From our friends in the Middle East...
Recently our Abrahamic Reunion CC held a leadership meeting at Tantur Ecumenical Institute with founding members of our Abrahamic Reunion, local coordinators and international supporters of our work from the Global Hope Fund and Rising Tide International. See photo below of some participants. We had Israelis and Palestians - priests, rabbis, sheiks and imans as well as women spiritual leaders. We were led by Shahabuddin David Less, Eliyahu McLean and Sheik Ghassan Manasra. We ate, prayed, meditated, shared our realities and sufferings, our successes and our failures, and made plans for the future. We were strengthened by the courage and perseverance of our Palestinian coordinators from Hebron, East Jerusalem, and Nablus who recently had been attacked and injured at the Jerusalem Hug peace gathering by Palestinians opposed to "normalizing" activities with Israelis. We were relieved that they and their family members had been released from the hospital and could be with us. They have continued to get threats to stop meeting with Israelis and working for peace - but they expressed their strengthened determination to continue with our joint holy work.
Our future plans included continuing our regular joint trips to Holy sites, holding intra-faith meetings so that Arabs can work on the issues that divide them and the Jews can focus on internal divisions, creating separate meetings just for women and just for youth. We will be having a strong Abrahamic Reunion presence at the upcoming Parliament of the World Religions where we will present various activities including a workshop for women of different faiths. Our U.S. support group established the Abrahamic Reunion as a formally recognized U.S. 501c3 non-profit organization that facilitates raising funds to pursue our determined and committed activities to build peace and harmony in the Holy Land. Our next event is a joint break fast and Iftar July 5 - as the Jewish fast day of Yud Zayin b'Tammuz (17th of Tammuz - beginning the three weeks of mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem and our Temple two thousand years ago) falls during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
We finished our gathering with a Conference "Visioning Interfaith Activism in the Holy Land" including a Women's Panel on the "Contribution of Women to Building Harmony Among the Religions". Eighty interfaith activists attended and discussed successful practices and formed partnerships for future activities to counteract fear, suspicion and violence with education and meaningful contact with people of other religions.
Blessings from the Holy Land,