This text came on Christmas Day, from David, who has been writing his experiences to his friends and family and, lately, to me, too. This page talks about himself and his own deportation: /

Epilogue or worthless rant

When I came, I did not know too well what I had come here for. But that is not the most important thing. I have been with people who know only too well what they need us for. And they have put us, they have put me, in the places where I was needed, telling me, more or less, on occasions exactly, what needed to be done.

Priests and privileges

I need to spend a few more days more in Jerusalem. Which doesn’t qualify as time in Palestine, because as I mentioned in this previous post, Jerusalem is no longer considered Palestine by any one who lives there, despite the ‘efforts’ by the ‘international community’ in making it a shared city between two countries … of which only one exists.

As instructed, I spend a whole day resting, gathering my thoughts, and above all, getting ride of papers with names and addresses on them. Details of what I have actually been doing. Because, for the Israeli authorities, who will – or not – allow me out of the country tomorrow, what I have been doing constitutes helping terrorists.

I go to mass in the church I went to when I was first in Jerusalem (Palestine. Arrival) and talk to the Spanish priest again. I need to pick up a bag I had left in his place so I could travel a bit more lightly.

He invites me for lunch, in the parish house. The other priests are curious about what I have been doing. There is one from America, who remarks on the possibility that my bag would have contained something illegal. Like a bomb. The Spanish and I make jokes about it, but he looks at us with distrusting eyes, probably thinking “two Basque people in Palestine. It can’t be a good thing”.

They all ask me questions about what I have seen, comparing it to what they have seen in the past themselves, and the American says at the end:
“If the Arabs got in power, they would probably do the same as the Israelis are doing now.”
“And then I would have come for them instead of for the Arabs”
“You have only known them for a couple of months.”
“What I have seen is that they are being deprived of their dignity. Humiliated every time they come in mere sight of any Israeli soldier or settler. I know that doesn’t make them good people necessarily. It makes them people in need and it’s within my Christian belief that I should use my privilege the way I have been using it to help.”

By privilege I mean this:

“All of us, who have been to war and occupation zones as ‘human rights monitors’, ‘human shields’, ‘solidarity activists’ or what have you, from Palestine to Iraq, from India to Kosovo, from checkpoints to refugee camps, from border actions to deportation centers; we have to admit that we hold the answer to why our blood is deemed more valuable than that of the millions facing the war and capitalism machines indiscriminately. Our white skin, or affiliations with white Northern governments, is our passport to be worthy of living, or at least creates a fear of global dissent. A world that is as racist as the governments themselves.”


Kawawis-Jerusalem. News from Jayyous

I wake up to find myself on my own, so I just get up and eat some of the food I brought with me as breakfast. I hear the sound of an engine and go to see what it is. Two men, one on foot and another one on a tractor, are spreading seeds on the fields around the village.

Kawawis III. The journalist

I receive a call saying that E., an Israeli activist who comes here regularly to get information about incidents that need to be reported, will be coming today for a visit. It will be a change I look forward to: I will finally have a conversation in English, after two days of speaking a word at a time and trying to make sense of people’s gestures.

Kawawis II. The visit

Today is a visit day. A lot of grandchildren of H.’s mother come to see her. They had to come walking down the path that the taxi took me from, crossing the road that functions as a wall.

Kawawis I. USAID

At eight in the morning the sun gets through the glassless windows in full swing into the room, where there are only two people now. The couple seem to have got up already; their mattress is no longer there. Their grandson is gone too. I remember then what I read yesterday in the log book, that they go to walk the sheep at about six in the morning.

Hebron – Kawawis

Today is my last day here and as a good bye to the house where we stay I do a “tour” around it. It is a neighbours’ building and the most interesting part of it is the flat roof. The drums containing the water that is supplied to all the block neighbours are kept here.

Hebron X. Mini-kristallnachtt

D. is leaving for a few days. He is going to see R., at the jail that Israel has next to the border with Egypt, in the most southern point of the country, on the other side of the desert. R. is going to be deported for staying in the country while he was waiting for his appointment to renew his visa and helping out the girls in this neighbourhood, like we are doing now. I will leave before D. returns from visiting R. so we exchange addresses and say our goodbyes.

Hebron IX. WIG

Today is Saturday and, there is a “visit” from the “women in green” (WIG) scheduled for today. It doesn’t’ happen every Saturday, but they do come rather regularly, and people who have been in Tel Rumeida for months are familiar with their doings.