what is my role at a protest located at a Palestinian village? Am I an ally? an observer? a witness? a bystander? an ally?I often find myself caught in rage and frustration. I don't want to observe. I wish to resist the IOF with all I got. I follow my gut feeling, and this gut feeling doesn't always lead me into doing the most effective, right thing. As good as my intentions are, it doesn't mean my actions are always justified. My own sensitivity and anger fail me.
. I wish to detach myself from "my people"- the occupiers .I wish I would be treated just the same way the Palestinian people are being handled-but this never happens
If the Palestinians and myself are doing the same thing, say, standing on the road, the soldiers will ignore me, because as a white woman, I am not threatening them, or so they think. I wanted to scream: beat me the same way you beat my brothers in humanity.I wanted to be with the people of Masara with my body and my soul, to share their fate, their suffering, just because I am no better than them and deserve no better. It is the same blood that runs in our veins.
Today marks the 95th anniversary of Balfour declaration and I am sorry to confess only recently I learned how unfair it was, mostly by reading Phd. Ilan Pepe's book "The ethnic cleansing of Palestine". Palestine was never british land to partition according to their will, especially not bearing in mind that most of the lands designated to be "Jewish state" were owned and populated by the Palestinians.
This week, the Balfour declaration, the root of tragedy was brought up in speeches made by the Masra protesters. We managed to pass the soldiers' human blockade despite the heavy presence of armed soldiers and military vehicles. We took off to the road , and managed to march a few meters forwards before the soldiers reformed the blockade and started pushing us back. They let a bunch of us, mostly Israelis to go on forward, but instead, they targeted the local activists. "All of you can go, but not you, the guy with the blue shirt". I stood up between the man with the blue shirt and the soldiers. The soldiers said, this woman is a trouble maker, leave her. The man in the blue shirt said, thank you, you are a brave woman. Another person said I put myself at risk of getting arrested, an act that might have damaged other people than myself, and another one said I might have led the situation towards a dangerous escalation. With or without me, the Masara protesters courageously resisted being herded back into the village and stood still as the shielded soldiers, who got back-up in the meantime had to work hard shoving us. I felt a sense of resistance. I thought it was beautiful. The masara people, however didn't give up the Ghandish speeches despite the violent atmosphere the soldiers created. They spoke about human rights, dignity, the ugliness of the occupation and the resilience of the peaceful, non violent demonstration. At the end of the demonstration, they were singing "watani. watani". How can such beauty exist within the ugliness of martial regime? That is a human miracle.see more footage here