“Do you not have a saying, four months, and then the harvest? Lift up your eyes and behold the countryside, that it is white,

ready for harvest….” John 4:35 ff.Image

It is harvest time for grain crops in the West Bank, and as we drive around we keep seeing the heads of grain blowing in the wind. The fields are white, just as Jesus describes them, in the bright sun. Jesus spoke these words in Samaria, right after he had spoken to the Samaritan woman at the well. The disciples had brought him something to eat, but he had not wanted the food, saying he had food the disciples did not know about. “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not have a saying…?”

We are advised to lift up our eyes and behold. Opportunity to serve others was all around the disciples, even opportunities that involved crossing boundaries, and seeing people with new eyes. Jesus advised them to lift up their eyes and behold how it was in the present place and moment, not some distant future, that God’s work is to be done. The disciples were invited to reap where they were on that very day, a harvest they have not sown, so that sower and reaper would rejoice together.

What is God inviting you to do today?  How are you invited in the present moment to participate with Jesus in the harvest of peace and justice and righteousness? 

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All It Takes……..

What would you do, if you were 6 years old and your family’s village had no school? What if you had to walk 6 kilometers each way to go to school? Amir is 11. He has attended school for exactly one week of his life.

What if you attended a village school until you were 11, and then had to walk 7 kilometers each way to attend the next level of school? With no available public transportation, and an extremely exposed desert landscape to traverse, maybe you would decide a primary education was enough for you. That is the case of two girls not far from here, who have aged out of the local school, who might just go to school, if only there were transportation.

What if you did have a school bus, but it was taken over by soldiers? Maybe you would decide you did not want to get on any school bus after that.

Access to education is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet children all over the world face all kinds of barriers to receiving an education. In the Hebron and Bethlehem governates, I’ve been introduced to a number of situations where access to education is a continual challenge for impoverished Palestinian children.   But a number of people of good will are working to correct the problem, “schwei, schwei,” little by little, with the resources available. Some volunteer their time to organize their community and to gather resources. Some put a cheerful mural on the wall of a school in an impoverished community to instill love of education in  children. Image

Some take pictures to build bridges and encourage curiosity. Some provide school supplies or books, some fix roofs, while others rehabilitate homes to be used as village classrooms at their own expense. And some diverse groups, Christians and Jews and Muslims, Americans and British and Israeli and Palestinian, pool resources to create learning opportunities for children who otherwise would not have chances for summer enrichment.

You don’t have to be a big nonprofit to make a difference. Sometimes all it takes is a good book, a smile, a language exchange, a cup of shai, a kite, a tent. Someone to walk alongside. Someone willing to try.

I’ve been “in the field” all day today, meeting people, networking, seeing some of these and other situations. Many conditions contribute to educational readiness, such as hope, trust, shelter, water, and nutrition. It’s grain harvest time in the rural south Hebron Hills, an important time to gather wheat and barley and fodder for the sheep and goats, an ingathering of the hard labor of plowing and sowing in other seasons.

In several villages, we saw heaps of grain, harvested and allowed to dry, almost ready for storage.Image

In one village, men, women and children were bagging the grain and carrying it to trucks so it could be stored. Harvest is a seasonal community endeavor, showing how people can accomplish much when working together.Image

But the day before yesterday, a man’s whole grain harvest was burnt by settlers in the night.  The harvest represented food for his family, the sweat of his brow, the livelihood for 14 people.  It was an incalculable loss.  We went past the black ashen spot where the grain pile had stood. It is a stark reminder of the cruelty we are capable of, a blot of shame on the landscape of humanity.

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What if we all chose to be part of the solution? A little tolerance.   A little respect.  A little kindness.Image

Please.

Khalil!

