Witness in Palestine: A Jewish Woman in the Occupied Territories by Anna Baltzer

“Witness in Palestine: A Jewish Woman in the Occupied Territories by Anna Baltzer

“”…What would you do if the wall were closing in on you? What would you do if your brother was dead, your father was in prison, and you couldn’t get a job or go to school? What you do if your food sources were uprooted and people in neighboring settlements urinated and defecated in your water source? What would you do if working for change within the system failed you again and again? What would you do if you have nothing left? Remember, the walls are getting closer…What would you expect from yourself in that situation, and how does it compare with what you expect of the Palestinians today?”"

I was shaken and angry after reading this. I’ve read many boot on the occupation but never a boots on the ground account of the daily humiliation, violence, and suffering endured by the Palestinians.

This is written in 2004 by a Jewish-American volunteer in Palestine. Sadly, I don’t think much has changed. The title is very fitting because we all have to witness what Israel is doing. They only get away with things because we let them. This book is written as a journal. I’ve read many books about Israel-Palestine but this one really hits home because each journal entry is a focused look at the Palestinians families suffering in the conflict. They aren’t just people, they are families, and neighbors. There are lots of pictures of the people in her stories too. It’s hard not to be moved by such a heartfelt journal. Baltzer is very brave in the face of Israeli soldiers, but just imagine how much more brave the Palestinians who face this intimidation and violence everyday.

It’s a very good book but it’s a hard book to read because it’s so frustrating what is happening and the feeling that nobody cares. I could only read a chapter or two a day and then got too angry to continue. The money that America is pouring into Israel boggles my mind. No wonder America ‘can’t afford’ healthcare, they’re spending too much on guns & bombs. Sickening.

How can Israel, a nation full of Jews, who were once persecuted, tortured, and killed by Nazi now be the evil villain? How can they spray paint stars of David on Palestinian houses? How can they write ““death to Arabs”” on their houses?Have they no sense of history? Have they no sense of shame? I can not understand it. If God told them to treat Palestinians like animals, I want no part of their God or religion. As I feel my blood pressure rising, I will leave you with some great quotes from the book, and try to calm down.

“”…effects the Occupation has had on Israelis. The Nuremberg Principles - developed during the Nuremburg trials of Nazi party members after World War II - state that any person who commits a crime under international law is responsible for his actions and subject to punishment, regardless of his country’s laws at the time, and regardless of whether he was following the orders of his government or his superiors. The Occupation is not protecting the future of Israelis; it has turned Israel’s youth into participants in war crimes""

Israel is not a democracy.

““If it wanted to be a democracy, Israel would have to evolve from being the state only of the Jews to being a state of its citizens and occupants. But that remains a radical idea for most””

““Occupation is not a transitional stage; it’s a strategic limbo between annexation and withdrawal in which the occupier enjoys control over territory and its resources without having to grant inhabitants equal rights and freedoms.””

““According to the Oslo Accords signed by both Israel and the PLO in 1993, there should have been a Palestinian state by 1998. During those 5 interim years, however, Israel instead appropriated more land, nearly doubled the number of settlements, and managed to violate every single clause of the agreement. When will the US demand that Israel adhere to previous agreements in order to receive the billions of US tax-dollars handed over every year?””

Adnan: ““How can Israel call itself a democracy when I cannot go to my land simply because I am a different ethnicity from my Jewish neighbors?””

““this is ethnic cleansing, which the US State Department defines as ’the systematic and forced removal of the members of an ethnic group from communities in order to change the ethnic composition of a given region.’ Israel’s version of ethnic cleansing is reminiscent of the displacement of the American Indians in North America””

Great link with many current news stories: https://thenewinquiry.com/palestine-is-free-if-you-want-it/



Rating: ★★★★★ Book #64 in my #ReadingChallenge2021 #AnnaBaltzer #Israel #Palestine #MiddleEast #journalism #NonFiction",

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