one gets to thinking these days….
the reason why i’d much rather be in palestine – anytime, but especially now – is because when together with people acknowledge and fight oppression, i can stand against soldiers, but the indifference and ingorance of people around me outside of palestine takes all the fight and energy out of me. i have a lot more strenght when i’m in palestine – and it’s not that “life” and “work” keeps me too busy here, for fuck’s sake, in palestine, one also works and deals with the daily stuff.
people here don’t get why i’m longing to be back in palestine, why it’s much harder being away than being there, especially now, but not only. they think it’s some mother-theresa-like do-good i-want-to-sacrifize-myself-for-others thing especially the “sacrifize for others” idea so misreads global politics – what happens in palestine and elsewhere is linked to privilege and lifestyles with lack of other freedoms here, it’s my struggle, too. and then people say “you can do a lot of good here, too” or “look at the x people, why don’t you help them?”
AGAIN, i am not HELPING anyone, solidarity is not about people stooping down to help, it’s about knowing that we stand together. this is my struggle, too. and yes, i could be fighting it from a focus on indigenous rights or other human rights in chiapas, in kashmere, for refugee rights in europe (and i try). but again, that idea misreads at least ME. and yes, especially outside of europe, say, again, in chiapas, i WOULD be surrounded by people who know, many of whom fight (oppression, capitalism, imperialism, ethic cleansing, etc.). i WOULND’T be faced with that much indifference or ingorance (at least concerning some core issues of global politics). so the type of people around me are probably not the only reason i’d rather be in palestine. the truth is, it’s because i feel at home in palestine – and not here and not in those other places where the masses know and where many resist. believe it or not, it’s the pace of life, culture, etc. in palestine itself that i’m longing for, in spite of of the occupation and in spite of some inner-palestinian stuff that isn’t that great either. i don’t yearn to return because i have a secret tendendy towards martyrdom, but because people KNOW and many RESIST there AND because i do feel home there, because my adopted families there are closer to me than my own family for private reasons.
as for gaza, i’ve never been, i’m west bank tied and it’s my life in the west bank that i long to return to. and obviously, the indifferencebut as far as this “you’ll be in danger” argument goes, even if i was in gaza, as an privileged non-palestinian, the chances of me getting killed or seriously injured are slim (no need to inform me of the few excptions). i’m not the target, palestinians are, my families there are.
and i do think it’s outside of palestine that internationals need to be fighting, that it is here that we need to change things. but to go back to the top, i have very little strength here, i need people who acknowledge oppression DAILY around me in order to really fight and move things.
it’s also why, when in palestine, i rarely go to east jerusalem or the territories of 48, though as an international, i have am granted the right to do so while the most indigenous are not. it’s not only because i feel very uncomfortable enjoying a privilege that palestinians in the west bank and gaza, not to mention the refugees outside, so yearn for and are denied. it’s also, and perhaps mostly because seeing the ignorance and indifference there, being around the other side of the oppression, … it’s like kryptonite? it saps all my energies and i only