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Come to Palestine: It's Hell

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  • Lou Morgan
    Palestine: It s HELL John Reese (peace activist from Seattle) As I sit here in my office there are guns and explosions going off around me. Bethlehem is being
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2002
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      Palestine: It's HELL
      John Reese (peace activist from Seattle)

      As I sit here in my office there are guns and
      explosions going off
      around me. Bethlehem is being re-re-re-re-invaded and
      more houses
      are, once again, threatened to be blown up by the
      Israeli Occupation
      Force. Three homes were blown up yesterday and five
      more today.
      Nablus is under curfew with more houses occupied then
      any time in the
      6 months that I have been here (somewhere around 50
      homes). Gaza is
      recovering from its latest bombing attack. Twelve
      homes where we
      were hoping to get people (if we had enough) have all
      been blown up.
      Five people were killed in Tulkarem on Thursday
      including one 12 year-
      old boy. Yesterday morning a friend of mine was shot
      in the leg by
      the IOF in Jenin refugee camp when she went to check
      on children
      being shot at by the IOF. An hour earlier an 11
      year-old child had
      been shot and killed. And all the usual continues -
      the property
      confiscation, t he beatings, the restrictions on
      travel, the
      humiliating treatment at checkpoints, etc....

      As I prepare to leave Palestine and begin my tour in
      the US I only
      hope that as I go from city to city I can light some
      fire in people.
      Perhaps something that I say or pictures that I show
      will motivate
      people to come here. At the same time I wonder why on
      earth would
      anyone want to come here? It is, as my soon to be
      seventh month of
      being here can attest, HELL here. I have smelled
      death, seen the
      injured, been shot at, seen people kicked and beaten
      and seen the
      bodies of those killed. I have lived with sewage,
      piles of garbage,
      drank and bathed in contaminated water, been shoved
      and attacked by
      soldiers, been harassed and suffered their attempts at
      humiliation
      directed at me. Mostly though I have felt helpless -
      helpless as I
      hear the stories of humiliation, beatings, death and
      destruction.
      I do have hopes though. I hope that the nonviolent
      direct action
      movement expands - both within the Palestinians and in
      the number of
      internationals that come. I believe that Palestine is
      ripe for a
      nonviolent direct action movement. I can see it
      slowly growing and
      there is hope it will get bigger and more organized -
      and of course
      more effective. It is these hopes that motivates me
      to return here
      after my tour of the US. I truly believe that we can
      make a
      difference here.

      I have no doubt that our presence here has reduced the
      number of
      homes destroyed, the children beaten and the people
      killed. We have
      helped children get to school, taken food to those in
      occupied homes,
      made sure that water could be transported to those
      villages without,
      ridden in ambulances, and escorted sick and elderly
      across
      checkpoints. None of this would have happened without
      an
      international presence. Had we not been here quite
      the contrary
      would have happened.

      It is not really that anyone would WANT to come here.
      They have to
      be motivated. Something has to move them. It is
      something they hear
      from someone who has been here or perhaps it is
      something that they
      see. For me, I had just had enough of the US
      government trying to
      annihilate more people. Even though the weapons that
      we sell to
      Israel are only supposed to be used in defense I don't
      see how any of
      what they do is defensive. It is not the Israeli
      Defense Force but
      an illegal Israeli Occupation Force, supplied by a
      country that knows
      exactly what it is doing - getting someone else to
      annihilate more
      people so they can maintain their planetary-wide
      control. So I had
      to come here to speak out about what our government is
      doing and try
      to reduce the effect of our government's misguided
      policies.
      Sometimes I think fleetingly after a demo or seeing
      some form of
      injustice, "well tonight I'll go home and watch some
      TV and escape."
      But I have no TV and at best I must walk through the
      garbage heaps
      and step over sewage running through the streets. At
      worst I will
      see someone being shot or beaten or a home blown up or
      a tank firing
      into a crowd of men, women and children.

      I only hope that while I am gone someone will be here
      to help keep
      their lands from being taken, their homes from being
      destroyed. I
      hope that those whom I have met will still be alive
      when I return. I
      hope that somehow I can motivate you to come here and
      help. Can you
      hear the call? Please answer it by coming to
      Palestine. If you
      can't come maybe you can help send someone here.
      Maybe you can help
      fund me for my next trip here or others that are
      willing to come.
      For the sake of the men, women and children of
      Palestine won't you
      please help put an end to this HELL?

      For pictures from Palestine go to:
      http://www.seattlecan.org/ To call
      me from the US: 011 972 67 479 167, 011 972 59 307 081
      or 011 972 52
      693 433. From Palestine: 067 479 167, 059 307 081 or
      052 693 433



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