Thursday, May 22, 2014

Solidarity with Daoud Nasser and His Family

Last October, our congregation was privileged to welcome Daoud Nasser as our Sunday's preacher.  A Palestinian Christian, and a farmer, Daoud spoke movingly of his commitment to the gospel way and the challenge of nonviolence in the midst of conflict.  We learned that Sunday about his family's "Tent of Nations"--a farm they have tended for generations in a contested area of the West Bank.

I'd been privileged to visit Daoud's family land in 2008--on my first sabbatical.  The family not only tends its ancestral lands, but also devotes valuable space and energies to children's programs and camps, and to educating nonviolent activists from around the world.  They are an inspiring lot!
Valley Before and After Destruction of 1500 Trees
Tragically, and terribly, Daoud has reported this week of organized, systematic violence against the farm:
“Today at 08.00, Israeli bulldozers came to the fertile valley of the farm where we planted fruit trees 10 years ago, and destroyed the terraces and all our trees there. More than 1500 apricot and apple trees as well as grape plants were smashed and destroyed.”
This is not the first time.  It's part of what seems to be a concerted effort--by Israeli settlers and their allies--to scare and intimidate Palestinian farmers off their rightful lands.  I trust that friends of Peace United Church will want to know more--and participate, as possible, in public reaction to the destruction of the Nassers' trees.  

This violence, of course, is about both the trees and an ongoing campaign of intimidation.  Were the Nassers at last to leave the Bethlehem area, the way would be cleared for another expansion of Israeli settlements, settlements just about everyone in the international community agrees are illegal and immoral.

There are two ways to keep up with Daoud's news:

1.  At the website

2.  The Tent of Nations has a good Facebook page--which you can easily like for more information and updates.  

As Peace United Church of Christ, we have made meaningful commitments to stand with Daoud Nasser, and with his family, as they thoughtfully and lovingly resist violence and oppression and occupation in their homeland.  Let's keep in touch!  And let's commit to peacemaking!  There will surely be letter-writing campaigns, at least, on the way.