Readers of this blog may be forgiven for thinking that all we were about in Palestine and Israel was tourism. This is true to some extent--we certainly did some touring, as you have no doubt seen.
What we were really about--our primary purpose--was human rights monitoring and protective presence for those under Occupation, under the auspices of the World Council of Churches and the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel. This entailed being present at checkpoints at peak hours (about 4:30 AM to 6:30 AM) to monitor treatment of Palestinians going through to Israel; responding to emergencies such as house demolitions, settler violence, and Israeli Defense Force violence against Palestinians; reporting weekly and as needed to the United Nations through the World Council of Churches. One more thing: advocacy, perhaps the most important activity of all.
We are mandated to speak out about what we experienced there in order to create awareness in our fellow citizens to put pressure on the Israeli government and military to end the Occupation and to conform to international law. We Canadians can hang our heads in shame at our government's idiotic pro-Israeli stance, but we individually may do something to counteract it.
To that end, I already have another blog, http://walkinginbethlehem.blogspot.com , where you can see what was really going on at the time. Occasionally, I'll post relevant pieces here as well, but I will try to avoid cross-posting.