PALESTINE REFLECTION: Freedom

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CPTnet
29 June 2010
PALESTINE
REFLECTION: Freedom

 

by Julianna
Bienert

 

“Is
running water what makes us happy?”  This question, coming from a member of Christian Peacemaker
Teams in At-Tuwani, where there is neither running water nor electricity, has made
me think.  What is the ideal human
condition anyway?

When we asked
Nasser, who lives in the tent town of Susiya, what he’d wish for if he had
three wishes, he only had one answer for us: freedom.  Freedom for his country and for his
family.  He did not ask for running
water or electricity but for freedom from military occupation.  What is the point of amenities when your
humanity is denied?

As I’ve
pondered these things and witnessed the tenacity of the human spirit, the
tenacity of the oppressor and the oppressed I cannot help but marvel and wonder
how this situation will end.  Each
side is driven; each is trying to survive; both can play the victim though the
wise have seen that this role gets them nowhere.

I hope and pray
that freedom will come to this land: 
freedom from fear and hatred as much as from checkpoints and the wall.  As one presenter put it, the closures
and boundaries imprison one group just as much as the next.  Thus, the freedom needed here is not
just political, economic, or social, it is a heart and mind change.  Seeing the other for who they are: a
brother, sister, a child of God.

This type of
freedom is something I need, a change that must start within me.  I have no right to speak or to be
present without it.  Thus, to pray for
Palestine is to pray for myself that Christ would do in me what I’d like to see
happen in the other, who, like me, is a fellow creature in need of freedom.

[Members of
CPT’s May 18-31 Palestine/Israel delegation were Josiah Abubakar (Edmonton,
Alberta), Aaron Au, (Edmonton, Alberta), Julianna Bienert (Edmonton, Alberta),
Jesse Doell (Hague, Saskatchewan), Stephanie Epp, (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan),
Michael Hickey (Pickering, Ontario), Esther Kern (London, Ontario), James
Leeson (Edmonton, Alberta), Joost Pikkert (Edmonton, Alberta), Brian Rempel
(Kitchener, Ontario), Katelin Rempel (Kitchener, Ontario), Gordon Roberts
(Ottawa Ontario) and Evan Yang (Edmonton, Alberta).]

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