I think it’s appropriate to start off a series of posts about my time in
“Too often we learn history through the lens of redemptive violence, memorizing dates of wars and battles. We’ve ordered history by the reigns of kings and presidents. But rarely do we remember how nonviolent movements have markers history and how the saints of the church have transformed societies and peoples. And we define news as acts of violence rather than the hidden acts of love that keep hope alive.”
It’s very easy to define the history of this land (the land that is now
As important as these dates may be for understanding this land, the stories we heard of people’s resilience, determination, and love, in the face of desperation and frustration was much more definitive for me.
I think of my friend Atta Jaber, a Palestinian man who has had his home demolished twice by the Israeli military. In addition to that devastation, his family’s land has been almost totally confiscated and during that confiscation process their fruit trees were uprooted and their olive trees were chopped at the root. Atta’s brother built an extension onto their parent’s home to add additional room for the children. Predictably, this extension was also bulldozed by the Israeli military. Atta’s brother and his family are now crammed into a 2 bedroom home with more than 7 children.
Atta has rebuilt his home 2 times and continues to face harassment by Israeli military and Jewish settlers who live illegally in the
Atta hesitates, takes a few draws on his cigarette and responds, “I must be a man of hope. If I don’t have hope then what do I have? At times this situation seems hopeless, but I must keep hopeful, because if I don’t, then I have nothing.”