Holy Land, Travelogue

Day Five: Security and Justice

We’ve reached the last day of a very intense visit where we have heard voices from all communities here, and had an invaluable taste of contemporary life in the Holy Land and its troubles.

After just a few days we certainly don’t consider ourselves to be experts, and these journals we hope have mirrored our experiences as we have sought to learn about this land. What have we learned?

Holy Land Group Photo

The Group with children, staff and parents of Terra Santa Girl’s School in Bethlehem.

Yes, this is a troubled part of the world, but overall TV coverage of Israel and the Palestinian territories don’t reflect the everyday struggles of normal people day after day here. Time after time, people told that the conflict is stereotyped, “tell people that we are human, we want peace.” We hope to do just that when we return home.

The separation wall is a very tangible scar on the Holy Land today. Israeli told us that they don’t like it, but what other solution do they have?

For Palestinians the impact on their lives is dramatic and hugely intrusive. Imagine a wall right through your town, cutting you off from family and friends.

As one of the group said: “Everyone recognized the Israelis need to be secure, but this wall is really undermining everyone’s security by the misery it causes and it makes a viable Palestinian state impossible. It is not just.”

Sure, we saw people smiling and laughing here and enjoying life too, but much, much too often the conversation takes a sober turn and you can all too clearly see the sadness in someone’s eyes.

Everyone in the group will return home with an enormous will to do what they can to forward peace for the Holy Land and to tell the stories that we were told. With its history, religions and truly magnificent people, this part of the world could be a paradise on earth. Let’s all do our bit to help Israelis and Palestinians reach peace, they have suffered too long and truly deserve better.

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