 

Ahlan wa Aslan, welcome. Today is my first full day in Khalil, Hebron. The day began for me at 4:30 or so with the first call to prayer, a welcome sound although perhaps a little later might have been helpful. No matter. On the jet-lag morning I find myself awake by this time of day anyway. Now it’s night, the last call of prayer has passed and the air is full of the sound of firecrackers and Arabic music. Thursdays around here are especially good for weddings, and weddings are a long outdoor celebration with much music and dancing. It is a good reminder of the joy of living to hear this.

The day was spent with my host Hamed, visiting. We began our day with falafel and then headed to World Vision, for networking around the issue of summer camps for disadvantaged children. I felt honored to be part of the conversation between people of such good intention and different background, discussing how to better the community allocating scarce resources. Indeed the resources are so small and the challenges so great that discouragement is easy except for the local determination that always brings hope.

Various other stops included a legal agency and a kindergarten in dire need of a new roof. During the day Hamed also learned that settlers had set fire to large grain fields ripe for harvest. Sadly this is a regular occurrence: fires in the grain fields in spring, fires in the olive orchards in fall, to interfere with the harvests of the local people of the land. We were unable to go to see the fires, as we had a full day planned, and others went to take stock of the damages.

Some of our most poignant moments were spent at Tent of Nations. This is a farm owned by the Nassar family since the time of the Ottoman Turks, which lies pretty much in the middle of a massive block of Israeli settlements illegal under international law. For over 20 years, Israeli officials have tried everything to remove the Nassar family from their land, including a long costly court battle, declaring portions of the property state land, refusing the family all building permits, and preventing their access to the electric and water infrastructure.

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Yet the family has refused to become vengeful, choosing instead to follow the council of Jesus to love and forgive those who persecute them. The motto of the farm is “We refuse to be enemies.” The family uses their land to teach others what it looks like to live peaceably side by side with the neighbors no matter what.

Early this week, on May 20, in the middle of the night, three Israeli bulldozers crept into the farm and demolished five fields of fruit trees heavy with fruit, along with nearby grapevines. The trees, heavy with apricots, apples and almonds, were buried under great heaps of earth. By 8 am the ugly deed was done. What had been a beautiful, fruitful, green valley now has the appearance of naked earth.

We listened as Daher Nassar described the great loss and how it had come about. Twelve dunums of land had been denuded. The family, he said, had papers demonstrating they owned the land. The trees, he said, had been there at least 15 years. Two months ago, the family found a note on the land saying that it was declared state land. Therefore the trees were not legal and the family had 45 days to “evacuate” the trees and return the land to its original state. The family went to court and submitted an objection to the order, which was accepted. The court had not yet scheduled a hearing when the IDF came by night and destroyed the trees despite the court’s acceptance of the objection.

It’s probably hard to imagine the impact of this. Imagine someone plowing under someone else’s cornfield in August, when the ears are ripe and ready, and you begin to get the feel of it. But corn is not supposed to endure for generations, as fruit trees are. This loss will be felt, not in one agricultural year, but for a long time to come. But besides the economic loss there is the sense of violation of one’s land and of all that is right.

It’s hard to follow this story with another, but there was yet another visit, this time to the home of Hassan in al Masara. Al Masara is a village south of Bethlehem where the separation barrier has not yet been built.   Since its route was established, al Masara has held nonviolent resistance marches regularly; now they are held every week. Hassan is the leader of the resistance movement. He showed us movies of the demonstrations to show that they were totally nonviolent. Not a stone was thrown. The community of al Masara simply marches through town and then toward the agricultural land belonging to them, which the separation barrier will cut off from the town. They speak their mind about the injustice of the barrier. They are stopped by rows of soldiers in riot gear.

Today we visited Hassan because in the past year, soldiers have begun breaking into his home at night on a regular basis. He has been told, “You play with us during the day? We will play with you during the night, when there are no internationals, no cameras, no pictures.”   Hassan’s mother described the soldiers going from room to room, despite her objections, pushing her around, looking through the house. Hassan states he has good reason to believe that the soldiers have put a camera or a wire in his house and are watching him, who visits him, and so on.

These are a few of the events of my first day in Khalil. There were others, but this is enough for one day. Tomorrow is another one.

If you are reading this in a place where you have free access to your land, self -determination, privacy, and safe, dry, warm schools, be grateful.

Salaam/shalom

Chris

Careening.

How fast are you going?

At the gym at the hotel this morning, exercising while awaiting the slow walk across the chancel of Central Lutheran to receive my MDiv degree, I tried one of the elliptical programs. It featured a course in the mountains of the South Island of New Zealand. As I rolled through the program tracking speed and heart rate, I could see rope bridges, tropical vegetation, mountain peaks and glaciers. Yet although the machine said my pace was merely respectable, the visual part of the program made it feel like I was running through the rough-and- tumble terrain, perhaps even careening.

Careening: the feeling of life speeding up as I go through May’s check-off list. Last time preaching at the internship. Last day at the internship. Last visit to campus before graduation. Last Thank – you note. (This is always tentative, since I keep having reasons to say thank you! And thank you for that! )

Yesterday a beautiful day on campus. A wonderful baccalaureate service. A great meal with friends new and old. Today it’s graduating, driving home, sleeping. Tomorrow it’s staging and packing. Tuesday, the friendly skies.

Careening. It all goes by so quickly.   The view is beautiful.  Hit the pause button. Take time in the midst of life to breathe in the Now.

Revival!

It’s time to revive the blog.

Why the two-year hiatus? It’s hard to say. Perhaps the ancient writer who penned “to everything there is a season”, if he or she were to write today, would add, “A time to blog, and a time to rest from blogging.”

But now is the time to revive the blog. So welcome to bits of life wanting to be shared, from pen and paintbrush, once again. Think of this message as the “mike check” before a worship service. “Check, check.” “Do you read me?”

At some point in fall of 2011, I took the pen name, Tumbleweed. A tumbleweed is a plant that has no roots, and floats from place to place on the wind. It shows up. Over the past few years I’ve shown up in a fair number of places, sometimes without much preplanning, and sometimes with only a smattering of the local language, because the wind carried me. A tumbleweed is by nature a wanderer, and insofar as the wind has purpose and direction, it is not lost, but rather, it is directed from place to place.

Tumbling is somewhat out of character for seminary interns and pastors, who find themselves in more of a stable lifestyle for the most part, and yet it takes the wind of the Spirit to get them into position in the first place.  And this same Spirit seems still to find ways to send us off on the breeze from time to time.   In this case, Luther Seminary is sending me off. My graduation is immanent and my internship is over, and there is this other bit as well: a longing to revisit a beloved place.  And lo and behold, along came a need and the means to meet the need, and the familiar nudge of the Spirit whispering, “You could do that.”

So in between the wonderful twenty-one months I’ve had at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Ames, and whatever new ventures God may be calling me to in the future, the wind of the Spirit is sending me off again on an interesting journey to revisit old friends and make new ones.   Last time I ended up teaching a song to our driver: “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” It will be great to reconnect while making new friends at the same time.

Stay tuned to more details soon to come! It’s going to be an adventure. Hope you follow along!  Next stop: graduation!

Terror and Trauma in Yanoun and arrests in Susiya

Sadly, it has been a deeply troubled weekend in Area C in the West Bank. 

With all that in mind, Palestinians living in the tiny village of Yanoun in the north part of the West Bank, just southeast of Nablus, were attacked on Saturday by settlers from the Itamar settlement nearby with knives and machine guns.

Nader Hanna, EAPPI’s Advocacy Officer, gives this background on the village:

Yanoun is a small village in Area C of the West Bank, just southeast of Nablus. It has about 65 inhabitants who are dependent upon farming and animal husbandry as their main source of livelihood. The village is surrounded by the illegal Israeli settlement of Itamar and since 1996 the residents of Yanoun have consistently experienced settler harassment and violence, as well as property damage and confiscation.

