In connection with Jerusalem

Rob Schrama in Jerusalem 2015-2018

Photo: Dida Mulder


These days many people ask me what we in God’s sake could do to help the Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace. I am confused, because I feel myself a tiny powerless individual, not able to act against all that hate and violence in the world. However I am a peacemaker and conceptual artist too, and I foresee opportunities to reconcile Palestinians and Israelis, living together in one land, with Jerusalem as their capital. I am really convinced that we could realize this hopeful future within a few years already……

We should be aware of our own responsibility for the world. Doesn't it become time to intervene ourselves? It is now the moment in the world history, that humanity can transcend its conscience as citizen to a higher level. We must realize that we ourselves have the strength to interfere, to stop the violence in the world. A new kind of Renaissance; an era of Peace and Enlightenment lies ahead. You yourself can reach that, by bringing peace in areas where war dominates.

To bring closer the step to peace on earth, the realization of peace between Israel and the Palestinian people will be the most important event for solving the conflicts in the entire Middle East. So I would like to share with you what I did and do in Jerusalem as a peacemaker and what my intentions are for the coming future.

I choose to follow the Path for Peace and I especially walk this path in Jerusalem, where I, coming from the Netherlands, help to initiate all kind of special events which contribute to the peace process. Many men and women are already walking the same direction; by choosing to live in love, instead of in hatred. We are all One, united in Love, and we could even win elections too! Let us start in Israel and in Palestine!

The shift will start in Jerusalem. That is the city where we have to focus on. And we need all the help from citizens from all over the world to join us. I call upon everyone to come to Jerusalem, come with many and bring warmth and energy to this city. Utilize your holidays to supply a contribution to this mission for peace.

 

1. Jerusalem Hug

Since 2007, a group of peacemakers from Jerusalem and from abroad initiate every year the Jerusalem Hug. This year the Jerusalem Hug has been hold for the eight time, on June 23th. Many hundreds of people embraced the Old City of Jerusalem. Israelis and Palestinians as well as peace lovers from all over the world walked hand in hand around the city walls, sharing their wish for peace and their love for Jerusalem.
The organizers of the Jerusalem Hug consider the city of Jerusalem the most important location to develop a peace process between Palestinians and Israelis. It is a unique place in the Middle East, where Israelis and Palestinians live and work together closely. If there is any chance to reconcile Palestinians and Israelis, it will be in Jerusalem.

What connects the Palestinians with the Israelis in Jerusalem is their common love for the Old City, being a sanctuary for both Jews and Muslims. With the Jerusalem Hug we create an experience of peace, giving a taste of what it means to live together in love, unity and harmony.

 

  

 


The Jerusalem Hug symbolizes a new way to achieve peace: the way of the heart. When we find peace in ourselves and when we are able to forgive, world peace will come closer. Change begins at the basis. The Jerusalem Hug gives expression to this wish for change as a concrete statement. Jerusalem stands as a symbol for peace and forgiveness in the world. Let Jerusalem be a city of connection, the heart of the world where unity and peace will be a fact.

In 2015 we will organize the Jerusalem Hug again. We do not have planned the date for it, yet, but the Jerusalem Hug will take place somewhere during the period of the end of May and the beginning of June. We, the organization team of the Jerusalem Hug, are calling up the world for a pilgrimage to the Holy City, to participate in the Jerusalem Hug 2015.

All people in the world are invited to travel to Jerusalem to help to get the city transformed into a City of Peace. Everyone could be part of this extraordinary change and participate in what is going to happen. Let us embrace the Old City of Jerusalem, and their Palestinian and Israeli inhabitants as many times as necessary, till all walls in the hearts of the people will be opened for love, forgiving and respect for all people who are living in the Holy Land. Jerusalem is the most perfect place for bringing together a critical mass of peace loving participants to achieve this shift.

 

  

 

More information? www.jerusalemhug.org

2. Pa-il; The Federation Palestine-Israel
When the inhabitants of Jerusalem open their hearts to one another and consider their fellow residents as equals, they will not deem the disparities between them desirable anymore. And when there is the intention to live together in an undivided Jerusalem, it will also be possible to make it happen throughout the Holy Land! Palestinians and Israelis: two peoples, two nations, living side by side in one country without borders as a federation; with Jerusalem as their capital.

