Crossing Borders, Planting Olive Trees

Joshua Davis has played music in South American rainforests, on the promenade in Havana, in old mining towns in Michigan, and beyond. But Tuwani, a village in the Palestinian West Bank, tested his comfort level perhaps more than any previous gig.

A New Heroism in Israel and Palestine

Mejdi is a tour company founded in 2010 by Dr. Marc Gopin, an orthodox rabbi. The idea behind Mejdi is that Arabs and Jews doing peace and coexistence work through NGOs are notoriously under-funded; hundreds of them are literally poor. They also spend a disproportionate amount of time writing grants and fundraising rather than doing their critical on-the-ground work. It’s an unsustainable model, and the Mejdi co-founders felt they could create a business for peace-building that was also self-sustaining.

A Palestinian Peacemaker’s Story

Jundi’s coming-of-age story is chronicled in the illuminating book, The Hour of Sunlight, co-authored by him and his friend, former colleague and author/documentary filmmaker/playwright Jen Marlowe. The title derives from Mahmoud Darwish’s stunning poem, “On This Earth.” Like Darwish’s poetry, Jundi’s life is a tale of dislocation, of yearning, of delight in the details and a reverence for the written word.

The Ethical Challenge for Diaspora Jews

Armed against all forms of criticism, the Israeli public is increasingly sequestered in its own psychological fortress. Two responses that dominated my discussions with Israelis were: It is just a chain reaction. You should only know what they have done to us; and Why are you here? Go home and tend to your own country’s problems.

Pro-Palestinian and Pro-Israeli

Living in the polarizing atmosphere of the Middle East, I feel the need to reassert the very basics — like affirming that Palestinians and Israelis are all human beings. I say this only somewhat facetiously, as dehumanizing, collective rhetoric justifies violations of many individuals’ basic rights.

Tikkun Olam in East Jerusalem

For the better part of a year, nearly every Friday afternoon, we have been coming to this ravine in the Palestinian half of Jerusalem. Standing with hundreds of Jews and Palestinians and foreign visitors, young and elderly, and intellectuals and working people, we take part in a protest movement that began spontaneously and refuses to die.