Path of the Friend

Writings related to ‘Israel-Palestine’

The Fate of the Jewish State

December 2nd, 2009

WEST BANK, PALESTINE I have just returned from my eighth trip to the Middle East in as many years. I had read news reports to the effect that conditions in the West Bank had improved since my last visit to Palestine – that the Israelis has reduced checkpoints and made travel easier in the West […]

The Neighbor and the Pilgrim

April 2nd, 2006

PALESTINE In the sixties the poet Gary Snyder advised, “Find your place on the planet and dig in.” I took his advice seriously, digging out roots to clear gardens, digging holes to build fences, digging trenches for foundations, drainage pipes, and septic systems. The view from the handle of my shovel helped me love each […]

A Dream from the Holy Land

December 24th, 2003

ISRAEL-PALESTINE Consider the Holy Land, trampled and fought over for thousands of years, blood splashing on its stones, tears soaking into it, temples razed, Christ crucified, crusaders vicious and defeated, Turks, Egyptians, British, French, Arabs, Israelis – consider the lineage of enemies who have claimed this place and how their agony and antagonism lives in […]


July 30th, 2003

GAZA “What reign is worse than that of militant virtue?” – Amin Maalouf The taxi drives south toward Gaza through the pleasant Israeli countryside. There are well-kept farms, villages, fields, and forested hillsides. After leaving the taxi at the heavily militarized border crossing into Gaza, my colleague (the Jerusalem Representative from the American Friends Service […]

Jesus Wept

July 26th, 2003

JERUSALEM, BETHLEHEM, RAMALLAH, HEBRON “Bus number 14 was blown up right there,” my guide told me, pointing across the Jerusalem street. “Seventeen people were killed. And over there a suicide bomber dressed as an orthodox Jew entered that hospital on the corner and exploded himself, killing three people in the lobby.” We walked along the […]