My trip has several purposes and several legs. The first is with Fellowship of Reconciliation, an interfaith organization that sprang out of German and English peace groups during World War I. Since then, they have been working tirelessly across all kinds of borders, political and otherwise, on behalf of peace and reconciliation. There are chapters across the world, the largest being in the United States. Their highest profile, perhaps, came during the Civil Rights era.
The thirteen of us, both Christians and Jews, comprise their seventeeth interfaith delegation to the Middle East. The itinerary is daunting and exciting, providing an opportunity to meet with and hear the voices of many parties in Israel and Palestine. There is, given F.O.R.’s history and commitments, a particular focus on those Israelis, Palestinians - Muslims, Jews, and Christians - working for peace and across the divides. Some of them are old friends and acquaintances from our time in Israel/Palestine, some of them folks we have heard of or met since returning to the States. All in all, it promises to be exhausting and exhilarating!
But now, given the several days of travel ahead of us, it’s time to get some well-deserved rest!