Hani was an angry youth when the Israeli policies divided the Hebron. When he was 17 he went to jail for 20 months because, by his admission, he threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israelis. He got out in time for his high school exams but after some altercations ended up in jail again and again. In jail he reconsidered his purpose and decided that violence wasn’t the way. When he came out of jail Hani decided to switch from rocks to a video camera. He gathered friends around him and they documented abuses. He became a nonviolent resister. When his young daughter was attacked by a settler child on her way to school, Hani turned to Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) for help and a school accompaniment program for CPT began. Hani continues to promote nonviolent techniques among Hebron activists and a group called “One World for Justice.” Hani reminded us that this is Canaan, a land of promise.
There are Jewish, Christian and Muslim folks who do the same bold and transformative work as Hani is doing. Some are famous. Many more live out love and seek to make peace in less publicly recognized ways. Maybe you are one of those people. Maybe you can become one of those people. Working toward the day when our focus us on Jerusalem leads us to celebrate how much God’s love is alive, renewing, transforming, setting a foundation for peace in our world, in our time through the people God creates and empowers.
The Rev. Joan MacPherson is pastor of Main Street Methodist Church, UCC in Amesbury.