In October of 2002 the settlers of Itimar forcibly evacuated Yanoun of its inhabitants. International humanitarian agencies and Israeli human rights organizations then came to Yanoun to provide a protective presence with the aim of facilitating the return of the community. These left Yanoun within weeks of the community’s return; however, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) has remained in Yanoun since October 2002. Based in Yanoun Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) provide a protective presence, monitor, and report on human rights violations in the community, as well as the entire Nablus Governorate and Jordan Valley.

During the attack on Saturday, three sheep were attacked and killed with knives, and people were knifed and shot.  The Israeli military stood by and shot tear gas at the Palestinians while their wheat fields and an olive grove were burnt, preventing the Palestinians from putting out the fires.  Not only that! They also participated in physically attacking the Palestinians, beating them with rifle butts and clubs and shooting them. Further, it has also been reported that the military refused to permit an ambulance present at the scene to care for a man with multiple stab wounds and gunshots to the face and foot, or transport him to hospital, for three hours.  Six Palestinians were injured. Five of them are in hospital, and the village is in shock.

All this was eye-witnessed by our EAPPI team in Yanoun.

Meanwhile, in Susiya, hate graffiti sprayed on rocks in Susiya village by settlers has terrified the residents.  In support of the villagers, some activists spray-painted over the graffiti and, in a ludicrous travesty of justice, were arrested by the Israeli military for damaging property.  There is a video of this event.

As a reminder, according to international law, the West Bank is land that belongs to the Palestinian people.  Further, according to international law, settlements in the West Bank are illegal.  Further still, the West Bank is occupied, and the occupying power has a duty, under the Geneva Conventions, to protect the indigenous population.  The International Court of Justice has ruled that these conventions apply to Israel’s actions in the West Bank.

If these actions appall you, as they do me, then I urge you to seek justice. I urge American citizens to inform your Senators and Representatives in Congress of these actions. Congress has provided unqualified support for Israel. Give the benefit of the doubt. Assume that the members are unaware of this ongoing collusion of the Israeli military in violent harassment of the occupied population, and inform them promptly.  We must make certain that they know, and that they know how we feel about it. 

Further, here is a sample letter, written by our advocacy officer, for you to use to send to the Israeli Embassy by fax or email, or to use in talking points.

“Dear Ambassador / Consul General / Minister / Judge Advocate General / Lieutenant-General,

I call upon you to condemn Israeli settler violence against Palestinian civilians and to call for all those who violate human rights in the oPt to be held legally accountable for their actions.

On Saturday, 7 July 2012 at approximately 3:00PM (GMT+2) Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Itamar approached three Palestinian farmers in Yanoun who were harvesting their wheat and grazing their sheep. The settlers were armed with knives and killed three of the farmers’ sheep.

A clash then ensued, in which the settlers and farmers began throwing stones at one-another. Israeli soldiers and police arrived to the scene only to support the settlers’ attack on a defenseless community. 

In total six Palestinians were injured, and five were hospitalized:

  • Jawdat Bani Jaber (Hospitalized): was beaten and stabbed multiple times by settlers, then shot in the face and foot by Israeli soldiers. He was then handcuffed by Israeli soldiers and attacked again by the settlers while the soldiers pursued other Palestinian farmers. After being attacked, the military did not allow a present ambulance take him to a hospital or care for him for approximately 3-hours.
  • Ibrahim Bani Jaber (Hospitalized): was beaten by a soldier on his head with the butt-stock of an M16 rifle, causing damage to his eye, and was later beaten by settlers while handcuffed.
  • Hakimun Bani Jaber (Hospitalized): was shot in the arm at close range by a soldier.
  • Adwan Bani Jaber (Hospitalized): was beaten by settlers with clubs.
  • Ashraf Bani Jaber: was beaten by a soldier with a club.
  • Jawdat Ibrahim (Hospitalized): was handcuffed, beaten by Israeli soldiers and then released for the settlers to attack as they watched. He was then tied up by the settlers and left on his land; he was found the next morning (Sunday, 8 July 2012).  

Though the settlers were the attackers in this clash, the Israeli Military and Police provided them with protection to carry out the attack. The soldiers and officers attacked Palestinians who defended themselves from the settlers, did not attempt to put out the fires that blazed through Palestinians’ fields – nor let anyone else do so, and delayed medical attention for the victims of the attack.

Like the many Israeli settler attacks that take place on an on-going basis across the occupied Palestinian territory, no Israeli settlers were arrested during this attack.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME”

A quick Susiya update

Dear friends,

I hope you have had a great 4th of July.  I have been celebrating with extended family and I am still on vacation, but wanted to take the time to update you on the situation in the village of Susiya in the West Bank.  The lawyer on the case, who works with Rabbis for Human Rights, has filed an objection which has temporarily protected the village.  A couple days ago, she wrote that the legal team has filed an objection (to the demolition orders) to the Israeli Civil Administration (a misnamed arm of the military).  If the objection is rejected, appeal will be made to the high court of justice.

So it seems there are still some last-ditch legal means to employ. The village is still standing. Nevertheless, hopes seem dim. Spirits are low in the village.

Meanwhile, in London on July 4, there was a significant discussion in Parliament regarding Area C issues.  I’ve obtained a transcript of that debate for you which you will find in a pdf file in attachments.  Below are two excerpts in which Susiya is described as an example, the “tip of the iceberg” showing some of what is going on throughout Area C.  You will find the messaging similar to what I also have shared with you.

3.10 pm
Mr Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) (Lab): …. I will keep my comments short and limit them principally to
one case, which is the village of Susiya.

When debating Palestine, we sometimes lose a little context when we talk
about Israel’s problems in its governance of the west bank. Israel is an
occupying power of the west bank and has been since 1967. Over that time, it
has engaged in an aggressive policy of colonisation, which has also involved
the active displacement of the indigenous Palestinian population, whether they
be settled or Bedouin communities. That is the context.

The lives of the Palestinians are compromised and disrupted daily, whether
physically, by the settlements, barriers and checkpoints, or organisationally,
through pass laws and restrictions on movement, trade and so on, which,
sadly, bear a resemblance to some activities of the apartheid regime in South
Africa—pass laws and such matters. The fact is that Israel has no business
under international law being in the west bank. That is why, although I agree
with the hon. Member for Beckenham (Bob Stewart) that we must try to bring
people together, blame must be attached where blame falls. It principally lies
with the occupying power.

To assist the hon. Member for Kettering (Mr Hollobone), I can tell him the
figures that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency gave recently when it
came to Parliament to brief Members on the situation in Area C: Area A, which
is under full Palestinian control, is about 17% of the west bank; Area B is about
21%; and Area C, where there is full Israeli control, is about 61%. Those figures
were given to us within the past two weeks.

Equally important when considering Area C is the fact that 70% of that 60% is
off limits to Palestinians. It is either settlements, land controlled by settlements
or other areas—my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen North (Mr Doran)
mentioned nature reserves and other “scams”, for want of a better word—that
restrict Palestinian access. Given that 29% is already built-up land, only 1% of
Area C is actually potentially available for development by Palestinians—the
people whose land it is. We will get nowhere until that situation is resolved.

I will briefly use the example of the village of Susiya to show exactly what the
Palestinians are up against. It is a Bedouin village on an escarpment in the
south

4 July 2012 : Column 296WH

Hebron hills, and is the agricultural centre of the region. It has been settled by
the same families since the 19th century. In that respect, it is similar to other
villages around Jerusalem or in the Negev. I visited one of the villages and have
seen villages in the Negev that have been demolished five times by Israeli
forces and then rebuilt. Just this week, B’Tselem, a well respected human rights
organisation, said about Susiya:

“On Tuesday, 12 June 2012, Israel’s Civil Administration distributed demolition
orders to…50—

that is essentially all—

“structures in the Palestinian village of Susiya in the South Hebron Hills. The
orders stated that they were renewals of demolition orders originally issued in
the 1990s. Residents were given three days, until 15 June 2012, to appeal the
orders…Residents are planning to submit their opposition”.

