Joe Carr

From Hebron to Tel Aviv

CPTers have grown accustomed to just breezing through the Beit Romano Checkpoint in the Old City where we live. We pass through it regularly and usually without question. Some Palestinians who live in the area also have this privilege once the soldiers recognize them, however they are sometimes subject to detention and harassment. When the solider took my passport and ordered me to sit on the curb, I thought of the dozens of Palestinians I see detained here daily, and I sat down without argument. 

Diaries from Tuwani

Today we arose at 6am to go watch the children come to school. After repeated stone throwing, shouting, and threats by settlers, the children are taking the long way. They ride donkeys for two hours on the mountains around the settlement and outpost. We station ourselves along their path at strategic places where we can see both the children and the settlement. We would have time to act if settlers come out of the trees, we plan to draw them away from the children, call an Israeli activist friend who can mobilize the army and police, and then attempt to get space between the settlers and the trees so that they are more likely to be caught. This isn’t the best of plans, but every problem has a solution (kul mushkilah ilhaa hal), and this seems to be the best one for now. 

Hills of God

Many of the Muslims in Ramallah are secular; combine this with a load of young western liberals, and you get the Las Vegas of Palestine. Birzeit University is located just north of the city, and it is quite the college atmosphere. Bir Zeit in Arabic means “Wells of Olive Oil”, but in German it means “Beer Time”, and this is a more fitting description. Restaurants and bars line the streets, and young internationals and Palestinians wander around raising hell. It is here where the idea of throwing paint bombs at Israeli soldiers arose. Now one can frequently see Israeli jeeps driving by covered in bright pink paint, and no guard tower has escaped colorization by mischievous shebab (youth). 

Letter from Tuwani

Tuwani is a Palestinian village of 150 people in the southern Hebron hills of the West Bank. There are a dozen or so other villages in the area, even smaller than Tuwani. These villages have been on this land for over five hundred years, and have largly maintained their ancient way of life. They build their homes out of stones, with domed stone roofs, or they live in caves. In the 1980s, Israel began building settlments (or colonies) in these hills. They have systematically expanded them, confiscating more and more of these villages’ farm and grazing land. Some of the smaller villages have been destroyed entirely by the Israeli military or rampaging settlers. This simple and loving village of Tuwani has demolition orders on every house and building, including the recently built school and a partially built clinic. Joe Carr reports.