Lafayette, is training a group of Palestinian social workers, civil rights activists and political leaders to spread King's teachings of nonviolence across the West Bank & Gaza Strip
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Submitted by A. Ahmahlyah
Bethlehem, West Bank --- For decades, the rocky soil in the Holy Land has been notoriously hostile to peace. But civil rights activist Bernard Lafayette believes he has the right spiritual fertilizer to change that.
Lafayette, a longtime assistant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is training a group of Palestinian social workers, civil rights activists and political leaders to spread King's teachings of nonviolence across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"People talk about how hopeless this place is ... but I feel that these are problems with a solution," said Lafayette, a former resident of Atlanta. "I've seen places where peace looked just as impossible. ... These places turned around. It's never too late for the seeds of justice to bloom."
Last week, 32 Palestinians involved in organizations committed to peace completed a yearlong course sponsored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Center for Non-Violence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island, which Lafayette heads.
Last year the SCLC opened two centers for nonviolence training in the Middle East. One is in Bethlehem and the other is in the southern Israeli city of Dimona, a desert town that is home to the African Hebrew Israelites, a group of African-Americans who have encountered antipathy and concern over their 30-year attempt to settle permanently in Israel.
See: MLK disciples work for peace in the Mideast