Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Cathy Sultan writing from occupied West Bank, Live from Palestine, 10 June 2008
".....Tenders for new housing units in these settlements are approved by the Israeli government on a daily basis while Palestinian-owned buildings in East Jerusalem, even if they have been owned for generations, are under demolition orders. According to Jeff Halper, Director of ICAHD, the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, 22,000 homes in East Jerusalem have demolition orders. The director of Sabeel, a Christian Ecumenical Center in East Jerusalem, told me that the Israeli government no longer issues visas for their clergy to enter Israel. This has lead to a critical shortage of priests in an already under-served Christian community. Palestinian universities are unable to hire faculty because Israeli authorities refuse foreign faculty work permits. If visas are issued they are only good for three months at which time the faculty member must leave Israel, re-apply outside all the while unsure if a re-entry visa will be given.
In the face of such challenges I am humbled in the realization that I have much to learn about patience, fortitude and hope if ever I aspire to walk on the path of non-violent resistance with the likes of John Lewis and the Palestinian people, both of whom understood long ago that hatred was too heavy a burden to carry through life."