Posted by: Harold Knight | 01/20/2013

. . .the land had rest from war.

Palestine. My writing has changed in focus.

That’s not quite true. For many months I have written about my process of aging and about my own struggle to find meaning in the face of my (fast approaching) death. No, I am not in any immanent danger that I know of. I am simply 68 years old, and anyone my age who does not attempt to discover for herself what she finds to be true about the end of her life is living in la-la-land.

HOWEVER, I have realized that discovering the meaning of my life and death lies not in worrying about what will happen to me, but in returning to my youthful radicalization regarding injustice. I came of age in the late ’60s, a liberal nonconformist whose thought was shaped by the Christian world view of such people as Martin Luther King, Jr. Need I say more?

The first time I traveled to PALESTINE was with a delegation of THE FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION in 2003. I went because I had begun to be somewhat possessed of the idea that what we as Americans were led to believe about the Palestine/Israel “conflict” (what a ridiculous word for the reality) was not merely incomplete but was dead wrong. My participation in the delegation opened my eyes to the greatest injustice I know of.

I have been once more to Palestine in 2008 with a group mostly of Lutherans from Texas. Seeing Palestine from that different perspective gave me a more thorough understanding of what I had learned before.

In 2006 Will Pryor, Democrat of Dallas, ran against the immovably ensconced rabid conservative Republican Pete Sessions to represent my neighborhood in Congress. He gave a campaign speech at SMU, and a friend of mine, Joyce Hall of Pax Christi, and I attended. After his speech we approached him with questions based on our travel in and study of Palestine/Israel. He could not, although we knew most of his political ideas closely represented ours, hear us. He told us he had already spent an day with a delegation representing the Israeli lobby and he knew all he needed to know about the “conflict.” Even a highly educated, successful, and well-known attorney running a hopeless campaign against an entrenched incumbent received indoctrination from the Israeli lobby in how to think about Palestine.

The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

That this continues to be the norm in American politics (or should I say public morality?) is, for me, far worse than distressing.

For the past three or four years I have retreated from active participation in politics of any kind, and that includes my activities on behalf of the truth about Palestine. I have been emotionally unable to be forceful about any “public” matter for two reasons: my own peculiar physical/ emotional make up (I’m not afraid to be honest: overwhelming clinical depression), and MORE IMPORTANTLY, my total devastation about and alienation from the processes of American democracy and justice because of the travesty of the convictions in the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas.

I’m not certain what has called me back. The reaction of gun owners to President Obama’s call for regulation of firearms? The recent anti-abortion rally I could not escape in downtown Dallas? The realization that Sodastream, a company which by international law is illegally located in the Occupied Territories of Palestine, will reach tens of millions of people with its ads during the Super Bowl? All of these are inter-related. I don’t know. But write I must.

This writing about Palestine will be from my heart. If there are factual errors, anyone is welcome to correct them in comments on my posts. Otherwise, these posts will be simply my very personal cry for justice for the people of Palestine — and, as a result, for the ability of the people of Israel to live in justice and peace.

The title of this page, by the way, is a Biblical statement about Hebron in Palestine. See Joshua 14:15.


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