WEST BANK: A Trip to Bethlehem

WEST BANK: A Trip to Bethlehem
By Anna Zilboorg

We entered a silent city, the silence punctuated by a few playful children
in the streets. (We had been blessed on our entrance by a friendly priest
and carried a sense of blessing with us.) At Zoughbi's house we were made
aware--if we had not felt it before--that the silence was filled with
threat. Some neighbors had been arrested that morning. Word was that a home
would be demolished nearby, a house belonging to people unconnected to any
terrorist activity.

In the evening, as we listened to Zoughbi talk--calmly, sadly,
lovingly--the explosion went off. He jumped (we all did) and there
was tension in his voice as he said one could not talk peace to his
neighbors right at this minute but--and he returned to his
theme--peace must be made, or all peoples will be engulfed by the

He spoke words of hope that came from living a life of faith, desiring to
change the world in which he lives, and working to bring about that
change. His hope becomes ours as we, too, work toward our own
transformation and the transformation of the world around us.

Another home was blown up in the morning. Someone reported that Israel
announced it will destroy all the homes of the 'martyrs' and of all those
who were exiled to Gaza before its army leaves Bethlehem this time.

Participants in the November CPT Middle East delegation included Michael
Banks, Barbara MacDougall, Rick Polhamus, John Engle, Joseph Jacoby, Duncan
Murph, Betty Scholten, Felecia Shelor and Anna Zilboorg.