In Occupied Palestine

“Do Palestinians even want peace?”

I was asked by a secular Israeli on my last night in Tel Aviv. I was struck. And shocked. Not because the questioner seemed ignorant. Because he didn’t. And he isn’t. He’s a very lovely human being, in fact. I was struck, rather, because of the innocence of the question. The simplicity. And the sincere honesty in the asking of it.

girl in Askar

Do Palestinians even want peace?

I spent eleven days in the West Bank. Eleven days of hearing stories of hope, stories of peace. Eleven days of smiles and waves and conversations. Eleven days of hummus and falafel. Eleven days of listening to the most simplest of dreams: to see the sea, to enter Jerusalem, to live without soldiers, to travel across the green line without check-points, to marry whomever they want, to return to the homes of their mother, their father, their grandparents, to live in peace with all Jews, Christians, Samaritans and Moslems.

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Do Palestinians even want peace?

Without a doubt, I say yes. A resounding yes!
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I spent eleven days being continually shocked and amazed at how hopeful a people could be of their future, while existing in the midst of Occupation.
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I spent eleven days re-evaluating what freedom really means and how we are all affected by our own relativity to it.

While scrolling through Facebook (as you do), I found myself looking at photos of friends in South Korea, in Spain, in the US, etc. and thinking- “They are so free!” “They can leave whenever they want!” “They will not be interrogated at the airport!” “What freedom!”
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This is after only eleven days. And I could leave. I had the right to leave. Yet, how it must feel to be born in Palestine, under occupation, and still have such hope for peace. It’s amazing. It’s incredible. Admirable.
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Do Palestinians even want peace?

Anti-Zionism does not equate anti-semitism, just as being Israeli or Jewish shouldn’t automatically equate compliance with Zionism or The Occupation.

Palestinians are not the terrorists our media leads you to believe. They are humans. Doing human things. Living human lives as best they can.

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They study. They go to markets. They have children. They drink tea together. They have friends over. They dance. They live. They laugh. They love. Just like you. And everyday they hope for peace.

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2 thoughts on “In Occupied Palestine

    1. Hi Steve! Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA at the blog scene recently, since being back in the States, and I’ve missed your comment until just now. I realize I’m a year late and a dollar short, but let me know how I can get in touch. – Nichole

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