The Other Palestine

In October 2017, I traveled throughout the West Bank with the American Federation for Ramallah Palestine.   A few of my reflections were published in the Times of Israel (in English and in Arabic).

In traditional souks we met the sellers of spices and vegetables of every kind, as well as iPhones and Haagen-Dazs….

Beyond the spice shops and restaurants and holy sites, though, this is also Occupied Palestine….  I saw things that reminded me of the difficulties in Banja Luka, Tijuana, and Kirkuk. A new art gallery illustrates decades of resistance to occupation, and I anticipated decades more. But the graffiti on the Palestinian side of The Wall – peace doves, Trump satire, pizza ads – chronicles desperate, ironic, yet hopeful Palestinians. It was fascinating to me that many of the Palestinians I met were not pessimistic.

Instead, they told me to look at Northern Ireland, South Africa, the Berlin Wall….

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A woman prays at the tomb of Sarah. (JQuirk)
The Wall, in Bethlehem (JQuirk)
Olive harvest near Nablus (JQuirk)
Ad for pizza place in Bethlehem (JQuirk)
Pottery in Nusf Jabeel (JQuirk)