I write you with a heavy heart as Israel's attacks on the Palestinian people continue to escalate. In the last week, at least 172 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, of which about 80% were civilians and 36 were children. 1,140 Palestinians have been injured, including nearly 300 children. At least 25,000 children are seeking psychosocial support, according to the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU). People in Gaza issued this heartbreaking letter and call to action on Saturday: http://electronicintifada.net/content/urgent-call-gaza-civil-society-act-now/13558. If you have not yet, I hope you will take action by demonstrating locally, contacting your congressperson, and more. You can find actions and resources here: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/gazaunderattack
The main reason I am writing is to invite you to join me on a delegation I am co-leading to Palestine this Fall, October 25 - November 7, 2014. You can find details about the delegation, logistics, application, and more here. This is the annual Olive Harvest Delegation, which I have always wanted to lead. My time participating in the Olive Harvest while living in Palestine was unforgettable. From the website:
This delegation will provide an opportunity to participate in the Palestinian olive harvest season — generally a time of great community activism, where people of all ages from Palestine, Israeli peace and justice groups, and international groups join farmers as they reap their harvest. It is international support that makes the harvest possible in many cases. You will hear from Palestinian farmers and learn of the importance of agriculture to the Palestinian economy and culture. As with other delegations, you will also meet additional Israelis and Palestinians working for peace and justice.The delegation is with the Interfaith Peace-Builders, an extraordinary organization for which I have tremendous respect. They provide strong support and orientation for participants before, during, and after the trip. They are extremely responsible and it is an honor to travel with them. You will be in great hands, and it would be a great privilege for me to take the journey with you. I hope you'll consider applying! Click here for more info or to apply.
To learn more about the standard components of all delegations, click here.
As the violence against Palestinians increases, it is more important than ever to bear witness and to show solidarity. Remember that the danger faced by non-Palestinians is nothing compared to that faced by everyday people -- from toddlers to grandmothers -- just trying to live their lives with dignity.
As always, for more regular updates and action items from me (since I rarely post to this list), please join the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation listserve by clicking here.