Reflections on Olive Tree planting in Palestine: Anne Martin

The olive tree is the symbol of peace, and of prosperity.  It is plain and frugal, surviving in poor soil, lasting for thousands of years and yielding precious fruit and oil.  The annual Olive Tree Planting in February is part of a programme called Keep Hope Alive.  The intention is to support Palestinian farmers by protecting their land from being taken over by settlers.  

The sites chosen for tree planting were strategic.  The farmers are prepared, their legal ownership of the land established;  the risk posed by neighbouring settlements or outposts assessed so that the most vulnerable land gains from planting; the hundreds of olive tree brought from the nursery and the group of internationals assembled to start the planting. 

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Balfour Project: Towards an Independent Palestinian State

Last Thursday at Glasgow University 300 people heard distinguished journalists speak on ‘The news from Gaza: dispelling myths and telling the truth’. 

Today at Edinburgh University 350 people heard politicians, former diplomats and others speak on ‘Tragedy in Gaza – Britain’s legacy, Scotland’s role’.

Today’s conference concluded with a ‘Scottish Call to Action’ from the Balfour Project. The Call was presented by Sir Vincent Fean, British Consul-General, Jerusalem 2010-14, now Chair of the Balfour Project. The Call reads:

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Keep Hope Alive: Olive Tree Planting in Palestine

One of the Five Marks of Mission widely adopted as an expression of contemporary Christian mission is “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth”.

Stephen has just returned from participating in the Olive Tree Planting Campaign organised by the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA\YWCA in Palestine and the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG). The JAI-ATG Olive Planting Program, lasts for 10 days in February each year.

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Jahalin Bedouin

Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, director of Jahalin Solidarity campaigns for the Bedouin community of Al Khan Alahmar in the Wadi Kelt region. Overlooked by the illegal Israeli colony of Kfar Adumim and facing a demolition order as well as occasional settler attacks, the 35 families seek to live and prosper on their historic lands they have lived on as refugees since 1952. Their school is made of mud and rubber tyres. Find out more about how you can support the Jahalin Bedouin here www.jahalin.org

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