Bethlehem: Nonviolence, Refugees, and Homestays


Our first stops in Bethlehem were with Holy Land Trust and Wi'am: The Palestinian Conflict Resolution center. Both centers work nonviolently to strengthen Palestinian society and resist occupation. Above is Zoughbi Zoughbi, the director of Wi'am.

We also visited Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. This is one of the many refugee camps for the over 750,000 Palestinians displaced during the 1947-1949 war. Above is a mural from the Ibdaa center in Dheisheh showing the original tents that refugees lived in (replaced in the 50s by cinderblock structures). The house keys are a visual reminder of the actual house keys that many refugees took with them -- thinking they would return to their houses when the fighting stopped. To date, Israel has never allowed these refugees or their decendents to return.


Duriung the First Intifada (1987-1993) Dheisheh was surrounded by a fence and entry was controlled by the Israeli army at this one turnstyle.


At the end of the day delgates broke into small groups to stay with local Palestinian families in Beit Sahour. Here are two pictures from those experiences.

Delegates aslo spent the next two nights outside of Jerusalem -- with Israelis in Tel Aviv and in the Palestinian village of Bil'in.




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