‘Some 1 go speak about justice’

I have been to the Holy Land twice in pilgrimages led by Fr. Jim Hogan.  I saw the Bedouin camps that are talked about in this article.  The attitude of our tour guide on the first trip in 1993 was “Dirty Bedouins” said in the same disdainful voice I have heard people in this country refer to the Native Americans.  The plight of the Bedouins seemed desperate then.  I can’t begin to imagine what they are facing now…….Reyanna

By Jan Cebula, June 12, 2014, Global Sisters Report, A project of National Catholic Reporter, Global Sisters Report On-line

I can’t get the image of Pope Francis praying at the wall in Bethlehem out of my head. A simple, yet profound gesture, touching deeply something within me, within us all: a desire for justice, freedom and peace. Written on the wall, just minutes before he arrived, was “Pope we need some 1 go speak about justice.”

I travelled on an Interfaith Peace-Builders Olive Harvest delegation to Israel and Palestine in the fall of 2012. Pope Francis’ trip elicited memories and emotions from my own experience there. It also renewed my resolve to speak about what I saw and heard.

On our last day there, we went to a Jahalin Bedouin village (Khan al-Amar) on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem. It’s not far from Ma’ale Adumim, the large settlement outside Jerusalem, and E-1, the zone designated for further expansion of settlements. A new major highway, called the Tel Aviv-Jordan Peace Highway and connecting Jerusalem with Jericho, had been widened recently, cutting off access to the village. Our bus stopped on the edge of the highway and we had to hop across the guardrails, walk down and then up a hill to get there. As we listened to Eid Abu Khamis tell the story of the Jahalins, we got a good picture of what it means to live in Area C in the West Bank. Area C, formed after the Oslo accords, takes up 62 percent of the West Bank and is under total (military and civil) control of Israel. The Jahalin Bedouins had lived for centuries in the Negev. They were displaced after the establishment of the state of Israel and came as refugees to this area in the early 1950s (To continue reading click here.)

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