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"Pay Attention to Nonviolence" - Julia Bacha (director of Budrus) 

"I believe that what's mostly missing for nonviolence to grow is not for Palestinians to start adopting nonviolence, but for us to start paying attention to those who already are..."


Bassem (Pheel), Bil'in Village

On December 30, 2010, at the end of my first trip to Palestine/Israel, I missed my flight home from Tel Aviv and was grounded for 5 days. I didn't know what to do. The only thing I knew of that was going on was Bilin's New Years Eve demonstration. I'd visited the village the week before and was invited to come back.

So I decided to wander into Bil'in and see if anyone remembered me, or would host me, or something.

Before I left my hostel in Jerusalem, I looked up Bil'in's website so find phone numbers I could call. On the website I found this video about the martyr Bassem from 2009. I watched the entire thing, and started crying right there in the hostel lobby.

Every time I go back to Bil'in I see the posters of Bassem everywhere, and hear stories of him, and see videos, and it's a strange, bittersweet feeling getting to know someone retroactively, someone you can't help but love, but you'll never meet.

Moriel Rothman

Moriel is an American-Israeli writer and poet. I first heard of him when my activist friends posted his letter on why he refused to serve in the Israeli army.

Why I Refuse: On God/Love, Nonviolence and Israel's Military Occupation of the Palestinian Territories