Posts Tagged ‘support’

Peace Talks

Before the Peace Talks
Palestinians need to understand that they cannot demand a nation that goes back to a pre-Israel concept.  Israel is here.  Permanently.  Forever.  Done.  In the same breath, Israel cannot expect the Palestinians to kowtow and just graciously accept the “leftovers” of the land they and their ancestors have inhabited for millennia.

There was a war in 1967 and the Arabs lost.  This must play a part in the negotiations.  It needs to be acknowledged that Israel does not have to negotiate any changes to the status quo.  It needs to be clear from the Palestinian leadership down through to the smallest Palestinian child, that Israel is a legitimate and welcome nation.  And it must be presented from the Israeli Prime Minister down through all the ranks of Israeli citizen that the Palestinians were on the land before 1948 and therefore have a right to it now.

I think that a single-state solution would be an easier and faster enterprise than the two-state solution but I will discuss my thoughts on both.

Single-State Solution
There are many positive outcomes to a single-state solution, but there are also negatives involved with this plan.

Israel and the West Bank* could become one secular, democratic nation.  This nation should be called Judea and Samaria because then either the Israelis or the West Bank Palestinians will feel they have won or lost.  The nation’s borders would go from the Mediterranean Sea in the east, the Jordan River in the west, the Negev desert and Sinai Peninsula in the south, and the Golan Heights/mountains to the north.  Palestinians and Israelis alike would gain citizenship (ie: passports, IDs, and travel documents) from Judea and Samaria.  Palestinians would gain the right of return they were promised back in 1948 and Israelis would gain the “Promised land.”  Palestinians would gain access to sites they have been banned from for a generation and Israelis would gain the safety they feel they haven’t yet accomplished.  Both people groups would have all the rights and responsibilities under this new nation and its government – including (but not limited to) voting, driver’s license, jury duty, running for elected offices, military service, and free enterprise.

As for the things they would lose.  Israelis would lose a distinctly Jewish state.  Palestinians would lose a distinctly Islamic state.  Both would lose the death and fighting that has plagued them for so long.  Both would lose a small piece of their identity – but they would gain a new identity in the new nation of Judea and Samaria.

Two-State Solution
There are many more difficulties to surpass with a two-state solution than the above proposal of a single-state, but they are not insurmountable.

For the Palestinians: they will have to give up their right of return.  This is the first thing that must happen.  They will have to concede the idea of returning to the villages and land of their ancestors.  They may still not be able to easily travel in and out of Israel.  They will also have to give up Jerusalem.

For the Israelis: they will have to give up their dream of controlling all of biblical Judea and Samaria.  This means giving up their settlements in the green zone and the West Bank.  They will have to give up the idea of total domination in the area.  They would have to go back to the pre-1967 borders.  They will also have to give up Jerusalem.

What would happen: Israel would remain a democratic, Jewish state with distinct borders.  Palestine would become a democratic state with distinct borders.  These boarders would return land won during the Six-Day War to the West Bank Palestinians.  The wall would come down and the West Bank would regain land they held after 1948 and the creation of Israel.  All West Bank settlements would have two options.  Option 1: become citizens of Palestine; giving up their Israeli citizenship and willingly aligning themselves with the rights and goals of a new nation or, Option 2: move back within the borders of Israel.  All Arabs/Palestinians living in Israel would also have two options.  Option 1: become citizens of Israel; giving up their claim to Palestine and willingly aligning themselves with the rights and goals of a nation or, Option 2: move within the borders of Palestine.

Both nations would not be able to deny citizenship to anyone who could prove their identity, their residency within that nation’s borders, and prove a proficiency in that nation’s official language.  Citizenship would include all the rights and responsibilities of democratic nations; including, but not limited to, voting, land ownership, constitutional rights, jury duty, running for elected office, driver’s license, ID, passport, military service, and free enterprise.

