Monday, October 12
At 7:00 the next morning we left for school patrol where we observed the children walking past the settlement to keep them safe. In the past and even now sometimes the settlers will throw rocks at the children causing severe bodily injury. The Israeli soldiers are to be at the beginning of the settlement and escort them past it for protection. Many times the soldiers are late which then makes the children late for school. CPT & Dove work as two teams. One stands at a point they can observe the children, usually 15-20, coming to the beginning of the settlement and the other while they are passing it and beyond. The first team will call the second team after they leave their sight that “all is well” and give the number of children for that morning. The second team then looks for the children to round the curve and come into sight, then calls team one that “all is well and accounted for”. The children face this fear every morning which does not provide for a proper environment for learning. The reverse happens at the close of school. The settlers are not as likely to throw the rocks or harass the children when internationals are present. However, there have been times when the settlers will come after the internationals. The reason for this is an attempt to get the villagers to leave their land. We in the United States do not have the same attachment to our land as the Palestinians. Most of their land has been in the family for centuries, handed down from generation to generation. The land is their livelihood and they are one with the land.
We had lunch provided by the women of the village which was “zacky”, delicious. In the afternoon we participated in a session on “Undoing Racism” led by the CPT Tuwani team. How does undoing racism relate to non-violence? Here are just a few I would like you to think about.
- Racism can be based on fear, so by undoing the fear a lot of times we can undo the racism.
- Anyone seeking to undo racism must realize that racism is a form of violence.
- There is violence of shutting out the people who daily live with violence and can not leave the situation by not listening to them.
- We must be aware of our power by who we are and not try to impose that power on other people. “I am a North American white female born in privilege.” We must empower the villagers to combat with non-violence actions and give them credit for their abilities. They know better than we do what will work in their communities. We must support the Palestinians as they lead non-violent actions, asking what they need us to do, not telling them what they should do.
That evening we had dinner with Hafez which was quite a spread. We had lentil soup, the best any of us had ever eaten, plus all the usual of tomatoes, cukes, pickles, lives, humus and flat bread which is different than pita. I prefer the flat bread to pita. All seven of us slept in one room that night side by side on floor mates. Thank God for ear plugs! The smells from our bodies are not as bad as one might imagine, but then again we all smell the same so we were getting used to these aromas. The next day we will not say the same.