Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Live reports from UNISON delegation to Palestine

Sam Macartney, UNISON Scotland International Chair, reports from a delegation to Palestine and Israel: Day one arrived Tel Aviv. As expected I was pulled in by Israeli security, thankfully only questioned for 20 minutes then released. It seems my reputation precedes me!

Another Israeli checkpoint, Jerusalem
On the drive to Jerusalem Noel our driver pointed out the security the Palestine workers and people must face day in day out. Horrendous can't explain what this is like. The harassment and humiliation these people face is beyond words!

There are now walls around all Palestinian settlements with signs stating Jews must be aware that this area is dangerous. For them! So much for shared futures and villages, these truly are divisive structures.

Day 2: Went to Jaffa today and met with a Palestinian who runs tour guides with a real understanding of what it is like to live under occupation in your own country. His bother continued our education in the afternoon and showed us how Palestinian people try to survive in a town where the military rule and your civil rights are non existent if you are Palestinian.  Where your home can't be passed on to your family even if you own it. And the state can kick you out when they feel like it.

Our guide's brother is a teacher who is not allowed to teach because he wished to teach Palestinian history. Teaching your own history under occupation is seen as subversion.

Met with women for peace in Tel Aviv. These brave souls object to the Israeli military approach adopted by the the government and the continued subjugation of Palestinians living in enclaves on the west bank and surrounding areas of Palestine and the arrest without trial of men women and children some as young as 12 years old.

It's well worth noting that these activists are Jewish and many are pacifists who refuse to accept conscription to the Israeli army. They are shunned by their own  family and peoples for trying to help others. They must be commended for this excellent social stance .

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