There is no easy way to write about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even calling the Arabs who live in disputed territories "Palestinians" invites criticism from supporters of Israel, as there is no currently, universally recognized entity called Palestine (though there is the Palestinian Authority, and there was the British Mandate for Palestine, but I digress), so therefore there can't be Palestinians.
Commence cross-fire from keffiyeh-wearing activists.
If I'm going to write about the disputed territories, to use the most neutral language I can find, I need to state my own biases at the start. So here we go. I support Israel's right to exist. I also support the right of all human beings to exist in dignity. I am not Jewish (or Christian, or Muslim, though I should state in full disclosure that my boyfriend is Jewish and has family living in Israel). I am primarily concerned with the issue of suffering--the suffering of all people who live in fear, of all people who struggle with the oppression of both outside and inside forces, and the suffering of all mothers and sons, regardless of which version of the same God to which they pray.
I wanted to visit the disputed territories to see with my own eyes and feel with my own heart what is happening there.
Dave and I signed up for the December 23, 2010 educational tour to the South Hebron Hills.
|olive trees behind razor wire|
As best I can, I will keep my opinions to myself. Draw your own conclusions. If you can't, visit the West Bank and hear the stories for yourself. You need to know the price that is being paid for security, religion, politics, strategy, history. Is the price worth it?