Views of the Holy Land
In November, an ecumenical interfaith group visited Israel/Palestine to learn about the struggles and hopes of its people, led by the Council for Christians and Jews. The group included members from the United Reformed Church, the Church of England, Baptists, Quakers, and Methodists; Reformed, Orthodox, Ultra-Orthodox, progressive, and secular Jews; and Muslims
During my visits to Israel as a teenager, I recall driving past the entrance to Bethlehem on my way to spend time with family and catching glimpses of the bustling life going on there. But after the Second Intifada, a bypass was built and during later visits, Palestinian life became something ‘over there’, and I didn’t give it much thought.
As a result it felt surreal to find myself sitting in a Palestinian café opposite the Church of the Nativity in October – I was acutely conscious that this was not an experience that most of my friends and family would ever have. I felt immensely privileged – but also very confused. I really hadn’t anticipated just how many deep-seated emotions our trip would provoke in me…
This is an extract from an article published in the February 2023 edition of Reform