AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): New book–Letters from Apartheid Street: A Christian Peacemaker in Occupied Palestine–now available


16 July 2013
AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): New book, Letters from Apartheid
Street: A Christian Peacemaker in Occupied Palestine
now available

 In the winter of 2012, Michael McRay interned for two months
with the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron and then traveled to Nablus,
Ramallah, Qalqilyah, and other locations in the West Bank.  His time in Hebron coincided with the
arrival of a particularly brutal battalion of the Golani Brigade and McRay
helped put a report together about its abuses that was widely distributed by
the United Nations and other international groups

McRay kept an extensive journal about his experiences that
became his new book, Letters from
Apartheid Street: A Christian Peacemaker in Occupied Palestine. 
Several of the reflections in the
book first appeared on CPTnet.  In “Welcoming
the Enemy,” he writes of the first time he monitored Israeli soldiers with automatic
weapons, while they swept through Hebron’s Old City, detaining Palestinian men and checking
their IDs:

As they approached the end of the Old
City, one of the soldiers in the back turned and quickly pointed the barrel of
his weapon into an elderly man’s shop.  The storeowner sat out in front,
his head just beneath the level of the gun’s barrel.  He simply looked up
at the soldiers passing his shop, bowed his head, lifted up his hand, palm
upwards, and said, “Ahlan wasahlan (you are most welcome).”  His response
so caught me off guard I laughed out loud.  Here was an Israeli soldier, a
member of the military occupying this Palestinian man’s land, who walked the
streets of Hebron to protect the Jewish settlers who were illegally taking more
and more land from this man and his people.  In short, there walked his

this Muslim man extended his hand in humble invitation.  Resistance.

CPT’s Palestine Support Team Coordinator, Tarek Abuata,
writes of the book

As a Palestinian Christian
peace worker, I’ve learned that to truthfully and authentically do human rights
work halfway across the world, we have to simultaneously reach much closer to
home, into our own hearts.  Michael’s
reflections into his internal struggles as a Christian international peace
worker, intertwined with the external struggles of facing Israel’s Occupation,
are an important read for human rights workers who want to do this work with
integrity, but more importantly, who want to learn how to be the change that
they want to see in the world.

Conflict Transformation authority John Paul Lederach
writes,  “Our field needs passionate, on-the-ground, firsthand
descriptions of the challenges of constructively engaging settings of deep and
painful conflict.  McRay’s book
provides such a window,” and Nobel Peace Prize nominee and CPT associate
Kathy Kelly calls it “surprisingly invitational…worth reading and
Other academic
plaudits for the book are available on McRay’s website and the Wipf&Stock

Before joining
the Hebron team, McRay had visited Palestine and Israel numerous times.

McRay is
donating 20% the profits of Letters from
Apartheid Street
to Christian
Peacemaker Teams.  It is available
from Amazon and Wipf&Stock.

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