This week's portion: pulling the strings

GVO and RHR on Israel

Some powerful (if difficult) Israel stories have come across my aggregator today. At Global Voices Online there's a roundup of posts about the impending demolition of a straw and mud mosque built by an Israeli Bedouin. Not for the first time I'm struck by how politicized the question of building permits inevitably becomes.

International and local activists spent the night waiting for demolition crew to come and destroy a new straw and mud mosque built in an unrecognised village of Wadi el-Naam, Israel.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Interior Ministry officials say the structure, built by an Israeli Bedoiun and other volunteers, is illegal since it was built without permission and in a place not designated for construction...

The post features a quote from blogger Jerusalem Gypsy which I found particularly resonant. (Looks like JG is a regular at the Jewish Renewal minyan in Jerusalem, Nava Tehila, about which I've blogged before...) Anyway, read the Global Voices post here: Israel: Straw and Mud Mosque to be Demolished.

Meanwhile, Margery G., one of the participants in the Rabbis for Human Rights Human Rights Trip to Israel, has a post called Instructions for Planting which juxtaposes a description of the experience of planting trees on Palestinian land with a description of the experience of planting trees in Israel. Her post begins with instructions for planting in the Occupied Territories:

1. Find a non-profit, like Rabbis for Human Rights, that can buy the trees.

2. Scrounge up whatever hand tools you can find.

3. Bring out a group of Israelis and Internationals who can help Palestinians plant and shield them from harassment by the settlers and the army

4. Be on time. The separation barrier now separates many villages from their land and the Palestinians can only get through to their fields at certain times of the day...

These instructions are juxtaposed with instructions for planting in Israel, and the difference between the first set of instructions and the second set of instructions is stark and powerful.

On a slightly more hopeful note, my friend David forwarded me the New York Times article Palestinian Forces Dilute Hebron's Volatile Brew. May the peacemaking continue.

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