Local Artist Travels with Interfaith Delegation to Israel and Palestine

Esther Ouray is a self-described theater artist and cultural worker in the Twin Cities. She recently returned from a peace delegation to Jerusalem. The purpose of the delegation was to educate North American citizens about the region and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Ouray and 22 other members of the delegation were traveling during a very crucial time in the Middle East. The November peace conference in Annapolis, hosted by the US administration actually contributed to rising tensions in the region. And from a cultural and economic standpoint, the olive harvest was underway which has historically been a time when Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents of the West Back run high.

Ouray says, We have to remember it's Palestinian people the same way that we are Jewish people. People tend to think that there's a demonization of Israel. That's not what's in my heart or what my intention is. But I do think that the occupation needs to end...the occupation is what threatens Israel's security.

Here are excerpts of her interview with KFAI's Lauretta Dawolo...