The Holy Land Trust has facilitated a visit of 14 staff from the US congress through the Rebuilding Alliance which runs a Leadership Learning Mission to develop the understanding of senior influencers in politics.
The congressional team visited Jerusalem and the West Bank from August 13th to 21st to explore how equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis might further the aspirations of peace in the region, and how U.S. policy and aid can support those aspirations.
During their fact-finding mission the delegates gained an understanding of the history of Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza leading to the current conditions; considered the implications and impact of Israeli control of building and planning rights in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and explored ways to prevent the demolition of Palestinian homes, schools, water systems, and neighborhoods; visited Palestinians and Israelis who work for peace and justice to understand the challenges they are facing, learn about their efforts including joint efforts to address those challenges and considered what Congress is uniquely able to do to support such efforts, and saw how US aid benefits the health and education of Palestinian children.
The congressional staff also had the opportunity to see the evolving facts on the ground, attend on-site meetings, and hear from Palestinians and Israelis working together to keep neighborhoods standing and safeguard human rights.
Organiser Lara Mitri of the Holy Land Trust said: “We believe that constituents in the US will be better supported now that this senior team from Congress has had the chance to see and hear what is happening in Jerusalem and the West Bank. We also hope that these people will become advocates for peace, justice and full human rights for everyone who lives in the region. It was a pleasure to meet these senior leaders and we hope they go home and share the stories of the people they met.”