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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

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Home arrow Blog arrow October 2007 arrow October 19, 2007

October 19, 2007
WAWA BLOG  October 19, 2007: "The Spirit of the Lord in on me...He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners...For I the Lord love justice."-Isaiah 61: 1,8.


And now; words from Deheisha Refugee camp which is in the Little Town of Bethlehem: Occupied Territory!

I begin today with a link to report from Jesse Rosenfeld, a Freelance Journalism based in Ramallah about Daheisha refugee camp and end with my experiences there, this past July.


Raids and restrictions - Deheisha residents reveal daily hardships in refugee camps, by Jesse Rosenfeld:



It's 2:00 am in Deheisha refugee camp outside Bethlehem and I hear a large, loud bang. Camp residents – most of whom are either refugees from the 1948 war or their descendents – say the Israeli army enters Deheisha between three and seven days a week, and that raids have increased over the past few months...Although the camp is officially under Palestinian Authority (PA) administration, Deheisha residents say the Israeli military regularly enters between midnight and 1:00 am to arrest Palestinians involved in resisting the occupation. The military demolishes the homes of resistance fighters and suspected resistance fighters families, or simply make loud noise to wake up and harass the community. According to residents these raids began in 2002 during the second Intifada when Israeli forces besieged Deheisha and took military control of areas under PA jurisdiction.


THE REST:

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/
EKOI-7847ZS?OpenDocument&rc=3&emid=ACOS-635PFR




During my two days in Dasheish refugee camp, Bethlehem, this past July, I spoke with Abu Yaser Ilazza an 82 year old poet from the village of Telasafi, west of Hebron, Sixty years ago he was a farmer in the families olive groves, but since 1948, he has inhabited the Dasheish refugee camp. He only spoke Arabic, and through my translator, he stated, "I once was happy and had a good life, but in 1948 the Zionists came and destroyed my homeland. My father family remained on the land and the rest of us fled in fear from the Zionists. My father was thrown in jail but the rest of the family fled to Beit Sahour [west of Dasheish and five minutes by car].

"The Nabka/Disaster is still fresh in my mind. The Zionists occupied my homeland of Telasafi and they rounded up many men and put them all in jail without charges. My father had been a rich man, but lost it all during the war. When the war ended he went back to his land. He hired a Jewish lawyer and the court agreed he could go home. But the rest of the family was labeled as refugees and we were denied the right to return home.

"When I turned 60 years old, I retired from fixing electronic equipment and became a poet, here is one:

Palestine is hurting, Jerusalem is talking and the people are learning how to take Palestine back; what we have to do if words don't work is we try by force. If the law doesn't give us human rights, we have to take them with war. The UN passed Resolution 194, but we still have no right to return, no human rights at all!

"I am an independent, I am not affiliated with Fatah or Hamas and what I want America to know is that although you only support Israel we are not mad about that.

"Palestine has been home to Christians, Muslims and Jews so how come Israel is just for Jews and they can steal our land?

"The sun in Telasafi is better than the sun in this refugee came. The wine is better in Telasafi than in this refugee camp. My home is in Telasafi, not in this refugee camp."


Mohammad is 17 years old and although he calls Tellasafi home, he has never been there. He was born and remains in the Dasheish refugee camp in Bethlehem: occupied territory. "I do theater, rap and play football but the current climate brings me down and I am not hopeful. It's not about Fatah or Hamas, we have bigger problems here!

"It's all about America and other countries wrestling each other and using Palestine. Those people in Gaza killing each other; I don't think they are even Palestinians! Not everyone who lives in Palestine is Palestinian. Palestinians would not kill each other!

"My father works for the Palestinian Authority and he just got his first full salary since February 20006, because of the American and European boycott of us for electing Hamas. We survived by helping each other. My uncle works for the UN, so he helped us eat and my mother sold all her jewelry.

"It's about our right to return home but we are in this ocean and we do not see the shore. I still have a big hope and if I don't have hope I cannot survive in this camp. I see my grandfather's eyes and the children here and that is my hope that I can make my life better, me myself; I have no hope in the political situation.

"The pressures of living under occupation are what make people violent in return. There is more fighting in the families, but there are no guns in the camp. There were guns during the second intifada but the Israelis killed a lot of those who had them, put the others in jail and confiscated what was left. During the first intifada we protected ourselves against the Israeli army with rocks. But the Israelis chose to use tanks and the violence increased. When the Israelis push us more and more with their violence we become more violent back. When they stole more of our land in 1967 we woke up and got mad.

"If America would let us alone here we could work it out; it's not about Fatah or Hamas; it is about we the people of Palestine and we could fix our problems if America would get out of the way.

"In the Koran there is a promise that we will return back to our land. We don't know how it will happen, and all I know is that I have to work at it."



Um Sallah's family fled from their village of Zakariyya in 1948 and she has never been back.

Her home in the Dasheish refugee camp is sparse but immaculate. The alleys of the camp are overflowing with garbage but every dwelling place I have entered has been clean and neat.


Um Sallah speaks to me through a translator about her dream, "That all my six children will receive a good education and happiness and freedom like in America.

"If only America could see the real issues with their own eyes and see what our lives are really like. There is no work here, no money, no real life.

"If only Americans could see how the Israelis treat us; like animals in a cage, I think things would change.

"We will never give up the struggle for our freedom. When Fatah and Hamas put the people of Palestine first, they will be brothers to brother, but they fight over the crumbs of power. It is our right to go back to our homeland, but the occupation says no and that is what must end.

"We are peaceful people and love freedom and want to be happy, but America and Israel do not see us as people just like them. We have no hope in the EU or the USA. Only the Palestinians can change the situation but first the occupation must end."



Adam is fifteen and spends his days off from school volunteering at the IBDAA Center which is the cultural and health community of the Dasheish refugee camp. At the Center he participates in the dance troop, soccer and theatre.

IBDAA [Arabic for "to create something out of nothing"] Cultural Center http://www.ibdaa194.org is a grassroots organization providing social, educational and cultural programs for children, youth and women in the nearly 60 year old refugee camp.

"My hope is that one day my people will return home. When the massacre happened in 1948 in Dier Yassin the Palestinians fled their homes out of fear. My grandparents ran from Zakariyya and now there are settlements on my families land. My grandparents gave me a powerful hope that one day we will all return home. Every day they taught me we will go home."

Several weeks before the end of the British Mandate, early in the morning of April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. Deir Yassin, was outside of the UN partition of land to Israel, but it was located on very desirable high ground between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. By noon over 100 people, half of them women and children, had been systematically murdered and twenty-five male villagers were loaded into trucks, paraded through the Zakhron Yosef quarter in Jerusalem, and then taken to a stone quarry along the road between Givat Shaul and Deir Yassin and shot to death. The remaining residents were driven to Arab East Jerusalem. A final body count of 254 was reported by The New York Times on April 13, 1948. http://www.deiryassin.org/mas.html

Adam told me, "I can't think ahead of me, I have broken dreams and stay focused on each day as it comes. My family taught me about Zakariyya, about my culture and to keep the memories alive. Today is a blessing and I don't know if I will see tomorrow."



During my hours in the Dasheish refugee camp I met many woman who had no ID and were thus, officially outlaws. Alar was born in Kuwait and moved to Jordan in 1994, ten years ago she came to Dasheish to visit her family and had her ID confiscated by the IDF.

"I am in prison here, I am a non person who came as a tourist and if the Israelis catch me they will demolish my family's home and send me back to Jordan. My hope is to return to my family's homeland in Tellasafi and live in peace with justice and human rights.

"I tell my children to stay away from politics, I teach them our faith and to play in the house, but they want to play with guns like the Israelis. There are no playgrounds in the camp; it is not a good life for children here."


Haejer was the first child born in the tents that were the only dwellings in Dasheish in 1948. "My name means one who has left his country; it means a refugee, but I still believe I will one day see my homeland of Zakariyya. If someone took your home away from you, what would you do? Of course you would want to go home again. That feeling never leaves your heart."


Adam tells me that the village of Zakariyya, between Hebron and Jerusalem, has become known as "America's Park" and anyone-except Palestinians are free to go there and have a BBQ.









   
 
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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

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