Friday, October 16
This morning we toured Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in West Jerusalem. I had been at the museum when I was here in 2008. I have also been through the one in Washington, D.C. On the first visit there I became very angry because, yes, it was terrible and horrific what was done to the Jews during the Halo cost, but they are now the perpetrators of the same atrocities to the Palestinians and they can not or will not admit it. This time I tried to not become angry but looked at the many statements within the museum that “Palestinian” could be inserted for “Jewish” and it would be a true statement. The Palestinians are paying the price for the Holocaust. It was very difficult to see the pictures and listen to the injustices done to the Jews while the world sat in silence and did nothing. Today we are doing the same with the Palestinians. When I came out of the museum and was standing there to take a picture, I heard a Jewish woman talking to another couple about the view you see when exiting. She told them the museum was placed there so they could see the Jordanian boundaries on the horizon to remind them that the Arabs are their enemies. It reminds them of the 1967 war when they won the land for Israel and that today it is all theirs. There is a forest just below the deck when exiting that was planted to cover the remains of a Palestinian village taken by the Israelis. I visited it a third time when Greg came. That time I took my notebook and wrote down the statements that I saw and read on the second visit..
We left Yad Vashem and met Nora Carmi who works with Sabeel, for a tour of Lifta, a village where people were forced to leave or be murdered during 1947. Sabeel is an organization that works with ministry to youth, women, pastors and community within the occupation. Micah 6:8 talks about justice but it can only be accomplished with compassion. This is their focus as they work with many Israeli Human Rights Groups for justice and peace. Nora told us that the Tramline being built by is illegal according to the Oslo Accords because an occupier of land has no right to make changes or move their people into the land. Israel is building a tramline (high speed train line) within Jerusalem and West Bank areas. However, it is thought Palestinians will not be permitted to use it for a number of reasons. One of the builders of the Tramline backed out because many countries told them they would cancel contracts with the company if they continued this construction project. Sad to say, USA was not one of them. We are helping to fund it which will further divide the Palestinian people making transportation more difficult for them.