"If there were a party of those who aren't sure they're right, I'd belong to it." Albert Camus
I saw a wall being constructed. It tore up the earth and divided people from one another; it divided potential friends from each other and families from their ancestral land. The wall stood tall and grey with indifferent cruelty. It cast its shadow across once fertile soil and darkness on walking paths. It can be seen along the horizon with the setting sun, marking a delimitation of hopes for a people.
I saw checkpoints where people were herded like cattle. Identity and movement were monitored under the eye of authoritarian the state and the gun. “Are you Palestinian? “Are you Muslim or Christian?” “Where are you going?” “Where’s your permit?” The olive groves and vines lay unattended, but the key to their grandparents’ home is kept around their necks and in their heart. The military state has made a people landless, a people uprooted from the earth, like an olive grove, like a Palestinian home. It has forged poverty, resentment, and the terrorism visited upon itself. Checkpoints: locking into place and controlling those whom the state has deemed useless and a menace.
I saw homes scattered along hillsides and humbly built shelters of stone, tarp, and metal in the desert. These loved homes sat juxtaposed to Israeli settlements which reminded me of an urban community one can find in almost any wealthy American suburb. There were goats and sheep, olive groves and chickens. A lovely and loved home but fragile as it anxiously sits in the shadow of Israeli settlements fortified with ideology, weapons, and state support.
I saw a nation being born–just like any other–with the violence and inhumanity that must leave its claims to legitimacy in perpetual question.