AT-TUWANI BLOG: "Palestinians are grazing in places they haven't set foot in years"
2 May 2007
AT-TUWANI BLOG: "Palestinians are grazing in places they haven't set foot in
[NOTE: The following blog entries by CPTer Heidi Schramm have been edited
for length. To see her original entries and accompanying photos go to
4th March 2007
I've been thinking a lot about what it is that I am doing here, and I
worry that this work is creating a sort of stalemate. The settlers are
lying low, but they are still here. There is no pressing need for Israel
to evacuate the outpost, let alone the major settlements in the area, as
long as things are reasonably quiet. Unfortunately, there is no public
outcry when children (and internationals) aren't being attacked. Without
that pressing need, the government and military can continue to put off
making decisions indefinitely. And while they do that, the settlers
become more established. Look at the settlement block east of Jerusalem;
it is not just right-wing Zionists who are now saying these settlements
"are Israel" and must be on the Israeli side of any future border. It is
the predominant opinion. It only got to be that way because the
government intentionally neglected to take a stand, for or against, the
settlement movement, allowing the radical factions to create the facts
that are assumed today. And this is now happening within the occupation as
a whole. It has become accepted that this is how it is and how it must be.
And for all the speaking out I do against this occupation, I can't help
but feel like I'm playing too big of a role in its continuation. Scanning
through past entries, I see that I consider days when the settlers stay in
the outpost to be "good" ones. But these people shouldn't be here at all,
and I cannot allow myself to lose sight of that. They live on land owned
by a man from Tuba; not in Israel.
7th March 2007
We went out near the Avigail outpost today because settlers were grazing
their horses in a Palestinian wheat field. They did an incredible amount
of damage in the few hours they were there. We are approaching harvest
time here, and the wheat has finally begun to grow, so there is no chance
that it can recover from the damage before it is time to pick. The
landowner called the police and was told he had to come in to the station
near Hebron to file a complaint. So he and a few family members went.
After being made to wait for a few hours they were told to come back with
evidence. Naturally, this is where we come in. It was late by the time we
got back, so we uploaded the video, made some DVDs and they will return to
the station tomorrow.
Our days have been full but relatively calm. I spend most of my time
honing my shepherding skills and have even, on occasion, been charged with
the task of retrieving sheep that wander away from the flock. The settlers
have been out but not pushing much. The truth is, they have access to
less land today than ever before. The Palestinians are grazing in places
they haven't set foot in years. And the police and soldiers are allowing it.
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