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On Holocaust Remembrance Day, this gives me Hope

Today, at 10 AM in Israel, the country stood still for two minutes to pay their respects to the six million Jews who were murdered by Nazis during World War II. Around the world, others stood in solidarity with them. And in Poland, thousands of people marched silently from Auschwitz to Birkenau to remember the victims of the Holocaust who died there, by participating in the annual March of the Living.

Pray for Peace in Jerusalem (video)

Three years ago, my heart pulled me to Israel and Palestine to experience the reality of this iconic conflict for myself, talk to Israelis and Palestinians, and search for ways to support peace. It is one of the hardest places I've ever been, where CryPeace means crying more tears and crying louder for justice than almost anywhere else. This week, as renewed tensions escalate over Jerusalem, my heart breaks that this city, holy to all three Abrahamic faiths, is a cause of hatred instead of love, violence instead of peace, war instead of worship.

I Want (I Don't Want)

I don’t want our kids to meet at encounter groups, to learn to empathise with the “other”

I don’t want them to hear of the Holocaust, to learn how our homelands became our graves

I don’t want them to talk about the Nakba, the right of return, and how long it takes

I don’t want to fear that in my nascent country, we risk annihilation again

I don’t want to fear that in my exile, we risk losing the chance for a homeland


Throw love, not stones

Should I throw love over the wall instead of stones?

Chocolate kisses

Valentine hearts

Gifts on the strings of balloons?


Will you take the chocolates for stones

Respond with tear gas

Burn my eyes and nose?


I want to tear down this wall

Look into your eyes

And know you as friend, not enemy

May I have this dance?

I want to dance at the wall in beautiful protest
Cast a vision of the future in its shadow today

We could hear the same music, dance to the same beat
But I couldn’t see you, our hands couldn’t meet

We could set up a webcam, make a window in the wall
I’d rather you open it, I want to walk tall
through the gate that encloses me now like a prison
Let this vision of the future shine bright as through a prism

The Cage

I live in a cage with very prevalent walls
that block me in and hide the sun

I rail at them, throw rocks and stones
Must you respond with bombs? 

You hold the power of whether I can wash, or work
Whether I can skype with my aunt, or visit the day of her birth

You say yes to my brother, and no to me
Must you put my parents in such misery?

I rail at the wall with rocks and stones
You hold the power to tear it down

Will you?

On Yom HaShoah, Pray for Peace

Today is Yom HaShoah, the annual day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust. This morning in Israel, two minutes of silence were observed throughout the country. Via video, I saw the streets and boardwalks that I traversed four months ago become strangely still. Listening to the sound of the siren, I imagined its wail, and our prayers, rising like the souls of the six million victims to heaven. Please take a moment to remember them with me now.

Let’s be soldiers in the army of love

My grandfather’s village is just down the road
It’s blessed with the richest of olive groves
On Fridays when grandfather takes me on his knee
I feel the shade of a tree that I’ve never seen
I’m fighting for freedom, peace and security
I’ll never forget what they’ve stolen from me
Wrongs like these must be avenged  
I will not rest until they taste just revenge
We’re fighting for freedom in a just war

Serendipitous Day in Haifa

After visiting the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa, which closed at noon, I had no itinerary. I started walking down the hill.

“Lady, lady!” A stranger was calling me from a car.

“Yes?” I answered.

“Abraham said you needed a tour guide.” Abraham was the Kenyan security guard at Baha’i Gardens I’d been speaking with about his faith.

“Actually, I do. What do you suggest?”


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