"...I arrive here having been forced, along with 8 fellow peace activists from the United States, France and Ireland, out of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We were physically assaulted and abducted by armed gunmen from Israel's para-military Border Police in the heart of the West Bank. Our fate is that of an increasing number of foreign doctors, relief workers, journalists, observers and others in solidarity with the Palestinian people. We face deportation and refused entry when trying to help the Palestinian people, even as Israel escalates its war against them.
This government of Israel does not wish the world to see or know of what its forces are doing in the name of occupation - for silence is the greatest asset of oppression.
In this conflict, all are suffering. I have seen the horror and carnage wrought by both sides. But in this conflict there is only one occupation.
The occupation must end now. We can be silent no longer."
--Statement given by Adam Shapiro of the ISM upon his arrival at JFK Airport, NY
================================================================== The following 2 accounts are quite lengthy, but well worth the read. The first is actually dated two weeks ago, but things don't change..... =========================
Susan Barclay in Nablus Thu, 1 Aug 2002 I find a few moments to write not because it is something that I even have the time to do, but more because if I don't write now, I am afraid to lose the precious, tragic stories and sights I have witnessed in the last few weeks. During the past weeks I lay down to sleep between 2-4 a.m. to the sounds of tanks clunking over the pavement, sporadic shooting - noises of the night that Palestinian ears can distinguish in the flash of a moment -- and a mind bursting with thoughts, scenes and stories that keep me from unconsciousness even longer.
The morning begins with laughter as a friend tells me that he likes to watch Tom and Jerry because it makes him smile. "Why do people watch Rambo? We see that everyday�here it is not TV, it is real." When Internationals first arrive they are often baffled by the military machinery waging this war, but the novelty wears off so very quickly; loss of appreciation frequently goes hand in hand with habit, routine and repetition. Today alone, I saw over 15 tanks, 7 apcs, a number of jeeps, 30+ soldiers armed with M-16's and a Land Rover full of commandos. This is life here. Children 2-3 years old know the words for soldier, tank, shooting, prison, and death; slowly and surely war creeps into their beings.