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Sami in Palestine: The Second Hand

This is a transcript of an email/listserv diary that a local Portland avtivist, Sami, is keeping from occupied Palestine.

[ Sami Updates List Serv I International Solidarity Movement ]

Hello everyone, Nov 10
Thanks for your ongoing support and compassion. I don't really know what to say today. Last night was the 27th of Ramadan, the holiest night of all the year for Muslims. Its the night when everyone prepares a great meal to break their fast before going to the mosque to pray until the morning. Its the night when anything you pray for, Allah will grant you. Last night 4 families lost a son. Yesterday two men were killed in clashes with other Palestinians in retaliations resulting from an existing feud. One in a knife fight, the other in jail. Later, as we prepared a giant meal, and prepared to break fast with our Palestinian friends in Balata, we received a call that the army was in Nablus. We went to Nablus, but by that point, there was nothing we could do. A 10 yr old boy had been shot in the head and killed, and two other boys, one 5 and one 12 had been shot in the abdomen 5 minutes before the breaking of the fast, and were hospitalized in critical condition. Later we heard that a 23 yr old man, presumed to be a fighter had also been killed, but sometimes its difficult to discern what the facts are here. After a while of trying to anticipate the army's next move, we gave up and went to a restaurant to regroup and watch the fighter planes circle overhead. I talked with my friend after it happened, and he said that if ever he left Palestine, it would not be because of the Israeli occupation, but because of the civil fighting.

It's the second hand of the occupation. He said whatever the Israelis do to him, he could take it, because he could resist the occupation, but how do you resist friends who kill eachother? For me, the point is that the occupation and the civil violence are inseparable. Wherever you have a group of people who are starkly economically disadvantaged, displaced from their homes, and forced to live under constant threat of violence, eventually things are going to explode. An animal can only live in a cage for so long until it starts to gnaw off its own leg. The really oppressive truth for me is that this is not a phenomenon of occupied Palestine. Everywhere, every day, people get shot in the head by racist authority figures, young men cut eachother down in anger and angst, and water is diverted from communities and sold to the wealthy. Everywhere, every day. And you can always trace it back to someone's economic gain. Anyway, I don't want to make you all incredibly depressed but this is what is going on for me right now. I love you all. Keep fighting. love, sami