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.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Same Story, Different Voices

Not too long ago I came across this article from the UK news source The Guardian. It contains the reflections and stories from a Jewish man's time spent in the Israeli military. Here's just one story:
My friend Shai, who was assigned to accompany two prisoners en route to Shin Bet interrogators, told me that the interrogators ordered the soldiers to finish their meals and put the remains from the plates into a sandwich for the Palestinians. Shai refused - "Are we Nazis?" - and gave them half his meal. He also told me that when the Palestinians offered some of the food back to the soldiers, the Shin Bet men tossed it out the window, saying, "Don't eat food after an Arab's touched it."
This is mild as far as stories go, but it reveals the depth of racism inherent in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

It was an interesting article to me, because I find myself often wondering what is going through the minds of these Israeli soldiers as they force Palestinian shepherds off their land, harass Palestinians at checkpoints, and refuse to escort Palestinian children to school (and the children are attacked by Israeli settlers as a result.)

If you're interested in leaning more in the same vein, I'd highly recommend you visit the website of Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that collects testimonies of soldiers who have served in Israeli military in its occupation of Palestine.

The amount of good documentation and information of human rights abuses committed by Israeli occupation of Palestine is incredible. This information comes from such a variety of sources, as well: Palestinian, Israeli, and international. Yet the world continues to turn a blind eye and stand idly by in the face of such incredible injustice.

This fact so deeply troubles me. But I suppose it's best not to think about it too much.

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