I cannot avoid reading history over and over again. I am not thinking of recent history in former Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, or even apartheid South Africa, when listening to daily reports of what is happening around me. I am thinking of recent local and regional history.
“The Israeli police evacuates Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah”, I wrote on the website yesterday. It is a long complicated story. Imaan, a colleague, is willing to explain it to me. Last week she visited the families when they were still living in their homes.
Yesterday, a group of Palestinian children marched to UNDP’s and UNICEF’s Gaza Office to hold a peaceful demonstration. A delegate from the Young Journalist Club made a speech and handed out a manifesto in support of Palestinian children’s rights.
An ad inserted into the bottom of my TV screen during a soccer match reads “Violence does not win”. Yes, business here appears as usual again — the soccer league here is just about over, people are back in coffee shops and movie theaters, and the summer is fast approaching.
Here I am in the place where Jesus was born, now a most terrifying place. Monday last week we woke up at 1:00 A.M. I could hear bombing and shelling everywhere. At 4:00 I ran to my mother’s room and hid under her bed because the bombing was very close.
ISM volunteers Richard Johnson and Sofia Ahmed witnessed two young boys “blown up” in a small field in Jenin Camp yesterday. Sofia reports being only 40 meters away when something exploded. “Although we can’t be positive what it was that exploded, four days ago we saw Israeli soldiers on foot in the exact same place.”