|Posted on October 24, 2010 at 11:56 AM|
"It is hard to be brave," said Piglet, sniffling slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal."
On these trips there is always one day where I “hit the wall” and loose hope. I spend the rest of the trip getting that hope back. Our day in Jerusalem was that day for me this time.
During the morning we spent time with an African Palestinian guide. He took us many places in the old city where I had never been before. But it was not the new things seen or learned that got to me. It was two events that I unexpectedly found myself a witness to. The first was a bunch of Orthodox Jewish boys playing soccer. We were used to Palestinian children mugging forthe camera, so many started shooting photos. I had not taken a picture yet but had my camera out. One of the boys ran up to me yelling “No Pictures” and hit me (open hand). Later, the young man assisting our guide walked ahead of the group. While he was ahead of us he was approached by two Israeli security forces. They began hassling him, demanding his ID, what he was doing there etc.As the group caught up with him one of the soldiers said to him “When you are alone, we will remember you.”
In the afternoon we went on a tour with the Israeli Committee to Abolish Home Demolitions. This is always a depressing tour, but especially now when peace talks were promised (again). I saw no evidence that there had been any freeze. The settlement situation is definitely worse than when I was here last. Palestinian and Jewish Jerusalemites pay the same in municipal taxes but the difference in return of services is striking. In education there is a shortage of 1500 classrooms for Palestinian children so only 40% of eligible children are able to attend school. And those have to do a split day so they only get a half day of education.
I had hoped that the next two days (Friday and Saturday) would bring back some of the hope I had lost – I attended a Peace Builders conference in Beit Jalla. However parts were very frustrating. It has been good in terms of my goal of understanding more about where each of the sub-groups exist in their understanding / beliefs of the occupation. Also,while many on the “Israeli Left” are not quite “there” yet in their understanding of the occupation, I did meet several who are very aware and in solidarity fully with the Palestinians.
But, sometimes it seems there is so much that needs to change and I am one small fish making very small ripples. Does it reallymatter? I know on an individual basis, yes. However, the final goal still seems so far away. How can I take what I have learned and experienced to as manypeople as possible and (this is the key) convince them to do something too. As Pooh says “Think – think – think!”
Categories: Olive Harvest 2010