Cody O’Rourke a Good Dad from the Holy Land Telling the Truth: Florida and Michigan May-June 2018

Cody O’Rourke a Good Dad from the Holy Land Telling the Truth: Florida and Michigan May-June 2018
Share this Story:

Cody O’Rourke lived in Michigan until 2005 when destiny led him to Hebron and into a life of “Just trying to be a good dad in the complicated Holy Land.”

O’Rourke also “could have been a Trump supporter.”

By Eileen Fleming

During a brief phone call with Cody O’Rourke this reporter learned everything he does comes from love for his son and all the people of Israel Palestine.

Cody’s son is a grandson of Professor Jeff Halper, the American Israeli who cofounded The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions/ICAHD

ICAHD is a non-violent, direct-action group dedicated to ending the Israeli Occupation and achieving a just and sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Cody O’Rourke grew up in a Church of the Brethren whose members are Christians who understand that war is sinful and against God’s will for humanity. The denomination affirms, “war or any participation in war is wrong and incompatible with the spirit, example and teachings of Jesus Christ.”

Jesus promised, “The peacemakers are the children of God” and warned his followers that what ever they do—or do not do unto the least; they do it or not unto God.

The Arab Daily News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

After a member of Cody’s church shared his experiences of Hebron as a delegate with Christian Peacemaker Teams/CPT, O’Rourke was inspired to make his first trip in 2005 as a CPT short-term delegate.

CPTers are committed to nonviolence and come from faith traditions other than Christianity.

From his blog post “I could have been a Trump supporter: Or, Thank God I hit bottom when I did”, O’Rourke writes:

I’ve spent the last 15 years working with alcoholics and drug users, people who would be written off as castaways and untouchables. I’ve worked the last 12 years with Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land working for peace and justice. I’ve held hands with my Muslim brothers as we’ve been tear gassed, shot at with rubber bullets and live ammunition by the Israeli military in Hebron and have stood with my Jewish sisters in Jerusalem to protest the military occupation. My life has changed since those early years…

From his post “My work on the Land” O’Rourke writes:

I began working in the Holy Land in 2005 when I made my first trip to Hebron with the Christian Peacemaker Teams. I have worked for the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, the Christian Peacemaker Teams, Defense for Children International and Holy Land Trust. I have worked all across the West Bank and Jerusalem, but the majority of my work in the field has been in the Old City of Hebron and the surrounding villages facing Israeli settler violence.

I grew up in the Beaverton Church of the Brethren but have most recently been attending the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem, where I had spent a year on the church council.

While I was transformed by my experience in Hebron some 13 years ago, it was the birth of my son in 2012 that centered and anchored my life pursuing peace and justice in Israel-Palestine.

I spent the first seven years being here viewing this conflict through my own eyes and witnessing the lives of my Palestinian friends being lived under the heavy weight of Israel’s military occupation: home demolitions, administration detentions, military operations, child arrests, and people killed on the streets. It was a methodical, systematic violence I never experienced living in rural Michigan.

Ahmed and Alex working to fill in the footings of a house in Um al-Khair.

But when Alex was born, I started to see the conflict from a completely different perspective: the eyes of my son.

With being an Israeli Jew, he enters into this conflict from a completely different experience than his Palestinian counterparts. He has basic rights and social privilege that Palestinians inhabiting this same land simply do not. He sees and experiences that contrast through spending so much time with Palestinians in the West Bank, going through Israel’s military checkpoints, visiting families whose homes have been destroyed, and seeing parts of Israel’s military occupation that many Israelis never see.

On the flip-side of that coin, with my son being a Jew, I’m much more sensitive of the validity of charges of anti-Semitism in this movement for the realization of justice and equality and our moral obligation to confront that violence at the same time we struggle for basic human rights for Palestinians.

While I had been actively engaged in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for many years before the birth of my son, living in community with Palestinians who were struggling with life under Israel’s military occupation and through witnessing countless home demolitions, arrests, night raids, and other random acts of violence, it was during this time that I came to understand the many layers of oppression wrapped up in Israel’s colonial project.

Having a son didn’t change my views on this. But what it did do is make me more aware of the rampant anti-Semitism that runs through this movement…

READ more about the ‘rampant anti-Semitism that runs through this movement’ and the cause for the USS LIBERTY: HERE

Timeline of the confiscation of Palestinian lands by Israel since 1947 and the partition by the United Nations. Photo courtesy of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Timeline of the confiscation of Palestinian lands by Israel since 1947 and the partition by the United Nations. Photo courtesy of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Cody O’Rourke’s May/June 2018 USA Tour with contact info at end:

Date: Thursday, May 24th

Time: 1 P.M.

Where: Hernando County Public Library

Address: 238 Howell Ave, Brooksville, FL 34601


Date: Sunday, May 27th

Time: 9:30 A.M.

Where: Unitarian-Universalists of Clearwater

Address: 2470 Nursery Rd Clearwater, FL 33764


Date: Monday, May 28th

Time: 6 P.M.

Where: Coral Gables Congregational Church

Address: 3010 De Soto Blvd. Coral Gables, FL 33134


Date: Tuesday, May 29th

Time: 7 P.M.

Where: St Stephen’s Episcopal Church

Address: 2750 McFarland Road, Coconut Grove, Fl 33133


Date: Wednesday, May 30th

Time: 7 P.M.

Where: Penney Farms, McCormick Hall

Address: 3495 Hoffman Street ,Penney Farms, FL 32079


Date: Thursday, May 31st

Time: 7:30 P.M.

Where: Emmanuel Mennonite Church

Address: 1236 NW 18 Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609


Date: Sunday, June 3rd

Time: 9 A.M.

Where: Marilla Church of the Brethren

Address: 1999 Marilla Rd, Copemish, MI 49625


Date: Sunday, June 3rd

Time: 11 A.M.

Where: Onekama Church of the Brethren

Address: 8266 Mill St, Onekama, MI 49675


Date: Monday, June 4th

Time: 7 P.M.

Where: Central United Methodist Church

Address: 222 N Cass St, Traverse City, MI


Date: Wednesday, June 6th

Time: 1:30 P.M.

Where: After 26 Depot Café & Unique Gifts (

Address: 127 W Cass St Cadillac, Michigan


Date: Sunday, June 10th

Time: 10 A.M.

Where: Lansing Church of the Brethren

Address: 3020 S. Washington Lansing, MI


Date: Sunday, June 10th

Time: 4 P.M.

Where: Common Spirit Church of the Brethren

Address: 8484 Curley Trail SE Caledonia MI


Date: Tuesday, June 12th

Time: 5:30 P.M.

Where: Midland Church of the Brethren

Address: 1717 E Sugnet Rd, Midland, MI 48642


Date: Thursday, June 14th

Time: 7 P.M.

Where: Mark Hoffman’s House

Address: 10624 E Pico Dr, Traverse City, MI 49684


Date: Sunday, June 17th

Time: 12 P.M. ???

Where: Bob & Candy Schnepp’s House

Address: 139 W Brown St, Beaverton, MI


Date: Sunday, June 17th

Time: 5 P.M. ???

Where: Creative 360

Address: 1517 Bayliss St, Midland, Michigan 48640


Date: Monday, June 18th

Time: 4 P.M.

Where: Grand Traverse Pie Company

Address: 2600 Saginaw Rd. Midland, MI


Date: Monday, June 18th

Time: 6:30 P.M.

Where: Grand Traverse Pie Company

Address: 2600 Saginaw Rd. Midland, MI


Date: Tuesday, June 19th

Time: 7 P.M.

Where: Red Ceder Friends Meeting

Address: 1400 Turner Street Lansing, MI


Date: Wednesday, June 20th

Time: 3:30 P.M.

Where: Raybrook Manor Estates

Address: 2111 Raybrook SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546


Date: Wednesday, June 20th

Time: 7 P.M.

Where: Eastminster Presbyterian Church

Address: 1700 Woodward, SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49506


Date: Thursday, June 21st

Time: 7 P.M.

Where: Oakdale Park Church

Address: 961 Temple Street SE Grand Rapids, Michigan 49507


Date: Saturday, June 23rd

Time: TBA

Where: Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War (KNOW)

Address: TBA


Date: Sunday,  June 24th

Time: 10:45 A.M.

Where: Living Peace Church (Church of the Brethren)

Address: 684 Deer St, Plymouth, MI 48170


Date: Monday, June 25th


Where: St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church

Address: 375 Lothrop Rd, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236


Date: Thursday, June 28th

Time: 1 P.M.

Where: St. Petersburg First Church of the Brethren

Address: 3651 71st Street N Saint Petersburg, FL 33710


Date: Sunday, July 1st

Time: 10:45 A.M.

Where: Miami First Church of the Brethren

Address: 15000 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33168


Phone or Text Cody O’Rourke: 352.284.8919
Email: <>

Follow Cody at his website:






Eileen Fleming, senior non-Arab correspondent writes for TADN


Contact Eileen Fleming






Facebook Comments

The Arab Daily News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator


Eileen Fleming

Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for TADN at The Arab Daily News
Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for The Arab Daily News
Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" who founded in response to her first of 8 trips to both sides of The Wall in Palestine Israel.
In 2012, Eileen ran for US House of Representatives District 5, in Fl.
Read her FREE eBooks and more at:
Share this Story:

The Arab Daily News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *