Inside this Issue
- Grand opening of Promised Land
The Jewish Museum of the Palestinian
- Coalition for Peace with Justice: Working
for a Just Peace in Israel-Palestine
- Volunteer Spotlight
- Israeli Peace Activists: Eran Efrati & Maya Wind
- ICAHD Completes Its 189th Rebuild
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|Grand opening of Promised Land
Museum: The Jewish Museum of
the Palestinian Experience
On Friday, March 18, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. a reception and exhibition at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C., will mark the grand opening of the online museum PromisedLandMuseum.org: The Jewish Museum of the Palestinian Experience. Dr. Steve Feldman will be welcoming press and other visitors at the exhibit in the Winners Room of the National Press Club.A project of the Coalition for Peace with Justice, the museum complements the common understanding of the founding of Israel with first hand resources describing how Palestinian families came to be expelled from their homes and villages.
|The Jewish Museum of the Palestinian Experience takes what had been two narratives—separate Israeli and Palestinian narratives—to help people see one consistent story of how a state run by Jews was formed in a land where non-Jewish people were the majority.
The exhibition will include major highlights from the more extensive collection of online resources. Feldman, director and creator of the museum, says that the museum fills gaps in his Jewish American education and upbringing. “Jewish morality is ingrained in us. American Jews have been on the front lines of anti-discrimination efforts. The museum, which presents largely Jewish sources and a Jewish perspective, documents our role in making and keeping Palestinian families refugees from their homes, actions inconsistent with our Jewish values.”
The museum presents first hand materials supplementing available resources from Jewish Voice for Peace’s Facing the Nakba Project and from other organizations that offer educational materials and programs about the Nakba from a Palestinian perspective. The Nakba is the day when Palestinians were driven from their home
Coalition for Peace with Justice: Working for a Just Peace in Israel-Palestine
For over a decade, the Coalition for Peace with Justice (CPWJ) has been the strong, persistent voice that has worked for peace for both Palestinians and Israelis in Israel/Palestine. Focusing on education, advocacy, and direct support, CPWJ is a coalition of activists and concerned citizens who work for an end to the military occupation of Palestine with the goal of seeing a just and sustainable peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.
The Coalition’s programs inform audiences about the struggles of Palestinians living under military occupation in Palestine that Western media does not adequately cover. Through high-quality informational programs and events, dissemination of educational materials, and by acting as an ongoing media and event monitor, we can provide timely, advocacy-oriented responses to current and developing Palestinian social justice issues.
CPWJ’s work encourages NC citizens to engage in advocacy to call for change in U.S. foreign policy that will foster a just peace in the region. We foster media, political and social advocacy on behalf of Palestinians by providing ready access to information not available through mainstream sources.
Unique to CPWJ’s work is maintaining and nurturing close associations with Israeli and Palestinian peace-building and human rights organizations in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. We support 10 Palestinian and Israeli organizations that seek to end the occupation of Palestine through nonviolent resistance. These connections inform our actions and allow us to provide solidarity and direct financial support for the underserved and oppressed Palestinian communities.
As we partner together to raise our concerns and speak for marginalized Palestinians, we are able to instill hope in the lives of thousands for a better tomorrow. Your support of CPWJ makes a difference!
Carol Durham is dedicated to making a difference in Palestine through her volunteer work with CPWJ. She has “always been drawn to the Middle East and the history of the early Christian Church.” Her former pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana helped add a new dimension to that interest.
“He was very involved in the Palestinian issue and ‘got me radicalized.’ The depth of the injustice to Palestinians speaks to me,” Carol explained. She has traveled to Israel-Palestine three times in 12 years.
Motivated by “curiosity over many years,” Carol has done extensive international travel and visited a number of countries including Turkey, Iran, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Malaysia. “It’s kept me aware of what’s going on in the places where people are hurting,” she said.
Carol moved to Durham four years ago, where she now lives near two of her three adult children. “I wanted to keep my involvement with the issue and was looking for a church home.” She went to some Palestinian-support events at Church of the Reconciliation and eventually settled on United Church of Chapel Hill. “Rick and Jill Edens are very committed to the support of Palestinians,” she says of the pastor and his wife.
Those connections led Carol to the Coalition for Peace with Justice. Having volunteered “with non-profits most of my life,” the retired psychology therapist understands “stuffing envelopes” and the essential tasks of staging successful events. She serves on the Education Committee, responsible for planning CPWJ’s programming and fund-raising efforts. Carol is one of many who contribute to CPWJ through giving of their time and financial support.
You can join Carol in making a lasting investment in peace with justice in Israel-Palestine by becoming a monthly donor today. Visit peace-with-justice.org/donate to make your gift.
Israeli Peace Activists: Eran Efrati & Maya Wind
Eran Efrati, a former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldier, and Maya Wind, a conscientious objector who refused to serve in the IDF, relayed their thought provoking experiences to an audience at Meredith College, Raleigh, NC on February 22, 2016. Mr. Efrati is presently executive director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions USA and Ms. Wind is a PhD candidate in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.
Efrati was ordered by his IDF commander to knock on the door of a Palestinian home in a small village in the West bank and tell the occupants they had 15 minutes to gather their belongings before their house was razed. The woman at the door screamed and cried, “No, you have the wrong house!” In a matter of minutes the dwelling was leveled and those who once knew it as home were now homeless.
Efrati’s story didn’t end there. An hour later his commander ordered him to return to the village to knock on the door of a second home and issue the same 15-minute warning. The wrong house had been destroyed on the first visit to the village. As the ‘right’ home was being razed, he watched distraught as a young girl from the first home picked through the rubble to find one of her toys. Today the entire village is gone. It is now the site of an Israeli settlement.
This experience, and others where he witnessed the abuse of Palestinians by the IDF, were pivotal moments of transformation in Efrati’s life.
Efrati was compelled to tell others about the abuses he witnessed. Upon discharge from the IDF, he joined the Israeli NGO, Breaking the Silence, where he served as chief researcher. Efrati collected testimonies of hundreds of former combatants detailing the institutionalized abuse of Palestinians by Israeli Defense Forces.
Wind, like Efrati, described a life-changing moment that began her journey to become a supporter of Palestinian rights. At age 15, having never before spoken with a Palestinian, she met a Palestinian girl who told her about the midnight raid of her home by the IDF–a frequent event in the West Bank–and the abuse her father suffered during the raid. During that incursion, her father was taken away. She learned later her father died in an Israeli prison.
This experience put Wind on a path to question everything about how Israel was treating Palestinians. She connected with other activists and began to participate in protests at the separation wall in Bil’in where the villagers’ land had been confiscated and civilians were attacked by the IDF without any security justification.
All Israelis face mandatory military conscription at age 18. Wind connected with other Israeli Jewish youth and began a national campaign to openly declare their refusal to join the Israeli military. “By the time I was drafted, I had made up my mind that the Israeli military was an occupying force and that I would not enlist” Wind noted.
“The date of my draft was a moment of truth,” Wind asserted. Recruits were told to line up. “I had prepared so long for this day but I was absolutely terrified.” She refused to fall in line. The officer told her, “If you disobey this order you are going to jail.” Wind replied, “Yes, I know. This is what I came to do.” After a series of five trials, Wind served time in military prison. She was eventually released after she, like other ‘refuseniks’, was determined mentally incompetent to serve in the military.
Efrati also detailed the complicity of Israel in the global militarization of police forces. He recounted examples of the IDF training U.S. police forces in military style tactics for use in riot and crowd control. Wind ended their presentation by citing examples of the IDF testing new weaponry in Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2014.
ICAHD Completes Its 189th Rebuild
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)recently completed its 189th rebuild of a Palestinian residence. ICAHD is a non-violent, direct-action group based in Israel originally established to oppose and resist Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territory. ICAHD’s activities have grown to extend to three interrelated spheres: resistance and protest actions in the Occupied Palestine Territory; efforts to bring the reality of the Occupation to Israeli society; and mobilizing the international community for a just peace.
Recently during two weeks of building in 40 degree (104 F) heat, 20 international activists bolstered by their Palestinian and Israeli compatriots and a team of professional Palestinian builders gave rise to a new 4-room home. They rebuilt the home of the Fhadad family who were previously forced by Israeli authorities to demolish their own home.
A festive dedication ceremony was held. Local residents of the West Bank town of Anata (including the mayor), Palestinian activists from around the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israeli activists and a large delegation of Go Palestine kids – young Palestinians from around the world who spend the summer in Palestine – gathered to hear speeches, plant fruit trees in the family garden, dance the Dabka, partake in a delicious Palestinian meal and help the family move their furniture in. The family slept in their new house that night.
ICAHD is one of 10 Israeli and Palestinian peace building organizations, all dedicated to nonviolent resistance to the military occupation of Palestine, that your gifts to CPWJ help support.