The Pa-il” movement (pa-il means “action” in Hebrew and Arabic) has a complete new perception for the future: not a One State, not a Two State Solution, but a combination of both: a Three States for Two Peoples in One Land Solution. What does it mean? The three states are two states in one, two non-territorial nation-states federated in one supranational federation, which is sovereign on the Land, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

The federal state should be supranational to prevent that the two federated national states will be forced to become one nation. The national states should be non-territorial to allow every citizen to live wherever he wants, and to vote yet for his own national parliament.
And also to prevent any future risk of territorial conflict or partition. The federal government and parliament will be composed on a 50/50 basis: there will be no demographic problem anymore!

The Right of Return of Palestinian refugees and the Israeli Law of Return will be respected in the same way. Jerusalem will have a special status as capital of the Federation.

Many peace workers from Israel, Palestine and from western countries embrace the ideas of Pa-il, including myself. People from outside Israel and Palestine can also join this movement, and propagate their ideas and goals abroad.


  photo: Dida Mulder


Preparing a shift in Jerusalem does also mean that Pa-il should participate as the Federation Party in the coming elections in Palestine planned for 2015, (parliamentary elections) and Israel in 2017 (parliamentary elections) and in 2018 (municipal elections). The emergence of young people in the last election was always very low, both in Palestine and Israel. The young generation do not share the same ideals anymore where their parents and grandparents believed in. They will be definitively open for a change now! They eager to get more hopeful perspectives for a better life and coexistence with their neighbors and want to get rid of the existing political parties who were not able to find solutions for decades.

                                            More information: www.pa-il.org

 

3. Professor at the Al Quds University
I am applying to become professor at the Al Quds University in Abu Dis in January 2015. This could give me the unique opportunity to promote the Federation Party in Palestine (and in Israel as well). By being in Palestine for a longer period, I can elaborate my existing projects to create new accesses to Jerusalem for Palestinians. And I will be guaranteed to get organizational support of many students to realize these projects.

In cooperation with the Pa-il movement, we could initiate special events for peace and reconciliation for Palestinians, Israelis and international visitors, where everyone will get the experience of living in peace and oneness, like we demonstrate already with the Jerusalem Hug. We need to generate so much good-will and involvement, that the young generations of Palestine and Israel will vote away the old establishment! Pa-il should become a politic factor of importance, in both societies, in order to be able to prepare the shift in Jerusalem.

After an election victory of the Federation Party in Jerusalem, it could be quite simple to implement decentralization of governance and power. The various communities in the city, including Muslims, Christians, Orthodox and Secular Jews, Arab Israelis, Palestinians, Armenians, are living already relatively separate in their own neighborhoods and districts, which could get their own control. Jerusalem could be the first city, where as a political exceptional position, the ideas of a Federation Palestine-Israel can be carried out and developed. I would be glad to become able to go through this experiment too, contributing my experiences as an action artist.

 

4. Jerichon

There will only grow peace between the people of Palestine and Israel, if Jerusalem will be an open and free accessible area for Israelis as well for Palestinians. The entrance to the city is limited for inhabitants of the West Bank. Palestinians who are not inhabitants of East Jerusalem need to have permission to pass the wall that separate their territory with Jerusalem. A free accessibility to Jerusalem can only become realized when the mutual fear and suspicion between Palestinians and Israelis has been transformed into faith, hope and reconciliation. Unusual and unexpected methods might help to make that happen. For that purpose I have developed the Jerichon.

Since 2010 I am working out this idea, in Jericho, in cooperation with the authorities and inhabitants of Jericho and with the support of peace workers from Europe, participating in the annual Healing Conference, initiated by the Dutch author and healer Ton van der Kroon. The Jerichon has been welcomed by international sport federations, especially by long distance runners from Palestine and Israel.

     

The Jerichon is a long distance run from Jericho to Jerusalem. The distance is about the same as the traditional marathon and is modeled on the latter. However, the big difference is that the run is not meant purely for marathon runners but also for those not so well trained individuals who can cover the distance at their own rate and time. Therefore the Jerichon might be seen as a kind of pilgrimage to the Holy City.


