The Common Good
July-August 2002

Cold Comfort

by Rose Marie Berger, Jodi Hochstedler | July-August 2002

First he took off his hat and coat; then his sweater and shirt.

First he took off his hat and coat; then his sweater and shirt. "I told the soldiers I would not put my clothes back on until they released Ziad," said Ohio farmer and Christian Peacemaker Team member Art Gish. It was a cold February evening in Hebron, Palestine, when Gish encountered Amos, an Israeli soldier, detaining an 18-year-old Palestinian named Ziad. Amos claimed he was just holding Ziad for a few minutes to check his identity card. Ziad said he'd already been there in the freezing cold for hours. Art insisted that Amos release Ziad. Amos insisted that Gish depart. As things heated up, five other soldiers arrived who also ordered Gish to mind his own business. He refused. Slowly, then, he began to disrobe. Soon he was stripped and shivering with his new Palestinian friend, attracting a crowd. Within 10 minutes both Gish and Ziad were on their way. "I put back on my clothes and greeted the soldiers with ‘shalom,'" said Gish.

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