Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No Words

I couldn't think of a title for this. Nothing really works. These links are to videos and stories concerning Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem. At some point, I'm going to write a story about my limited experience there. Last year, several Palestinian families were evicted from their generational homes so that Jewish settlers could move into the houses, part of an ongoing colonialism. The old Arab homes are now covered in Israeli flags and police and military are constantly present. Members of the Palestinian families now live on the street in tents to protest, but homelessness is conveniently illegal in Jerusalem. These people have been kicked out of their homes so that Jerusalem can be more Jewish. I have no words. Only nausea and tears. And little hope, because I don't know what hope is in these situations.

The Palestinian man with the big black beard is Nasser Gawi. He was kicked out the home in which he was born. And he lives on the street now. I've met him and talked with him. Here is the description of the video: "After verbal taunting, a settler in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah left the Gawi house which he and other settlers have occupied since August 2009. He descended the stairs with an M-16 and pushed a teenage boy. When neighborhood adults stepped in to protect the teenager, he pushed Nasser Gawi and then punched him. Seconds later the settler cocked his M-16 and pointed it wildly at the crowd that had gathered. In this video you can clearly see the first punch thrown by the settler and clearly hear the cock of his gun."

And here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_noYAfW7dm4

The second link is to a story about Sheikh Jarrah on the Palestine Monitor. Scroll down to the video that appears under 'Apathy and Dissent.' The video is of the nonviolent protests, led mostly by Israeli activists, that oppose the occupation of the Palestinian homes. I've attended one of these protests. The two men shouting throughout the video are also Israelis. Not everyone supports justice and peace and recognition of humanity.

Here is the link to the story: http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1247


  1. That video is nauseating, and I can only imagine the helplessness you must feel. That's only complicated by the article in the "Palestine Monitor."
    Israel/Palestine is divided along so many lines, I don't see how there can ever be reconciliation and peace. You've probably written about this before, but it seems to me that the divisions are more then religious - - they're social, racial, economic, national, and perhaps many more - - in other words, so multifaceted that how does one even begin?
    I believe Sam Harris (or perhaps Christopher Hitchens)said that if you took religion out of the equation, there would be no Palestine - Israel conflict. I agree with Robert Wright, The Evolution of God, that that isn't true. It's bigger and deeper than that.

  2. Michael (aka your brother)February 3, 2010 at 4:08 PM


  3. Indeed it is bigger. Harris, or Hitchens, really doesn't know what he's talking about. In every circumstance he tries to blame religion. And yes, often it can be blamed. But this conflict isn't religious. That's certainly a facet, but not even the major facet. Good and bad would happen without religion, just as it does with. Harris and Hitchens are modern fundamentalists who fall at the other side of a spectrum because they believe in that spectrum.

    I'm not sure what I think about peace either at times. But articles and videos like this do little to help.