The Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural in Olympia, Washington.
Late this year, we were privileged to spend several weeks in Palestine/Israel with an Interfaith Peace-Builders’ delegation and reconnecting with friends in the region. At 3:00 a.m. on November 9th, we woke in our East Jerusalem hotel to CNN’s U.S. election results. We are still recovering. During moments like these when we feel the uncertainty of our political trajectory most acutely, it is helpful to name those places where we find strength, encouragement, and energy.
One of those is with the men, women, children, and families we met during this trip who experience the impact of settler colonialism and occupation every moment of their lives, yet continue to creatively resist. People like…
…Daoud at the Tent of Nations who, surrounded by five Israeli settlements, “refuses to be enemies,” continues with his family to fight in Israeli courts to retain their West Bank Area C farmland, and with international volunteers has replanted thousands of trees to replace those destroyed by the Israeli military.
…Nomika, a Jewish resident of Sderot, Israel, and founder of Other Voice (Israeli citizens who have raised a voice of conscience against Israeli policies in the neighboring Gaza Strip). Nomika says, “I live in a country that has made war a way of life.” Her deepest concern is how to make the young generation of Jewish Israelis care and feel responsibility.
…Omar, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who walked with us through what remains from 1948 of the Palestinian village of Lifta. With Jewish-Israeli colleagues in the organization Zochrot (“remembering” in Hebrew), Omar brings the Nakba to the fore and explores possibilities for right of return for Palestinians and a better life for all.
We are energized, too, by those in our own and neighboring communities who are stepping up:
…Activists who have stood in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
…The City of Portland’s Human Rights Commission, Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Committee, and community members whom we joined on November 30th as they bravely opposed city investment in corporations that violate its SRI policy (including Caterpillar, Inc.).
…Students, faculty, and community members in Abbotsford, British Columbia, who educate their neighbors about Palestine through film and lecture events, and invited our family’s story as the keynote for a November 26th one-day conference.
Most of all, we garner strength, encouragement, and energy for the work we do, from YOU – our friends and supporters from near and far. Your interest in Rachel Corrie Foundation (RCF) efforts, your responses to our action alerts and requests, the caring messages and good ideas you send, your generous financial support that makes it all possible, and the movement work you are doing in your own communities – these are the daily boosts you provide that keep all of us at RCF believing! You are part of the Rachel Corrie Foundation community and we depend upon you for the work we do together.
Our committed and caring board and staff continue to listen, to learn and grow, and to act. We look forward to sharing major plans and structural changes for 2017 that will refine and strengthen RCF programs and projects and take significant steps toward RCF sustainability – ensuring that all our voices for peace with justice in the Middle East and universal human rights endure and remain strong.
As 2016 draws to a close, we ask for your financial support during this giving time and for your continued partnership. Thank you for your help, in all the forms it takes. Thank you, too, for honoring our daughter Rachel’s commitment and the values by which she tried to live – that we strive to emulate.
With appreciation and anticipation,