Jerusalem: would become international territory with its own flag as well as its own place and voting rights within the UN.  It would not belong to either Israel or Palestine.  It would be run by a committee made up of the Grand Mufti, Chief Rabbinate, Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Latin Catholic Patriarch, Armenian Patriarch, and two secular appointed leaders (one from Israel and one from Palestine).  These leaders would run Jerusalem from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  They would have an elected committee of fourteen (five from Israel, five from Palestine, and four from Jerusalem) who work with them as representatives for the people.  The committee would be elected for three-year terms and could be reelected no more than five times.  Every two years, at least three members would come up for reelection.

Residents of Jerusalem would be given international identification and paperwork.  They would have a separate Jerusalem passport and would not claim Israel or Palestine as their home country but would have all the rights and responsibilities of a citizen of an international territory (ie: see the rights and responsibilities above).

*My Peace Talks purposely leave out the Gaza Strip.  I think that Gaza is a separate entity from the West Bank (for good or ill) and should be treated as such.  It has its own leadership and that leadership needs to head into their own peace talks with Israel.

Thoughts on Gaza
I think Israel uses Gaza as a way to say “See, we NEED our walls and electric fences … they all hate us.”

The number one, most important thing that needs to be addressed for Gaza is the legitimacy of Israel.  They need to stop trying to destroy their neighbor and accept them.  They also need to stop trying to use force to gain an “upper hand.”  This change will never come if they continue to move toward violence.  Once these two stipulations have been negotiated I believe that things for Gaza would greatly and rapidly improve.

Gaza doesn’t have to worry about settlements or Israelis on their land.  They have to worry about having land and the Israeli blockades that have been put into place.  I truly think that once Gaza accepts Israel and ceases the violence Israel will lighten their hold on the area.  Trade will resume and blockades will diminish – if not disappear completely.

After a trust has been built, I think the electric fence surrounding Gaza as well as the IDF soldiers will be removed.  As for land issues, I think Gaza would have an easier time working with Egypt.  The Gazans may be able to claim part or all of the Sinai Peninsula.  With more land they would be able to move millions of people out of the refugee camps and the cramped quarters in which they are currently living.  After that, a government could be put in place – whether elected or appointed – and Gaza could become an independent nation.

Honestly, I think becoming an independent nation will be more difficult than negotiating lasting peace with Israel.  I do not think democracy would suit Gaza well but could see a parliamentary monarchy put into place within its government.  Hamas would need to cease to be a political entity and could possibly become the military unit of Gaza.

Again, the citizens of Gaza would gain land, rights, passports, travel opportunities, and responsibilities within their new nation.  And Israel would gain more safety and another ally.

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Support

Dear Friend,

Most of you who read this letter know me well.  For those who don’t (thanks for taking the time to read this); I am an honest take-me-as-I-am person who doesn’t beat period – on, in, or around the bush or anywhere else.  I refuse to sugar coat this letter to make it sound like something it is not.  I am seeking both financial and prayer support.  I will need both for the journey I am starting.  I need your help to bring the vision and calling God has given me into fulfillment so without further comment I bring you The Support Letter.

In a very short time I will be moving to Bethlehem (as in O Little Town Of) in Palestine.  I am teaching History and Bible to 10th, 11th, and 12th grader students at one of the local schools.  I will live and work in Bethlehem for tenCB022158 months (August 2009 – June 2010).  Unfortunately, I will not be paid for this position other than receiving housing at the school.  This is where you come in.

I know deep in my soul that God is leading me to these students but I do not have the money necessary to get there and live for ten months!  I am looking for one-time gifts or monthly support.  Do not feel bad if you cannot give financially because I also need prayer warriors continually lifting me, the other teachers, and the students up to God.

And, yes, you can be both a monetary giver and prayer warrior!

Maybe you know other people who would be willing to support this journey – feel free to pass my story and info on to them as well!

Lastly, if you would like to hear about my time in Bethlehem continue checking out this blog.

worship1Thank you for your part in my life and this next chapter of it!  I know God is going to use you all mightily.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Laura

*For more information on sponsoring or praying for me please comment below!

