HEBRON UPDATE: January 8-13, 2004
January 20, 2004
HEBRON UPDATE: January 8-13, 2004
Thursday January 8, 2004
Art Gish and Maureen Jack, on the way to Jerusalem, encountered a friend of
CPT who said, "We are so anxious about the wall that we are depressed. We
need peace. That is your job CPT."
Later in Jerusalem, Jack attended a conference at the Konrad Adenauer
Institute on the Geneva
Initiative, also known as the Geneva "Accords." The attendees were told of a
recent poll, which showed that since 1997 Palestinian support for a
bi-national state dropped from 18% to 12%. Eighty percent of those polled
also thought that the "annexation wall" had made a two state solution
difficult if not impossible to achieve.
Friday January 9, 2004
Gish hosted seven New York area Jews who had come to Palestine to express
solidarity with the Palestinians. (See January 17 release, "Building
Bridges, Not Walls.")
Saturday January 10, 2004
Gish and the Jewish visitors returned to Hebron after spending a night with
a farming family in the Beqa'a Valley. Israeli soldiers at the closest gate
into the Old City would not let the group back in because they were Jewish.
So the group walked down Shuhada Street to the next gate into the Old City,
where they had no trouble getting in.
Gish and Art Arbour visited an Israeli family living in a settlement on the
outskirts of Hebron. The settlers told the CPTers, "We want peace, but they
don't want peace. They are trying to take everything from us. We are good.
They are bad." Family members saw little hope for peace. The only hope in
their view is "to remove the Arabs."
Sunday January 11, 2004
CPTers had lunch with a long time friend of who has recently opened the
"Ibrahimi Center for Social Development, which offers a number of programs
for the Old City's young people: 1) four hours of kindergarten currently
serving twenty-two students,
2) psychological counseling for children and women under stress from the
rigors of the occupation,3) literacy training, 4) after school tutoring for
approximately eighty students eight to fourteen years old. CPT's friend also
plans when feasible to include English as a second language instruction for
secondary school students, and also a small business project for Old City
Monday January 12, 2004
CPTers met with Nafez Assaily who co-founded with Mubarak Awad, the
Palestine Institute For The Study Of Nonviolence, and then went on to found
a successor organization, Library on Wheels For Nonviolence and Peace in
Hebron. He described LOWNP's latest programs: 1) producing five new children
's books on nonviolence traditions in Islam, 2) creating and implementing a
program in which older youngsters, after being given nonviolence training
will then pass what they learned to younger "street" kids.
Assaily added that while he can forgive the Israelis for shooting him in the
eye, for stealing his father's land (which lies close to the Israeli
settlement of Harsina), for putting himin prison, he finds it difficult to
forgive the Israelis for causing Palestinian youth to become suicide
bombers. "Without the occupation," he said, "there would be no suicide
Jack and Diane Janzen walking in Upper Shalaileh Street found that a large
ten foot by ten foott section of the wire mesh installed above the street to
protect Palestinians from Beit Hadassah residents had been completely
destroyed. Settlers from Beit Hadassah pelt resident with refuse and drop
heavy objects from above from the settlement, which sits on top of
Gish in the course of visiting with a local Palestinian asked him if he sees
any hope. The man replied, "It is too terrible to admit there is no hope. I
see no hope except for my faith in God. Everything gets worse. The Israelis
intend to take everything."
Tuesday January 13, 2004
Gish talked with a local Palestinian official who confided that she enjoys
reading CPT releases. They are better than newspaper articles, she said,
because they have an unusual personal dimension and send a message of hope.
Referring to the deterioration of the movement toward a two state solution,
the person said that she would rather live under occupation than under one
of the latest ideas being floated by Israelis: a single Israeli state in
which Palestinians would be encircled and restricted to small cantons, with
most of their land remaining firmly in Israeli hands.