Home Again - July 2007

Dear friends and family,

Please forgive me that I have not written sooner to let you all know that I have returned home safely. I left Palestine last Thursday morning and arrived in San Francisco Saturday afternoon. (It took that long because I didn't leave Amman, Jordan until Friday and then missed my connection in New York on Friday night.) I am now settling back into my comfortable life, however, I have been at a surprisingly low energy and the jet lag seems harder to overcome than ever before. It must be because I am pushing 50. At least I'll use that as my excuse for the delay in writing to you.

Thank you for letting me share my journey with you. This is my fourth trip to Palestine in a little over five years and although I've begun to wonder if international volunteers are actually helping the Palestinians, I know that regardless of how pathetic or futile our efforts, a significant contribution that we do make is to tell their stories. Palestinians chafe under the knowledge that they are perceived as terrorists by the majority of the world, even as they feel so unjustly victimized. So I am very grateful to you for listening.

Even though I will no longer be reporting to you, the stories continue. In fact the day I left the IWPS house one of the farmers that I had met was badly beaten by a settler while he was herding his goats. If you want to continue to be informed about what is happening on the ground you can check the IWPS website

or the ISM website

If you want more official versions of the situation you can check out the PA run Palestinian National Information Centre which releases monthly statistics http://www.pnic.gov.ps/english.html

or the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights which releases weekly reports

or B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

The PNIC report for the month of June documented that the Israeli army killed 49 Palestinians, wounded 47, arrested 383 and carried out 765 invasions in Palestinian communities. I can only hold on to the hope that historical events can take everyone by surprise and things can change overnight.



Anonymous said...

hey wendy

tried finding your email and couldnt. you may find some of these stories we did of interest.

Demolition in Israel
Meir Margalit, our host this week in Israel, is one of the founders of ICAHD, the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolition. It's a charity predicated on the notion that maybe, just maybe, bulldozing the shit out of Palestinian homesteads for "permit violations" while allowing wholly unauthorized Jewish settlements to go on doing what they do isn't the best idea for mending relations between the two groups. We know the whole Israeli-Palestinian conflict is way too involved to boil down to an easy yes-or-no question, but we think in the case of this sort of sub-issue, the answer's kind of obvious. Especially when you consider the proportion of kids from bulldozed houses who decide to solve their newfound homelessness by blowing themselves up on a crowded street or bus. It's 55% of all suicide bombers, in case you're wondering.

Part 1 - http://www.vbs.tv/player.php?bctid=1232219591&bccl=MTIwMTk4OTg5NF9fTkVXUw==
Part 2 - http://www.vbs.tv/player.php?bctid=1227699866&bccl=MTIwMTk4OTg5NF9fTkVXUw==
Part 3 - http://www.vbs.tv/player.php?bctid=1233382593&bccl=MTIwMTk4OTg5NF9fTkVXUw==
Part 4 - http://www.vbs.tv/player.php?bctid=1237906048&bccl=MTIwMTk4OTg5NF9fTkVXUw==

NEVILLE said...

Hi Wendy keep up the good work.
Neville Gafa'