With the intervention of human rights groups, the demolition orders were
extended to last Sunday, but they have now expired again. We are talking
about residential tents, which house over 100 people; kitchens; shops; a clinic;
a community centre; museums; the solar panels that provide electricity; and
shelters for animals. The entire village—everything—will be demolished. The
villagers are on watch every day waiting for the bulldozers to arrive under the
protection of the army. That is life for many Palestinians. Will the Minister take
up that case, not only because it is important in itself, but because it is the tip
of the iceberg of what is happening to villages in that area? If he has not done
so already, I ask him to make particular mention of the case to the
Government of Israel.

I was alerted to that case by an organisation called the Ecumenical
Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, which is a very good
Christian organisation through which people live peacefully with Palestinian
villagers for months. Its members brought in videos that showed me not only
threats from the military, but from another village called Susiya, which is a
nearby, well developed Israeli settler village with every modern convenience.
Under the protection of the military, the settlers come down to the Palestinian
village armed with guns; they throw stones and attack Palestinian villagers.
That is something that I have seen myself on video and film.

Mrs Grant: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the activities of the Israeli
defence and security forces in a number of situations have a real effect on
normal people—the little people whom my hon. Friend the Member for
Beckenham (Bob Stewart) referred to—and engender an atmosphere of
worrying hate and distrust?

Mr Slaughter: Absolutely. Occupation does that in its own right, but this is not
a benign occupation. This is violence. It has accelerated with an increase in
settler violence of 144% in the past two years. It is an organised campaign to
disrupt the lives of Palestinians and to extend the occupation, which continues
year-on-year and which, as the hon. Member for Beckenham said, increasingly
makes a two-state solution difficult, if not impossible. That is why we need
more from the Government—not only words, but action.

Mr John Denham (Southampton, Itchen) (Lab): Does my hon. Friend agree
that one of the most cynical aspects is the Kafkaesque way in which the illegal

4 July 2012 : Column 297WH

occupiers use international law to say, “Ah, we should rely on the established
law—Ottoman law and mandate law—for the legal framework for house
demolitions”? Those laws are used in a perverted way to disadvantage the
Palestinian residents who should have rights in that illegally occupied land,
while a completely different set of legal rights are applied to the illegal
occupations. Is it not that twisted way of interpreting the law that adds offence
to the physical destruction of homes, schools and other properties?

Mr Slaughter: My right hon. Friend is right. Rules and regulations are
manipulated in an absolutely cynical way to wear down and break the spirit of
Palestinians living in the west bank. I think that it has been proved that that
does not work. The resilience of the Palestinian people there is extraordinary,
which is why there is also violence. Arrests, detention—including of children—
and administrative detention, which happens on a continual basis, are all
designed to break the will of the Palestinian people and favour the occupier
and settlers over the indigenous population. I know that the Minister knows
those matters well, but I hope that he will redouble his efforts. I will end on that
point. ”

“3.33 pm
Mr John Denham (Southampton, Itchen) (Lab): I draw the Chamber’s
attention to my declaration in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, and
to the fact that I accompanied my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen North
(Mr Doran) on his recent visit to the region.

What the hon. Member for Harrow East (Bob Blackman) described as
preconditions were, until recently, regarded as the mutually agreed starting
point for the way to achieve a two-state solution. Those have now been
withdrawn from negotiations, which makes things more difficult. I wanted to
highlight the way that Area C, which was originally conceived of as a
transitional measure—part of the process of going to a two-state solution—is
slowly but surely being taken by the Israelis as an area of Israeli authority, in
which they are able to impose their will, often with a fiction of law, as I said in
an intervention, to the disadvantage of the Palestinian people. That is a very
different concept of Area C. It raises a number of important questions.

