Archive - Apr 2011

April 27th

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Benefactor will match all 25th anniversary donations up to $5000 this spring

Yes, friends, we need to do a little “preaching to the choir.” Many of you are already convinced that CPT is doing good work. As we celebrate twenty-five years of disciplined, nonviolent peacemaking, we face the challenge of ensuring the financial foundation to go forward for the next twenty-five years.

CPT continues to have a large chorus of strong and faithful contributors. With gratitude, we look to you for the sustained melody of funds needed to support accompaniment of local peacemakers in Colombia, Iraq, Palestine, First Nations, and elsewhere as they wage nonviolent direct action against systems of violence and oppression. 

In December and January individual donations dropped $70,000 (U.S.): 7% of our annual budget. How might you be able to help CPT make up the shortfall and advance into the next quarter century?

Make an anniversary donation today for $25, $250, $2500 or more!  This spring, a generous donor will match your gift up to $5000! 

HEBRON: Israeli military invades Palestinian school

Around 10:50 a.m. on 21 April 2011, during the Jewish festival of Passover, CPTers received a call saying that Israeli soldiers had invaded the premises of Bin Tarek School.  Between 600-700 boys, aged fifteen through eighteen attend the school.

CPTers went immediately to the building, and saw a group of six Israeli soldiers at a street corner near the school. 

School staff welcomed the CPTers and members of TIPH (Temporary International Presence in Hebron), who arrived at the same time.  The Head teacher played a video from a camera on a TV screen that showed soldiers in the school playground.  He also had on his desk two spent percussion grenades and a heavy chain that soldiers had cut.

Prayers for Peacemakers, Apr. 27, 2011



Pray for the Palestinian residents of the Old City of Hebron. Thousands are regularly locked behind gates for days at a time by Israeli authorities whenever Jews want to visit the city on their holy days.


Doug Pritchard

Christian Peacemaker Teams

Toronto, Canada 

IRAQ UPDATE: March 2011


 Halabja Day of Remembrance
Halabja is the site of the 1988 chemical bombings by Saddam Hussein in which 5000 people died in a few minutes.  Thiessen, Van Hooogstraten, and Firla made a trip to the monument and cemetery in Halabja to prepare for the delegation on the day before Halabja’s annual 16 March Remembrance Day.

The organizers of the Suleimaniya demonstrations asked the team to speak about this tragedy from the stage on the day of remembrance.  Team members stood together on the stage while Obed-Naar read a statement confessing that they and many from their countries had not paid attention to the tragedy when it happened.  She read, “And we carry your voice.  We carry all the voices we have heard over these last four weeks in this Freedom Square.  We carry your voices out over the artificial borders that have been imposed on the Kurdish people.  We carry your cries for freedom and justice to the ears of all who will listen.  We hear you and you are not alone.”  TV news crews filmed the speech, and the team received many comments in later days about this contribution.

IRAQ: CPT delegation meets with organizers of Suleimaniya demonstrations


On Monday 11 April, the four of us from the CPT short-term delegation accompanied the CPT Iraq team to the central square in Suleimaniya to meet the demonstrators and the people organizing the demonstrations.

As soon as we entered the square, we were surrounded by twenty-thirty men of different ages. One of them started asking CPTer Michele Naar Obed, "Have CPT done the report that you were talking about? What are you doing to tell the world about what's happening here?"

HEBRON REFLECTION: Conversations with Israeli soldiers

Recently I realized I had not spoken with Israeli Jews very much throughout my three years in Hebron, Palestine.  I decided that in the spirit of nonviolent living, it was time for me to know soldiers more personally and hear their stories.  My first year in 2008 I thought of all the soldiers as coming from the same mold, but now, eight stints later, each uniformed young man and woman  equipped with an M-16 has a name:  Nadeem, Udi, Michael, Alex , Mya, etc.

April 26th

HEBRON VIDEO: Yusuf’s long walk home from school

On April 20,  a friend and I happened to meet up with Yusuf and his kindergarten teacher as she took him home after class.  They unsuccessfully tried to get through two gates before going through the ladder lady’s house (so named because during first years of the Intifada, when the Israeli military put Hebron’s Old City under curfew, she allowed children of the Old City to cross through her house and then descend on a ladder to the street to get to school.)

 Think of a five-year-old boy you know.   Think of all you wish for him.  Then watch this video and wish it for Yusuf too.

IRAQ REFLECTION: Shakespeare’s sonnet in the midst of a nonviolent uprising.

 Every week organizers give a different name to the demonstrations at "Freedom Square" in Suleimaniya in the Kurdish north of Iraq.  This week, the choice was, "Days of Hope."  On the team, we look hard to find signs of hope here in this land that is experiencing a nonviolent people's uprising against corruption and dictators; I wanted to share this story, in which I believe hope appears.

 Recently, my teammate Peggy Gish and I decided to accept an invitation to visit some students at Suleimaniya University.  The student who made the invitation took us to a ninety-minute lecture in the English department.  The class was studying William Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.

HEBRON REFLECTION: A morning like any other

 â€śBiladi, Biladi ... my country, my country...” the Palestinians' national anthem echoes from loudspeakers in schools all over Hebron, where Nina and I stand at the checkpoint and note how many children have their bags searched.  

I count the children, but I also see that today the soldier stays inside the trailer where the metal detector is, probably so I cannot see how he treats the Palestinians.

April 25th

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Palestinians prune trees as act of resistance in Susiya

On the morning of 23 April, Palestinians from the village of Susiya pruned olive trees on their land in an act of protest against land confiscation and violence by residents from the nearby Israeli settlement, also named Susiya.  Six days earlier, Israeli settlers had attacked and injured a local Palestinian in the area near these olive trees.