CPT Meeting with Rabbis for Human Rights

CPTNET Fast for Rebuilding, Day 21: "Re-building Security through Relationships" March 21, 1997 by Dianne Roe

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) spent this morning with Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR), first in an interfaith prayer service in the northern part of Hebron, and then in an action at the Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba located directly east of Hebron. Last week, when construction began on Palestinian property for a new Kiryat Arba security road, violence broke out between soldiers and the Palestinian families who own the land. In an act of support for these Palestinian families, today, Rabbi Arik Asherman, co-chair of RHR, started the "construction" of a symbolic Palestinian security road on land inside Kiryat Arba. The land on which the settlement is built was confiscated 20 years ago from these same families who are threatened daily by settler violence.

Speaking to the small crowd of between 40 and 50 people gathered at the sight, CPTer Cliff Kindy said, "In the years that CPT has been in Hebron we have witnessed countless incidents of settler violence against the families in this area. There have been stones thrown at houses and people, firebombs and sound bombs thrown into houses, and countless incidents of settler harassment against these families. During the time that we have been here there has not been one incident of these families perpetrating violence against the settlers."

"The settlers don't need a security road." he said. "The Palestinians need one. Today we will start the building of a symbolic security road for Palestinians."

Several of the Palestinian children held up a CPT banner on which was written: "The nonviolent power of the people is greater than the strongest armies."

As the action was ending on the hill near Kiryat Arba, CPTers heard sirens from the valley below. As we said good bye to the Rabbis and the Palestinians we thought that today, day 21 of the "Fast for Rebuilding" we had seen the beginnings of the rebuilding of Palestinian and Israeli relationships in the symbolic moments of the morning activities.