Monday, April 22, 2013

Disturb us, O Lord

Kairos South Africa shared this prayer by Bishop Desmond Tutu, Disturb us, O Lord. I encourage you to explore the Kairos South Africa website.

Disturb us, O Lord

when we are too well-pleased with ourselves
 when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,
 because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, O Lord

when with the abundance of things we possess,
 we have lost our thirst for the water of life
 when, having fallen in love with time,
 we have ceased to dream of eternity
 and in our efforts to build a new earth,
 we have allowed our vision of Heaven to grow dim.

Stir us, O Lord

to dare more boldly, to venture into wider seas
 where storms show Thy mastery,
 where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.

In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes
 and invited the brave to follow.


[Attributed to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu adapted from an original prayer by Sir Francis Drake]

-- --

Settlers raise Israeli flag over West Bank church

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers on Friday took over a monastery in a village near Ramallah and raised an Israeli flag over the building.

Priest Aziz Raei told Ma'an that Israeli settlers used force to occupy the monastery and its adjacent chapel in al-Taybeh, a Christian village in the central West Bank.

This news was issued on Friday, April 19. I wish we had more information. 

-- --

Organic Farming in the Shadow of the Wall

Ecumenical Accompanier Dee Poujade is wrapping up her time in Tulkarem, in the West Bank. In this blog post she tells us about the organic farmers she met there.

"Fayez and Mouna Taneeb are farmers who are making a difference.  When we caught up with them at their organic farm on the outskirts of Tulkarm, Fayez was preparing for a month-long trip to Europe.  There he will give workshops on “One Million Trees,” a project that will educate the Europeans on the difficulties faced by Palestinian farmers, while raising money to plant trees to replace ones that have been uprooted by wall construction and burned by settler violence.

"A long-time peace activist, Fayez is a leader in Palestinian Popular Struggle, an organization that works to find creative, non-violent ways to demonstrate the difficulties faced by Palestinians."  Click the link to Organic Farming in the Shadow of the Wall

Dee's blog is
A Walk Through the Valley

-- --

School Threat Assessment in Urif

Another accompanier (from Canada) wrote in her blog, "
A Mosaic for Peace" about a situation in the town of Urif.

 She writes:  "The concept of school security took on a whole new twist last week when we visited a boys secondary school in the picturesque north central West Bank community of Urif.

"Urif is located half way up a very large hill.  It is accessed along narrow winding roads that climb upwards until well past the community.  Olive groves and pink blossomed almond trees surround the village.  Green fields dot the landscape. Looking out across the valley, one can see the Mediterranean Sea on a clear day.   The school is located on the upper outside edge of the village.  Visible on the hilltop adjacent to the school is the nearby Israeli settlement of Yizhar Huwwara.

"(...) Settlers from the nearby settlement of Yizhar Huwwara have been increasingly attacking both the village and the school, as well as the students.  Mr al-Najar explained that the settlers are taking more and more land from the villagers, and are preventing farmers from going to their fields for sprig planting.  Olive and almond tress have been destroyed.  The community mosque was set ablaze 2 1/2 months ago.  The school and students have suffered numerous attacks, which occur most frequently as students are being dismissed from school.   Settlers, including men, women and children from the neighbouring settlement, have been attacking the building and the students, swearing at staff and students, and throwing stones that break windows and damage school equipment."  Click this link for the full story


The Gatekeepers

If you haven't seen The Gatekeepers, the film nominated for an Oscar featuring all the past heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli secret police, make every effort to see it.

The BBC has a fine article,
The Gatekeepers: Israeli Shin Bet chiefs on film, that includes clips from the movie. 

Here's a little excerpt:
The film centres around six very personal outspoken accounts from men who oversaw Israeli operations, from targeted assassinations of Palestinian leaders, to surveillance and torture.
Their emotions range from professional pride to expressions of unease over the exercise of their formidable power.

"These men had to make highly difficult security decisions, on the spot, leaving politics aside," commented Paul Charney, chairman of the Zionist Federation of the UK, who joined our discussion.

"Now they can discuss, for the first time, their own moral fibre, their own politics, for the rest of the world."

"What comes through powerfully in the film is their sense that the best they can do is create some political space for others, the political elite, to step in to do what must be done," remarked Daniel Levy of the European Council of Foreign Policy, who's had extensive experience in Israeli-Palestinian peace-making.
---- ---- ---- ----

To receive regular bulletins from Ann Hafften, sign up at my blog - A Texas Lutheran's Voice for Peace: