Heaven’s Field Stalled by PA Stance Against “Normalization”
Over the past few weeks, one of my most delightful occupations has been to distribute Heaven’s Field olive oil to my friends and supporters of “Holy Land.” The oil comes from a Palestinian-owned farm in the West Bank, jointly tended by Palestinians and Israelis. Followers of the late Rabbi Menachem Froman have been working to develop Heaven’s Field as a model project to promotoe peaceful coexistence and sustainability.
So I was extremely disappointed to hear that Heaven’s Field has been blocked by resistance from the Palestinian Authority, based on the PA’s policies against cooperative Palestinian-Israeli efforts which are labeled as “normalization.” In an update to supporters, Shaul and Ziad report:
“..unfortunately — our project has been largely held up by pressures from the Palestinian Authority. Because of the anti-normalization movement and especially after the Gazan fighting earlier this year, the local PA gov’t has taken a strong stance against projects of collaborations with Israelis.
While Ziad and our associates in his town are still working with us- the pressures and dangers against them for bringing this project out in the open right now are too much to feel secure in moving forward.
We do have a Palestinian advocate who is trying to advance us vis a vis the local officials- but this is a very hard political climate for this kind of work.