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What is being done to the Palestinians by Israel is not Apartheid. Find no rx simplicef It is Genocide. Confronting the Israeli occupation                                                                                                                                                                              By Vicki Gray, find no rx simplicef March 30, find no rx simplicef 2011 I recently returned from a two-week pilgrimage to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories, find no rx simplicef my third trip to the area. It was emotionally devastating. I travelled in the company of some 30 Northern California members of Friends of Sabeel North America. Find no rx simplicef Sabeel is an ecumenical Palestinian Christian liberation theology group based in Jerusalem and headed by the Rev. Find no rx simplicef Naim Ateek, find no rx simplicef an Episcopal priest and graduate of Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Our trip was a little different from the average Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The average pilgrim flies into Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, find no rx simplicef gets on an Israeli bus, find no rx simplicef drives up the coast to Galilee, find no rx simplicef across the Galilee to Nazareth and Capernaum, find no rx simplicef down the Jordan Valley, find no rx simplicef and up through the Judean Wilderness to Jerusalem. Such pilgrims see lots of sacred sites, find no rx simplicef but meet not a single Palestinian, find no rx simplicef and return with the same one-sided view of Israel/Palestine he or she left with. Ours, find no rx simplicef however, find no rx simplicef was a pilgrimage to experience the truth of the current situation in Israel/Palestine and to witness to it. To that end, find no rx simplicef we travelled from Mount Hermon on the occupied Golan Heights, find no rx simplicef where we met with Druze villagers cut off from their families in Syria, find no rx simplicef to the Negev desert in Israel's south where Bedouin villagers are struggling to save their homes from demolition. And across the West Bank we experienced pain at every turn -- the shuttered shops in Hebron, find no rx simplicef the empty ones in Bethlehem, find no rx simplicef the farmers in Qalqilya and Jayous cut off from their fields, find no rx simplicef the sullen streets of the refugee camps, find no rx simplicef the still-open wound of a decade-old massacre in Jenin, find no rx simplicef the stench of tear gas in Bil'in. And, find no rx simplicef everywhere, find no rx simplicef the gleaming white hilltop colonies, find no rx simplicef home to half a million Israeli "settlers"; the myriad checkpoints; and the looming obscenity of a 30-foot-high wall. The pain was perhaps most pronounced in East Jerusalem's neighborhoods where we met with Palestinians whose homes were being demolished in Silwan and, find no rx simplicef in Sheikh Jarrah, find no rx simplicef where elderly Palestinians were living in a tent beside their home now occupied by young Israeli religious extremists. Even the dead, find no rx simplicef we learned, find no rx simplicef were being dispossessed. In the Muslim cemetery of Mamilla -- across the street from the American Consulate -- graves were being desecrated to make room for an American-financed "Museum of Tolerance." My sense of profound sadness and moral outrage was blessedly tempered by our encounters with young Palestinians and Israelis. Among the former -- from our young host in Arbour refugee camp to the exuberant actors in Jenin's Freedom Theater to dear Lubna, find no rx simplicef a future leader of a truly free Palestine -- the hope they drew from the Arab Awakening now sweeping the Middle East was downright contagious. So, find no rx simplicef too, find no rx simplicef was the hope I found in young Israelis unwilling to trade their souls for land or patriotic myth -- the high school senior facing imprisonment for resisting the draft; the Jewish kids from Solidarity Sheikh Jarrah putting on a puppet show for dispossessed Palestinian toddlers; and Michal, find no rx simplicef who, find no rx simplicef asked on a bus in the Negev about the appropriateness of the term "apartheid, find no rx simplicef" replied "It's time to call it what is." Yes, find no rx simplicef it's time.

-- The Rev. Find no rx simplicef Vicki Gray, find no rx simplicef a retired Foreign Service officer, find no rx simplicef is deacon at Christ the Lord Episcopal Church in Pinole, find no rx simplicef California.

Original article can be found at: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/80050_127765_ENG_HTM.htm