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November 2006 Olive Harvest Delegation

Interfaith Peace-Builders & American Friends Service Committee


About the Delegation

The Olive Harvest Delegation to Israel/Palestine is taking place November 4-18, 2006 and was jointly organized between the American Friends Service Committee and Interfaith Peace-Builders.

Olive Harvest Delegation Arrives in Israel/Palestine

November 6, 2006

Interfaith Peace-Builders and the American Friends Service Committee are pleased to announce that their 14-member delegation to Israel/Palestine entered Israel at the Ben-Gurion airport Monday morning and is now safely on its way to Jerusalem.

The purpose of this delegation, the 20th Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation since 2001, is to educate North American citizens about the region and deepen their understanding of its conflicts. This delegation also marks the first collaboration between Interfaith Peace-Builders and the American Friends Service Committee. Both organizations are excited to be working together to bring a critical witness to the conflict in the Middle East.

With current tensions running high in the aftermath of the summer war, ongoing conflict in Gaza, and the possibility of a nuclear Iran, the 14 delegates will have the unique experience of learning about the Middle East through the eyes of those who live there.

The delegates are scheduled to meet with an array of Palestinians and Israelis who will share their observations on the current situation, the effects of United States foreign policy in the region, and the possibilities for a just and sustainable peace. Delegates also will participate in the Palestinian olive harvest, which will offer a unique look at daily Palestinian life under Israeli military occupation.

Individual meetings will be held with Jeff Halper, recently nominated for a Noble Peace Prize, and Rami Elhanan, an Israeli whose daughter was killed by a suicide bomber and who currently works for peace and justice with the Parents’ Circle. Delegates also will meet Israeli and Palestinian college students, inhabitants of a Palestinian refugee camp, Israelis who refuse to serve in the military, and Palestinian farmers. They plan to travel to the north of Israel and speak with both Israeli Jews and Israeli Palestinians about the recent war.

A photo of the delegates at orientation in Washington, DC.

The delegation includes the following people:

- Ken Carlson, Santa Cruz, California
- Julie Doyle, Los Gatos, California
- Al Espenschied, Cambridge, Ohio
- Marilyn Hadden, Markham, Ontario, Canada
- Louis Hirsch, Chicago, Illinois
- Scott Kennedy, Santa Cruz, California – delegation co-leader
- Hilary Krivchenia, Lafayette, Indiana
- Judy Lee, Bexley, Ohio
- Lois Mastrangelo, Watertown, Massachusetts
- Bill Mims, Vienna, Virginia
- Bill Plitt, Arlington, Virginia
- Miryam Rashid, Chicago, Illinois – delegation co-leader
- John Treat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Mary Ann Weston, Evanston, Illinois

Interfaith Peace-Builders and the American Friends Service Committee believe in the power of eye-witness experience and transformation. Given the opportunity to speak directly with Israelis and Palestinians, delegates return to the United States better informed, more energized, and with a deeper understanding of the possibilities for true justice in the Middle East.

Upon their return to the United States in mid-August, delegates will share their experiences with the public, the media, and their political representatives. Media interested in interviewing the participants when they return, and groups wanting information about speaking engagements, should contact Interfaith Peace-Builders (middleeast@forusa.org) or the American Friends Service Committee (israelpalestine@afsc.org)

To read reports from the delegation, click below on the report numbers, 1 to 7.


To learn more about the American Friends Service Committee and it's work on Israel-Palestine, see:


After the delegation, Scott Kennedy visited Gaza for a couple of days. To read his reports from Gaza click here.

© 2006 Interfaith Peace-Builders