The author. who works in the area of interfaith relations at the Anglican Communion Office in London recently visited the Holy Land for the first time. She took a course "Abraham: Yesterday and Today" at St. George's College, Jerusalem, while staying at "'The House of Abraham', run by a community of French nuns offering hospitality to all regardless of nationality or faith". "The wall was very much a feature of our visit. .... The experience of checkpoints also introduced us to the apartheid that is developing. Being a group of American, Australian, English and Nepalese we were waved through with little inconvenience, not so the local residents". "One of our group had just completed three months with a Christian Peacekeeper Team and guided us around the team apartment in Hebron. It was a joy to see young Palestinian children emerge from a face painting session all smiles and giggles. Again we were reminded that the dehumanising is on both sides as we looked over to the Israeli barracks populated by young conscripts most of whom are terrified and simply want to go home". "During some of the evenings we received excellent lectures on Abraham within Islam, current work in building relationships between Muslims, Christians and Jews in Jerusalem, and Abraham in the Jewish tradition." "Worshipping with Arab Christians, praying for the peace of Jerusalem through psalms and intercessions whilst actually there, seeing the wall, all these were moving experiences."
See also advertisement for "Saint George's College, Jerusalem" on page 23 which lists three courses: Palestine of Jesus (20 April - 3 May 2007); St. Paul and the Early Church (10-23 May 2007); and St. Paul in Greece (14-25 June 2007). www.sgcjerusalem.org
Israel is in the process of building a wall or separation fence which is says is needed to protect them from suicide bombers. "Church leaders in the region are vehemently opposed to the barrier's construction. Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal, the Episcopal bishop in Jerusalem, warns that Israelis are fencing themselves in as well. `The best of secure borders are reconciled neighbours, and the closest of neighbours are the Palestinians. Those fences and walls will not only encircle Palestinian towns and add to the grudges, but they will also close the Israeli community into a kind of ghetto,' he said. `The root cause of all of this business of building walls is the occupation. Once the Israelis quit occupying the lands of others, then they can hope for and receive the security they so desire. This is not the time to build walls. This is the time to build bridges. And only if they learn how to build a bridge rather than a wall will they guarantee themselves security, peace and stability,' the bishop said." The farmers of Jayyous are protesting the building of the wall which cuts them off from their fertile fields and the town's wells. Their protest is supported by international members of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, coordinated by the World Council of Churches.
"'Does the world care that we're being pushed out of our land ?' This haunting question was posed over and over to Lisa Barry, Anglican Video's senior producer, by Palestinian Christians during a February  trip to the Holy Land. Barry, along with Anglican Video's production manager Becky Boucher, cameraman Scott Brown and Andrea Mann, the church's global relations director, visited the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, which has 27 parishes spread across Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The trip was intended to 'really listen, record and gather up the stories of the living stones of the diocese', and to develop resources for parishes to use for Jerusalem Sunday, which the Anglican Church of Canada celebrates for the first time on June 1 , said Mann. The weeklong itinerary included meetings with the diocesan bishop Suheil Dawani, and diocesan staff, touring ministries in and around Jerusalem and in the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Gaza and engaging with people involved in diocesan programs. The team also saw the effects of the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict". "Operating more than 30 institutions, the diocese employs about 1,500 people, schools 6,400 students and provides about 200 hospital beds".
The authors were in Israel in 2002 as part of the Ecumenical Accompaniers sent by the World Council of Churches. While there, "The reality of how this `separation wall' had already deprived thousands of Palestinians of a sustainable future became a concern to two of the ecumenical accompaniers, Eva Balslev and Sune Segal, both from Denmark. With a background in journalism, both accompaniers felt it crucial to tell the story of hoe the `wall' has already ruined the livelihoods of thousands of Palestinians and will continue to do so as its construction progresses. Just as important was their wish to create a basis for a sober and factual discussion around it. In accordance with one of the stated purposes of the EAPPI -- to bear witness to and report on human-rights violations resulting from Israel's practices as an occupying power -- the two accompaniers devoted much of their stay to conducting research on the subject as well as collecting testimonies from affected villagers. This booklet provides an alternative to most media stories, as told by two young ecumenical accompaniers to whom we are most grateful". -- Preface.
Contents: Foreword / Salpy Eskidjian -- Preface -- Facts about the Wall -- Confiscation of Land -- Diary of Falamiya: A Village on the Road to Dependency: part I -- Confiscation of Water: Dry Future Prospects -- Diary of Falamiya: A Village on the Road to Dependency: part II -- The Legal Issues: Security vs. Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law -- Diary of Falamiya: A Village on the Road to Dependency: part III -- Epilogue.
The Rt. Rev. Peter Jintaro Ueda, Anglican Bishop of Tokyo, of the Holy Catholic Church in Japan, led a 12-member group on a 10 day visit to Jerusalem from 3-10 February 2004. The primary purpose of the visit was an attempt "to share the mission and ministries of the Churches and Christians who have been strongly seeking the justice and peace in this particular region, where the root causes of major conflicts of the present world seem to lie. . . . . we wanted to visit our brothers and sisters in Christ when they are really in a difficult situation in Palestine/Israel. We have been hoping, therefore, to see as many Palestinian friends as possible and to learn from them". The delegation released a 10 point statement whose first point condemned the on-going construction of Israel's Security Wall.