In every corner of every street,
cameras watch your every move —
the Israeli police seeking the omniscience
that once only god could claim.
In every corner of every street,
On a walk through Deheisheh Refugee Camp, a target of many Israeli attacks and an even greater target of psychological warfare, I was greeted enthusiastically by no fewer than 20 young children and 10 adults. Back home in New York, that’s unfathomable.Read More
Ours is an environmental delegation so it is natural that we should have visited as many as six farms during our tour of Palestine. Farmers anywhere will tell you of their difficulties - the price of seed and feed, the price they can make in the market, and the vagaries of the weather. All this and more is sent to try the farmers of Palestine.Read More
And what can be said of the actual olive harvest, an opportunity to touch, to commune with, to bear witness to spirit trees that are hundreds of years old, some even thousands of years old! I traveled back in time to places that I had read about, to peoples that existed in ancient times and felt connected to the land and to humanity.Read More
Eyewitness Palestine partners with Canaan Fair Trade to make high-quality fair trade Palestinian products available throughout North America. Your purchase support Palestinian farmers and strengthens our work with fair trade farming communities!Read More
We were fortunate to participate in the harvesting of olives. Our group was welcomed warmly as we walked to a stand of trees, where men and women had gathered to tend to the various tasks of the day. Black tarps were laid upon the ground under the trees to collect the olives picked or shaken off of the branches.Read More
After some hours of beating the branches, picking, gathering and filling buckets and sacks of green and black olives, we take a break enjoying soup and a rice dish. Summers have become drier, the fresh leaves a little more brittle and the olives less plump than in former times. No wells are permitted and water from tankers is very expensive.Read More
Watch members of Eyewitness Palestine's Environmental Justice and Olive Harvest Delegation celebrate the Olive Harvest with the Farmers of Canaan Palestine. Click here for to watch video of the dancing and celebrating!
It was a perfectly beautiful day. We were greeted by a lovely Palestinian woman who gave our delegation a tour of Canaan where olive oil and spices are sold and where the factory which produces olive oil is housed.Read More
Palestinian olive trees are repeatedly planted and destroyed, harvested and bulldozed; Israeli settlers dispose of their trash on Palestinians in hope of making their lives hell; and security is everywhere from public spaces such as airports and streets and private spaces such as farms and homes.Read More
Practically everywhere we traveled in the West Bank we heard about a water crisis that has forced farmers off their land. Farm land which has not been cultivated for three consecutive years is considered neglected and can be seized by Israel and turned into ‘State Land.’Read More
It was dark, a dusty parking lot full of so many cars, bustling with people parking, taxis, man after man shuffling from the gravel road into the super crowded market outside the terminal, a mix of darkness, fire and flames, amazing smells of kebab and eggplant cooking, thousands of men moving through and grabbing coffees and teas and snacks before filing into this horrible metal cage.Read More
Hearing Abed’s account, I imagined Kafka writing a story called “Jaffa.” The main character, let’s call him Omar, wakes up for work one morning and finds himself in the wrong house, a cramped home in the ghetto where he’s sharing his house with a strange European, perhaps someone who killed his nephew in combat last week.Read More
Among the ghosts are families that have lived there for generations, forced out after their houses have been destroyed for being built without the permits that Israel refuses to give. They are left with their memories of life in a once-vibrant city they can no longer enter, and a huge bill to cover the costs of the destruction of their homes.Read More
Pilgrims flock from all over the world
to this holy city in this holy land,
to walk with their savior walked,
to pray where their prophet prayed,
Imagine yourself drinking coffee at your favorite neighborhood spot. It’s 1947 in the Palestinian village of Lifta. Sipping your coffee and looking out over Lifta, you see buildings clustered along foot paths and narrow staircases. The homes are made of golden stone, and they climb the gentle slopes of a valley near Jerusalem.Read More
In 1947 my grandmother, Mamo, was 14 years old. She was in high school, in Whittier, California. 85,331 people lived in Whittier. Mamo had slumber parties with her best friends and rode her bike everywhere. She went to parties on the beach and rode horses in the hills. She worked at a little corner grocery store stocking shelves.Read More
The Right of Return
is only accessed through death.
Who haunts these places?
Thinking about the preservation of memory and what happens when that connection severs. Umar, our guide, walking us step by step over the rocky terrain of Lifta, explaining how each disappeared village is meticulously recorded, preserved, named once again. They become, again, dots on a map, destinations now accessible by internet.Read More
We visited the site of Lifta, one of over 500 localities from which Palestinians were expelled by force in 1947-48. Lifta is unique or nearly unique in that the broken shells of the stone houses still stand. The Israeli government has established the area as a nature preserve, one of many tactics to erase the history of this occupied land.Read More