The violence which occurred in Israel and Palestine in early May followed weeks of rising tensions in Jerusalem. At the outbreak of the violence, CFP reached out to our Israeli and Palestinian alumni to ensure that they and their families were safe and were relieved to learn that they were. In turn, they were encouraged to know that we are there for them. Several months have passed since the cease-fire of 21 May and unfortunately, the tensions and uncertainties remain across the region. These present challenges in our efforts to establish the programs we had initiated. Yet these challenges will not stop our efforts; grassroots people-to-people programs are needed now as much as ever!
In 1998 the Omagh bombing, the deadliest single incident of the troubles in Northern Ireland, occurred when CFPNI’s (predecessor to CFP) summer U.S. residential was coming to a close and the youth were to return home soon. There were fears, uncertainties, and much discussion on how CFPNI would move forward in the face of that darkness. Fortunately, the decision was unanimous that the program would continue, with even greater intent, and not be modified or deterred by the violence perpetuated by a few.
With this history in CFP’s resolve, we will continue to dedicate ourselves to pursuing our plans for programs in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. Throughout our efforts to move forward, we will remain steadfast in our support for our alumni and their families in Israel and Palestine.
Middle East Program Coordinator