"We do not know what we ought to pray but the Spirit intercedes for US, with sighs and groans deeper and more meaningful than any words."-Romans 8:26
A few days after meeting George I went to Hebron, the most painful place I have ever been. My guide was Jerry Levin, then a full time volunteer with Christian Peacemaker Teams. In the 1980's he was CNN's Middle East bureau chief in Lebanon. He was captured and held hostage by the Hezbollah for nearly a year, and after he experienced a mystical Christmas Eve, he escaped unharmed for the door of his holding place had been left unlocked.
Jerry told me, "Every time I get ready to return to Palestine, everyone asks me, 'Aren't you afraid?' I reply, of what, the Palestinians? No way! But when it comes to the Israelis soldiers, you bet I am!"
Hebron, in 2005, held a few hundred Israeli settlers, three thousand eighteen- to twenty-one-years-old Israeli soldiers and the oppression is visceral. The narrow, winding stone streets of Hebron are centuries old, but in the 21st century; one side is Palestinian and the other Israeli. Their only connection to the other was a thick, deeply sagging netting that is strung above one's head which catches huge rocks, shovels, electronic equipment, furniture, and all manner of debris that have been flung onto it by the settlers.
Jerry told me, "The settlers just throw whatever they want onto the netting; they do whatever they want and get away with it. The CPT's run interference by nonviolent resistance; we get the children and woman to where they need to be going and back again. Sometimes, the settlers curse and stone us all; it keeps it interesting."
Upon formerly Palestinian homes, settlers painted graffiti, such as "GAS THE ARABS" and Stars of David.
It is unimaginable to me how those who have suffered from the inhumanity of some could ever want to inflict the same inhumanity upon another. A few hours after that scene I crossed paths with Vanunu for the first time. After a few hours of listening to his story, I was inspired by the need to report as accurately as I could on the world wide web.
A month after my first return home from occupied territory I established my website and became a civilian journalist. A Civilian Journalist is more than a blogger, for we leave our comfort zone to go and report for the benefit of we the people. We follow our heart and not assignments from editors. We spend our own dime and nobody pays us. We do it because we love to write and "Writing...is hard because you are giving yourself away, but if you love; you want to give yourself. You write as you are impelled to write, about man and his problems, his relation to God and his fellows…The sustained effort of writing, of putting [words down while] there are human beings [with] sickness, hunger, sorrow…I feel that I have done nothing well, but I did something."-Dorothy Day
That need to do something for love-and true Christians understand that God is love and "Love is not the starving of whole populations. Love is not the bombardment of open cities. Love is not killing......Our manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount, which means that we will try to be peacemakers." -Dorothy Day
That kind of love is why I wrote two books and have spilled unknown thousands of cyber words all in pursuit of peace which requires justice.
I am fueled by my personal intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, who for me He is a social, justice, radical revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up against the corrupt Temple authorities and challenged their job security by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God.
For God LOVED them just as they were: sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under the Roman Empire and Military Occupation. What got Jesus and any other rebel, dissident, agitator crucified was for disturbing the status quo of the Roman Empire and Occupying Forces.
The military occupation of Palestine is the status quo and innocent ones on both sides continue to be terrorized and die in the crossfire of violence.
Now is not the time for giving into fear or casting more blame. What is needed now is for reflection and repentance for what we have done and what we have not done for the poor and oppressed.
Now is the time for people of conscience to ask themselves on what do they base their biases and open up to hearing biases from the other side. That takes common sense and courage.
"Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right." -Martin Luther King, Jr.