Wednesday, November 6, 2013
A friend alerted me to this unconventional CNN documentary by Emmy Award winner Anthony Bourdain. He confesses to being "instinctively hostile to any kind of devotion" even though he seems to love food a lot (which is a kind of devotion, I'm sure). For those considering being part of a study tour to Israel and Palestine, this documentary will whet your appetite for good, honest, and difficult conversations, along with good Middle Eastern cuisine. Bourdain is irreverent. The documentary is quirky (meet the Speed Sisters who like to race their Peugot sports car). Watch it here:
This from the CNN website: "In the season premiere of "Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown," the host and crew make their first trip to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. While the political situation is often tense between the people living in these areas, Bourdain concentrates on their rich history, food and culture, and spends time with local chefs, home cooks, writers and amateur foodies."
Click here to watch the entire 42 minutes.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Friday, October 4, 2013
Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians—Really?
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I'm pleased to report that ten participants have already registered. That means there are only 21 spots left. I expect these to be filled up by November. Registration forms are available on the tour website.
Because there isn't much more to say about that, I'll pass on a few links to articles that deal with a very lively topic among our conversation partners in Israel and Palestine. As you may know, one of my hopes for tour participants is that they experience firsthand the complexity of the hopes and fears of Israeli Jews and Palestinians (in Israel and in Palestinian Territories). Someone will invariably ask our guest speakers, "What do you think, should there be a one-state or a two-state solution?"
Several recent articles address that question. At least among some, the two-state solution has arrived at a dead end.
Ian Lustick's September 14 New York Times piece, titled "Two-State Illusion," begins this way: "The last three decades are littered with the carcasses of failed negotiating projects billed as the last chance for peace in Israel. All sides have been wedded to the notion that there must be two states, one Palestinian and one Israeli."
Ilan Pappe's article, published the same day, is titled "The Two-State Solution Died Over a Decade Ago." In that article Pappe writes, "Any hope of reviving something out of the original ideas that led the Palestinians to support the Oslo Accords back in 1993 wilted with Ehud Olmet’s government of 2007, when it buried, for all intents and purposes, both the Oslo Accords and the two state solution."
Yesterday Marc H. Ellis, responded to both pieces. Ellis is an author, liberation theologian, and Associate Fellow to the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University for Peace, Costa Rica. He wrote:
"Of the two, I would chose Pappe’s – with a caveat. The Two State solution hasn’t actually been on the table since the 1967 war. That’s going on fifty years.
What’s important is the future. While serving up American-size rhetoric on the dangers facing Israel/Palestine in the years ahead, Lustick is weak on what it would take to reach his goal of expanding justice and security for Jews and Palestinians. Pappe is more direct but he, too, comes up against the disturbing reality that no one from within the Middle East or outside of it has the answer to the urgent question: How can Palestinian freedom be implemented?"
All of these pieces are worth reading. Coming along with me to experience the challenges on the ground would be even better. But read first, and then fill out the registration form.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Here's what someone from a previous tour had to say recently: "I went on your Ancient Stones, Living Stones study tour in 2010 and enjoyed it greatly, particularly the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the political situation in Israel & Palestine and to meet with so many people active in the cause of peace. It was a major contributor to my decision to take an MA in International Affairs as preparation either for more work in the region, or for development and peacebuilding work generally." (Katherine)
And someone from 2012 posted this on Facebook today: "I don't always go on study tours, but when I do, I go with Gordon Matties! Went on this tour in 2010 - excellent sites and challenging speakers from a variety of backgrounds. You should go!"
Friday, May 3, 2013
Photo: Gordon Matties. A window in the staircase at the Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth.
Monday, November 8, 2010
On November 7, 2010 Israeli novelist David Grossman was interviewed by Michael Enright on CBC Radio's program "The Sunday Edition." Grossman, writer and peace activist, has been named winner of the 2010 Peace Prize by the German association of publishers and booksellers.
Grossman, 56, is author of The Yellow Wind, a non-fiction work that examined the lives of the Palestinians, and To the End of the Land, a novel that examines the cost of war.
David Grossman is not only Israel's best known novelist he is also one of its most astringent critics. For decades he has condemned his government's treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories and called for an end to new settlements. He has labored for peace while at the same time turning out world class literature. His latest best seller, To the End of the Land is set against the background of the latest Lebanon war. A war in which his young son Uri was killed. In this hour, a powerful conversation with David Grossman about parenthood, the loss of a child and the heart-breaking search for peace in his troubled land.
To listen to the enlightening interview with Grossman, click here.