Saturday, April 12, 2014

Revisiting Lydda: A Passover/Easter Story!

Dear Friend,

My 102 1/2 year old mother died on Thursday. I'm reflecting on family values to speak at her funeral this coming Monday, April 14, 2014.

A friend from I/P (Salim Munayer, from MUSALAHA), shares the attached story about his father, Yacoub, who was visited by Joseph Ben-Eliezer, part of the military detachment in 1948 that drove out the Palestinians who were living there, to make way for the State of Israel.

I'm attaching two things:

1) Salim Munayer's introduction to a 12 minute MUST SEE video of Joseph Ben-Eliezer's visit to Salim's father Yacoub, in Lydda (Lod) with the link to the YouTube video; and,

2) My review of Ari Shavit's chapter on Lydda in his book, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. (For a copy, ask me for it at The man who reached out to bless my father: The story of Joseph Ben-Eliezer

I recently wrote the forward to a book, which was translated into Arabic, about the life of Joseph Ben-Eliezer. This is a story that I have been asked to share many times. It is a story about an act of forgiveness and reconciliation. In his book, Ben-Eliezer, a Jewish follower of Jesus shares about his suffering at the hands of the Nazis during the horrifying events of World War II, his journey to the land and fighting in the war of 1948. His unit served in Lydda, where many atrocities were committed against the people of this town. Years later, Ben-Eliezer returned to the land to seek forgiveness from my father, Yacoub Munayer, a Palestinian from Lydda. These two men are no longer living with us today, but they are examples and role models for all of us. Their stories are not easy to tell because it speaks of the painful histories of our peoples in this land. Yet, at the same time their stories give a vision for the future, and hope and encouragement to those of us working in reconciliation.

I would like to honor both Joseph Ben-Eliezer and my father Yacoub Munayer by sharing with you the video Crossroads at Lod that Joseph Ben-Eliezer’s family has provided. May it be a blessing to all this coming Passover and Easter! [Salim Munayer, from MUSALAHA]

To view the short video clip about Joseph Ben-Eliezer and Yacoub Munayer: (Don't forget my review of Shavit's take on Lydda, in the attachment below, to which the video is an illustration!)

John Kleinheksel for FPI (There is no PEACE without JUSTICE; there is no justice without LOVE).