RAMALLAH AND AL AQSA

Sherly Fabre (Stony Point, New York)

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Last week, we took a trip to Ramallah that was both fun and emotionally draining. One Palestinian organization in particular that helps with prisoners sometimes as young as 12 was the hardest meeting to sit through thus far.

We then had to go to a check point in order to get back to Jerusalem. When we got back on the bus we heard news that Israel had closed the Al Aqsa Mosque once again because someone had flown a Palestinian flag from the rooftop. There were clashes in the street and as we neared our hotel we had to take an alternative route because the street was closed.

As we got of the bus we could here sound bombs and rubber bullets being fired just down the street from us. I started crying in grief, despair, anger. Why are they doing this? Why is nothing sacred in the Holy land?

I feared for the young Palestinian men in the streets who would surely be looked at by the Israeli military and police (and most of the International community) as the problem. I felt how unfair, unjust, and cruel this type of reporting/propaganda is, to blame the victim on top of everything else is just too much.

I think the Israeli government thinks these type of tactics will persuade Palestinians and their supporters to give up but it only emboldens us. If I was 99.99% percent pro Palestinian before, today I signed up to be a full member of the Palestinian struggle.