Sharing or not sharing Jerusalem, sharing water and natural resources, finding security for Israel, finding security for Palestine, imagining two states or imagining one state, pondering the status of the Palestinian refugees, the status of the settlements, the location of the security wall around Israel, the Israeli soldier, Tomar Hazen who was recently kidnapped and murdered, thousands of prisoners held with or without trial, the Israeli presence in the West Bank, the legal system in the territories, the word “occupation,” the word “terrorist,” stories from long ago and not so long ago, olive harvests, pogroms, bombings, blame, a Jewish state, a secular state, a Muslim state, a Palestinian State, and a state of war…,*
This is why we pray. This is why we walk. This is why we must come together, in the face of controversy consuming, swirling around us, we draw close to one another in faith, hope, and good will, hearing each other promising publically , in so much as it is in our power, to respect, honor, and protect one another in the United States, in Israel, and in Palestine. This is why we pray. This is why we walk and take the unity pledge. We cannot be idle.
The walk will not answer the tough questions; but it is part of living the solutions. On Sunday, October 6th, we will gather as family, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and other faiths with our non-religious family as well. We will walk with our peace partners, the Combatants For Peace; brothers and a sisters who live amidst the controversy, fear, and suffering and however imperfectly, share their experiences honestly, lovingly, and respectfully, at times disagreeing, but always taking action for peace and justice for all their people, here in the United States, in Israel, and in Palestine. We can do no less than they: Come to the IWagePeace Walk, on October 6th, 2:00 Sharp, on the New Haven Green. (I suggest arriving at 1:30 so you can park and hear the Nation Drum Squad.)
Come dressed modestly, covering arms and knees, as we will visit our brothers and sisters at the Mosque. Come thoughtfully, even prayerfully, as we will walk inside Christ Church. Come expecting family, as our Jewish brothers and sisters, our cousins in faith, will welcome us with open arms. The walk prepares us for solutions to the problems burning in our hearts. We know the questions that matter; please come to the walk, a spiritual discipline preparing us for the answers.
Salaam, Shalom, and Peace,
* An earlier version included the phrase “those from whom Christians and Muslims are descended.” Muslims and Christians are not “descended” from our Jewish family. This phrase was referring to the chronology that the prophet Moses came before the prophet Jesus came before the prophet Mohammed. I have removed the phrase to avoid confusion. I apologize for the error.
Forgive me for neglecting important issues, for offending or phrasing poorly. I attempted only to identify a number of key issues or topics of pain or controversy, not listed in any particular order, and this is not an exhaustive list. It is meant to help us realize the importance of our communal response.