In contrast with the marathon which is usually run along a level route, the 40 kilometers of the Jerichon is a steady climb: from almost 300 meters under sea level in Jericho to 1200 meters above sea level at the finish in the old city of Jerusalem. The starting gun for the Jerichon will be fired in 2015 or 2016.


The Jerichon takes the participants through one of the world’s most beautiful nature reserves, Wadi Qelt, a colorful gorge and canyon, surrounded by rocks reminiscent of desert with the remains of an aqueduct from king Herod’s times. This in the holy books frequently described route runs past the famous abbey of Saint George under the grotto where Jesus meditated and fasted for forty days.

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The Jerichon will surely be a challenge for long distance runners. The course is heavy; it will be a journey of suffering and hardship, for everybody who is making this exceptional trip. That is why the Jerichon is suited for all those who wish to take the suffering of his nation upon their shoulders, thus embodying in a symbolical way the idea of lightening these burdens in Jerusalem. A journey to redemption.

Halfway the route of the Jerichon, at the spot where the path along Wadi Qelt hits the Separation Wall, a peace camp will be built up. Circus tents and performing stages will facilitate acrobats, dancers and musician to encourage the participators to continue their quest to Jerusalem. On both sides of the Separation Wall artists and constructors will start to build a bridge of pallet wood, under supervision of international representatives of the fields of sport, art, music and spirituality.

 

 

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The intention of the Jerichon is to create such an atmosphere of affection, understanding and trust in the general opinion in Palestine and Israel, that there could come a specific moment in time that the participants of the Jerichon will be allowed to cross this Reconciliation Bridge, as a ‘Gateway’ to Jerusalem. This could only be possible under save circumstances, which however could be created when many peace loving participants on both sides of the wall will be present and the Jerichon will be covered by the international media.

 

              

The Jerichon will be a journey of reconciliation and forgiveness; of the letting go of suffering and taking hold of understanding. And of course, the finish should be situated on top of the Temple Mount, the ultimate location to obtain salvation for all the people and for the city of Jerusalem. Here, we could practice the same method as with the Separation Wall, and bridge the problem to get a direct access to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Instead of going through, we could cross over the locked Golden Gate, by creating a Golden Bridge to the Temple Mount.

       More information: www.jerichon.org

 

5. Pyramid of Light
The Jerusalem Hug, as well as Jerichon are initiatives I started to realize the transformation of Jerusalem into a City of Peace, as an example for all cities and areas in the world where people are fighting. In this series, the Pyramid of Light must been considered as my first attempt to create this change in Jerusalem. Since the year 2000 I am engaged to set up the Pyramid of Light in Jerusalem and in other cities in the world, as an ultimate shining symbol
for oneness and unity.

  

The Pyramid of Light will appear after dark above the old city of Jerusalem. From the angular points around the city wall of Jerusalem, four powerful laser beams will shoot their fluorescent green rays into the universe. They will cross each other at a height of more than 800 meters.

From far and wide the rays can be seen and will attract the observers towards it. Three of the Pyramid of Light’s laser beams represent the world religions that consider Jerusalem their holy capital; the fourth beam stands for all of the other religions in the world that regard Jerusalem as a holy spot on earth. The beams of light will connect Earth with Heaven, mortality with eternity, humanity with God.

The old city as a whole is a Temple of God; a centre for all religions and for all people in the world. That is what the Pyramid of Light symbolizes: We Are All One and Jerusalem stands open for All of Us. The laser beams create a sacred place to gather underneath. Exactly below the top of this light sculpture, at the crossing of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Armenian districts, the Rooftop Promenade is located. These rooftops will be accessible for everyone who wants to share his love and understanding for humankind with others. The inhabitants of the Old City will be asked to open the rooftop of their houses to invite visitors for a prayer together and for a cup of tea under the beams of the Pyramid of Light.


