Conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been almost continuous in our lifetimes – or so it seems. 2014 saw its renewed eruption with the Hamas kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank resulting in the summer’s horrific Gaza War. This was followed by numerous small but chilling incidents in the West Bank and Jerusalem last fall. Simultaneously the Palestinian Authority unsuccessfully pursued the recognition of statehood by the UN Security Council, signed a number of UN agreements and will officially become a member of the International Criminal Court in April.

In this environment Arvid and Mary Jo Lundy and the Rev Richard Rowe of Santa Fe spent 2 1/2 weeks in October with Palestinian guides for several days of touring. They then joined a group of more than 70 visitors from other countries to help Palestinian farmers harvest their olive crops. As a part of the visit, the group was briefed by a number of NGOs. Group members stayed all but two nights in an Oslo Accords designated “A area” where the occupying Israeli Army entrance signs read “This Road leads To Area “A” Under The Palestinian Authority. The Entrance for Israeli Citizens is Forbidden, It Is Dangerous To Your Lives And Is Against The Israeli Law.” Hear some stories, see photos, and sense the frustrations, hope, fear, and sometimes anger of common people.

Arvid and Mary Jo Lundy have strong interests in world humanitarian issues. Prior to this visit to the Palestinian territories, they worked on a Habitat for Humanity Orphanage rehabilitation project in Romania and earlier on drinking water projects in Ethiopia and Chiapas, Mexico. Mary Jo was a member of the first Peace Corps group in British North Borneo (now Sabah), Malaysia. Prior to being a Certified Financial Planner in Los Alamos and then the pastor of the Embudo Presbyterian Church in Dixon, she taught high school and middle school.

Arvid began his career as an Engineering Physicist working in medical physics at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City followed by eight years at Los Alamos National Laboratory designing, building and operating an experimental pion radiation therapy facility. This was followed by a several years working on electronic instrumentation development and more than 20 years supporting the Departments of Energy and State on nuclear nonproliferation issues as a project leader, group leader, program manager and consultant at LANL which involved over 100 foreign trips and participation in various negotiations with Russian and other counterparts. (February 10, 2015)

The Speakers

Anne DerseU.S. Ambassador to Lithuania 2009 – 2012 and to Azerbaijan 2006 – 2009
Anne Derse served over thirty years as a career US Foreign Service Officer in Europe, the Former Soviet Union and East Asia with a specialty in international economics. Since retiring from the State Department in 2012, she has supported Exchanges for Culture, Education and Leadership (ExCEL) High School Exchange Program which she established in Lithuania. She is a member of the board of directors of the American Councils for International Education (ACIE) and the American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD). She travels frequently to Lithuania.


St. John’s College, Junior Commons Room. On February 10, 2015, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm

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The Visitors Parking Lot is on your left as you enter campus. A few handicapped parking spaces are located at the Visitor’s Circle right in front of the fishpond area and below the Peterson Student Center. A few more are located behind the Peterson Center as follows. Just before the Visitor’s Circle, look for the fork in the road where you would normally drive to the left to get to the Visitors’ Parking Circle just below the Peterson Center. Instead, turn right and follow the drive up to the other parking area. There are two or three handicapped parking spaces on the left. Please note that this parking lot is not open to the public, but handicapped folks are allowed to park in the designated spaces.