Megiddo Project - Foreign Minister Letter 
Subject:    permission request for Megiddo peace project concert, and exhibit.
Date:        Sunday March 11, 2001 
From:        Alan Haber Eliyahu  and Odile Hugonot Haber:  <>
                  531 Third Street, Ann Arbor Michigan, USA 48103-4956

To:   Foreign Minister, State of Israel,  Shimon Peres

Shemaya Ben-David, director, Israel National Parks area including Megiddo
Moshe Pintel, director, Ma’ayan Harod,   Israel National Park

Dear  Mr. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, State of Israel.

Shemaya Ben-David, a director of Israel's National Parks in the  North, suggested we write you directly.

We request permission to use Israel Park facilities at Megiddo Park and Ma'ayan Harod Park. The park authorities have indicated that they have adequate facilities and are able and willing to accommodate what
we intend. 

However, since our project aspires toward "peace,"  "justice," "jubilee" and other ideal ideas,  the park authority wrote us  saying that the subject was "rife with diplomatic and political implications," and must be discussed at "much higher levels." 

The park director, Shemaya Ben-David,  considers your person and the office of the "Foreign Ministry"  that 
"higher level" from which approval is now needed.

Therefore we ask: Will you approve our use of Israel National Park Facilities for a "global/local art for peace action" on International Earth Day, April 22, 2001, and two days before and 2 days after for opening and closing? 

We want to use the Ma'ayan Harod amphitheater for a "peace concert" to "turn the heart."  Our program would include, hopefully, international world class musicians and also  local talent, including poets, singers and performers.

Moshe Pintel, the director of the Ma’ayan Harod park, is glad to have us  use the theater and has reserved the time. He needs authorization to proceed with the logistical details.

At tel Megiddo, Shemaya Ben-David has identified a place where we might have an "art for peace exhibit tent," open to visitors of the archeological site, exhibiting visions of peace, "what is peace?," expressed by artists invited from the many war zones of the world.   Such an exhibit, beginning at Megiddo, and growing and traveling could help to manifest the  common composite heart turning universal call for peace, which is the voice of the people the world over. 

Whether we can fully realize such an exhibit this spring remains to be seen. First, we need a place where people can offer their art and where we can invite the public.  The place of "armageddon" is an ideal place to open the eyes of beauty, looking toward "new jerusalems," making peace in the world, in each of the wars, and ending war itself as a way of dealing with differences. So: may we have permission to have an "art exhibit tent" on the Megiddo park site, so we can proceed with the logistical details with the park site officials?

We have in the past done at Megiddo an informal "art for peace workshop studio" inviting passerby's to draw their pictures of "what is peace?"  We would do this again.

Art we believe can be helpful in opening the eyes and heart and stimulating the mind to embrace and hold in balance complex interconnections and relations that are the fabric of community and the healing web of peace. We invite art where the artist's creative intent is to offer something to help make the peace.  Our exhibit will be an assemblage of these offerings. 

We intend our exhibit tent as a place where  people who have done work for peace can bring their offerings and make them visible.  Just as the building of the sanctuary was made from the offerings of the people, so we seek a place  to gather the work and hopes people have, make them visible together, as beautiful as we can, and  hopefully  shine some light for the nations.

We want permission to assemble and show this "art for peace" to the public who visit tel Megiddo, the symbolic place of the last war. Our theme is "transforming armageddon," ending the era of wars.  You must agree, there is already armageddon enough.

One offering of "art for peace" which we hope to bring is the "megiddo peace table."  Designed for a dreamed of  future meeting on which "to make peace in the world," this family size cherry wood table symbolically transforms the square of earth into the circle of heaven, with nothing lost, exemplifying the principle of the "receptive," open to all outstanding questions. We will and have invited the public to put on the table the questions they think are essential in approaching just, viable, enduring, comprehensive peace from wherever they are in the world, all war zones.  Similarly we invite teachers from the various faith and humanistic traditions  to offer helpful wisdom and good ideas. And we invite the practical workers and people of power like yourself, as well.  We hope to practice the art of arranging questions in ways that suggest new possibilities.

We will have a walking tour of the site of tel Megiddo, pausing at uniquely appropriate places to consider and discuss questions of sharing land, sharing water, sharing security, sharing privilege,  partnering  power, and showing responsibility for the environment and life system as a whole.

Overall we consider this a very positive act for peace.  It would be good for Israel to encourage it. We hope you will give this your speedy "go ahead."

In this most difficult and divided time it would be good now to be able look ahead five or six weeks or so, after the rains, and anticipate a place where peace visions are invited to gather and blossom and make a garden for a little while. 

Shemaya Ben-David knows us for years, from when we began this project in 1987.  "Persistent" he calls us. We had had a positive meeting and letter of encouragement from the late Chaim Herzog, when he was president of Israel, and also  a letter of interest and good wishes for our success from Ezer Weizman, when he was president and many other encouragements. We corresponded previously with the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Interior,  and they raised no objections. We spoke of our ideas with Uri Savir, when he was in Ann Arbor two years ago. Many people have helped, and almost universally people who hear say this is a good vision and give us their blessings.  Many in Israel and in the United States, and elsewhere are hopeful we can go forward with our plans. 

A peace gathering with a global reach and a local welcome would be good now.  Something like this would be very good given the heat of the situation in the Galilee and Megiddo area. 

What we need from you is "yes."

If you need further information, or have requirements and conditions, please inform us as soon as possible so that we may properly satisfy you of our good intent and diligent ground work..

We are a carpenter and a nurse, activists and optimists.  The Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice in Ann Arbor,  Michigan, USA, is our fiscal sponsor, a non-profit, tax exempt organization. We have no business or profit making objective in either the peace concert or the exhibit of art for peace. Friends in Israel will provide the required logistical support.  If we received any funds above our expenses we will consider it a "benefit for the children," to make a peace park or playground or school or healing place.

Three years ago we brought a "peace pole" to armageddon, with the prayer "may peace prevail on earth" written in Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic and English. It is planted in the earth adjacent to the south mediation area,  from  King Solomon’s time, overlooking the disputed land where contending children, as it were,  struggle for who is to possess the one mother. 

We hope the "megiddo peace table," should we be able to bring it, might contribute to some future peace making efforts in Israel. The table served a family for a generation working  out and living  all the questions of peace in the family. Jews, Christians and Moslems have broken bread and prayed together at this table. It served also as the opening plenary table at the Hague Appeal for Peace in the Netherlands in 1999, the world's largest ever peace conference.

Your fellow Noble peace prize laureates Rigoberta Menchu Tum and Jose Ramos Horta and Desmond Tutu sat around the table and talked peace.  David Andrews from Ireland moderated.  It is  a table infused with  good energy and a good story.  It is an asset for peace.

Help us bring it to Israel. 

Please give Shemaya Ben-David the required "yes" from the Foreign Ministry.

Sincerely, shalom/salaam/paix/peace and all good wishes, 

awaiting your speedy reply, we are

s/     alan                                 s/ odile

Alan Haber Eliyahu  and Odile Hugonot Haber
531 Third Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103-4956 USA 
734-761-7967, fax 734-769-2971

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