A meeting in Hares to promote the monitoring of Jewish terror
Riki and I came to I.’s home in Hares on Monday. He was born there and has always lived in Hares. He knows the region thoroughly. We are connected for the past four years, and has been a great help in our studying the maqams (sites sacred for Palestinians).
His friendly welcome has made conversation easier around the issue that has preoccupied us: how are we to develop together a more systematic and effective reaction to the increasing and growing attacks by Jewish settler-colonists against Palestinian villages?
He is closely familiar with Israeli anti-occupation organizations. He speaks Hebrew and nothing is strange to him in this regard. He is active in Social Dharma and believes in non-violent resistance of the violent Israeli occupation of Palestine. The question in Dharma is how not to become violent in one’s repeated encounter with violence. This question is most relevant for us as well.
The purpose that we share with I. is to try not to allow the settler-colonists’ attacks to go unnoticed, unheard and unwitnessed.
The questions we looked at with him were on the practical level: how he thinks we should develop our cooperation? What part he would wish to take in it? How do we use the information we receive?
- He knows most of the villages around Salfit (23), has contacts with acquaintances there to be in the picture in real time. This is not simple because most of the farming attacks take place in the dark and their results show up in the morning, at the earliest. Information would be transmitted through phones and Facebook.
- He will pass on to us (for the time being, to me) information which we will immediately post on Machsomwatch email.
- Machsomwatch teams that happen to be nearby or are planning to come on the next day would take this information in consideration and go to the site at hand to show solidarity, document and interview people if at all possible.
- We shall create a database on attacks, location and results. This database would not only depend on visits but also information coming in various ways from Palestinians (including the rich information translated form Arabic by Tamar Goldschmidgt on Facebook). Such database, if credible and ongoing, could be an effective tool for resistance against the occupation. Its advantage is not being totally dependent on our modest ability to reach every site.
The settler-colonists call their criminal activity in the Palestinian villages tag mechir – Hebrew for “price tag”. This is a base and sophisticated slogan that presents them as victims who are responding rather than initiating attacks. They spray this slogan on cars and walls of village houses, regardless of whether the wall is of a mosque or a private home or yard, and this is their way of punishing and warning Palestinians in a circle that is closing in increasingly. Will be manage to make a crack in it, refute it?
In addition, our friend told us of about 200 houses in Hares (Area C) built without a construction permit – that are now undergoing a long and complicated process of official legitimization, together with the Palestinian Authority. Let us hope they succeed!