Friday, July 3 2020 June 26 2020. Al-‘Auja.

Text by David Shulman, with photographs by Margaret Olin

Four months in quarantine; the virus now raging again in Israel-Palestine; and I’m back where I belong. The hardest part of the lock-down was not seeing our grandchildren face to face; second hardest, not coming to be with the shepherds.

At first they would call me almost every day: “Da’ud, where are you? When are you coming? We need you, all of you. The settlers are driving us crazy. Omer drives his tractor through the herd. The soldiers chase us off the land. They arrested two of us yesterday….” Heart sinking, conscience stirring, I would try to explain: we’re not allowed to go farther than a hundred meters from the house. And we’re old. And so on. I am embarrassed to speak of danger to people who live each day on the brink.

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