In honor of the Christian season of Lent, which began on Ash Wednesday (6 February), Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Palestine has decided to introduce the "Way of the Cross, in Occupied Palestine" campaign, to encourage international churches, communities, families, and individuals to reflect and raise awareness of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. As part of this, we are publishing a number of reflections that follow the Stations of the Cross. Recently, my teammate Jean Fallon wrote the following reflection, for the first station of the cross:
Lenten Stations of the Cross: The First Station
By Jean Fallon
The First Station – Jesus stands condemned by Pilot by the word of his enemies
As we recall Jesus standing before Pilot, who represents the Occupying Roman Forces, and the full weight of the Roman Empire, let us meditate on a scene happening now in Hebron.
Six Palestinian youths, around 15 or 16, the oldest 18 and 19, stand before the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) … accused by a settler woman of breaking and entering her home. Not knowing what would happen to them, they stand with their arms raised, hands on metal doors, legs apart and some of them still in the thin clothing they were wearing at home when the IOF came to arrest them,. For close to four hours of standing in the cold, they endure a heckling crowd of settlers, being blindfolded, handcuffed and finally taken away to the police station where police continued to question and finally released them after midnight. At a checkpoint on their way home, a soldier tore up one of their IDs.
Six teenagers… whose actual ‘crime’ was discovered to be; breaking through a fence into an open square near the settlers’ housing area to look for scrap metal. Even though their Palestinian families gave witness on their behalf they were condemned by the word of a settler, with two now facing a hearing and the rest with their names on the Israeli police list of potential ‘terrorists’.
About this Blog
"Ordinary People" is something of an intentional misnomer. I live and work with Palestinians practicing nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. They are doing things that are hardly "ordinary": committing themselves to active nonviolence and to loving their enemies -- following the commands of One who was anything but ordinary. And yet, the Palestinians with whom I work are also very ordinary -- they are not some kind of spiritual superheroes/superheroines who do things most folks can't do. They are simply ordinary people daily committing themselves to living a higher calling -- a calling of love and active nonviolence.