As we hauled our tired bodies across miles of rock-strewn fields, our human cargo skipped effortlessly ahead of us, seemingly untroubled by either the exertion of the hike or the relentless heat of the mid-morning sun. The excitement of a day off school had lifted their spirits, as had the prospect of their weekly football practice in the village to which we were heading.Seth Freedman, writer for a UK newspaper called The Guardian, visited At-Tuwani recently. A friend kindly forwarded me the link to the full article he wrote. He provides a fresh perspective to the situation here in the South Hebron Hills. If you're interested in a clear, concise description of the Israeli Occupation in At-Tuwani and the surrounding villages, you would do well to read the full article.
The children flew along the torturous gradients as nimbly as the gazelles we'd encountered earlier on the trail, and – to the untrained eye – the walk through the stunning South Hebron Hills would have appeared utterly calm and carefree. However, that the pre-pubescent players required our accompaniment at all belied the seemingly benign nature of our journey. Were it not for the presence of the international activists, the likelihood of the children coming under attack from nearby [Israeli] settlers would have been too high to risk them setting off for Tuwani from the neighbouring hamlet of Tu'ba.... Grown men attacking defenceless children on their way to school is the stuff of nightmares, yet is a waking reality for dozens of youngsters forced to run the settler gauntlet every day.
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.