Dear Machsom Watch women,
Yesterday we participated in a tour led by Anat Shafir. It was both instructive and depressing.
We want to express our great appreciation to Anat. She did an excellent job – her explanations were fluent, to the point, comprehensive and thorough. She handled the participants in an exemplary manner. We wish particularly to mention the effective way she dealt with the soldiers at the Huwwara checkpoint – assertively, but with consideration.
To her, and all of you, we say: Well done!
We’ll be happy to receive more information, to participate in, tell friends about and help your just, appropriate and moving struggle.
First of all I want to thank you for your guidance during the tour. I believe that things said from the heart reaches the heart directly, and your words, throughout the whole tour, penetrated deep into my heart.
The way you coped during the "ordered" moments deeply impressed me, your patience, gentleness, relaxed ton of voice. I have a long way to learn and advance.
John Lennon Sings: "Living is easy with eyes closed" my eyes were never closed but now they are wide open with huge amazement at the way we live with the immense injustice we are responsible for.
I am not the same person after this tour. I don't want to come up with big declarations since acts speak louder than words. Meanwhile I collect clothes to pass on to the people of Jayus with Eli''s help.
"One has to do for others and not turn a blind eye. If one sees a fire he must try and extinguish it, if he doesn't have a bucket of water, he may use a cup, if one has no cup, he has a tablespoon, and if he doesn't have a tablespoon - then he has a teaspoon." Amos Oz.
With love and great admiration,
Our tour of the seam zone and checkpoints in the central West Bank has changed our understanding of what it’s like in the occupied territories, in particular because of what we experienced there. Apparently you have to see for yourself.
Pitzi guided the tour and provided information professionally, comprehensively and even-handedly. I was very impressed by her ability to navigate the fine line between the mixture of fear and national pride every Israeli feels when dealing with security issues, and understanding and empathy regarding the Palestinians’ daily lives.
It was moving and unnerving to meet residents of the occupied territories. And it was also frustrating to be unable to alter the reality (???).
So…first of all, I want to thank you for your efforts, and ask you to thank Pitzi for us. And second, if you have a project or a challenge with which you need help/assistance – let us know.
We’ve very supportive of, and sympathetic to your struggle – we’re with you…
(translated by Charles K.)
I would like to thank you for the interesting, comprehensive and meaningful tour you led on Oct 14.
Every site we visited introduced us to a new and important aspect of the effect of the Israeli occupation on the lives of Palestinians. Your knowledge, professionalism and the clarity of your presentation were all outstanding!
Even though I've lived in Israel for 40 years and consider myself a "news addict", I still learned a lot from the tour about the methods and effects of the creeping annexation of the West Bank by Israeli settlers.
Our face-to-face meetings with various Palestinians allowed for free discussion of all the difficult issues.
I would like to explore what possibilities there may be for me to volunteer for Machsom Watch. Perhaps I could talk to one of your active volunteer?
All the best,
I want to give you some of my impressions of the tour in Jerusalem on 21.12.13. Machsom Watch’s activity is, on the one hand, a sacred endeavor, and, on the other hand, does Israel an injustice. The fact that a mature person stands at the checkpoints, trying to insure that they operate appropriately, ethically, that basic human rights are not violated, is very worthy and very good for Israel. But, on the other hand, you publish your photographs and show them to the media in Israel and abroad, though Israel has been vilified for a long time even without your efforts. Don’t forget the lynch in Ramallah when you show the Qalandiya checkpoint, because the lynch demonstrates that every passerby seeks our sons’ blood. Don’t forget, as you show the checkpoints, all the bereaved families mourning their relatives - how their lives have become joyless. Think about the possible consequences of the material you publish, about the pressure and the sanctions that the UN could impose on Israel, think about what crossing permits could lead to. When you show the areas Israel annexed think about where your children and grandchildren will live, where they would be able to buy an apartment in Israel. And after you remember all that - your work is truly worthy of admiration, the fact you rise so early to uphold human rights. Remember, because you’re truly compassionate women, the suffering of your own people, and don’t be so angry at those young, inexperienced soldiers standing there for hours, at all hours of the day and night. Remember, above all, to do what’s best for Israel - and, in fact, when you notice inhumane treatment of minorities by the authorities, that’s very helpful to Israel. But you should first notify the Israeli authorities, and only then, if the problem persists, publicize it more widely so that others may respond.
Thank you for hearing me out. I wanted to express this after the tour, which was extremely interesting and educational.
Translated by Charles K.
We just wish to let you know how much we enjoyed and appreciated the West Bank Tour on 21 December.
Without feeling bombarded by information overload, we learned a great deal about the current situation and we were most impressed with all your hard work, careful organisation, and perseverance in arranging for the people whom we met in the West Bank to speak to our group.
Your knowledge is encyclopaedic, and we feel strongly that both Israelis and visitors should all experience your West Bank tour.
Your dedication to the cause of reconciliation and peaceful co-existence should be an inspiration to everyone.
With all good wishes,
Nina-Anne Kaye and John Stevens.
Boker tov, Daniela,
Yesterday was an important, sad, and upsetting day. Yet your brilliant leadership — humor, intellect, patience, passionate belief in human rights for all creatures, and love of your homeland helped reframe the experience from total despair to understanding, bridge building, and glimmers of hope for change. Claudio and I have been on related tours, and this was the first where the leader was not pushing an agenda with eyes that can only see a black-and-white world. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, "Some are guilty, all are responsible." I think this principle drives MachsomWatch.
Hi Daniela and Alix,
I want to say thank you again !
It was a great moment in my life ... a day with you [ the tour in the West Bank], for understanding your reality ( the reality of the world ).
You are so brave ...
Here’s an opportunity to thank you publicly. Your work is holy, and you give us, too, hope that something can be done. I was impressed by the calm, matter-of-fact and devoted manner in which you led the tour. Your presence, your commitment – the moral stance and maturity that come from age and from life experience. I look up to you.
One of Grimm’s well-known fables, The Frog King, tells of Heinrich, the faithful servant of the young prince, who preserves in his heart the prince’s human aspect until the spell that turned his lord into a frog is broken; until then he binds it with three iron bands to keep it from bursting in pain. When the prince is feed from the spell his joy shatters them.
When the tour ended, I thought: You’re preserving our humanity until the country wakes from the spell it’s under.
Regarding your comment about young people – I believe that educating the young to behave morally is a political act – and not only here, not only now.
With deep respect,
The tour was very professionally organised and conducted, your briefings were enormously profound and thus interesting. Thank you so very much! I wish you and all your colleagues good luck with your endeauvors!
All the very best - shabat shalom