“If the Olive Trees knew the hands that planted them, Their Oil would become Tears.”
― Mahmoud Darwish
As the olive harvesting season nears completion our team felt there were a lot of things worth sharing from our days immersed in the olive picking. We didn't happen to witness any of the violent settler attacks that took place this year. They happened but not where we were picking. Were we in the wrong place or were we the reason it did not become a problem area. Who knows? Sometimes the less dramatic stories need to be shared and it’s precisely those that we’ll try to relate in this blog entry as seen through our eyes.
Burin – amidst the settlements
The olive harvest this year started in early October and timed perfectly with our team’s arrival in Huwwara. Neighboring Burin was the first village where both picking and our work as team started.Because of its location between mountains topped by two Israeli settlements Yizhar(with the Yitzar outpost) and Bracha, Burin falls completely into Area C of the West Bank and is under full Israeli control. Ytzhar is at the forefront of the so called "price tag" policy or campaign which calls for attacks against Palestinians in retaliation for actions of the Israeli government against West Bank settlements (for more information please visit: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/yitzhar-extremists-all-settlers-must-fight-construction-freeze-1.287512)
The second day we accompanied another family who chose to harvest without permission from the army. Despite our visibility from and proximity to the settlement of Yitzar, we could not help but be awed by the fact that these were obviously days devoid of fear. Farmers sang songs and joked around with internationals under the strong sun. This seemed as much of an act of resistance as picking without permission.