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Sun Jan 30 2011Tea and Tear Gas in Occupied Palestine
Sun Jan 30 2011Reports from the Occupied West Bank on the Struggle for Freedom and Justice
Dave Id writes: My traveling partner Tangle and I had the privilege of visiting Jerusalem and Palestine in December 2010. We met many kind and courageous people in the West Bank. We witnessed the hardships Palestinians face daily under the Israeli occupation. We saw how the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) react to those who dare to stand up, even peacefully, for the rights of their families and fellow villagers. We met Israeli and international solidarity activists willing to risk arrest and injury themselves. And we documented as much as we could during our relatively brief stay in the West Bank.
Everywhere we went, Palestinians were appreciative of our efforts to report out what's really happening in the West Bank, warmly welcoming us as supportive internationals. Everywhere we went, generous and gracious Palestinian families invited us into their homes and shared with us trays of hot tea, a social tradition in the region.
And everywhere we went in the West Bank that Palestinians and solidarity activists stood up for the rights of Palestinians to determine their own fate and to make use of their own lands, the IDF released an especially nasty form of tear gas to repel protesters. Sometimes the tear gas was fired into the middle of villages for no apparent reason at all.
Hence, from what I have now seen on a personal level, I've dubbed the occupied territories the Land of Tea and Tear Gas. The phrase captures both the extreme kindness of the Palestinians and the cruelty of the occupation.
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