A Letter from Birzeit University

Usually we are not informed a priori of what the Israeli government plans to do with us. However, today informing us is apparently part of their terror campaign. I am now at the University but we will probably be leaving early as all Palestinian governmental agencies have evacuated their office and internationals in the Ramallah area have been told to leave the area immediately.

Reports are rampant, breaking news that there is a planned incursion, occupation, total destruction… who knows of Ramallah and so we have to act and act quickly. I am generally a calm person who deals well under pressure. From the instance we received the news we have printing documents, saving others on floppy diskettes, sending ourselves emails with attachments in order to ensure that we can carry out some activities from our houses if need be.

As I save my documents and collect my papers and try to maintain this outward calm, my stomach is turning, my fingers are shaking and thoughts are swirling through my head. Thousands of students are walking around the campus trying to figure out what is going to happen.

Faculty and staff are calling to see what we are going to do. Family members are asking about our safety and trying to get provisions for what seems will be a long stay at home and everyone is wondering what are the “smart measures” that Sharon intends. I think this is part of it. The fear that is within each of us, the terror of not knowing, not being able to plan or make a decision is part of this process. There are too many indicators that this is not a false alarm.

If this is not terror than I don’t know what is and I don’t know what more we can say or do. I don’t mean to worry you, just inform you of what we are going through and ask you to inform others. Finally, while I hope to continue to be in touch via email, please keep in mind that I may be out of touch for a while. Hopefully, Sharon’s terror campaign will end with just this threat. Hopefully, we will be able to come to the University on Saturday and all these files we saved will not be necessary.

Hopefully, some day the world will wake up and say what is happening is wrong and we will be able to keep working and studying and moving freely with no constraints and no fear.