Report on Visit to Israel

Report on Visit to Israel (4)

Friday, November 1

In the morning we left Anael's house, and left for Jerusalem in a car driven by Hagit. On the way, we stopped by a place where a group of a silent walk called Middleway are camping. They are walking for the peace of Palestine.


With the people of Middleway.
From the left as you face it, Hagit,
Dr. Stephen Fulder, Amanda, and me.

Dr. Stephen Fulder is the founder of this group. At the beginning of last Semptember, Shinichiro Terayama, a friend of ours, introduced to us Prof. Mizrahi and Dr. Fulder. I could meet both of them finally.

In the morning before the departure, all of the participants made a big circle, and their leaders made an announcement about that day's schedule. They keep silent while walking.


Meeting just before departure to the peace walk

We saw off the people of the peace walk.


People who just started the peace walk (1)

While seeing off the walk, I was moved by the way of their walking. It made me contemplate that there are many different ways to bring peace.


People who just started the peace walk (2)


On the way to Jerusalem, we stopped by a peace pole that Hagit and other people had planted. The peace pole was built in the premise of an education faculty where people learn how to bring peace in Israel and Palestine.


A peace pole built in an education faculty for peace

Hagit has engaged in the Palestine issues for years very actively, and promoted various peace movements. To plant a peace pole is one of her activities.


Finally, we entered Jerusalem. I heard that there is an activity to pray for peace in Israel and Palestine at noon on every Friday, so we went to the meeting place for this activity with Hagit, that is a place to look down the Wailing Wall.


Wailing Wall, Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock

The photo above is taken from the meeting place to the direction of the Wailing Wall. The place just beyond the Wall is called the Temple Mount, and the golden dome you see to the left and further side of the photo is the famous mosque called the Dome of the Rock. At present, only Muslims can go in.

We were waiting at the meeting point, but only a friend of Hagit's, Ibrahim Ahmad Abu El-Hawa, showed up, and main organizers did not come. So, we gave up to join the prayer. Instead, Ibrahim invited us to his home.


At Ibrahim's home on the top of Mt. Olive
From the left to right as you face it, Ibrahim Ahmad Abu El-Hawa,
Hagit Ra'anan, Betty Schachter, me (wearing T-shirt of the Project),
and Gyosei Horikoshi, a Japanese Buddhist (Nichiren sect) monk
from Myohoji, Nihonzan, Japan.

Ibrahim's home is at the top of Mt. Olive in East Jerusalem, and East Jerusalem is a city of Arabs. The door of his house is always open, and anybody is welcome. Thousands of Arabs are living in East Jerusalem, and Ibrahim is saying that he memorizes all of their names with their faces. He knows what kind of life each family is leading and what the composition of each family has.

I thought what a wonderful person he was. He is saying that his family is not rich, but he is always caring the children, especially the children of Bedouins. He is doing many things to support them.

To Ibrahim's home, Betty Schachter came to meet us. She prepared an opportunity for me to give a presentation in Jerusalem.

In addition, you see a Japanese monk in the photo above. His name is Gyosei Horikoshi, and he has been living in the Middle East area for a peace movement since the Gulf War. Now he is living in East Jerusalem, involved in many activities to bring peace in Palestine. Today, he just visited Ibrahim's home, and we met each other.

Noriko Morisawa, a kindergarten teacher, after visiting the Gaza strip and the West Bank area by herself, wrote a book in Japanese entitled "I want to see the Palestine!" I attended her lecture once in Japan. Gyosei told me that in her book he is mentioned. After I came back to Japan, I re-read her book and found his name. People of Japanese Buddhism are playing active roles in the world.

This evening, I visited the Wailing Wall again. It was illuminated beautifully. Later I found it, but this evening was already a Sabbath. Nonetheless, tens of Jewish people with a formal Jewish costume were reading the Bible and dedicating prayer in front of the Wall.


The Wailing Wall illuminated

As I was able to directly feel the people of the three big religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, I was pleased very much.

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