Paperwork and Selling Stuff

I just got an email saying that some vital paperwork is due … today.  I am supposed to fax it to the school or something so they can process it tomorrow.  Here’s a … challenge: I don’t have a fax machine.  And I don’t work for a company that would let me use theirs.  I am not quite sure what I’m going to do – call in a favor I guess.

PaperworkAnyway, the paperwork is basically an application – normal stuff like address, experience, education, references, etc.  Nothing too terrible.  I’ll probably complete it in about 10 minutes but it does ask for a passport number and if you’ve ever been out of the country and I spent 5 days in Toronto (before 9/11) so I  don’t have my passport.  I’ve ordered it but it won’t be here for a little while – like the middle of July!  Yikes!  I hope that’s okay – I mean I can’t really do anything about it now but I feel bad (a little).

Now with the Volunteer Application came a “Here’s What To Expect” Sheet.  It’s all kinds of crazy!  I mean most of it I was anticipating but that doesn’t make it any easier to be almost 25 and know that I’m going to have to ask to do most things I’ve been doing without thinking for over 10 years.  But that’s what I signed up for so I’m sure I’ll bulk against it some but fall underneath the authority like the “good girl”  I am.

On top of having paperwork and passports and visas to worry about, I am trying to sell all my crap (want some?).  Itfor sale isn’t crap – it’s just a lot more stuff than I ever thought I had.  I’d get one area of my apartment all cleaned out and go *sigh* “I feel better – all done.”  Then I’d open a door or a drawer and more stuff was there waiting for me.  I think my board games were gloating!  Anyway, I am having a moving sale – EVERYTHING MUST GO – if you need anything (dvds, books, guitar, bike, tv, ceiling fan, computer, printer, assorted dishware, assorted cookware, assorted wall art, vacuum, couch and love seat combo, etc.  Lemme know!

I promise I’m done plugging my sale!  PLUG!  Okay really finished now.

Even with all the work I have to do I’m excited and unnaturally peace-filled about the trip.  I have just over 60 days before I leave everything and everyone I’ve ever known.  That’s kind of scary.  Anyway…

Prayer Requests:

I would like to sell everything I have – the money would help with my trip

To quickly receive my passpoart and easily attain all other documentation I need

My family – I will miss them and I know it’s going to be hard on them (especially Mom)

The people I’m goint to work with and meet in Bethlehem – teachers, nationals, students, etc. – God is working in their life and I’d love for them to see it!

Praises:

I found someone to take over my apartment lease!  YAY!desk_calendar_1

My family – they are letting me go

My friends – without them I wouldn’t be able to make the next 60+ days

The Trip Literally Around The World

I have never been out of the United States before – I mean I went to Toronto for 5 days but that doesn’t really count (at least that’s what I keep hearing). I used to have a “regular” full-time job but I was fired for lack of experience. I was unnaturally “okay” with that. Not because I wanted to leave my “regular” job but because God knew it was time to go before I was willing to admit it.thank-you

I want to take just a moment and express my gratitude, respect, and affection for those who work at my former workplace (you know who you are). You are amazing people and I am a different – better – person having worked with you and learned from you. Thank you for helping me become who I needed to be to take this giant journey!

Now for the journey! I am moving to Bethlehem! As in “O Little Town Of …” I will be teaching History and Bible in a high school there and will live with the Palestinians for 10 months.

bethlehem-fullzoom-med-msn-cropQuestions:

Do you have a teaching degree? No, but I don’t need one for this position (it’s different than in the US)

Are you scared? Yes! But not for my life. I am not worried about dieing in a terrorist attack or anything like that.

Where will you live? Above the school in an apartment for the teachers.

How will you make money? By raising support from loved ones who want to see God’s Kingdom spread throughout the world (wanna give?).

When do you leave/return? I leave on August 14th and will return sometime before July 1st, 2010.

I know that God is leading me in this endeavor and I super excited to see where He takes me. I know I’bethlehemm going to grow and change and mature in this process and journey. I would welcome any and all prayers and good thoughts lifted up in my name (and the other teachers, students, and their families).

I look forward to taking you on this journey with me!