Customized Delegations to Palestine
A Guided Tour with MECA! The Middle East Children’s Alliance invites your group of activists, educators, and organizers—or any other kind of group or organization—to arrange a customized delegation to Palestine, including the West Bank and inside Israel.
MECA has been leading educational trips to Palestine for 23 years. On a MECA delegation you will be taken on a geographic, political, historical and cultural tour of Palestine/Israel by a MECA staff member and a Palestinian guide. We will travel by van to witness the impact of the Israeli occupation and visit organizations working for justice and equality. You will learn about refugees, land confiscation, political prisoners, women’s initiatives, mental and physical health issues, civil rights in Israel, and the lives of children.
Trips May Include
The destroyed village of Lifta with Yacoub Odeh, who was born and raised in the village until his family was forced out in 1948 when the State of Israel was established.
Israeli refuseniks who conscientiously object to serving in the military and other Jewish Israeli activists who oppose the policies of their government and the inequality in their society.
A visit to Hebron with Hisham Shirabati, whose family has lived in the city for generations, to witness the impact of the Israeli settlers and army presence inside the city and the settlement itself. Visitors may also stop by the Ibrahimi Mosque, a holy Muslim site.
A Bedouin village inside Israel and a meeting with activists who are fighting forced removal from their lands, and other injustices in Israel’s “unrecognized villages” with the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages in the Negev.
The Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign on a tour of rural areas affected by the Wall to learn about its impact on the land, the economy, and the social fabric of the communities.
A guided tour of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, looking at settlement expansion, home demolitions, and the effects of the Wall, as well as community responses to these attacks. Update this re: settlers, demolitions, removal of residents.
Video conference with university students in Gaza to learn more about their lives under siege and their hopes for the future.
Panel and discussion with Palestinian organizers on the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
What We Offer
MECA Staff Will:
Meet with your group to learn more about your interests and prepare a customized itinerary
Arrange all the logistics for travel, accommodation, and guides in Palestine
Provide fundraising templates and resources to help your group raise the funds for the delegation expenses
Accompany your group throughout the trip
Your Group/Organization Would:
Recruit a minimum of 10 participants
Raise funds for the delegation costs
Comments from Participants
"Today we arrived in Rafah and were met by a doctor who took us to the newly inaugurated Rachel Corrie Children’s Center. Children’s artwork was all over the walls. They had painted what they see every day around them—Apache helicopters, tanks, people dying, houses demolished, but they had also painted their hopes and dreams—rainbows, green hills covered with wildflowers, animals roaming the earth in peace, and many, many drawings of the sea and of shining boats bobbing in the water." (Rafah residents are not allowed access to the sea.)
—Mona Halaby, August 2004
"The MECA delegation to Israel and Palestine allowed the nine delegates to cover much of the geographical and political landscape and to experience life on the ground in a way that one couldn’t understand from following the media. In a brief ten days, it became apparent that the discussions in the US Media totally ignore the reality of life for Palestinians."
—David Eifler, December 2003
"We were invited to the beautiful, plant-filled Ali home to relax and have a meal before returning to Dheisheh. We all appreciated their gracious hospitality, of course, but what affected me the most was seeing a slice of this family’s life…When I hesitatingly asked the eldest [sister] some questions about how her life was under the occupation, she answered that she didn't know any other life."
—Karen Platt, July 2005
"The man who is leading us is named Yacoub. The rocky, dusty trail leads to the place that was once Yacoub’s home: the village of Liftah. Set like a small jewel among green hills, rich with fruit trees and water, Liftah was once a thriving, beautiful place. Yacoub was eight when Liftah was invaded in l948, and he and his family were forced to leave."
—Anita Barrows, July 2005
"I learned more in 13 days with MECA in Palestine than in decades of reading and listening—more about the cruelties and injustices of the Occupation and more about the resistance and longing that live in the hearts of the Palestinian people. There’s no substitute for being there, for seeing the Wall, the checkpoints, the settlements, the Israeli flag flying over Hebron’s former City Hall, and for hearing a Palestinian say, in the ghost town that was once the village of Lifta near Jerusalem, “This was my home, where I was born.”
—Judith Mahoney Pasternak, 2007 MECA Delegation