As European taxpayers, we are, to a considerable extent, paying the human
and social cost of that occupation…..
4 July 2012 : Column 302WH

One of the things that struck me on my most recent visit was how small the
place is and how critical the issues are. We went to the Ma’ale Adumim area,
where the Bedouin whom we talked about earlier were. The area between that
settlement and Jericho is the same as the area between my constituency in
Southampton and Winchester. On a train, that is about enough time get a cup
of coffee and get out a laptop. Yet if that settlement continues, the west bank
is effectively wholly divided. There is no possibility of a Palestinian state with
physical integrity. That is why the settlement must stop now; otherwise, it will
be almost impossible for the negotiations to reach a resolution.

3.36 pm
Mr Philip Hollobone (Kettering) (Con): It is a pleasure to follow the right
hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr Denham). I congratulate the hon.
Member for Aberdeen North (Mr Doran) on securing this debate. This is a
hugely complex issue. All of us who have visited Israel or the Palestinian
Authority will know what a small geographical area of land we are talking
about. It is important to get these complex issues into some sense of
proportion. We are talking about Area C, in which 150,000 Palestinians live.
There are 1.4 million Palestinians living in Israel and 2.5 million Palestinians
living in Areas A and B. It would be wrong if this Chamber today gave the world
the impression that we are talking about most of the Palestinian population,
because we are not….

Mr Slaughter: The hon. Gentleman is showing uncharacteristic false logic.
The reason for designating Area A is because it contains the main Palestinian
towns. It would be a bit like saying that as long as we excluded London,
Manchester and Birmingham, we could allow someone else to occupy all the
rural areas of England. This is the Palestinians’ land, and they are entitled to all
of it. ”

A pdf file of the entire Parliamentary proceeding is available at this link:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/99171728/Area-C-in-British-Parliamentary-Debate

In a Btselem report released recently, Nasser Nawaj’ah, Susiya resident, writes,

“I live in Susiya, a small Palestinian community in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank and have worked at B’Tselem for five years, as coordinator of the camera distribution projectin my area. In my work, I have frequently documented the Israeli military’s destruction of homes, livestock pens and water cisterns and heard the cries of children, women and old people during these demolitions.Now the specter of demolition hangs over my own family, my own children, and I feel a terrible sadness. My family has been expelled three times from its home, once before my birth and twice during my childhood.

Since 2001, after the Israeli High Court allowed us to return to the village and our homes remained standing, we dared to hope that perhaps this was the end of it. These latest demolition orders have driven my father to profound grief and despair. My son Ahmad, who is five, and his brother Lith, who is three, have never experienced demolition. I hope very much that we can prevent them from experiencing it now.”

This is very sad.

Nasser writes more here: http://972mag.com/palestinian-from-area-c-describes-life-in-constant-need-of-rebuilding/48302/

_________

Besides that, there was a demonstration against the demolition orders on Friday June 22.  Video footage shows a demonstration estimated around 400 people walking toward the original site of the village, now an archaeological park.  Demonstrators were intercepted by soldiers who lobbed tear gas canisters at them.  I have heard the demonstration lasted about four hours. This video is recommended by Villages Group.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQyQos-9prE&feature=youtu.be

_____________

Going along with the video above, here is an eyewitness report from the demonstration by David Shulman (Villages Group) with excellent still photos.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#search/villages+susiya/138228d005b9b40a

____________

On the blog site below, you will find a short video made by Ibrahim Nawaj’ah, son of Abu Jihad and brother of Nasser and Abed. In the video, Ibrahim interviews people living in Susiya about the village’s endangerment.

http://susiyaforever.wordpress.com/

_____________

Please continue to advocate on behalf of Susiya and the other Palestinian and Bedouin villages in Area C.