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Weekly Post:

October 5, 2009

Anyways, lots of crazy and annoying things happened in the past week.  The settlers invaded Al Aqsa mosque on Yom Kippur, just like Sharon did in 2001 before the 2nd Intifada began.  There were huge riots and lots of Palestinians came from all over the place to defend the mosque.  But the settlers had a police and military escort so they did whatever they wanted, they beat and teargassed Palestinians- injuring like 60 people, and the Palestinians injured 16 Israelis with stones or whatever they found to throw. 

It was all over the news, but…..nothing happened, no reaction, as usual.  Its good of course, a new Intifada wont help the Palestinian cause but the thing is I dont think they didnt react because it will make them look bad, but because they just dont care anymore.  They dont think good or bad will make any difference so they just dont watch the news and dont react to injuries/insults by Israelis.  Hmmm….

I went to Jerusalem on Yom Kippur…haha I didnt know it was Yom Kippur because they just finished the New Year holiday so I thought the holidays were over for a few weeks, haha.  I arrived around 530 and sunset is around that time, so by the time I got to West Jerusalem, the streets were EMPTY, every store/restaurant was closed.  The city looked like it had been evacuated.  I was like hmmm….maybe I should head back to Ramallah. 

Then I saw random people in the streets all dressed in white, and it was dark, and Jerusalem is a creepy, dark city anyways so I was kind of weirded out by that.  Then I sat in Ben Yahuda street, where theres usually a million people, and no one was there.  SO I sat down to read a little bit and a woman and a man walked by pushing a stroller, and she was american israeli so I heard her say, if im not fasting, at least Im walking….so I figured out that it was a fasting holiday. 

Then I ran into this orthodox guy and asked him what was going on, and he told me all about Yom Kippur….then he asked to walk with me where I was going. hahah Then I told him Im going to the Damascus Gate to find food, and he said “in damascus or outside it?” and I was like, inside, in the Arab quarter.  And he was like, OH….oh ok.  And I was like “thats not your part of town, is it?” and he was like “nooooo!”.  Hahah well if I ever need to get rid of an Israeli guy whos hitting on me I know how now!

Umm….In Jenin an Israeli jeep/humvey ran over a teenage boy standing outside school with some friends.  It ran over him, then backed up over him. They killed him.  For no reason.  or “security reasons” as they like to say.  It really pisses me off that this stuff happens every day and no one reacts anymore.  If a child gets killed for no reason there should be a reaction…but I guess thats naive and im sure they have done it before and no good came of it so they stopped.  But it still makes me crazy what the Israelis can get away with here.

The Goldstone report…….WHHHHAT is abbas’s problem??  No one knows here, at least I havent heard a rational explanation for him voting against an investigation in to the murder of 1400 of “his people”.  People here are ANGRY…and confused.  There is a demonstration today at noon I will try to get out of work for. 

Hahaha Abbas ordered an investigation into why the Goldstone report investigation wasnt approved…hahaha hes investigating himself.  Any respect I had for that man is now GONE.  He obviously has some interests that are are not in the interests of Palestine, and only something tied to Israel or the US would make him vote against something that could potentially REALLY have a bad impact on Israel or its image in the world.  Hmm….time will tell.

Israel has been attacking Gaza for 4 or 5 days in a row now, airstrikes.  They’ve already killed a bunch of people….and history has shown that the normal response to attacks from israel is that there will be new rocket attacks from Hamas and the Israel will publicize it and say “look at these Palestinian terrorists!  They’re crazy! They want to kill us all!”  I wish palestine had some kind of PR program or organized their media so it could be at least a little bit effective against Israel’s media machine.  Its so crazy how much they get away with!

I went to Bilin on Friday.  It was pretty calm at the beginning–there was no one throwing stones in our part of the demo but the boys as always were off to the side with their own demo.  The organizers made some speeches and then we started our “attacks” where we try to open the gate thats covered in miles of razor wire and try to walk to their land.  We tried like 5 times.  Every time the soldiers would run through the fence at us and then throw teargas.  After a couple times of this, some people started throwing a few stones at the soldiers.  We never made it too far inside the fence.  One girl was injured, hit by a teargas grenade in the leg, she was an Israeli activist.

Its the first week of the olive harvest so the demo was especially important today, they were talking about how Bilin is a village of farmers and they need their land.  My friend and his family started harvesting the olives on part of their land, but he said what usually takes a week or two they finished in 3 hours.  There were no olives this year.  Thats the part of the land thats close to where the demo is, so I dont know, some years he said are better or worse than others, but I think maybe the sewage water and teargas have started to have an effect on the land.

My friend heard from his brother in Prison the other day.  He called afte Eid (the holiday at the end of Ramadan) from Ofer prison.  He said the soldiers beat him really badly on eid and kicked him in the stomach to the point they had to take him into Israel to a hospital.  I think hes ok now, but they also make them sleep without blankets and its hot during the day and freezing during the night so all the boys in the jail are sick now. 

They rescheduled his trial until mid- Oct.  They will most likely reschedule it again just to keep him in prison longer for the fun of it.  Then at the end they will agree theres no reason for him to be in prison (even for “throwing stones” at a protest you can’t imprison someone for months…..) and then they will tell his family, “Give us 5,000 shekels and we’ll let him go home”.  So they have to pay for a lawyer they can’t afford then pay a bail they cant afford.  Its so unfair.

I went to Nahileen for work the other day, we were going to the PMRS clinic there to see how it works so we can write a proposal for them for more funds so they can expand.  Its a village past Bethlehem and its very isolated.  To make it more isolated its surrounded by 3 or 4 settlements–so all the roads into Nahileen have been taken over as Settler-only roads or have been obstructed with earth mounds or huge boulders.  We had to drive an extra 40 minutes to get there because of the road blocks.

The PMRS clinic is the only medical place in the village– theres no hospital and not even a pharmacy there.  Most of the people are too poor to get to Bethlehem to go to a clinic or to get medicine so the people of Nahileen are basically isolated from any medical care.  THe PMRS clinic is nice, but they only have one doctor, and its not 24 hrs.  They dont have a pharmacy there yet because they can barely cover the running costs of the place with the profit they make from services.  So we are going to write a proposal asking for more doctors so it can be 24 hrs, specialized doctors that can be there full time instead of one day a week, a pharmacy and more space to accomodate more people from Nahileen and surrounding villages.  Hopefully we will get the funds!

Anyways, thats about it for last week….

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