Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Listening to the voices ...

  • Israeli authorities come unannounced twice a year to inspect my books. If they find something unrecorded, I can be in big trouble (owner/manager of a grill on Salah ad Din)
  • I keep fat files of receipts (electricity, water, rent ...) to prove my Jerusalem residence to Israeli authorities; without them, they can deport me (Palestinian friend living in Beit Hanina)
  • As he flips through the book detected in my luggage, Palestine Monitor Factbook 2012, Where did you get this? Salah ad Din? Where is that? Oh, okay. Have a nice trip. (Security personnel at Ben Gurion)
  • I came back through Ben Gurion last night from meetings in Canada, was pulled out of line and strip searched (Palestinian Anglican dean of St. George's Cathedral)
  • Israel needs its security - they just need to be nicer at the checkpoints; they can keep the wall - they just need to keep passage through it more open; they can keep Jerusalem - they just need to give us all access (Palestinian pastor of an Anglican church on the West Bank)
  • What was most painful was when they built the wall down the middle of our street, dividing my best girlfriend - whose home was just across the street - and me. (23 year old Palestinian woman)
  • Yeah, Jimmy Carter did visit me after the Israelis demolished my home ... but we talked mainly about music. (Palestinian musician at The Jerusalem Hotel)
  • We are glad to have Christian tourists visit our village (about 500 a month). I just wish they would notice the three settlements and Israeli military base that surround us (Palestinian medical student in Taybeh)
  • What do I want you to tell Americans when you go home? Just tell them I'm a human (Palestinian neurosurgeon in Ramallah to American patient on whom he performed critical spinal surgery)
  • Tell them there is nothing Jewish about home demolitions, walls which divide, check point closures, confiscation of another's land, uprooting olive trees, seettler violence against unarmed farmers (Rami Elahan's answer when asked how to respond to groundless charges of anti-semitism)
  • A very prosperous Palestinian family was celebrating their daughter's 12th birthday with 25 extended family at the next table at an elegant East Jerusalem restaurant. And when they finished, another, equally prosperous, took their place. I could just as well have been in an upscale Chicago restaurant (this blogger)
  • Obama's visit in March was a joke. It was the language of partnership with Israel; with the Palestinians, it was 'take this $, and shut up' (Bethlehem Palestinian friend)
  • What do you want me to tell Americans when I go home? Tell them we're not terrorists; tell them to be fair; do the right thing - tell the truth; if American would say 'no' to Netanyahu, our situation would change overnight; peace does not come without justice; come visit us - see who we are and how we live (Palestinian answers to this blogger's question)
  • Few Palestinians trust the PA (Palestinian Authority) and their VIP leaders. The PA is doing Israel's job for them. (former PA staff) 
  • There is no reason for optimism, but I am confident I will see it in my lifetime; I will be able to walk to Gaza (Vivien Sansour, Bethlehem)
  • Jesus is a verb (Palestinian Christian)
  • How do you cope? How do you live with the hassle of occupation? My work (art therapy) is my hope. I pay no attention to politics; I go inside where I love the children I teach, the teachers I train, the friends I love. My 10 sisters and brothers would be here within three hours if I needed them. (Palestinian friend who will celebrate her 50th birthday on September 2)
  •  About a week ago they made me get out of my car, open the trunk and brought dogs to sniff the  car inside and out; it took a good half hour (Anglican bishop in Jerusalem on experience at check point returning to Jerusalem from Beit Jala)
  • The structure of Palestinian culture is breaking down. Palestinian parents invest everything in their children - raising, educating, launching them. Family bonds are strong. Then when the parents are old, the children take care of them. But that is less and less possible. There are so few opportunities for young Palestinians to build a life here (Jean Zaru, Palestinian Quaker in Ramallah)
  • Commenting on the confidential letter from President Gerald Ford to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, ... what it basically gives Israel is veto power over American proposals on the Palestinian issue; ...  (the U.S.) would refrain from putting forward anything that (Israel) found unsatisfactory (Rashid Khalidi in his 26 April interview with WBEZ's Jerome McDonnell on Khalidi's new book, Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East)
  • What you describe experiencing in East Jerusalem, Cotton, is called 'ethnic cleansing by bureaucracy' (A Palestinian American friend)
  • Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ  to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way .... (Collect for the Fifth Sunday of Easter)

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