Almost a year has passed since I posted a report about demolition devastation for the community of Dkaika in the occupied West Bank. The report was prepared by my Ecumenical Accompanier (EA) team mates in Hebron, 12 Jan. 2011. Click here.
This week, Jan McIntyre, a Canadian EA who spent the autumn in the South Hebron EAPPI placement, posted this report (click here) about the same community. Virtually the entire village is under demolition order. Through EAPPI efforts, a media visit to the community occurred on Mon., 19 Dec. 2011. To see a television report and one of the publications arising from this visit, click here. Please forward this information to those in your circles…to raise awareness…
As we gather in our homes during this season of dark and light, consider the dance of candle flame…like persistence toward a just peace in Palestine and Israel…
Persisting with dark and light - Christmas Eve - Bethlehem - 24 Dec. 2010 - Photo: Sherry Ann
In just the past week in East Jerusalem and in parts of the West Bank:
20 structures – demolished
Bedouin community east of East Jerusalem - parts slated for forced self-demolition (13 Dec. 2011) - Space for an Israeli-settler highway - Photo: Sherry Ann - 17 Dec. 2010
at least 61 people – newly homeless.
199 homes – demolished
1,051 people – displaced
7 December 2011 – In a Bedouin community, Khan al-Ahmar Mihtawish, in Jerusalem Area C, the Israeli Civil Administration demolished two residential barracks, which had been rebuilt following the prior demolition in the community on 31 October 2011.
Two tents of the International Committee of the Red Cross (see ICRC’s mission here) and two water tanks provided in response to the previous demolition were confiscated.
Twelve people (including nine children) were displaced and some 21 others affected.
Bare feet in December - Bedouin children - Impacted by the Israeli government's occupation of Palestine - Photo: Sherry Ann - 17 Dec. 2010
Over the last year and a half, even as I was preparing to go to East Jerusalem, I have been asked, “Which side are you on?” A natural starting point for many of us, in trying to find our way into understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seems to be to ‘pick a side’. Why?
Contemplation - Old City - East Jerusalem - 20 Dec. 2010 - Sherry Ann
As this internationally acknowledged military occupation of Palestine continues, I choose to stand with all those who are working toward a just peace. We are a diverse group, internationally, and include both Israelis and Palestinians who can see and feel the pain caused by the Israeli government’s occupation. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to live in East Jerusalem, for “Reflection, with deep time spent in the consideration of others, opens the door to becoming a compassionate participant in the world” (Terry Tempest Williams, The Open Space of Democracy, 2004, p. 88).
Door Art - Tel Aviv - 29 Dec. 2010 - Sherry Ann
I continue to watch the news in East Jerusalem because I feel connected now. For example, see this recent story about two home demolitions. (Click here.)
Let’s move away from ‘either/or’ side-making. We are in ‘this’ together; people are hurting right now. Shall we focus on opening this door together?
Almost one year ago, I boarded a plane on my way to Tel Aviv and then to occupied East Jerusalem. As a way to mark this passage of time, I’m posting a link to an article that I have written for The United Church Observer magazine. Click here.
What a year it has been…of reflection, conversation, and writing…I have been shaped by these experiences and am choosing to continue…to engage with peace (watch for a reflection on this topic at Southminster-Steinhauer United Church’s website. A podcast from 4 Dec. 2011 will appear in the coming weeks).
salaam, shalom, peace,
A bubbling of peace-Tel Aviv.Mediterranean Sea-30Dec2010_Sherry Ann