Worship with us Sundays at 9:30 am

Second Hour with Adam Manasra

On Sunday, July 14, 2024

Since the attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7 last year that killed 1,200 mostly civilians and resulted in the abduction of 240 civilians and soldiers and the ongoing war that has claimed almost 40,000 Palestinian lives (13,000+ of them children), Christians here in the US, in particular, have grappled with how to respond beyond prayer.

As with any complicated issue, it has proven helpful to center the voices of those directly impacted and seek to understand their experience. To help us as a community deepen our understanding of the war in Gaza and its impact, DCC is hosting the following Second Hour on Sunday, July 14, modeled after programs offered earlier this year at sibling congregations like First Congregational Church of Alameda (attended by Pastor Todd) and Congregational Church of the Peninsula offered in partnership with the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity.

In collaboration with Friends of Wadi Foquin, we have the opportunity to be in conversation with Adam Manasra, a 26-year-old Palestinian from the village of Wadi Foquin who grew up under the military occupation of Israel. Located in the Bethlehem District of the West Bank, his home village of Wadi Foquin has suffered the incremental loss of land and life due to the illegal settlement of Betar Illit. An engineer by training, Adam has organized young adult voices in the village educating audiences about the challenges facing the village. He came to the U.S. in August 2023 on a speaking tour organized by Friends of Wadi Foquin to raise funds for a Guest House that he designed and was to implement upon return. With the ongoing violence in Gaza, he has been unable to return home. Wadi Foquin is currently on lock down with work stoppages, school closures, intimidation of farmers, and recent demolition of homes and a factory. After cancelling his flight home, and putting the Guest House project on hold, Adam has been speaking to groups about his life under occupation & the urgency of justice for all of Palestine including Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem at this critical juncture in history.

Adam speaks from the heart about his experience being born and raised in a small West Bank farming village living life under the Israeli military occupation.  He longs for a time when the Palestinian people will be granted their freedom,  and be treated with equality and human dignity.  [You can access Adam’s February 2024 interview with NPR here.]

Later this summer, we plan to engage an area Jewish faith leader to expand this urgent conversation.

Friends of Wadi Foquin is a partnership initiated in 2009 between United Methodists and the Palestinian Muslim village of Wadi Foquin. They support community development projects in the village, organize annual Holy Land pilgrimages with visits to Wadi Foquin and other Palestinian communities, and engage in advocacy. Responding to their advocacy, twelve members of Congress wrote a letter to the state department in July 2023 addressing the issues of land confiscation and property demolitions threatening the future of the village. Addressing an Israeli court hearing on a proposed road to go through the village of Wadi Foquin, Members of Congress led by Senator Peter Welch (VT) recently issued a letter on June 13, 2024 calling on the State Department to support the village in opposing the road. The road would destroy 1000 trees in the village and confiscate land from local farmers.

Read more about the UCC’s statement regarding this conflict