OUR GROUP IS TORN APART

Elizabeth Welliver (Davidson, North Carolina)

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Five of our members were torn from us by the Israeli state. Our team members were denied access to our flights beginning in Dulles, singled out for being activists in support of boycotts, divestment and sanctions. Among them were Rick Ufford-Chase, former moderator of the PC(USA) and Rabbi Alissa Wise.

I felt powerless and indignant when our leaders were not even permitted to board our flights; they carried no weapon but their sacred texts and shared our delegation's purpose to support just peace.

Once the rest of the delegation arrived to Tel Aviv, we held our breath and said prayers for hours unsure of what to expect from passport control. The majority of us were detained for questioning, particularly the Muslim delegates held for 5+ hours. It was horrifying to see my friends singled out, interrogated and lectured.

As a white Christian American, I never expected to be stopped, and yet Israel saw us as threats.

Thank God (Mash'Allah) all were permitted entry who flew here.

When crossing the border is this degrading and unjust for American delegates, including Jews and Christians, I cannot imagine the experience for Palestinians. May we be awake to the experiences of our peers that deny their human dignity daily, and accept nothing less than justice.