Thursday, April 23, 2015

Daoud Nassar, Palestinian Farmer (Tent of Nations)

Dear Friend,
It is with deep sadness that we announce that Daoud Nassar, Palestinian Christian farmer, is not able to keep his appointment with us for Thursday, April 30 in Holland/Zeeland, MI, USA.

BUT, the KUSA leadership team (still forming!) has decided to GO AHEAD with both the 5:00 Benefactor Reception AND the 7:00 Main Event in the Chapel, at Christ Memorial Church.

"Benefactors" will hear directly from Bill Plitt, President of FOTONNA (Friends of Tent of Nations, North America), who (at 5:00) will explain in more detail why Daoud could not come and how we can support Daoud in his struggle to maintain his domain in the face of Israeli roadblocks and harassment. It is more important than ever to understand what drives the broken relationships between the Israeli settlers/occupiers and the native land-holders. Mike Spath, our partner from Fort Wayne's Indiana Center for Middle East Peace (ICMEP) will also be present.

In a hastily convened meeting at Western Seminary this morning, 7 of us (leaders) concluded it would NOT be wise to hold the Farmers Colloquy with Jeff Roessing and WTS students and agricultural enthusiasts, since Daoud's person was deemed essential to its success.

At 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. we will see a freshly made video from Daoud to us, as well as the Power Point presentation that Bill Plitt and Daoud would be giving even if Daoud were able to come. We will receive an inside glimpse of Tent of Nations and why and how it is an international demonstration of the nonviolent struggle to be part of the soon-to-be growing, pluralistic Israeli democracy with equal rights and responsibilities for all citizens. (We are a long way from this goal, but that IS the goal, according to many of us!)

For those of you who are still with me, here is a little bit more about the issue that keeps Daoud from traveling to four venues in the US Midwest: The Israeli territorial authorities have demanded that Daoud (and other area farmers) re-register their farms. He has done that by the April 21 deadline. BUT, there is a meeting next week, where aerial surveys will be examined to determine if any of the ancestral holdings should be classified as "State/Public Land" instead of personal property. So, the stakes are high for our friend and his friends. His presence was deemed to be paramount.

Please help us get this important word to any and all of your constituencies.

As Travis West (a professor at Western Seminary, and one of our "leaders") puts it so well: [In the light of these changes]: Bill [Plitt] and Mike [Spath] will be there to speak on behalf of Daoud, and that, given the events that are keeping Daoud in Palestine, [our] support and participation is even more critical now than ever.

Faithfully yours, for KUSA - Holland/Zeeland, I am, John Kleinheksel