Monday, July 15 2013 Umm al-Ara’is and Umm al-Khair by David Shulman July 13, 2013    Umm al-Ara’is and Umm al-Khair A man wants to walk on his land. He knows they won’t let him. The soldiers are already there, waiting for him. Still, he wants to walk on his land. Settlers have stolen it, and the soldiers are there for their sake. Still, he needs to go there, it’s his land, it’s like a part of his body. He’s not about to give up. Week after week, on Saturday morning, we follow him to the fields. Today, like every week, there are […]
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Wednesday, July 10 2013 [Watch] The False Arrests – Umm al-Kheir by Amitai Ben-Abba Saturday July 7th, 2013. We’re called urgently to Umm al-Kheir. When we arrive, a woman is shouting and people from the village are running down the hill. Abdallah starts running ahead of me with his big camera. He sprints incredibly quickly for this rough terrain. People and soldiers are scattered chaotically on the hill above the well of the village. A young shepherd of Umm al-Kheir, Sa’id (aliases throughout), is being howled into a military jeep. People gather around the jeep, the women scream to God in over-bearing agony. People […]
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Friday, July 5 2013 Initial Grappling With Weird – Umm al-Ara’is by Amitai Ben-Abba The warrant was issued, we were shooed off the land. I sang an Italian song about the vanishing greens of the countryside as they were pushing us off. Clown self-diffusal mechanism , if anything. We settled, beyond the imaginary white line (every officer sees different colors – in Umm al-’Amad the imaginary colors of separation are yellow). Like every week, the women start making tea. One of them crosses into the closed military zone for a brief second to gather thorns for fire. The Border Police commander says that if […]
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Saturday, June 29 2013 Umm al-’Amad by David Shulman June 29, 2013    Umm al-‘Amad Ahmad likes to sing. Almost from the moment we turn up—around 7 AM, when it’s still deliciously cool with light wind and cloud—he’s been singing happily as he keeps an eye on his goats. Ahmad is something between a boy and a young man. Seems happy. So do the goats, feasting without pause on the varied menu of thorns that this hill offers them. The songs, too, are varied. They include the latest hit in Palestine, the song a young singer from Gaza, Muhammad ‘Assaf, […]
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Thursday, June 27 2013 On Authors, Porta-Potties, and Other things by Amitai Ben-Abba A blow to the ribs is the small token I received from the soldiers for coming once again to accompany people to their land in Umm al-Ara’is. This time we staged some resistance. We approached the land from three different directions. In a sub-group of five we entered from the south and met confused soldiers telling us we are not allowed to go further. We told them there is absolutely no legal justification to stop us as we kept on roaming through. They demanded our ID’s but we dismissed them […]
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Wednesday, June 19 2013 The Struggle for Being by Amitai Ben-Abba In the insane, maniacal strive to live life at its fullest I have found the most meaning in the perseverance and generosity of the Palestinian strugglers in the South Hebron Hills. The mechanics of disenfranchisement are so horrendously well-oiled, that the strugglers of the Wild South resist simply by being. And so, the rest of us, that come from safe(r) surroundings and secure(r) socioeconomic backgrounds, resist simply by being with them. That is the meaning of Ta’ayush – living together, living the end of apartheid and separate-ness. Waking up at […]
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Saturday, April 27 2013 Umm al-‘Amad by David Shulman Today we have the New Rules. In some respects they’re rather like the Old Rules. The aim and sole rationale remain the same: dispossession, expulsion, taking more land. The army has, it seems, given up on its favorite device of declaring Closed Military Zones, week after week; perhaps the outright illegality of this practice ended up causing them too many problems in court. Instead, the soldiers simply chase us—Palestinian shepherds, farmers, Israeli activists—physically away, pushing, shoving, threatening, beating. They also have decided they won’t allow us to document their crimes […]
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Saturday, April 27 2013 Israeli soldier threatening, cursing and using racist expressions towards shepherds and activists Watch the film made by Taayush activst Guy, showing an Israeli soldier today near the settlement of Otniel, threatening, shouting, cursing and using racist expressions towards Palestinian shepherds from the village of Umm Al Amad and Ta’ayush Activists. Translation of some of the expressions used by the soldier: “Watch out! Shut up, I’ll let you have one in the head! Get out of here, you asshole! You guys are worse than Arabs!  assholes! You help Arabs!”
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