Monday, June 22, 2015

Building Bridges, Not Walls!

Dear Friend,
Your KUSA-W. MI Board continues to plan for the appearance of Abuna Chacour here in Holland/Zeeland, Thursday, September 17.

We will be seeking support from the HOPE College and Western Seminary community, area congregations and community activists.

Archbishop Elias Chacour has pioneered reconciliation among all inhabitants of the land, almost from the moment when his family's home was destroyed, along with their village, during the early stages of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine.

His book BLOOD BROTHERS is still "must" reading for those wishing to know the kind of resistance KUSA champions.

This week's Christian Science Monitor highlights the story of Abu Awwad emphasizes that nonviolence is a means, not an end, and Palestinian rights have yet to be achieved.

Co-existence and Hope in the Heart of the Conflict

"... effective dialogue is the secure place for argument and deeper understanding. It is in this space that solutions can be built."

In our experience and our understanding, we know that violence is the product of inequality, fear and suffering. But more important than this - the lack of knowing each other - causes us to compete over our suffering and to fall again and again into the cycles of violence.

The Roots project draws Israelis and Palestinians who, despite living next to each other, are separated by walls of fear- not just fear of each other, but even of the price of peace. Without building trust, the suspicions between us will suffocate the political peace agreements.

In order to bring the two people's together, the project's outreach program includes monthly meetings between Israeli and Palestinian families, a women's group, work with school children, engaging local leaders, a summer camp, language learning, and cultural exchanges. In order to accommodate this wide variety of activities, a centrally-located site in the Gush Etzion area of the West Bank is used as a convenient meeting area.

We know that there is great disagreement over many issues - over the facts of the past and even about the reality of the present; but we believe that effective dialogue is the secure place for argument and deeper understanding. It is in this space that solutions can be built.

The promise of peace means different things to our people - but the path to peace is common, and must be walked together.

"Putting a human face on the enemy assuages the hatred against an anonymous foe, and helps people to stop feeling a victim. "

The coordinators of the Roots project are Ali Abu Awwad, Shaul Judelman, and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger. For general questions and inquiries about Roots, please feel free to contact them at

John for KairosUSA-West Michigan Community ()
From indifference to any truth; from cowardice that shrinks from new truth;
from laziness content with half truth; and from the arrogance that thinks it knows the whole truth,
O God of Truth, deliver us!