This blog represents a departure from its usual hunting ground. It addresses a subject that I have been itching to speak about via this medium for some time. My reluctance to do so, until now, was based on my awareness that my understanding of the issue was based primarily on book-learning, newspaper/magazine articles and lectures, albeit over many, many years. I speak of the Palestine/Israel situation.
What releases me now is that I was fortunate to join an Extended Study Tour of Palestine/Israel (1) that gave me the opportunity to see for myself the situation on the ground, and to meet organisations and individuals affected by, and assiduously seeking to counter, the gross injustices perpetrated by the Israeli state. This by no means makes me an expert, and no such claim is registered here. But I have given myself permission to write about it in what is, after all, my blog.
Reader, you may wish to read on, or quietly depart, either before what follows, or after.
It’s a model of sustainability and the philosophy of ‘using what’s to hand’: once Israeli soldiers have knocked down the school room, the sophistication of the design, coupled to the nature of the building material – locally made mud bricks – ensure that it can be resurrected within hours by local Palestinians. Which is just as well, for the Israeli army is quite likely to turn up again to repeat what I imagine they call an exercise. Or they turn their attention to another village school there to demonstrate, once again, their capacity for wanton destruction. Not to mention at the same time traumatising children and humiliating parents and teachers alike. Continue reading