By Doris Theresa Abdullah
The Palestine Committee meeting on the morning of Dec. 1 at the United Nations was in commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. All too often I hear “Palestine” and it does not register that about 2 million Palestinians live under occupation in the densely populated area of the Gaza Strip, under a 13-year blockade, in a place where 90 percent of the water is undrinkable. The people depend on international humanitarian aid in order to survive from day to day.
All the people in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza live in a modern-day Bantustan or legal segregated land surrounded by a wall. The Dec. 1 observances revealed an exhibit of the wall titled “The Writing Is on the Wall–Annexation Past and Present.” It was rather disturbing to see how the people express their frustrations, anger, and humiliation on the wall drawings.
Palestinians must show, on demand, an identity card to move even a few feet within the occupied territories, where self-representation is denied and ongoing violence is a fact of life. Violence from the occupying army, violence from the settlers who are allowed to roam freely with guns, violence from within, violence from their deprived existence–and the violence of nonexistence to us, on the other side of the wall.
— Doris Abdullah is the Church of the Brethren representative to the United Nations. This report was first published by the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy.
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