There is a first time for everthing. Today (14 June 2020) I joined a demonstration. Even Corona and the mandatory use of a face mask in the public transport could not keep me from traveling from Rheden to Amsterdam (Museumplein).
Together with more than 200 people I showed my sympathy for the Palestinians and I raised my voice: Israel’s plan to formally annex large swathes of the occupied Palestinian territory is unacceptible. People in Palestine: we see you! #PalestinianLivesMatter
Recently, 11 June 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled against French government and for the right of the citizens to call for a boycott of Israeli goods on the basis of Israel’s apartheid regime. It is a victory for freedom of expression and for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.
So more than ever it is time to join forces and raise our voices :
“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”
These days newspapers write al lot about the major policy shift of the United States: it announced that it no longer views settlements as ‘inconsistent with international law‘.
The international community overwhelmingly considers the settlements illegal. This is based in part on the Fourth Geneva Convention, which bars an occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population to occupied territory. Israël rejects the position that the territories are occupied, maintaining that they were captured from Jordan in a defensive war.
Today in the Dutch newspaper NRC this photo (source: United Nations Office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs): it is frightening…..
As a child I read many books. I grew up in Veghel. It had (at that time) a small library. Every week you could find me there, reading all available books. Reading is a passion I still have. Weekly I read 1 or 2 books. When I grew older history and the world wars got my special interest. I read novels, but non-fiction is my favourite genre.
In 2011 a colleague brought along the book “Een bijzondere relatie: het conflict Israël-Palestina nader bekeken 1897 – 1993 (a special relationship: the Israel-Palestine conflict reviewed in more detail 1897 – 1993)” of Egbert Talens. It was published in 2005. I was overwhelmed! Egbert Talens created a balanced storey about Israël and the zionism, based on a lot of literature. Egbert Talens was not a historian, he was a gymnastic teacher. As a volenteer he worked for the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) in the Middle East for 33 years.
This book didn’t get many attention in the Dutch media. That’s too bad because I think it is one of the best Dutch books about this subject. It inspired me to read more and more books about Palestine and it led to my trip to the West Bank in 2018.
Curious about al the Dutch books I read about Israël/Palestina? You can find the titles HERE.
It has been more than a year since I traveled to the West Bank (Palestine) for two weeks. It was awesome! Every memory fills me with a blissful feeling. And at the same time I feel there is more (to do).
I wrote about my journey on my Dutch website (www.angelathissen.nl). My contribution to a more realistic image of Palestine.
Wednesday 13 November 2019 I listened to anthropologist Jitske Kramer (Human Dimensions) at the theatre in Utrecht. She talked about her journey to Togo and her experiences met voodoo. She showed beautiful pictures and films!
That evening memories of Palestine came back to me. The smells, sounds, taste and al kinds of different sensations. I recognized some of Jitske’s lessons learned. That inspired me to design my own website about my journey. In English this time, an extra challenge (with help of Google Translate…).
I emailed the staff of Area D hostel in Ramallah. When preparing and designing my own trip they were of great help for me. In the mail I informed them about my new website, gave them the opportunity to correct any translation errors 😉 and I thanked them again for their help at that time. I received this email reply a few minutes later:
“Hi Angela! Thanks for your message. You’ve done a great job helping our mission to inform the world about Palestine! I’ve CC’ed some of our new staff so they can also have a look at your website, to gain a better understanding of how our foreign visitors perceive their visits to the West Bank. I’m especially happy to see you made it to Sebastia, a place that doesn’t get enough attention I will share the website on our Facebook page, and I hope to meet you on your next visit! “