About Rachel Winner

Defining Truth

Today’s lesson is to try to define truth. The peace-makers often say “my truth” and “your truth,” but can truth also be objective? Depends on who you talk to (or whether you choose to talk at all)…

I have crossed the Wall. (Kind of like in Stardust, except sans Robert De Niro in a tutu.) As a non-Israeli citizen, I am allowed to cross into the West Bank at my leisure. (Actually, anyone can cross in – it’s getting back into Israel that’s the issue.) Four of us Ultimate Peace coaches gathered for the first formal practice in the West Bank in about a year. The kids had been practicing on their own for a while, but UP now has a volunteer, Ben, who is helping to coordinate more consistent programming. Continue reading

Hat Tournament Creates Space

I embarked on my first Ultimate Peace experience last weekend. This has been an organization with which I’ve been infatuated with since I heard about its launch in 2009. Middle Eastern conflict resolution was a smattering of oversimplified, idealistic theories I’d studied from a safe and privileged seat in an American classroom; and I’d heard that UP’s founders were some of the greatest athletes that the sport has known. So I would scroll through their website and talk about their work in the same star-struck way that a kid might keep baseball cards on his dresser, thumbing through them on occasion before tottering off to little league. Five years down the road, I find myself elbow deep in the political knots and cultural complexities of Israel. I’m sitting alongside the heroes themselves who are welcoming their new family members and toasting to a successful first hat tournament of 2014.

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