Sadness: The Tent of Nations Destroyed

Note:  PPF has a special relationship with the Tent of Nations. Daoud Nassar, whose family owns the property near Bethlehem, was one of our speakers at our convocation of peacemakers in April 2012 and our group of 28 PPFers who visited Israel/Palestine in January this year spent some time there, as did the PPF group in 2007. Sadly, it appears that the trees planted by or on behalf of PPFers have been destroyed. Please see below for information on a petition

 

Reflections by Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Freeman Fellow at The Fellowship of Reconciliation

I am heartbroken and crying tonight. Daoud Nasser and his family at The Tent of Nations Environmental and Educational Farm in the West Bank were invaded by Israel. Entire fields of grapes, apples, apricots, almonds, fig and olive trees were wiped out. Up to 1,500 trees destroyed. Daoud and his family own the land, have papers dating from the Ottoman Empire. This picture, painted in a cave on the land, demonstrates their legacy.

The Nasser family has been persecuted mercilessly by five surrounding settlements, the IDF and the Israeli government for decades. The Israeli authorities had had 13 demolition orders on the land, and forbade the building of any structures (including tents) and placed boulders on the exit and entrances to their farm, and has uprooted trees before. Getting to the farm from Bethlehem-a ten minute ride-can take at least an hour due to circuitous route Palestinians are forced to follow. This is ongoing Nakba in action. I feel this tragedy deeply. Daoud is my friend. I've sent people to visit him and work on the farm. I've taken delegations there and shared time with him in several cities speaking about "the way forward" toward peace and justice in Palestine. The summer camp, women's programing and program for volunteers on the farm is remarkable.

Those of us who know Daoud have been deeply impacted by his compassion, nonviolence, resiliency, creativity, and commitment to community. He and his wife contribute so much to their environment, community and world. This outrage cuts deeply into the heart.

Ain't nobody gonna turn us around. I imagine many of us will want to raise funds for the replanting of the farm, and in fact, go there to help rebuild. More on this aspect soon. For all you who fight for justice: this tragedy is ours to confront.

 

Background Information from Tent of Nations

As you know, the Nassar Family Farm/Tent of Nations Peace Project has a long history of modeling peaceful co-existence with its neighbors through teaching courses and providing workshops and conferences for women and youth. It also provides opportunities for internationals, Israelis and Palestinians to unite in solidarity around a common dream of a just peace.  You have been a part of that journey through your support. For some of you, a visit to the farm itself has made it even more personal. In 2013, 7,000 international visitors were welcomed to the land by the Nassar family. Some were volunteers who worked the land and others were volunteers who taught a variety of workshops in the Women’s Education Center in Nahalin or helped with the Summer Youth Camps. Others included church groups, religious leaders from all faiths, and interfaith peace delegations. We are hoping that all of you will take time to stand with the Nassar family and place as much pressure as possible on your church leaders, political representatives, State Department, and even the White House to ensure that no more unwarranted destruction takes. We will continue to keep you updated on our website at www.fotonna.org.

Sample Appeal Letter: Download Printable Version - Word Doc | PDF

 

Petition

Click here to sign the petition deploring this action by the Israeli government. The petition will be sent to the following: