Magazine article International Wildlife

Holy Land Healing: On a Raptor's Wings

Magazine article International Wildlife

Holy Land Healing: On a Raptor's Wings

Article excerpt

As we shipped this issue to the printer earlier this fall, the long- festering feud between Israelis and Palestinians over how to divide up the Holy Land was reaching a head. By the time the magazine arrives at homes around the world, the outcome may already be known: The region may have peace, war-or anything in between.

Against that backdrop of change and turmoil, we had asked journalist Laurie Copans (left, with an Israeli ornithologist in the Old City of Jerusalem) to cover a "dove" of peace. This time, the dove was really a raptor-a little bird called the lesser kestrel that nests in some of the holiest sites of three great religions (see story, page 44).

Copans had already discovered that protection of nature is sometimes a way for warring parties to find common ground in a dispute. In this case, an Israeli bird expert and a Palestinian water specialist had joined forces to use the lesser kestrel as a vehicle to bring children of both sides together. …

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