Peace in the Midst of Conflict: Another Voice
By Elli Atchison
The summer of 2014 was an ugly one in Israel and Palestine. The media was filled with reports of a war that devastated Gaza, and filled Israel and the West Bank with anxiety and fear. But out of this tragedy something beautiful began. Like a desert flower that blooms in the harshest conditions of nature, a brave group of Israeli and Palestinian women united to raise their voices and share their perspectives about daily life in the region.
Another Voice is a powerful blog written by Palestinian Christian and Messianic Jewish women. To protect themselves and their families, they write anonymously. Despite a political structure that would have them be enemies, these "sisters in Christ" choose to pursue peace together. They share a common belief in Jesus, as well as the struggle to live amidst conflict on a daily basis.
Both sets of women felt a need to challenge the negative attitudes surrounding them. The Israeli women were tired of hearing about their government's excuses for violence and lack of mercy. The Palestinian women were also weary of the hopelessness and despair that overwhelmed their people. Together, they united to write about their lives, detailing the common struggles and joys of life on both sides of the conflict.
These women don't always agree on politics or theology, but they do share a deep mutual respect that encourages their camaraderie and efforts to speak out.
Another Voice covers topics ranging from serious thoughts on the latest current events to lighthearted posts about food and cultural traditions. These women don't always agree on politics or theology, but they do share a deep mutual respect that encourages their camaraderie and efforts to speak out.
Reading the blog is a delight. It is like being welcomed into the homes of these insightful women. Followers feel as though they are sitting down to a warm cup of coffee and catching up on life with a good friend. These writings bring heart and soul to the often sterile and negative traditional media reports from the region.
And these women are being blessed through their efforts as well. One contributor, who calls herself Bee, beautifully describes how this successful project is changing them: "Once we establish even one relationship with one of our enemies, then we learn to love who they are—as human beings with their own life story. Once we have had this experience, it becomes hard to ignore the responsibility of caring for them."
You can join in their journey to peace by subscribing to Another Voice here.
Would you like to spend Christmas in the Holy Land?
ESA's Micky ScottBey Jones is coordinating the Sumud Freedom Tour, in partnership with Holy Land Trustand Nonviolence International. From December 21st through January 3rd, an intimate delegation of people interested in faith-rooted activism will travel to Israel/Palestine to spend time co-learning about different justice issues worldwide, strategic building across movements, and participation in nonviolent solidarity actions.
This tour will provide you with an opportunity to develop deeper understandings of justice in a multi-faith, multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-struggle context. Do you want to connect with international organizations, broaden your work abroad, and deepen your relationship with the work of ESA? Sign up today!