|Cody O’Rourke walking Palestinian kindergarteners to school |
in Hebron as part of his work with the Christian Peacemaker Teams.
We are happy to introduce to you one of new partners on the ground, Cody O’Rourke. O’Rourke has been coming to Israel and Palestine since 2005 and has consistently been an active in the conflict, from his studies at Central Michigan University majoring in Political Science, from volunteering as the construction coordinator at the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions for nine years, as well as conducting English classes at the Hope Flowers School in al-Khadr. He is currently working in Hebron with the Christian Peacemaker Teams and serving his second year in the Old City.
In working with the Christian Peacemaker Teams, O’Rourke covers primarily the H2 section of Hebron – the area most impacted area under the Israeli occupation. In working with different international bodies such as the Norwegian Refugee Council and the United Nations as well as the local Palestinian activist groups and civic leaders, O’Rourke brings a unique perspective on the reality on the ground.
“Hebron in many ways is a microcosm of the conflict: Here is a historical city where for generations Muslims and Jews had lived side by side – and many families in the community still share those stories of community; but then at the other hand is the grind of an Israeli occupation systematically built to drive Palestinians off the land,” O’Rourke said on working in Hebron. “We work in area where Israeli settlers step by step try to extend their presence and control over the area and local Palestinians trying to maintain their land and heritage, and as such, there is a continual cycle of violence.”
Despite the Israel’s prolonged military occupation, O’Rourke is still optimistic on the prospects of peace. “What I experienced here over the past 10 years is a surge in international interest and activism – and where I get a lot of that hope is from the tour groups. I see a lot concerned individuals that understand that the unresolved conflict impacts their lives in a very direct way,” O’Rourke continued. “I think specifically these tour groups such as Green Olive Tours provide a crucial role in that – not only in the educational component and the real life experiences they give people – but their call to action and social responsibility.”
Green Olive Tours invites you to stay connected to our Facebook and Twitter feds for updates on the ground – specifically from Hebron.
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