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Jewish Voice for Peace Elul Flipbook

Jewish Voice for Peace Elul Flipbook

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Published by JewishVoiceforPeace
29 readings and images about life witnessing/living under occupation in Palestine. One for each day of the Jewish month of Elul. By the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council
29 readings and images about life witnessing/living under occupation in Palestine. One for each day of the Jewish month of Elul. By the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council

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Published by: JewishVoiceforPeace on Sep 01, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Tel Aviv CafeWhat is hidden is what has been lostbeneath this stubborn temple of sunlightI rinse my feet in the sea as it soaks the sandBut this too is lost within the tattered pagesOver the hills of pinesand under the sunsetThere is another golden cityit is in motionbut it settlesas the evening sun sets.All is at peace,but nothing is at peace at all.
Rebecca ArianMarch 27, 2010
A blog post from Avital Aboody, May 9, 2010http://avitalaboody.blogspot.com/2010/05/hebron-from-all-angles.htmlHEBRON FROM ALL ANGLESFor the past three Saturdays I have attended the new wave of weekly Hebron protestsin the Casbah (Old City). The protests are intended to disrupt army-accompanied settler tours that pass through the Casbah each week, and demand the re-opening of ShuhadaStreet and an end to the occupation of the city. Although for the past two weeks thesettlers have changed the time of their tour to avoid encountering our protest, wedecided to continue with the protests as planned to assert the Palestinians' right tomove freely within their city. So, each week a group of between 50-70 Palestinians,Israelis, and Internationals gather in front of the gate which blocks entrance to ShuhadaStreet. We stand with signs in Arabic, Hebrew, and English and pass the megaphonearound as different people lead the protesters in a series of call and response chants inall three languages. Some activists take the opportunity to give short impassionedspeeches, sometimes by Israelis who speak directly to the soldiers and settlers peeringdown on us from the Beit Romano Yeshiva rooftop, saying that these unjust policies willnot be carried out in our name. In contrast to the first week when the protest ended in aseries of unwarranted arrests, the protests now conclude now with a march through theCasbah which is met by an onslaught of dirty water thrown down on us from the settlers'homes situated above the Palestinian shops. For the past two weeks there has been nodirect confrontation with soldiers or settlers, but we always close with a promise that wewill continue to protest every week until racism and separation are abolished in Hebronand all of Palestine.This past week, just a few days after standing in solidarity with the Palestinians of Hebron, I decided to take a step that I believe very few political activists ever take. I puton a long skirt, tucked my dreadlocks away, and joined the settlers on their tour of theJewish Community of Hebron. After having been to Hebron many times and heard thestory of the Palestinians and the ex-soldiers of "Breaking the Silence"I figured it wastime to come face to face with the settlers themselves and hear how they justify their presence in Hebron to the many thousands of Jews that they've taken on tours there. Icame with the intention to listen, to observe, and to maybe understand their conviction.
So on Wednesday morning I found myself sitting on a bullet proof bus with a group of 40 other American Jews about take a day-trip to Hebron, a city that I was assured bythe tour guide is just like any other old city in Israel. Even before the tour had officiallystarted, I already began to feel uncomfortable and almost teary eyed due to therealization that all the other tour participants really had no idea (and really didn't carethat they didn't) about the world beyond this Jewish exclusivity. Little did I know that thatthis initial reaction of discomfort and sadness was to remain with me and only intensifythroughout the course of the day.Our first stop was the matriarch Rachel's tomb which is just outside/technically insideBethlehem. To reach the tomb we drove through an unbelievably surreal corridor in theconcrete wall that circumvents Bethlehem. Since Israelis are not allowed to enter Bethlehem, this access road, entirely surrounded by the wall, has been created for Jewsto visit and pray at the tomb. As the tour guide told the story about a time when thegrave was closed to Jewish access and how women from Hebron set a precedent bycoming anyways and demanding to be let in until the government agreed to re-open thesite to Jewish visitors, I realized that all this effort to keep people separate andrelegated to only certain areas is futile because people will continue to find ways to bewhere they believe they ought to be, or at least struggle for that right with all of their being as I've seen with the Palestinians in Hebron. For some reason, being there onlymade me think more and more about how this land cannot be divided. Of course I don'tmean undivided in the way that the settlers refer to Greater Israel, but rather that in thatmoment it just seemed so apparent to me that drawing up borders and erecting wallscannot actually lead to real justice or peace; they merely restrict essentials freedomssuch as access and movement, and furthermore will never suppress the people's desireto return to areas that they have been barred from. Religious Jews will never give uptheir ancestral connection to and right to access these holy sites, and I don't believe thatthey should have to, but this privilege must come with the equal recognition of thePalestinian claims to this land and their legitimate right to live here and move aboutfreely.Loaded with these thoughts I got back on the bus headed to Hebron. I listened as theguide told the familiar story of Hebron that began 3700 years ago when Abraham laiddown roots in the city and purchased the Cave of the Patriarchs as a burial site for hiswife Sarah, and the forefathers and mothers that followed. Later, King David madeHebron the capital of his kingdom for 7 years before moving it to Jerusalem. The phrase

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