Video: Hamas chief Meshaal makes historic Gaza visit
7 Dec — The political leader of the Palestinian movement Hamas has set foot in Gaza for the first time. Khaled Meshaal crossed into the strip from Egypt and was welcomed by members of various Palestinian factions. A large rally is to be held on Saturday to welcome him. Fatah, Hamas’ political rival, has also been invited to attend the rally, and has indicated that it would do so. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from Gaza City.
Meshaal to attend Gaza anniversary rally
Al Jazeera 8 Dec — Thousands of Palestinians are due to turn out for ‘victory’ rally to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hamas Movement. After receiving a hero’s welcome on his return from decades in exile, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal will attend a rally in Gaza to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas Movement and the start of the first Palestinian uprising, or Intifada, against Israel in December 1987. At least 200,000 Palestinians are expected to attend the outdoor event on Saturday, which is likely to be used by Meshaal to promote Hamas’s growing stature in the Arab world and push the case for reconciliation with its secular political rival, Fatah.
Joy at return of Hamas leader tinged by unity regret
GAZA CITY (Reuters) 7 Dec — Policemen kissed him, crowds mobbed him and gunfire rattled out in celebration as Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal made his first ever visit to the Gaza Strip. But the scenes of joy at his arrival in this small splinter of land could not disguise deep-rooted disunity between the Palestinian factions, ensuring its people remain divided both geographically and politically … “Gaza lives forever thanks to its fighters and people,” said 44-year-old public sector worker, Abu Mohamed. “Mashaal’s visit is a first step. We hope Fatah and Hamas will join hands for the sake of Palestine,” he added … Clearly aware of the yearning for reconciliation, Mashaal repeatedly returned to the subject during his many stops around Gaza, home to some 1.7 million mostly impoverished Palestinians … Yellow Fatah flags fluttered alongside the Hamas colors on some streets and a senior figure from the movement was one of the first to greet Mashaal as he entered the enclave.
Mashaal: Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 Dec — Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal made his first visit to the Gaza Strip on Friday, telling crowds he hoped his next visit would be to Jerusalem, Ramallah and a liberated Palestine. After passing through the Egyptian border crossing, Mashaal knelt on the ground to offer a prayer of thanks and was then greeted by dozens of officials from an array of competing factions lined up to meet him in warm December sun … The leader was briefly tearful as he was welcomed by Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Mashaal said his visit to Gaza was his “third birth” referring to an assassination attempt by Israeli Mossad agents in 1997 as his previous “re-birth.” “I pray to God that my fourth birth will come the day we liberate Palestine,” he said, clearly moved by his reception, with uniformed police breaking ranks to try and kiss his hand.
Exiled Hamas leader set for historic Gaza visit
GAZA (Reuters) 6 Dec — Hamas’s exiled leader will step onto Palestinian land for the first time in 45 years on Friday for a “victory rally” in the Gaza Strip, displaying his newfound confidence after last month’s conflict with Israel. The Islamist group’s leader, Khaled Mashaal, who has not visited the Palestinian Territories since leaving the West Bank at age 11, emerged emboldened from the eight day conflict which ended in a truce he negotiated under Egypt’s auspices. He has since spoken of reaching out to other Palestinian factions
The rise of Meshaal, Hamas’ born again survivor
GAZA, Palestine (AFP) 8 Dec — Long considered a radical, Hamas leader in exile Khaled Meshaal has gradually shifted position to an implicit acceptance of the notion of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. “This is my third birth,” he said as his made his first ever visit to Gaza Friday, counting his escape from an Israeli attempt on his life in Jordan in 1997 as his second. Aged 56, imposing but affable, the former physics teacher with salt-and-pepper hair and large dark eyes was born in Silwad, near the West Bank town of Ramallah. It is there that he spent his childhood before going into exile with his family to Kuwait, following the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 when the Jewish state seized the West Bank…
On Sept. 25, 1997, agents of Israel’s Mossad secret service disguised as Canadian tourists bungled an attempt to assassinate him on a street in Amman by injecting him with poison. Three of the attackers took refuge at the Israeli Embassy, but two were captured by Jordanian authorities. Meshaal fell into a coma and a furious King Hussein demanded Israel hand over the antidote if it wanted the captured agents to be freed. The episode compelled then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – re-elected in 2009 – to release Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and 19 others from prison. [See the fascinating book Kill Khalid]
Islamic Jihad chief ‘reconsiders Gaza visit after Israeli threat’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 Dec — Israel threatened to assassinate the leader of Islamic Jihad if he enters the Gaza Strip, causing the party to reconsider his upcoming visit, sources said Thursday … Jihad’s leadership are in talks with the Egyptian authorities over the matter.
