Peace Delegation to Syria, May 2-9
Dear supporters of Palestine,
Two months ago we sent an appeal to those of you that are on our USPS mailing list. We appealed for both your advice and your funds with regard to the proposal to create a Syria Solidarity Movement separate from the Free Palestine Movement.
In order to determine whether there is sufficient interest and need, we asked you to vote with your opinions and your donations. Even if enough of you support the idea, the two movements will be separate.
The result is that, using only the funds you have donated specifically for this purpose, I will be traveling to Syria on April 30 as part of a delegation that includes Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, Nonviolent Peaceforce co-founder Mel Duncan and many more. (I will send you the official announcement later.) Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence regrets that she will be unable to come due to her obligations in Afghanistan.
Our host is Mussalaha, which is a nonaligned group that excludes none of the factions in Syria. “Mussalaha” means “reconciliation” and this is what the group attempts to achieve through dialogue and humanitarian assitance. Although it is mainly composed of Syrian Christians, it includes participants from many of Syria’s confessional and ethnic communities.
This trip is mainly to conduct fact finding and feasibility, and to bring attention to many of the voices that are not heard in the countries from which the international delegation is formed.
I thank those of you who supported this trip and I want to assure those of you that did not that your wishes for the Free Palestine Movement to concentrate only on Palestine will be respected. If, as a result of this trip, the decision is to form a Syria Solidarity Movement, it will be separate and will not draw upon the resources of FPM.
I will also do my best to send reports from Syria, as circumstances allow. As always, your advice is welcome. Many thanks for your continued support for peace in the Middle East.