Can Such Things Ever Be Justified?

Demolition ~ Az Za'ayyem September 11 Photo Credit: Dawn

Demolition ~ Az Za’ayyem ~ September 11
Photo Credit: Dawn ~ November 9

The demolition happened 2 months ago ~ 11 September to be exact. It’s not the first and it won’t be the last. This time the target of the bulldozers was the Jahalin Bedouin village of Az Za’ayyem (Aza’im) in the controversial E1 area between East Jerusalem and the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. The Bedouin in this village are refugees from the early 1950s, having been driven out of the Negev by the Israeli government. This is not an isolated demolition ~ it is part of the plan to displace the approximately 3,000 Bedouin east of Jerusalem in order to expand the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, a modern “city” of about 40,000 settlers.

Children in the Ruins ~ Az Za'ayyam Photo Credit: Dawn

Children in the Ruins ~ Az Za’ayyam
Photo Credit: Dawn

Today, our EA orientation to East Jerusalem takes us to Az Za’ayyem. Two months have now passed since the bulldozers left 47 people homeless, almost half of which are children. But as we walk through the village, it is as if it had happened yesterday. Villagers are sleeping in tents. Children are playing in the rubble and suffering from asthma. People are afraid to rebuild as it will guarantee a return visit from the bulldozers. It is lambing season. Over 300 sheep have no shelter. And winter is coming. To add to this misery, the village has no sewer system, no potable water, no electricity, and no access to health care.

Bedouin Boy with New LambAz Za'ayyem Photo Credit: Dawn

Bedouin Boy and New Lamb
Az Za’ayyem
Photo Credit: Dawn

It seems surreal. One is left speechless. What can be said? How can this kind of inhumane action be justified? How can the global community allow Israel to commit such atrocities with impunity? ~ Angela Godfrey Goldstein, a courageous Israeli peace activist said to us today, “Israel as a state has lost its moral, ethical code ~ its heart ~ It needs to be saved from itself” ~ After accompanying Angela in East Jerusalem and E1 today, I think she is right ~ For it was Rabbi Hillel who said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to others” ~ And another first century Jewish Rabbi is thought to have said it like this: “Do to others what you would have them do to you” ~ Will we ever learn?

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11 Responses to Can Such Things Ever Be Justified?

  1. Theresa Wynn says:

    This is heart breaking, Dawn. God bless you for being there, bearing witness on our behalf, and helping in every way possible. Hugs!

  2. mlshatto says:

    Dear Dawn, I am late in wishing you blessings through these coming months, but my thoughts and prayers have been with you since I learned of your return to Palestine. No, such things cannot be justified, no matter how hard the oppressors work to try to convince us otherwise. Go well, my friend, and go safely. Peace, Marian

  3. Jo nicholas says:

    I am sorry I missed saying goodbye/bless your journey … Life just gets in the way of what we need to do sometimes. Take care dear one and may she guide your being until you are back with us! Hugs and joy – Jo

  4. Betty Marlin says:

    Hi Dawn,
    How very discouraging. Just yesterday I read an article in the free magazine – cannot think of the name of it at the moment – where Israelis were so terrorized by the bombs from Gaza that they were suffering from PTSD, and they suggested the number of people who had been killed in the community – less than 20 I believe – and my thought was “Give me a break!!! Do they realize how many Palestinians have been killed and traumatized by Israeli soldiers!” I intended to keep the article; however, I must have set it down somewhere and left it.

  5. pugmother says:

    Dear Dawn, I sense the despair in your blog. It must be heartbreaking to see such misery among the Bedouins and others. And to know that what the Israeli Government is doing is illegal and inhumane. During the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands Jewish families would try to drown themselves by jumping into a river in order to escape being taken to a concentration camp. The Gestapo would drag them out of the water and send them on their way to Auschwitz anyway.
    History tends to repeat itself unfortunately.

    Dawn I am thinking of you and hope and pray you will be safe while you do this extremely important work!

    Hugs, Mieke

  6. Marilyn says:

    Palestinians will have to be a very forgiving people for the ‘one state’ solution to become a reality. These demolitions are SO difficult to comprehend, even with the photos, Dawn. It is heart-breaking to hear of the additional hardships of no potable water, no sewer systems, no access to health care. The work you are doing in telling the Bedoins’ story is so vital, in addition to the support you provide. Thank you.

  7. Jim Spiers says:

    Thinking of you in your journey! For your reflection, today marks the 4th anniversary of you becoming a Canadian citizen! May we stand on guard for thee! Jim

  8. Shelagh says:

    I love the picture of the Bedouin boy and the lamb. For whatever reason my heart sored and I felt great hope. The love radiating from this boy and his lamb has more power than any bulldozer. I shall weep in the moment, for the cruelty that slaughters such innocence. I shall cherish the hope I feel and see in that boy. I know that the photographer saw that too and I say live the sacred in the midst of the pain. The transformation is happening through you!

  9. Esther Oaks says:

    Dear Dawn,
    I was in conversation with Nancy this week and we were talking about the unbelievable actions of the Israeli/Jewish People in Israel who have experienced terrible atrocities in the not so distant past. I said to Nancy that it is so hard to understand how these Israeli/Jewish people could be the perpetrators of the brutal, oppressive actions that we see here, when they have been victims of cruel, oppressive terrorism themselves. They know the devastating results for themselves.
    We have just returned from Ireland where we heard the story of the Irish/English conflict for the last several centuries. The issues seem similar but we heard the Irish in the south and north speak of the need for reconciliation, moving forward and letting go of the need for retaliation. There are still tensions. Previously,the IRA forced the Irish youth to participate in the attacks on the English/Protestant Irish. The deaths of those who are part of the conflict are a senseless loss of the future for both groups. Everyone suffered. Violence begets violence. The day after we left a bomb exploded in Belfast. It isn’t over, but it is better.
    Let us pray that there can be a shift in Israel.

  10. Joan billau says:

    It is so hard to fathom how the Israelis government can perpetrate such atrocities,,especially since they have been victims. EAPPI and your personal presence to witness and spread the news makes change more possible. Bless you and I can feel energetically that you are remaining strong so you can give precious support. We all loved seeing the wonderful picture of you smiling projected on the wall at church. Joan.

  11. Lori says:

    I so appreciate your observations, reflections, and insights. Your work bringing these unfathomable actions to the attention of the wider world is so valuable.

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