Zeita, Women’s Club, 4.2.13
A wonderfully sunny day shone on Zeita’s enchanted landscape. Olive trees, almond trees, blue skies. Schools are open. Fewer women showed up at the club. Some of those absent are ill, others – who knows?
Everyone greatly enjoyed the classes.
After the prayers at the mosque were over we sat and talked with a few of the women in the mosque’s plaza. They told us where they and their families came from. Some of their families had fled from Israel in 1948; they didn’t conceal their opinion of “the Jews.” Listening to them, we learn about a’adat and taqlid (customs and traditions) they follow – for example, that devout Moslem women fast twice a week, on Monday and Thursday, between morning and evening prayer, out of devotion, to purify the soul and to attain paradise. Yes. We’re certainly getting to know each other. It’s easier for people to change their attitudes after they’ve met each other. Reciprocity isn’t easy when circumstances make it very difficult to accomplish, but women’s curiosity is definitely mutual.
And with regard to the on-line discussion: I think that what’s most important about going to the checkpoints is to keep in contact with people we’ve been privileged to meet, learn not to be afraid, see them as close neighbors, learn their language, understand their culture, that they’re part of us and we’re part of them.
What was missing in particular at the checkpoints was contact with women. Most of our contact was with Hebrew-speaking Palestinian men going through the checkpoints. The women were always “the mute/missing other.”
As the number of checkpoints declined Machsom Watch members found various new ways to act, but haven’t yet discovered how best to end the occupation, to make the settlements evaporate or make soldiers put flowers in the muzzles of their guns.