Gaza fishermen after the ceasefire [includes a video]
ISM 6 Dec — On Wednesday 5th December, Gaza fishermen staged a peaceful protest in the port of Gaza City, in order to highlight the Israeli attacks on their livelihoods. They were supported by the local Fishing Union, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. Gaza fishermen constantly face Israeli military aggression in Gazan territorial waters — just as farmers attempting to work their land in the buffer zone have been facing on a regular basis since Israel’s massive assault on Gaza in late November. Both cases constitute a violation of the fragile ceasefire.
Video: Gaza’s armed groups unite against Israel
7 Dec — During the recent fighting between Israel and Palestinian fighters, there was an unprecedented level of co-operation between the dozens of resistance groups in Gaza. The fighters say that for the first time, they are now united in planning attacks against Israel. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from Gaza.
Gaza minister of interior frees 80 prisoners
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 Dec — The ministry of interior in the Gaza Strip decided Friday to release 80 prisoners who had served two-thirds of their sentences as a celebratory gesture following Palestine’s admission to the UN.
Yemen offers jobs to Gaza graduates
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 Dec — Yemen is offering job opportunities to new graduates in the Gaza Strip, an official at the ministry of education announced Tuesday. Zakaria al-Hour said 27,000 Palestinian university graduates were out of work in Gaza, and the ministry of education has reached out to foreign offices to ease that rate. Yemen, he said, responded and offered its support to Palestinians in Gaza. It is recruiting graduates in the fields of Arabic, Islamic education, English, science, math, computers, chemistry, physics, biology, and information technology.
Malaysia donates $1 million to UNRWA
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Dec — Malaysia has donated $1 million to support UNRWA in the Gaza Strip in response to Israel’s recent war on the enclave, the UN agency said Thursday. The contribution is in addition to $200,000 donated by Malaysia in November to support the regular services of the agency, which supports Palestinian refugees.
Land, property theft / Threats to Palestinian heritage and culture / Restriction of movement
The Arab villages that were: a new Israeli guidebook
Haaretz 7 Dec by Moshe Gilad — A new volume in Hebrew and Arabic retraces a past that many prefer to forget — A round white dome stands in the middle of the vacation village at Dor Beach, near Caesarea. I’ve visited this place dozens of times but never noticed the sheikh’s tomb on the well-tended lawn. Nor did I remember the large stone building right on the shoreline, a few dozen meters from the water, opposite the bobbing fishing boats. This made me wonder. After all, this beach – also known as Tantura – was among my parents’ favorites and as a child we would go there every summer. Still, when I pressed the intercom at the entrance to the village and explained why I’d come, the woman declared: “There are no antique buildings here. You are mistaken.” I tried to persuade her that the guidebook I was carrying – an intriguing new volume, in Hebrew and Arabic, called “Omrim Yeshna Eretz” (“Once Upon a Land – a Tour Guide” ) – contradicted what she had said. Maybe she doesn’t see the sheikh’s tomb either, although she walks past it every day.
The guidebook offers 18 tours in various locales, including Palestinian villages that were evacuated in the late 1940s, most of which were destroyed … Regarding the book, let me say straightaway that its importance goes beyond the mere fact of its publication. It contains consistent, systematic historical documentation, with a clear political opinion, of a past we tend to ignore.
Settlers storm the evacuated Tarsala settlement
PNN — On Friday 7th December, Jewish settlers stormed the evacuated Tarsala settlement outpost to the south of Jenin at dawn under protection of the Israeli occupation forces. Security sources said that dozens of settlers broke into the settlement, performed their religious rituals and chanted anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim slogans. Tarsala is one of four sites evacuated by the IOF in the West Bank in 2005.
