Institut für Palästinakunde
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The pain I feel as I leave the house today - The story of Palestine. The unthinkable happens, and we are used to it [07.10.2011]

The story of Palestine. The unthinkable happens, and we are used to it On Monday, the occupation forces uprooted over a hundred trees in al Wallaje to make more room for the illegal Apartheid Wall. In the so-called "Jerusalem side", these were pretty much the last trees standing on its designated route.

I hoped to write a bit more about this, but just don't get down to orgaize my thoughts.

We've known for a while that they are building the cruel Apartheid Wall all around the populated areas of al Wallaje, we've been at demonstrations, at events, we talk and write and email about this, it's not new. It's an ongoing atrocity happening a few minutes away from me, and I rarely have the heart to go see it happening.

When Anne told me they had uprooted many trees (and there were really few reactions from our side), sure, I felt sad, angry, etc. - the daily feelings around here. But when the next day (Tuesday), I went back with her ... I broke down crying. Knowing about it is one thing, seeing it... One thing that struck me is what is one of the most terrible, most cruel aspects of this ongoing ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine: While we talk, while we resist, while we try to come up with more efficient ways to stop this, the Zionist regime continues to create those FACTS on the ground. When they announce they will, it sounds ludicrous, outrageous, there is this strong sense of "but they can't! this is too much! surely they can't!" and we resist. But then, they go ahead and suddenly what they created appears almost irreversable. If you are in Abu Dis or in Bethlehem, do you really still feel the outrage at the Apartheid Wall cutting through the community? Do you really understand that until this monstrosity came along, our friends from the West Bank went shopping in al Quds and it was something very ordinairy? Are we still aware that this disgusting regime and its spreading practices WERE NOT THINKABLE BEFORE THEY HAPPENED?

When I arrived on Tuesday in al Wallaje, I struggled to wrap my mind around the fact that only a day before, this place had looked so differently. It was really difficult to understand that this "road" lying so securely in front of me had not been there for ages. It was there and it hadn't been there the day before.

I broke down crying when I remembered that only in december, we removed the signs that indicated where this monstrous route would run through the village.

I broke down after I asked Issa, the 50something land owner who sat at the spring looking down at the vast and beautiful land sloping down in front of him, whether he had any lands left, and he said "no, it's finished, we're saying goodbye to our lands now".

We sat there for a bit and watched as a herd of sheep grazed on the leaves of the branches of his trees that the army had left lying around - most of the actual trees, they had replanted on an adjacent land, someone else's land, presumably to avoid another "graveyard of trees" for journalists to film and photograph. It didn't matter any more. Issa's grandson, a mere child, was cutting off smaller branches and carrying them on a pile in an attempt to save something.

The story of Palestine. The unthinkable happens, and we are used to it.

When you sit at the spring and look over all that beautiful land, you CANNOT imagine that concrete monster that is planned to cut all that beauty of. But I know, one day, I will stand in front of it, and have difficulty remembering that it hadn't been there, that it is reversable. I'm going to another demonstration now. I can't think of something else to do. But my heart is hurting.


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