I am really sad right now. Last night the army came into Nablus again, with 4 jeeps, and killed 2 boys, 15 and 16 years old, right outside the doorway of the house where I live. They were neighbors of the family that I live with, the Husseins, and may of my friends knew them. One of them had been telling my friend earlier in the day, that he had just finished with school and planned to go on to University. They were running away from the jeep when the jeep came around the corner and shot them down in the alleyway outside their homes. They were both killed by the same bullet, which went through them both.
I was not home at the time, we were out in the streets in Nablus, standing with the ambulance workers, observing the jeeps, and trying to prevent people from getting killed. Periodically, the jeeps would leave and drive back and forth through the town, or park somewhere for a while, and then leave again, as is their standard mode of operations. Often they are there to provide a distraction so that elsewhere in the city special forces or other soldiers can carry out operations. Often they are there to provoke boys to throw stones, or fighters to come into the streets, so that snipers can peg them off.
In any case, it is difficult to keep up with their movements through the city all the time, or to anticipate their tactics, especially when there are four of them. Often, like what happened last night, by the time we hear of their whereabouts, or hear gunshots, it is already too late, and someone is dead.
We walked back to the house with the Medical Relief workers after the bodies had been taken away to talk with the Husseins and see if we could visit the families of the dead boys. The alley was still marked with blood when we returned, and there were many men standing by, recounting what had happened.
After the families had returned from the hospital, one of the international women and I went with Um Hussein and the other women visit the women of the mourning families. We sat with the grieving mothers, friends, friends and family at the two homes. Witnessing the pain of a mother who has just lost her son was one of the more difficult things I have ever experienced. Some people say that Palestinians know death well, that the occupation has made it so that they have seen it every day, but for a family to lose a child, I don't think it ever gets any easier. One of the women had already lost her husband, and now her son. Its a pain that I cannot even bear to imagine.
We went to their funeral this morning. There is not much I can say right now, other than the overwhelming exasperation and sadness that I feel with the absense of justice. As children in America, we are raised with this candy coated idea of justice, that the bad guy always receives a fair trial and goes to jail, good triumphs over evil, and justice is done. Where's the justice in this U.S. funded occupation? Where's the justice for Iraq? Where's the justice for Palestinians? Where's the justice for people of color? How long can we let them shoot down peoples' sons and daughters in the street?
I would really like to hear from you folks right now, my friends and family. I would really like to hear about what you are up to, and what you are thinking about. I would really like to hear about actions that folks are doing in solidarity with Palestine, Iraq, Guatemala, Chiapas, Uraguay, Bolivia, North Portland, Black Mesa....
The mayor of the village of Salem asked us yesterday, "The British people are among the most educated people in the world, why don't they revolt against Blair?" Good question. Why aren't you revolting, America?
Much love to all