A Long Overdue Post
This is a long overdue post. My last post asked you to work with me, then I waited a month to give you any ways of doing so, but the wait is over.
I recently realized that I started working with CPT almost exactly a year ago. I started this blog about a year ago too, and what a year it has been.
At times the work was heartbreaking, like the day when 27 Palestinian children were arrested for no reason as they walked to school. Others were nerve-racking, like the day I got a call that bulldozers were outside an elementary school. At other times I got to be a part of the Palestinians non-violent struggle against oppression. Like when I helped build a tent for kids to be sheltered after school, or when I accompanied an olive farmer to ensure he would not be attacked while he harvested his crops. The absolute best moments were when I was given the opportunity to celebrate with Palestinians. We celebrated in the midst of struggle, and we celebrated the sacrifices of people who stood for non-violence in celebrations like the non-violence festival in the hick town of At-Tuwani. We celebrated the small victories, like getting a school bus for a rural school. All things considered I have loved the first year of my work with CPT, there is nothing I would rather be doing.
Then last month the Israeli authorities decided to deny me entry. Then they did it again. Then they did it again. My denial of entry, along with the denials of two other CPTers earlier in the summer and the added pressure that soldiers were putting on CPTers in Hebron showed that CPT was being targetted. And it was no surprise when the Israeli soldier told me straight up that I was being denied because of my association with CPT.
But as I’ve stated before, the work CPT is doing is too important to just give up, so CPT is fighting my denial of entry in the Israeli courts. Given the particulars of my case the organization believe we have a chance of winning and setting a precedent that would make it much easier for CPTers to enter.
There are two keys to winning this case. One is having enough money to see the case through; the other is pressuring the Israeli courts politically. I need your help on both of these keys. Right now I am in the States fundraising for my court fees. Any amount of money will help. We have to raise at least $6000 for court fees. You can donate online at this site: http://cpt.org/participate/donate or by mail to Christian Peacemaker Teams PO Box 6508 Chicago IL 60680. Please designate any donations to “Jonathan’s Legal Case.”
As for the second key, I have been in contact with many organizations and individuals who have been working on this and similar issues for a very long time. They have given me great advice as to ways to move forward, and I continue to learn more about how best to do advocacy around this issue. Thus far I don’t have a concrete plan for how to involve my community in that, but I continue to work on it. One way I know you can help is by publicizing this situation. This can include telling media contacts about this (I’m available for interviews), or as I mentioned in the last blog, allowing me to speak to groups you are a part of.
Already some of you have been so creative in finding fundraising and speaking opportunities for me. Some friends in New York are showing a movie about Christian Palestinians, and the funds are going to the court case. I’ll be speaking at another movie screening in Huntington next month. Another friend who works at Mudlove pottery who helped me set up fundraising with their products. This morning I Skyped into a chapel at Hesston College in Kansas, with a little help from a friend. To keep up with my speaking schedule please click here (I’ll continue to update it as things come in). If you have creative (or not so creative ideas) you are thinking of please let me know by commenting, or emailing me: jon_B_15@hotmail.com. Thank you all for being so supportive over the past year, especially in the last months, and thank you in advance for your continued support.
Pray that God is glorified through this situation.
Pray about ways you can be involved in this.
Pray that the CPT team to continue it’s good work in Hebron.
Pray for peace.