Preserving or looting Palestinian books in Jerusalem / Ofer Aderet
Haaretz 7 Dec — The National Library in Jerusalem houses more than 8,000 volumes in Arabic which once belonged to Palestinians who fled the country or were forced out in 1948. Were these books collected for the purpose of preservation – or looted? … Was gathering them part of an Israeli salvage operation or part of a systematic destruction of Palestinian culture? Not everyone is in agreement about this … “at the National Library they believed — and still believe — that what is at issue is the act of saving a culture … The Palestinians, on the other hand, view the gathering of the books as “a clear-cut act of cultural plunder, cultural disinheritance, which was an inseparable part of the Nakba, the tragedy the war brought upon them,” he adds.
Polish NGO safeguards Palestinian water rights / Amira Hass
Haaretz 8 Dec — The harsh actions of the Civil Administration in the West Bank have made waves in places as far afield as Poland. An NGO there is working to safeguard Palestinians’ right to collect water – Israel’s ambassador to Poland was summoned to the Polish deputy foreign minister’s office in the wake of an article published in the mass-circulation, liberal paper Gazeta Wyborcza. The ambassador was not summoned because of planned construction in E1, but because of a demolition. This happened last February, but the newspaper continues to take an interest in the reason behind the diplomatic event: the demolition of a Palestinian community’s old water cistern, which had been restored with Polish government funding through the Polish Humanitarian Action NGO. Judging by comments on the Internet, and discussions held in Polish media outlets and social networks, the fact that Israel was destroying sources of water belonging to the population for whose welfare it is responsible was a shock to quite a few Poles.
Palestinian employment: The phantom workers of Israel / Alon Aviram
972mag 7 Dec — An estimated 30,000 Palestinian laborers work in Israel without permits, in predominantly labor intensive jobs. Pay is poor, social rights are virtually non-existent, and conditions in the workplace are often hazardous. A group of Palestinian workers tell their story from a construction site in Petah Tikva — “This place is a luxury penthouse,” said Faisal, 26, a builder from Hebron, as he looked out across the lit city-scape of Petah Tikva. Industrial waste was strewn across the floor, tools were propped up against walls and dust hung in the air on the tenth floor of the construction site. “We’ve stayed in so many penthouses, you wouldn’t believe it!” he said grinning. The shell of a building, in which Faisal stood, is a workplace as well as a temporary home for him and the five other young men in the room. They’ve lived this life on countless construction sites across the country … “Every two weeks or so the police come and detain us. They take us to the checkpoint and send us back into the West Bank. It’s their way of telling us whose boss. But they know we’ll just make our way back in,” said Faisal.
Violence / Raids / Suppression of popular protests / Illegal arrests
PCHR Weekly Report: 3 Palestinians dead, 14 wounded by Israeli forces this week [29 Nov – 5 Dec]
IMEMC 7 Dec — …the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli Forces killed a Palestinian civilian in the southern Gaza Strip. In addition, a member of a Palestinian armed group died of wounds he had sustained in the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Forces also killed a Palestinian civilian in the east of Tulkarem. 14 civilians, including 4 children, were wounded along the border fence in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Forces abducted 20 fishers, including 5 children, and damaged a fishing boat’s engine.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank: Israeli Forces conducted 47 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and abducted 34 Palestinians, including 2 children and a woman with her son, in the West Bank. In the West Bank, on 03 December 2012, the Israeli Forces killed a Palestinian civilian when his car hit an Israeli military jeep on Nablus-Ramallah road. On 01 December 2012, a Palestinian child was wounded when the Israeli Forces moved into Dora village, southwest of Hebron, amidst firing sound bombs. Full Report
Soldiers attack Bil‘in weekly protest against wall, settlements
IMEMC 7 Dec — Similar Protests Attacked In Different Parts Of West Bank — The Friends of Freedom and Justice Committee in Bil‘in, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, reported Friday that Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and Settlements, built on villagers lands, and fired gas bombs at the protesters leading to dozens of injuries. Soldiers also attacked nonviolent protesters in Nabi Saleh, Al-Ma‘sara and Kufur Qaddoum …
The Popular Committee Against the Wall in Bil‘in issued a statement in solidarity with all Palestinian political prisoners holding a hunger strike in Israeli prisons, mainly, Ayman Ash-Sharawna, Samer Al-Issawi, Tareq Qa’dan, Ja‘far Iz-Ed-deen and Yousef Yassin.
