"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Wednesday, January 17, 2007 Abbie Coburn's Palestine Journal -- Part IV
The fourth installment of Abbie Coburn's Palestine Journal -- emails sent back from her trip this month. Re-printed with permission.
Everyday I compose emails back home in my head. But email is sparse, and time is packed. Last night at the Dheishe refugee camp outside Bethlehem I ranted and raved in an inflammatory email for 45 minutes. And when I pressed send it disappeared. So I awoke today, determined to write an even more inflammatory email. But it's 11 p.m. and we've been moving since 7 a.m. I've decided that I will continue writing updates, but they won't be so up to the minute. Slightly delayed from when they were actually experienced.
As a preface I want to let you know that I take my emotions out by using profanities, so you may find this mail littered with them. I make no excuses, just don't say you weren't warned.
Israel is f*cked up. It is inexcusable. I'm sick of rationalizations. I'm sick of people asking why Israel would decide to bulldoze thousands of houses. Or why they would jail 8 year-olds for throwing rocks at tanks that are coming to kill them. Or why Israel imprisons Palestinians in their own land by stealing their water and crops an building a NINE METER wall around them. You want to know why? Because Israel is F*CKED UP. That's why. I find myself becoming more and more radical everyday.
There is no excuse for this kind of apartheid. And don't get me wrong - there is massive apartheid going on here. Calculated separation and domination. Everyone is clear that there is a two class system. That shit is not okay.
Israel soldiers with their big-ass guns walking up and down Palestinian streets. Indiscriminantly arresting whoever they want. You don't have the 3 dozen papers it's necessary to have in order to walk down this street? You left one of them at home? So sorry, we're gonna have to arrest you and hold you for an undetermined amount of time.
We walked into the Tel Rumeida (google it) neighborhood of Hebron yesterday. It's the only place we were told to fear violence this whole trip. YOu know why? Cause the Israeli settlers that bulldozed Palestinian houses in order to build their houses were going to throw stones at us because we were visiting the house of an 80 year-old Palestinian who wanted to give us tea. The fucking settlers are the ones who we have to fear.
But, we never had the luck of being stoned. Instead, heavily armed 17 year-old Israeli army shits stopped us two houses away from where we were going and told us we couldn't go. So we stood in the freezing rain for half an hour while we asked for a second opinion. They called their commander, paraded a dozen more heavily armed shits in front of us to instill some fear in us, and then told us the commander said this family wasn't allowed any visitors that day. As all this was happening the palestinians stood at their gate watching, waiting, and all we could do was wave.
Are you fucking kidding me? This man's family has been in that house for 400 years. Then along come some Zionists who bulldoze his neighbors houses, steal the farm land, surround him with settlers, and guard the roads all around to make sure that he and a few other remaining Palestinians don't get any visitors. God for-fucking-bid.
One example of 5,653. I am not okay with any of it. I am not okay with Zionism. I am not okay with the state of Israel. And I will not apologize. The situation is getting worse every minute. Road blocks go up, settlers invade like the plague, palestinians become prisoners in the sewage land at the base of settlements. No one can convince me that that is okay.
I have not once felt my "security" threatened by a Palestinian. Only by the boys with big guns. I would stone them too. I want to scream, "Get your fucking gun out of my face!" And all I have is this small rock. And so much rage. Push me and watch how close my edge is.
So, because I'm with a bunch of Jews who are experiencing their deconstruction of Zionism that has been ingrained in them since birth, I get a lot of questions like, "well, what would you do about the Israelis that live here if the land was given to the Palestinians?" You know what? I don't give a fuck. I am not here to placate both sides. I'm not here to hold their hands and watch as everyone takes baby steps. I have no doubt the international Jewish community will support their fellow jews. But, who the fuck is supporting the palestinians?! I am concerned with supporting their right to return to their lands they own and have lived on forever. I am concerned with their right to live. I am concerned with their humanness. I will not be quieted just because I don't have a plan for what should happen to the Zionists who are living on stolen land.
And that's my rant for today. There's more where that came from. Just know that I'm sitting with a lot of rage these days. And I want you to be enraged as well. Even though I know you won't be. But, I also wanted to include you in that aspect because by the time I see any of you I have no doubt I will be calmer and more composed. Unfortunate, but true.
And sit with the fact that as you go about your day the U.S. is giving another $15 million dollars to support this apartheid. And they'll do the same tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after.... until people wake the fuck up and scream "This is NOT OKAY!" Or something like that...
p.s. don't worry, I'm not gonna throw any stones...But I really really want to sometimes.
| Mike at 1/17/2007 11:41:00 AM
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