Graffiti on the Wall at Qualandya

I’d already come across the Israeli organisation Machsom Watch in Tulkarem, but here we see them a lot more. These women go to West Bank checkpoints to monitor their own soldiers’ behaviour. Some of them say they don’t do it to uphold Palestinian rights but to stop the degeneration of their own society that occupation brings. I think they’re altruistic and brave all the same, and I hope to get to know some of them personally. School starts on September 1, so I’ve still to see what happens when hundreds of children join the melee. And before that, Ramadan started last Graffiti on the Wall at Qualandya weekend. Fridays of Ramadan are the worse time of the year at checkpoints into Jerusalem. Think of me, and think of the thousands trying to get through to pray at the Al Aqsa mosque.

Before I sign off, a word about my colleagues. Anyone who has worked in a team knows how hard it is to form a functional working group from disparate individuals no matter how nice, well-intentioned and committed they are (or they wouldn’t be here.) Even in this context our team faces certain challenges: a beautiful, intelligent but somewhat impatient Swedish political scientist; a hermetic South African pastor, an idiosyncratic young Italian Swiss graffiti artist; and me, an overbearing wrinkly with the awful English penchant for heavy irony which others may find offensive. How will we bond? Watch this space…

Remember my last journals? My shock at the injustice here, my anger at myself for knowing so little, and my disbelief that the West could have ignored it for so long? This indignation stayed with me during four years of advocacy. However, time takes it toll and, although the situation for Palestinians inside Jerusalem, and those shut out of their Holy City by the Wall, is much, much worse now, I am no longer shocked, it is all too familiar. So, I need to find another voice. Come and help me find it, come and visit me, any of you, all of you. Come for olive picking See for yourselves. Seeing is believing. Send this to anyone open-minded.

How I miss gorgeous Rafa, Lilla and Violette

Love to everybody, Ann

I was sent by Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) to participate in the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). The views contained herein are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of QPSW or the WCC. If you would like to publish the information contained here or disseminate it further, please first contact the EAPPI Coordination (eappi-co@jrol.com) for permission.

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