Friday, October 1, 2010

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good...

For the last week I've been feeling pretty disheartened. I've stopped reading the news because reading about the settlers building community centers and kindergartens makes me sick. I don't care what you're pouring the foundation for, stop trying to convince me that your theft is righteous!

There's a Palestinian village called al-Aqaba located in Area C of the West Bank (Area C takes up almost half of the West Bank, wrapping around its eastern side). In 2004, Rebuilding Alliance built a 3-story facility there that includes a kindergarten, which accommodates over 130 children from neighboring villages, a sewing co-op, English classrooms, a library, and soon-to-be teacher housing. Plans are also in the works to build a birthing center, which would be the first of its kind in all of Area C, as well as the area's first ambulance. Funding for these projects have come from Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, UN agencies and NGOs.
al-Aqaba project Website

In 2003, the Alliance received a grant from a family foundation with the instructions: "Build a school for Palestinian children that will not be demolished again.” In 2004, as they were building, demolition orders were issued against the whole village: their mosque, the medical center, nearly all the homes, and the new kindergarten. Six years later, the Alliance is still helping al-Aqaba fight a legal battle against Israel for the right to stay. They are also trying to obtain building permits to build housing for residents whose homes have already been demolished. In Area C, Palestinians are unable to obtain permits to build on their own land.

This is a non-profit organization with international support, and the Israeli government wants it gone. It wants this village, and all 130 villages in Area C to be razed. Those who have been dispossessed by these policies see them for what they really are....not the precautions of a scared nation acting in self-defense, but the actions of a government that is preparing for the rest of Palestine to be Judaized.

So no, I don't see the concrete foundation of that Jewish kindergarten as a beautiful thing. I can't begin to count the ways in which those children will have to pay for the mistakes of their parents.

And this is where my mind goes numb.