I've been meaning to write about this topic for a while, but the truth is that I've found this to be a surprisingly emotional topic and I haven't wanted to face it.
Last week I received an email from my friend Sami Awad, director of the Holy Land Trust with the subject "From Palestine to Virginia Tech: We a you with you in this Time of Pain." Sami explains that they had dedicated there weekly demonstration to the victims of Virginia Tech:
Sami is always blogging about the dynamic nonviolent movement that continues in Palestine. Check out what he has to say - I believe that it the most important news coming from the West Bank. http://samiawad.wordpress.com/
Once we reached the path created by the by the bulldozers for the building of the Apartheid Wall we dug the earth and plated the thirty two olive trees in a row...Over 150 Israeli soldiers came to dismantle our protest. Our commitment to nonviolence and to achieve our goal completely paralyzed their weapons and their goals and eventually our power made them withdrawal. The planting of the trees was followed by reciting the names of all those who were killed in the Virginian massacre followed by a fifteen minute period of silence before the group moved back to the villages. I think that this is the aspect of Palestine that I will never really get used to. Time and time again, my Palestinian friends express an incredible sympathy for the pain and grief of my community. When the four CPTers were kidnapped in Iraq, our Palestinian friends organized huge protests on their behalf. I could understand that - CPT has worked hard to end the occupation of Palestine. But I'm blown away by the incredible compassion my friends have for people who they don't know, who probably don't care about their pain. There's some much that I need to learn from Palestine.