by Dr. Frank Romano
Jericho, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 12:30, Jericho Square, Jericho, Palestine
Jenin, Friday, Jan. 24, 1:30 pm, Main Square, Abu Baker Street, Jenin, Palestine
Ramallah, Sunday, Jan. 26, Manara Square, Ramallah, Palestine.
The marchers will walk in the light of the creator, following the principles of non-violence and respect for all creatures which are common denominators among the Peoples of the Book (ahl al-kitab) who reside in the area, as it is written in their Holy Scriptures of the Qur’an, the Torah, the New Testament, and in other texts. Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sufis, Kabbalists, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, etc., and members of all faith communities are welcome.
The truth is that residents of the area are ready for a durable peace, even those who were not ready a year or two ago. Similar to the situation in Ireland and other conflict areas, residents of the area have become fed up with, as well as exhausted and disgusted by the violence and truly seek peaceful coexistence.
As a result, many are laying down their arms, working on interfaith projects to take religion/spirituality out of the conflict and working within the political system to bring about change in a permanent, nonviolent way.
A purpose of this march is also to counter-balance the filtered and false information about the suffering of the people in the area, notably Palestinians and Israelis. Their suffering has become invisible in the face of narratives with no basis in reality and exaggerated reporting on incidents of violence and subsequent retaliation, often dominating the news and distracting the world from focusing on the day to day suffering of the residents in the area.
Moreover, removing most of the West Bank settlements would help in diffusing the tension accelerating since 1967.
As such, the occupation of the West Bank must end as a precursor to peaceful coexistence on the condition that adequate security measures are taken by both sides to secure the borders and preserve the peace.
Another purpose of this event is to facilitate working together of all active freedom/peace/human rights groups in the area and in the World. It is also dedicated to building on humanitarian efforts to improve the education of people in the area (cross-cultural dialogues, mixed student programs, etc.) and to improve the economic environment.
This event will set up a concerted and consistent effort in furtherance of freeing the area from the terrible bondage of continued conflict.
Let this march be a precursor to freedom through love and understanding by bringing all people together, as brothers and sisters and as children of the creator, showing the world that all people want peace in Israel and Palestine.