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At the playground

On a warm Sunday morning, about 10:30, a Palestinian mother came running to the Internationals’ tent calling in Arabic and a few English words; “baby” and “camera” were understood. Our group from the United States, France, and Great Britain responded quickly. Arriving at the play lot, we found that a settler mother had shaken and frightened a small Palestinian child, in order to remove her from the swing set. The mother wanted her own children to use the swing and was swinging her own children while the little girl cried. It was another act of insensitivity and dehumanization faced by the Palestinian community but this time it escalated.

Zionist settler mother and children

Settler mother and children

Playground Dispute

Four of the security guards appeared and soon they were joined by the Army, Israeli police, and Border Patrol. We watched in amazement as a phalanx of armed men intervened in a playground dispute. The Palestinian children stood wide-eyed staring at the guns. The settler mothers began shouting and defending their position, saying that the land and the play area was theirs. The police and Border Patrol demanded the passports of a French Couple and asked why they were in the West Bank.

Israeli soldier and border patrol

Private guards at playground

The Zionist mother that is living in the Al Kurds house had not been present when the incident occurred. This did not stop her from joining the diatribe and insisting that she owned the house and that she had not hit anyone’s child. Mothers and children

The Palestinian women and police moved slowly down the hill and began negotiations to settle the problem. Soon, a compromise was reached and order was restored. It was awe inspiring to see a distraught mother speak quietly and persuasively to authorities and bridge the gap of such disparate power. She was hugging a frightened child and the army was hugging their rifles. It was a powerful reminder to us as Americans that we must always be Palestinian led in our actions. We have more to learn than to teach.

Palestinian mother negotiating

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