Reflections on a Trip to Palestine/Israel

JULY UPDATE

Reflections of a Trip to Palestine – Israel through Kumi Now

I invite you to take the time to read one or more of the links to Kumi Now. Explore the lives of Palestinians and the fallout of being in a land that was theirs but is now a part of a long-term conflict.

Preserving History

Market scene, side street of Bethlehem.

“In the summer of 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge … During a brief lull in the bombing, photos emerged of a young Gazan girl in green dress sifting through the rubble of what remained of her home. She is looking for her books. When she finds them, she pulls them from the pile of shattered concrete and stacks them in her arms. The books are tattered and filthy, the covers dangling from their bindings. But when the girl walks away, her arms loaded with her books, she is smiling.”

So begins this session’s article. Read further to discover the loss of culture and environment and how both Palestinians and Jewish people are working to reclaim and keep alive for those in Palestine and around the world the culture that is unique to them. Click this link: https://kuminow.com/preservinghistory/

Child Fatalities

A welcoming school wall, Bedouin Village

In any civil unrest or war situation there is there is always unfortunate and needless loss of life. The Palestinian – Israel conflict is no exception. Loss has become a way of life for the Palestinians. We must bring both sides to the negotiation table. Weapons do not bring long-term peace. Read about Ahmad, 14 years of age, who was hit by live ammunition and his fight to reclaim his life. Click this link: https://kuminow.com/childfatalities/

Environmental Effects of Occupation

 A result of the lack of infrastructure funding in Palestine

“It’s a Zionist paradox. We came here to redeem a land and we end up contaminating it,” laments Alon Tal, Founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense. This is one of the issues covered in this session of Kumi Now. Palestinian lands have not only seen displacement of their people but they have also seen villages destroyed and surrounding lands turned into monoculture crops. To read more on the on-going concern for the land click this link: https://kuminow.com/environmentaleffects/

Tourism and Pilgrimage

 Part of the Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem 

I was not in Palestine – Israel long enough to be a traveller. I was a tourist. During my time our group crossed checkpoints, drove by territorial walls and watched in fury as Palestinians were confronted in all aspects of life with blockades to freedom. Read about Aziz Abu Sarah, a tourist guide and his experience being caught between his work and the daily circumstances of being a Palestinian in Israel. Click this link: https://kuminow.com/tourismandpilgrimage/

 Palestinian Refugees

Once a Palestinian village – now deserted

 “In 1948, over a million Palestinians were uprooted as a result of the Nakba.” Today there are more than 8.7 displaced Palestinian people. Click this link to read more about those who are refugees in their own land, in nearby countries or in the diaspora of distant countries: https://kuminow.com/palestinianrefugees/

Nuclear Israel

The peace of a palm field

“The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was signed on July 1, 1968. According to the U.N., “More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a testament to the treaty’s significance.” Only five countries are not party to the treaty: North Korea, South Sudan, India, Pakistan, and Israel.” Read further to learn” how the world came to know that Israel possessed nuclear weapons and examines what this means for Palestine and the region”. Read the speech of Mrs. Setsuko Thurlow as she accepted the Nobel Prize on behalf of ICAN in 2017. Click here: https://kuminow.com/nuclearisrael/

MAY UPDATE

Nation-State Law

The Wailing Wall at sunset, Jerusalem

In Canada we who live here are citizens with equal rights. Our rights are not determined by our place of birth nor of the nationality of our mother or our father. Take a few minutes to read the conversation that Sayed Kashua, a Palestinian writer, has with his children as they drive away from the airport in Tel Aviv. How does one explain to a child that their rights in the country of their birth are less than others who live in the country? Click here to learn more about nationality cards and rights of individuals in Israel.

Freedom of Speech

A blockade Hebron in prevents Palestinians going further.

The ability to speak freely on any issue is one that Canadians take for granted. Read about the limits to freedom of speech of the press reporting on Palestinian issues in Israel. Freelance photographer Yasmin Akram Al-Na’ouq was shot at age 24 when a bullet hit her back and ha gas bomb went off while she was covering a protest east of Jabalia/Gaza Strip. Click here to learn more.

United States Support of Israel

A United Nations school in a refugee camp is fully fenced.

Mohammad Al-’Ajouri always liked to run. He had dreams of testing his skill against other runners but he lives in Gaza. Now his dreams of running are different. Mohammad lost a leg and now walks with a prosthetic. Read how Gaza residents brave the risk of death and injury to demand their return to their homes and villages and an end to decade long siege of Gaza. Click here to learn more.

Ongoing Nakba

A tea seller in Ramallah.

May 15th is the anniversary of the first Nakba. Unfortunately, its affects are still being felt throughout Israel. Read about Arij Abaeid, and his wish to have a home in the town of his family – Nabi Samuel. Instead he is forced to live in al-Jeeb after his home was demolished in the 1990’s. Click here to learn more.

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