish-Palestinian peace work for many, many years. In fact, I was in Jericho in 1971 and I remember it very well -- sitting on a lovely patio over a wadi in the center of the town, with grape vines growing over our heads, and eating delicious chicken on rice with pine nuts. Mmmm! I have not thought about that for many, many years. I was in Jericho again in August, 2000, with my wife and our 3 children. We were very happy to see Palestinian flags and Palestinian police. It looked like the dawn of a new age. And then, one month later, violence began and the second intifada started and everything became very tense and hostile. I have not been in Israel or Palestine (or, as I think, Israel-Palestine) since June, 2001.
So, I ask, do you, my friend Ahmed, think I can safely visit Jericho in two or three weeks from now? (April 20~30??) And, would you like to meet me?
Thank you so much for your reply. May God bless you and your family and all your people,
That thing of who starts...
I'm telling you, it's not global village, it's global kindergarten!
if each of us will wait to the other one to do the first step, so we'll never start, and sadly, that's what happens.
I think that we are here to do this first step you were talking about, so here is my answer for what you said:
Let's start this game!
The sting of all problems between Israeli and Palestinians lays in the Old City of Jerusalem. Her status has to be solved in such a way, that all parties fighting for control over her can agree upon.
On June 24, the ‘Big Hug’ will be hold in Jerusalem. Light workers from Israel, Palestine and from all over the world, ‘Lovers of Jerusalem’, will come together to bring warmth and energy to this city, embracing holding hands the Old City. If we bundle all our positive energies and bring these to Jerusalem, we can create peace to this exceptional place.
We are organizing the Big Hug to make the people aware –especially the Israeli and Palestinian inhabitants of Jerusalem- that there is a very shaped perspective for the city of Jerusalem as a city of peace: a new, undivided Jerusalem, as the capital of Palestine, Israel and at large.
Let go of the conflict concerning her command and dedicate the city to the Omnipresent. The Old City as a whole is His Temple. To give the walled Old City free to God, as a "Status Apart”, as an independent city, will be the most feasible way to come out the current impasse.
The Old City of Jerusalem must become an open city; a House of Prayer for all the Peoples. This perspective is written down in the Holy Books, this is the perspective we, as ‘Lovers of Jerusalem’ embrace as well as solution. But how many people does already notice this hopeful point of view?
What I saw in Jerusalem and also everywhere else where I meet Islamic and Jewish people is, that not so many persons really think about a future for Jerusalem. Most of the time, they stick with old ideas that the Old City of Jerusalem will always remain a part of Israel, or in opposite, that it will be absolutely a part of a new Palestinian state, as stolen land that has to be given back. With these visions, a future Jerusalem will be a divided city with an East Palestinian and West Israeli part, with barbed wire and checkpoints in between, like the situation of the city from 1948-1967. Or, coming closer to an agreement, people suggest -like proposed in the “Geneva Accord” in 2003- to make a complicated dividing of the Old City in a Israeli and Palestinian part. That will mean that the small alleys will be split by walls and barriers too. The idea that a future Jerusalem will become a divided city, is something that we have to prevent.
There are living about 250.000 Palestinian and 500.000 Israeli rather close together in one city. Do they want to make a separation of Jerusalem in parts or do they choose, deep in their hearts, for unity? So my best friends, it is our task to inform the whole city that there is an alternative for the Jerusalem of today.
All lovers of a united Jerusalem will come together to encircle and embrace the Old City of Jerusalem with love and devotion. We have to encourage all inhabitants of Jerusalem to join the coming Big Hug, with the idea of a New Jerusalem that might be realized with their support.
Rob Schrama Phone:0031-646608660 www.loversofjerusalem.org