*NEW* Search Our Team Reports! Type a word/phrase in the box below (hint: try "settlers').


international visitors

MPTers in tent on patio of Al Kurd's home

While staying in the tent in the Al Kurd’s family courtyard, there were many visitors from a variety of countries. All came to hear the story of the occupation of the house and some came to support the family, spending time in the tent. Visitors came from Estonia, Hungary, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Austria, Germany, South Africa and the United States. Two groups of Christian pilgrims came to understand the suffering of the Palestinian people as part of the Way of the Cross. Some days there was a group in the afternoon and then another in the evening. One evening Harvard University student lawyers came with El Quds University law students and professors to investigate the legal situation. A Greek Orthodox Bishop came with members of his church to spend hours with the family. A group of Jewish people came with others from Israel, Europe and the United States. These groups were often accompanied by Palestinians, sometimes people of the neighborhood. The mother in the family graciously explained the story of their home again and again, often bringing thick coffee or tea with herbs for her guests. She repeatedly said she would be glad to share the neighborhood with members of any religion that were legally there but asked only for justice and her home to be returned.

Neighbors and Internationals were daily visitors to the Al Kurd home

Some people who came as peaceful supporters of the Al Kurd family, had been involved in the olive harvest had stories to tell us of Israeli settler and soldier violence. A woman who had been in Palestine about 6 weeks told us that in her time here she had known of at least one killing a week of Palestinians, either by Israeli soldiers or settlers. Some of those killed were children or teenagers. She had a good grasp of the political scene here, and what she saw and heard had a profound impact on all of us. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights does a weekly report on violation of human rights in Palestine. The week of October 16 to 22, was particularly bad. http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/W_report/English/2008/23-10-2008.htm

Internationals and Palestinians picking olives near an illegal Israeli settlement

There were visitors from different French groups who had been involved in the olive harvest. At a place where there had been particularly harsh treatment by the Israeli settlers, Israeli soldier arrested three international women of color (two women of Arabic family origin and one black woman from France) and an Israeli woman. They had been called racist names by the settlers. Michelle, the Frenchman, was irate about this kind of language and the physical abuse toward the women. The problems Palestinians have in harvesting the olives and a mention of the aforementioned incident was made in a BBC broadcast. BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/7679399.stm

This pleasant scene was unusual in a particularly violent season in the olive groves near illegal Israeli settlements.

A group of internationals, some of whom visited the Al Kurd family after being harassed and arrested when helping to pick olives with Palestinians near settlement.

Although the time in the Al Kurd courtyard was a bit secluded, we were able to listen and learn from others about their experiences in Palestine.

No comments: