TODAY WE WITNESSED
We have been hearing a lot about what is called 'fake news'. We have indeed been getting filtered and biased news for decades. But unfiltered news can be learned by eyewitness accounts today through the miracle of direct digital communication. The following is what our delegation witnessed today:
Today we witnessed... the results of the governmental gerrymandering regarding the obscene wall - 400 miles (650 kilometers) in length and 25 feet (8 meters) in height - that not only separates Palestinians from Israelis, but also separates Palestinians from Palestinians built by the Israeli government.
What happens when there is an impassable wall separating a business from the customers? The business cannot survive. What happens when school children loose 4 hours a day on a bus when it is a 10 minute walk from their home to their school on the other side of the wall? Once the residents are separated from their land, it is up for grabs by the state for some new park or a settlement. This tears at the fabric of a society.
We witnessed... that even though it is the responsibility of the Israeli government to provide utilities to the Palestinian civilians as well as the Israeli settlers, services such as trash disposal, running water, and sidewalks are denied to the taxpaying Palestinians while the Israeli settlers right next door have it all.
We witnessed... several Israeli flags flying at the windows of buildings in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian area. We even saw a few Israeli settlers standing on the balconies and roofs gazing out over their dominion which they acquired by deceit.
We witnessed... that if an Israeli settler can buy out a shareholder of a Palestinian asset, then he can declare that the other shareholders pose a threat to him so the government confiscates the Palestinian shares and the lone shareholder creates a new settlement.
We witnessed... two Israeli (easily identifiable by their clothing) bicyclists speeding through a busy open market scattering the people in their path. It was reminiscent of the days before the French Revolution when the aristocracy would drive their carriages through throngs of peasants without thought of injury or death. The attitude we saw was offensive.
There are many other things that we have not yet experienced, like the checkpoints. Those things will be forthcoming later. It is frustrating and tragic to see these people treated so poorly.
The status quo is not in the best interest of the Israelis nor the Palestinians.