Olives for Hope

If the world is ever going to come to peace,
humanity can no longer be recognized 
on a case by case basis.



Gently Falling Down;

The Rain Returns;

Crashing Through My Heart

(written my last night in Galilee 2010)

‎"I do not sit at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it. We do not write to be understood; we write to understand." (Cecil Day-Lewis)

These are my personal reflections on my time in Israel / Palestine as well as my view of events connected to the situation since returning (as well as the occasional randomness that is me as I seek peace in a restless world). My journal from 2008 is here . I do not have comments enabled because I have seen too many of these types of sites taken over by back and forth bickering and just plain mean-ness. but I am opening up the guests page for comment in response to several requests. At this time, only site members can comment. It is easy to become a member - just complete the subscribe request. If you want to contact me directly (to set up a presentation, ask a question, make a donation etc) please use this contact page. I have added daily journal for 2011 here.

I am no longer adding news items directly on this site. I have created an OFH fan page on Facebook for news postings. There is a link on the sidebar and it seems to work even if you are not a Facebook member (please let me know if you have a problem accessing the page. News items are continually added to that page which you will likely not see in the traditional US press. Thank you for taking a moment to like the page so I know that it is serving its purpose.

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Dear Mr. President

Posted on March 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Dear Mr. President,

So I hear you were in my neighborhood. I want to ask the question I am asked here all the time, “How do you find Palestine?” But, you were not here long enough to find much at all. What did you see traveling to Bethlehem in your limo, “The Beast”? ; Perhaps more than if you had gone as planned by helicopter. Did those tinted windows let you see the wall as you passed through the checkpoint? I know you didn’t see the refugee camps wi...

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Gaza - Winners and Losers: A completely non-expert analysis

Posted on November 27, 2012 at 4:15 AM

Don't just cease your fire and return to the old patterns that will create in you the conditions for the next round of violence, pain, and death; begin to cease in your hearts all what prevents you from seeing the human and equal right of the other to live in peace, justice, dignity, respect, and honor. – Sami Awad, Palestinian Non-violence Activist

First I should say I am not a conspiracy buff by nature and, I think, more than direct manipulation of even...

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What we can do? - I hope you dance!

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 7:10 AM

Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance; And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance - I hope you Dance

Last time I wrote of the frustration I was feeling with the phenomenon I have witnessed of Palestinians internalizing the occupation. Sure Israel is no longer "enforcing" many checkpoints; they are not “needed”, because the checkpoints remain in the mind. Learned helplessness occurs when a person is repeatedly subjected to negative eve...

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Why I Hate Palestine (Not what you think)

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Or, Why I Do What I Do

Of all of the forces that make for a better world, none is so indispensable,                                            none so powerful as hope. ~Charles Sawy

 I can't kn...

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This is the Life

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 2:05 PM

When was the last time you thought those words….even maybe said them aloud? Perhaps you were on a beach somewhere enjoying a cold one while the warm breeze ruffled through your hair. Or maybe you were at the wedding of a dear friend or relative, witnessing a partnership's new beginning. Was it during your last escape to the “cottage up-north”? Even if you do not have those memories, we all know and aspire to them – the “Good Life”. And everyone associates ...

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A Benevolent Occupation?

Posted on December 27, 2011 at 5:05 PM

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. ~ Buddha


Anyone that travels in Palestine, who has been here before – even just a year ago – would be struck by the changes. Now I can take a bus to Jerusalem without going through the main checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. This past week a friend from Jenin traveled to Bethlehem wi...

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Precious Pain

Posted on December 18, 2011 at 9:00 PM

I was reminded again tonight why the situation here is so complicated. I know, and I really believe this, that humanity has a soul, that love does win. But how do you convince someone that has been so hurt by that same humanity? We are all victims to one degree or another, but I can’t compare my pain to another’s. We all have different stories. Some are very raw, some are silly but all are real. And here it goes beyond any one individual’s pain – it is collective pain...

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The Border Crossing - Part 2

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 6:05 PM

 Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof. Gibran

Once I arrived in Amman, after the stress of getting there, it was nice to able to enjoy a couple of relaxing days with my hosts. The nearby grandchildren came over and put up the Christmas tree and the next day I went to a shopping mall. Amma...

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The Border Crossing - Part 1

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Well it's all right; Riding around in the breeze

Well it's all right; If you live the life you please

Well it's all right; Doing the best you can

Well it's all right; As long as you lend a hand ~ The Traveling Wilburys


My Israeli visa is good for only three months. This means I need to leave and then re-enter Israel to get a new visa. So, not knowing what to expect, I headed for the Jordanian border. I chose the northern cr...

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Posted on November 11, 2011 at 9:30 PM


‎"Speak the clearest truth you know, and let the dis-ease heal."~ Rumi

Last week I was in the northern West Bank and learned about the difficulties in establishing Palestinian commercial products for the world market. We first visited the Taybeh Beer factory near Ramallah. There we met the only woman brew master in the Middle East. She works with her father to produce the only Palestinian beer. It ...

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