Although the city council of Jerusalem supported the Pyramid of Light as a possible initiative to be taken since 2000, I still did not get permission until now to establish the laser pyramid above the old city. What seemed to be impossible in Jerusalem, appeared feasible in other cities. In the Netherlands, a Pyramid of Light has been realized as a contemporary demonstration of peace in The Hague (2001) and in Amsterdam, during the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2006.

 

 

 

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In Jerusalem however, the creation of the Pyramid of Light appears to be a much more difficult process. Initially, the municipality of Jerusalem told that the military authorities did not want to give permission. Later they promised me several times to integrate the Pyramid of Light as a part of the Jerusalem Festival of Lights, but every time the municipality cancelled the project. They always used to mention budgetary reasons for not integrating my light sculpture into the festival. So I decided to travel to San Francisco in 2011, for requesting the largest laser manufacturer in the world, Coherent, to support the Pyramid of Light.

Coherent declared me to be interested to produce and sponsor a very powerful laser set of 4 lasers for the pyramid in Jerusalem. So, the Pyramid of Light could appear as a permanent feature above the Old City of Jerusalem! A few months ago, I was able to offer a picture of the Pyramid of Light to the Mayer of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat. I told him about the generous offer of Coherent to sponsor the lasers. In October this year I probably get the opportunity to continue my negotiations with the municipality of Jerusalem again.

Coherent also wants to produce and sponsor an extra powerful laser set for Pyramids of Light in all other cities in the world that will support the Pyramid of Light of Jerusalem with a laser pyramid in their own city. This with the proviso that every participating city will be responsible for travelling costs and accommodation for the artists and technicians and will provide for a small budget for this event.

 

       Lichtpiramide Rotterdam web site 2 Day Light Night 06 mail Santa Barbara laser pyramid

         Rotterdam                                                  New York                                                     Santa Barbara          

       1A layer Greenwich_Park-Gryffindor (4) - kopie frankfurt-skyline kaapstad one layer  copy

        London                                                       Frankfurt                                                    Cape Town                     


When the inhabitants in cities in the world will demonstrate that they live in peace with each other, then it will surely affect the community in Jerusalem to live in harmony with each other too. In this way Jerusalem can develop itself into a City of Peace because of the examples other cities are giving.

The Pyramid of Light will be an essential completion for the transformation of Jerusalem into a City of Peace: a Grand Final of Light, to create a Holy Land for the people of Palestine and for the people of Israel. When real peace in Jerusalem will be realized, then we will be able to engineer peace in the entire world.

More information: www.pyramidoflight.org

 

6. Epilogue
I am convinced that all misery and chaos, caused by the rising Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East, will disappear like snow in the sun when the problems between Palestinians and Israelis have been solved. A federal state like Pa-Il not only proposes a solution to the 66 year long lasting conflict, but will also be an inspiring example for other areas in the Middle East.

By recognizing their rights, Sunnis and Shiites, Kurds, Armenians, Yezidis and Copts could get a chance to be independent in their own habitats and to form a federation with other nations. This could result in changes of the borders of today, in order to balance a turbulent past.

The coming year I primarily will continue to focus myself on Israel and Palestine, especially on Jerusalem, because there the chance to realize a shift into the human history will be the greatest.

The situation in Gaza, however, I do not forget. That's why I also breed on creating an event for the people in Gaza who spent so many years under the siege. They also should get a gateway to Jerusalem. Just like Jericho will get with the Jerichon. Gaza needs a strong idea, effective and attractive for both Palestinians, Israelis and internationals. Gaza needs the Gazarally.

Gaza has been a crossroads for caravans from Cairo to Jerusalem through the centuries; a route of more than 700 km. Maybe it's a good idea to organize a car rally between the two cities. A rally with old-timers, perhaps with old trucks too, in which the Allied countries liberated Europe at the end of the 2nd World War, bringing the starving people food and material. Often the chauffeurs and owners are wealthy adventurers who can afford rallies with their old-timers worldwide and who have an extensive network available that will be helpful for the reconstruction of Gaza.

The Gazarally should be a rally for charity and for reconciliation. After Gaza the Gazarally will continue their peace trip to Jerusalem. Who and What the rally drivers will take with them to Jerusalem from Gaza to be worked out. Perhaps You, reader of this article, have ideas about further development of the Gaza Rally? I would like to hear it from you! Share it with all of us. Let us realize the Gazarally!

