My dear Makevet,
I’ve actually had the ‘pleasure’ of visiting the last remaining land of Apartheid. I have seen its luxurious and illegal settlements on hilltops overlooking and releasing their sewage on Palestinian ghettos where the inhabitants are not allowed to dig wells or to tend to their farms.
I have met many business people whose factories and warehouses have been directly targeted and whose produce has been labelled as made in ‘israel’ in order to obtain a trade permit. People who are forced to pay taxes to an illegally occupying power, and to pay rent from a mafia-like Iseali state in control of their economy.
I have seen those hundred of checkpoints after checkpoints where people are forced to spend the better part of their days just to be able to move about and visit their families or places of work. Places where their ‘documents’ and all their belongings and even their undergarments are scrutinised for hours on end.
I have seen the ugly Apartheid wall running right through villages and towns, separating children from their schools, people from their families, and friends from friends. I have seen with my own eyes separate roads for Palestinians and Jews, and I have seen how Jews are so free to go about their business without interruption on Palestinian land while Palestinians have to go through the humiliation of oppression and threats by Israeli children with guns, boys who are barely out of school brandishing their lethal weapons in their faces, scrutinising their every move, asking question after question, and treating them with disdain and sheer disgust – even demanding that they answer questions in hebrew.
In the midst of that, I met Palestinians with good hearts, the most wonderful sense of humour, and with optimism and hope for a better future. Most of all, they hold an iron determination to stay and protect what is so close and dear to their hearts, their homeland, despite the misery, the pain, the humiliation and the sheer racism that they face day after day, especially from heavily armed, racist and extremely antagonistic land thieves you call ‘settlers’.
And their most potent weapon, and one that they use to the best of their abilities is to reproduce so as to maintain an advantage that you simply cannot overcome. They are answering your racism and apartheid and evil weapons of mass destruction with lovemaking and procreation.
I hope I have specified it for you exactly enough. Thanks for the Nowruz wishes, and I wish you the best of luck, and most of all, I wish you a change of heart. Shalom