Rina Castelnuovo for The New York TimesPalestinian women and girls from the West Bank at the beach in Tel Aviv, after a group of Israeli women snuck them into the country for a daylong excursion.
“We cannot assent to the legality of the Law of Entry into Israel, which allows every Israeli and every Jew to move freely in all regions between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River while depriving Palestinians of this same right. They are not permitted free movement within the occupied territories nor are they allowed into the towns and cities across the green line, where their families, their nation, and their traditions are deeply rooted. They and we, all ordinary citizens, took this step with a clear and resolute mind. In this way we were privileged to experience one of the most beautiful and exciting days of our lives, to meet and befriend our brave Palestinian neighbors, and together with them, to be free women, if only for one day.”
Their story of moving incognito through the check-point is reminiscent of BZ Goldberg's journey in the documentary Promises when he takes an elderly Palestinian grandmother and her grandson from the refugee camp (once a collection of tents, now a permanent closed urban settlement), through a check-point, to visit the ruins of their ancestral home. It had been 40 years since the grandmother has seen her former village, now a rocky field, but she could still recognize the patch of land where her house once stood - and she still had the key to her front door. As is true too of the women in this article, both Jewish and Arab children in the film had seen their share of family members imprisoned or childhood friends killed. In both that film and this article, Jewish people are shown taking a small, personal step to reach out, make friends and literally lend a hand to their Palestinian friends and neighbors in gestures of humanity and goodwill. Yes indeed, politics aside.
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And for another look at the Palestinian conflict read Israelis and Palestinians: Soldiers, Children and War.