        Amsterdam, August 2014

                                         Follow the link to the PDF file of the article above

In connection with Jerusalem

                                           



PEACE CAMPAIGN IN JERUSALEM IN 2001

ROB SCHRAMA MADE A SPECIAL ATTEMPT TO PROMOTE PEACE WHEN HE WAS IN JERUSALEM JUST WHEN THE PALESTINE INTIFADA STARTED.

Article in: TM Magazine march 2001

Artist Rob Schrama writes us at the 5th of October 2000 when he stayed in Jerusalem for the benefit of an art project:

“Because violence has been increasing more and more over here, I just started with the most elemental answer to it: meditation.
I am a guest of the director of the Academy of Jerusalem, a club of enlightened minds who devote themselves towards a better relation between Israeli and Palestinians. The director is just like me a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation.
I proposed to meditate in public in front of the Wailing Wall, on a protected small square a few meters above the big square.
Last Wednesday we started, first with three people, on cushions and blankets we had brought along. We formed a circle that was soon widened with friends we had drummed up and alternated meditations with prayer and singing.

We also held discussions about the situation in Jerusalem.

Because we used a “speaker staff,” everybody got the possibility to tell his or her story, without being interrupted. From the beginning we attracted a great deal of attention and many people joined our circle, Arabians, orthodox Jews, yes, even police officers and soldiers. In this way we were told the most horrible witness stories.

We went on deep into the night and slept in the open air. We became increasingly stronger; we felt that our energy and our powerful, optimistic behaviour influenced the environment in a positive way. On Friday our group had grown to more than twenty people.

This day of mosque attendance was proclaimed the Day of Anger. The expectation was that after the Morning Prayer in the Al-Aksa mosque on the Temple Mount, rioting Palestinians would threaten the Jews. Our small square formed a strategic place in front of it. Early in the morning dozens of armed soldiers and policemen came to occupy it. There was hardly place for them; the blankets and the cushions almost covered the whole square. The soldiers were influenced by our cheerful mood; they smiled also and there faces showed respect. Some of them came and sat down with us on the benches in our circle and sang along with us Israeli songs. Tourists also spontaneously joined our “Circle for love and peace.”

 

                          

Twenty minutes before the people would leave the mosque we started with a silence session. And yes indeed, on the other side we heard the roaring and raging of a flood of falling rocks and the first series gunshots.
It looked like a war was going on and the strange thing was: I felt perfectly quiet and completely certain of the power of our group.

Immediately I heard the barking out of orders and the spectators were removed from our small square the hard way. Carefully people cleared the way along our deathly quiet circle, obeying the order and the pushing of the soldiers. The most remarkable – but also by me unexpected – thing happened: the soldiers as well as their officers respected our group and left us meditating. It almost looked like they protected us just as we protected them. It felt as an unspoken form of solidarity. And while the booming of heavy artillery and the firing of gunshots was heard everywhere around us, no shot was fired by “our” group of soldiers.

After twenty minutes it suddenly was deadly silent everywhere around us. There was nothing to hear at all anymore. I opened my eyes and looked at the amazed soldiers who looked over the parapet to the big square near the Wailing Wall. It was abandoned. “The soldiers have withdrawn,” told the officer in charge. “The violence is over.”

The circle of friends stood up and embraced each other. Soldiers came laughing and crying towards us, shook our hands, and hit us on the shoulder and offered cigarettes (which nobody wanted.) Something special had happened and we all new we had something to do with it.



“Really, silence helps against violence.”

ROB SCHRAMA
Article in: TM Magazine march 2001

                                 


In the autumn of the year 2000 Rob Schrama was a guest at the Academy of Jerusalem, an organization of enlightened spirits from the whole world who offer solutions for an undivided, peaceful coexisting Jerusalem as capital for Palestine as well as Israel. Both illustrations show a vision of the future for this city by the founder of the Academy of Jerusalem: Dr. Jitschak Hayut-Man.

You can find more information on this website: Dr. Jitschak Hayut-Man : www. thehope.org

 

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