About this Blog

"Ordinary People" is something of an intentional misnomer. I live and work with Palestinians practicing nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. They are doing things that are hardly "ordinary": committing themselves to active nonviolence and to loving their enemies -- following the commands of One who was anything but ordinary. And yet, the Palestinians with whom I work are also very ordinary -- they are not some kind of spiritual superheroes/superheroines who do things most folks can't do. They are simply ordinary people daily committing themselves to living a higher calling -- a calling of love and active nonviolence.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Camp in At-Tuwani (Part Two: Nonviolent Resistance a Success!)

So, the Palestinian villagers in the South Hebron Hills responded to the frequent Israeli settler attacks on the Palestinian children, and the Israeli military’s refusal to ensure the safety of these children.

They responded nonviolently. They organized a march.

They, the Palestinians, walked their children home from camp.

Here is an excerpt from the release we sent out about the march:

“On August 2nd, more than one hundred Palestinian children and their parents from the South Hebron Hills marched from the village of At-Tuwani to Tuba, calling for an end to settler violence and expansion in the area. In a major success for the area, the children and their parents took the most direct path to the village of Tuba. For the past eleven years, school children escorted by the Israeli military have been the only Palestinians able to use this road. Palestinians parents organized the march to call attention to the violence faced by schoolchildren, the failure of the Israeli army to protect them and the effects of Israeli settlement expansion. The march was a part of the annual South Hebron Hills summer camp for children.

The march initially attempted to take the path that children use when unaccompanied by the Israeli military, around the illegal Israeli settlement outpost Havot Ma’on. The Israeli military declared the whole area a closed military zone and restrained the march with force, targeting leaders. Soldiers attacked and tried to arrest a Palestinian man. When a CPTer intervened, they knocked them both down and started choking the CPTer, but marchers nonviolently intervened and stopped the attack. One Israeli and one international member of Operation Dove were arrested. Palestinian organizers negotiated with the Israeli military and it was decided that the Israeli military would accompany the children and parents on the short path, using the road between Ma’on settlement and Havot Ma’on. A large group of settlers left Ma’on and harassed the marchers. A smaller group of settlers followed directly behind the marchers, but Israeli military and police prevented them from attacking the group. One village elder accompanying the children walked this road for the first time in years. Surprised by the settlement expansion, she shared with a soldier about how she plowed this land years ago.

Participating in the march were children from the villages of Tuba and Maghaer Al-Abeed who have been regularly attacked by Israeli settlers as they walked to primary school in At-Tuwani.”

P.S. What did you do when you were in summer camp? Was participating in nonviolent resistance part of camp?

I love the Palestinians here. They are some of the most amazing people. Ever.

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