The emotional gravity of the topics we are dealing with is more heavy than I anticipated. The areas of tension can be sparked by something as seemingly small as raising a flag in Jerusalem or in the ancient olive trees. I noticed the extreme contrast in quality of life today, I also noticed the subtle mockeries that can come out. For the first time on the trip, I saw the two different peoples and the inequality that they live in.
For example, we visited a beautiful settlement on the top of a hill in East Jerusalem. It was fenced in with high walls and barbed wire and military means of security. They had many pools, a man-made lake and ancient olive trees at every round-about. This settlement hung their flag high. Points of tension that an outsider might not realize: The pools and lake are a luxury that the Palestinians who lived in a slum bellow couldn’t comprehend. Even the wealthy Palestinians only have access to water a few times a week, and those times when they do, they have to pump a lot to storage to get them through the rest of the week. The olive trees that the Israeli settlers use as decoration, were dug up from Palestinian olive groves. They were their mothers’ trees, and their mothers’ mothers trees, a means by which Palestinian families made their livelihood, now in a round-about as a decorative accent. Finally, the raising of a flag, despite the fact that they are in Palestinian land, is illegal for Palestinians while Israeli settlers boast their flags high. In a way, not recognizing Palestine at all, claiming that land as their own.
Point of clarity: The building of settlements is ILLEGAL according to international law, and they will continue building regardless of this fact.
Who does the Wall Separate:
-Palestinian students from their university
-Muslims from their mosques
-Palestinians from their career
-Palestinians from their relatives
-Palestinians from their history
-Palestinians from their LIVES
This may seem radical, but the wall is not separating Palestine from Israel. It is separating Palestine from their history.