Tent of Nations, our next stop gave us renewed hope through sharing with us their philosophy of practicing productive rather than angry and hateful resistance. Surrounded by five Jewish settlements, Tent of Nations has to fight to not have their land taken from them. This organization run by a Christian family grows trees, renovates caves (laws say they cannot build on the land so they build underneath instead!). They also run children's camps and work at empowerment for women. All of this is done in the name of productive and sustainable resistance to the constant threats of having their building demolished or land taken from them. Shortly before sitting down to lunch the call to prayer from a mosque in a near by village was echoing throughout the hills. We were a group of Christians listening to the Muslim call to prayer in a location surrounded by Jewish settlements. Without even meaning to, three faiths were interconnected. Perhaps one day these groups will be able to live together in peace, and appreciate the beauty of living together on the same land
After a beautiful hike through olive groves with a reward of cold spring water at the end, we got our first encounter with the wall often known as the "Apartheid Wall" or "Separation Wall". None of us were quite prepared for it. Most people have seen pictures of the political graffiti of this wall, and even think of it (in some distorted way) as an attraction or piece of art. After seeing and
touching this giant concrete slab, some people had to turn away, unable to bear looking at it any longer. Others of us had our eyes glued to it and could not move. Sitting on a pile of rubble, the stench of garbage in the air, the sun beating down enhanced the intensity of this
unsettling yet very important experience. Resolving this conflict is beyond us, but we can stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine and never lose hope.
After listening to the MCC reps and enjoying a lovely dinner with them, we crammed into a tiny bus with not enough seats, and feeling like sardines drove home for the night.