Posting imminent!


Hi There,

About to post my next blog, ‘First impressions of Bethlehem and more.’ Watch this space!

Salaam u Aleikhum,



3 thoughts on “Posting imminent!

  1. Hi Steve – to begin with I’d prefer if you don’t publish my mails. I’m new to PALUK SW Network and still learning…I qualified as a UK SW in 1977.
    Great to receive your blog. I also have a ‘half’ Jewish background – my Dad was born in Leipzig, Germany. He came to the UK in 1939 aged 14 on the Kindertransport with his sister. Their parents and several other relatives were murdered by the Nazis in Poland, the country where my father’s father’s family were from originally. Some of his cousins went to Palestine, one in 1935 – he helped build Kibbutz Givat Brenner. His wife was an ‘illegal’ from Latvia or Lithuania. The other cousin lived in, Sh’fayim. So you’ll understand that I’m learning…
    My father stayed in the UK, was in the RAF (as a ‘friendly alien’); when with the occupying forces in Germany, he met and fell in love with my mother, a German Catholic. They married in the UK in 1948, where I was born.
    I went to the IFSW conference in Jerusalem in 1998, it was entitled ‘Peace and Justice’. Over 60 countries were represented, but the Palestinian social workers weren’t allowed in. Shimon Peres was keynote speaker; he called for 2 states and full access to water, trade for all, etc and got a standing ovation…I joined an organised visit to a centre for the Arab community whose name I can’t now remember – there were several women there wearing colourful Bedouin (I think) embroidered clothes. We discussed what problems they had, the atmosphere was actually quite friendly.
    A friend and I also visited Bethlehem, on our own, in a taxi. All seemed calm, then.
    I went back 2 years later, and attended my Dad’s cousin’s grand-daughter’s Bat Mitzvah party at Givat Brenner, and travelled more widely, northwards.
    I hope to go this year if the PALUK SW Network conference is there.
    I get very troubled by comparisons with Nazi Germany and South Africa, as each context is different. Many people with no Jewish history speak of things they know nothing about and can’t imagine.
    I wouldn’t ever excuse anyone’s cruelty, anyone’s. It is not the way forward. I believe that there has to be dialogue, somehow, somewhere, as soon as possible. There’s a lot of dialogue going on, 80+ Israele/Palestinian groups I was told at Limmud conference in December, but it’s not talked about in other circles. Is is ‘normalisation’, is it ‘accepting the occupation’? I’d love to hear what people say about this to you, should the subject come up. I’m in contact with one of the ‘Breaking the Silence’ members, who also says he has yet to work this out.
    I understand desperation drives people to murder others. I’m very worried about appearing in any way to condone that, anywhere, anytime. In the end, we have to find another way to sort out our differences.
    Take care, I look forward to hearing more. I work with Holocaust survivors in northern England.. Perhaps when I retire in a couple of years I might also do some work like yours.
    All best wishes

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