I'm a writer and NGO project manager currently working in Jerusalem. My first book, Live from Jordan: Letters Home from My Journey through the Middle East (www.benjaminorbach.com), was published last year. Live from Jordan is my story of living the American-Arab relationship 24 hours a day for a year after 9/11 and during the war with Iraq. My travels and everyday experiences offer insight into the beliefs, fears, and dreams of real people in the Arab World.
Why I want peace:
Beyond aspirations for justice and normalcy for Israelis and Palestinians, the whole thing is enough already -- the conflict takes up too much attention and too many resources. Imagine if some of these (financial and human) resources were devoted to world health issues or women's literacy programs? There are so many other critical human development needs out there that are neglected because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Too many people point to the conflict as the reason for the problems of the world. It would be wonderful to take that excuse off the table. Peace is critical to Israelis and Palestinians, but its absence has an impact (direct and indirect) on so many other people and places.
Interests and activities:
Writing, reading, traveling, teaching, photography, and playing poker.
Benjamin, Mabruk! You published a book! I'm trying to write 2 chapters of one. Or rather, I should be trying. Maybe you have some tips for me on how to start.
I just came across your profile. I'm a new member of mepeace. Where do you work in Jerusalem?
Hi there Benjamin. Well, happy birthday. I didn't know you were on this website. I stumbled across your blog a while back and told myself that I should get a copy of your book. Now that I have found you here on mepeace now I must buy a copy. I am going to Israel and Palestine next week so maybe I could read it there. Well happy birthday again. Have a good one. Cheers. Max.
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
Dear Benjamin Orbach
i am palestinian peace &human rights activiest working in women NGOs, i am looking forward to benifit for ur own experience in this feiled .
we are trying to prepare propsel for women project mey u can help our office near Ramallah .
Hi Benjamin and welcome. You can advance your books and blog here. Enjoy us. Use our Features. If you have a question on the site, see our FAQ. Please share your Feedback, and please invite your friends to join us.