Tuesday, June 14, 2011

courage in a small package

The Israeli human rights NGO, B'Tselem, has produced a series of short videos called East Jerusalem Diaries.

Of these, the one I'd like you to watch is about Israeli activist Sara Benninga, 28. When you reach the page showing the six diaries, Sara's is in the middle on the bottom row.

Sara is a strong supporter of the rights of the Palestinians, but what hit me hardest in her account of her life is the fact that she lives in the old stone house of Palestinians who were evicted. She shares a lunch in this house with her father and he speaks the English of the American he is, a man who came from a society offering freedom to take up residence in a house stolen from those who today do not enjoy even the basic right of due process of law. The hypocrisy floored me but it's just one case of many such in Israel.

As an American, it is this gross injustice of my free countrymen having the ability to use that freedom to displace others in a distant land, leaving them homeless, that speaks most powerfully of the fact that the Palestinians are not seen as deserving of the most basic rights - that they can be displaced as easily and thoughtlessly as one might move a herd of sheep from a place one desires.

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