It’s now October 2012 and I’ve been back in the US after being in the EAPPI program in the West Bank of Palestine for a 3 month period during Dec. 10 through Feb. 2011. Having an opportunity to be in the EAPPI program was an eye-opening experience for me. I continue to read information about what is happening in Palestine. I read the English edition of Maan News to keep up on events. http://www.maannews.net/eng/Default.aspx
|Families Protest Treatment of Imprisoned Family Members|
The US has allocated billions of dollars to Israel over the next few years. I saw how those dollars are being spent to keep the Palestinian population totally at the mercy of Israel.
|One of Hundreds of Checkpoint Scattered Throhout the West Bank|
I felt very safe and respected as I lived among Palestinians on the West Bank. I heard over and over: “you are welcome” and “please tell the world we are not terrorists.” No one can live a normal life under occupation when daily activities are completely hindered. A child facing an IDF soldier with full combat weapons just to get to school every day can never develop a sense of trust.
One of the responsibilities of an E A was to be present at the early morning checkpoints. There were several agriculture gates in the Tulkarm area that we monitored and reported statistics to the UN. As I think back on it now, it seems almost to the point of ridiculous that a farmer would have to have permission to access his own farm land.
The Israeli Defense Forces conducted the daily checking of permits at checkpoints where people were just traveling to work or school. There was never respect shown to those who were waiting so patiently at the checkpoints. One day as I was taking my turn at the Taybe checkpoint I was hungry, tired and cold. A Palestinian woman who was also waiting came up to me and gave me a delicious orange. She told me it was a gift just for standing in solidarity with her and the thousands of others who were daily humiliated by being under occupation.
To read the letter sent to Congress, you can find it at this website: