Returning from a visit to the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Israel with the UK Palestine Mental Health Network, I am trying to assemble my thoughts and it takes time. You might think that things can’t get any worse in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They can and they do. Jeff Halper refers to Palestinians being ‘warehoused’. The word ghetto is becoming more commonly used. People live in fear. A child may be snatched off the street for allegedly throwing stones. They may be guilty but equally they may not. It does not matter to a member of the IDF. It is part of their strategy to cow and terrorise Palestinians into leaving.
Passing a soldier or going through a checkpoint, keep your eyes down and your hands out of your pockets. Don’t have a bulge under your coat or you will be shot first with no questions asked.
What can we do? Support the BDS Campaign was the response. Tell people. Write to your MP and keep writing. And take heart from all the extraordinarily strong Palestinian women who remain ‘sumud’ and offer dynamic leadership to all manner of organisations. Be depressed but also be inspired.