Clashes erupt in Hebron, after Israeli forces provoke Palestinians in Area H1
ISM 6 Dec — Clashes broke out in Hebron on Thursday after a confrontation between Palestinian Authority police and Israeli Occupation Forces. On Wednesday there was a verbal confrontation between a Palestinian Police officer and the Israeli Army. The following day Israeli Forces spotted the Officer while they were on a patrol in area H1 (which is a Palestinian controlled area) and tried to arrest him in Bab Al-Zawiye. Palestinians who witnessed the scene intervened and the officer managed to avoid the unlawful arrest. After the PA Officer avoided arrest, the situation remained tense, as the army would not leave the scene. Israeli Forces then shot tear gas into crowds of civilian bystanders, which quickly escalated the situation. Palestinians became enraged, then clashes broke out between Palestinian youth and the IOF.
Army invades Faqqu‘a village near Jenin
IMEMC 7 Dec — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Thursday evening, the Faqqu’a village, east of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, installed roadblocks and searched several vehicles. Clashes were reported and the army fired gas bombs and concussion grenades. The Palestine News & Info Agency (WAFA) reported that the army invaded the eastern neighborhood, and conducted military searches of homes leading to clashes with the residents …
Furthermore, the army installed roadblocks at the entrances of the villages of Al-Yamoun, Rommana, Zabbouba and Ta’nak, stopped and searched dozens of vehicles, and inspected the ID cards of the drivers and passengers; no arrests were reported.
Occupation claims confiscating weapons in Nablus
NAZARETH (PIC) 7 Dec — Israeli sources claimed that an Israeli military force has found, during a military operation carried out at dawn on Thursday, a rifle, ammunition and several knives in the village of Burqa, located to the north-west of the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank … The website of Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper stated that the military operation carried out at dawn on Thursday in Burqa targeted Hamas [See article 500 Israeli soldiers ransack homes in Burqa]
Israeli forces detain 3 minors from Qalqiliya
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 8 Dec — Israeli forces raided Azzoun village east of Qalqiliya and detained on Friday three teenagers, locals said. Qaies Waddah Shbeta, 15, Mohammad Abed al-Fatah Radwan, 15, and Mohammad Adel Shbeta, 15 were all detained and taken to an unknown location.
IOF arrest five Palestinians in West Bank
RAMALLAH (PIC) 7 Dec — …the IOF arrested, Thursday night, a university student from the town of Tamoun near the West Bank city of Tubas with one of her relatives, after IOF troops aboard several military vehicles stormed the town. According to local sources in Tamoun IOF troops raided the town last night and arrested Iman Bani Odeh (20 years) a student at the Arab American University after storming her parents’ house and tampering with its contents, noting that the occupation forces had arrested her brother Anas about a month ago and that he is still under interrogation at Jalama prison. The IOF also arrested Nasser Bani Odeh (36 years), Iman’s uncle, and one of the Islamic Jihad activists.
10 Palestinians kidnapped in the West Bank
IMEMC 7 Dec — …Furthermore, soldiers invaded Beit Fajjar town, near Bethlehem, broke into and searched several homes and kidnapped four residents. The four have been identified as Mohammad Ziyad Taqatqa, 21, Mohammad Yousef Taqatqa, 21, Ahmad Abdul-Rahman Taqatqa, 27, and Eyad Mohammad Taqatqa, 30.
Israel detains Palestinians from Salfit
SALFIT (Ma‘an) 8 Dec — Israeli forces on Friday morning detained Odai Radwan Ayash from Rafat village in Salfit, his family said. At 1 a.m., Israeli forces raided the house of Radwan Issa Ayash, and destroyed the windows. The forces ransacked the house, and detained his son Odai. They confiscated computer devices and a laptop.
Israel returns body of Palestinian shot by agents
TULKAREM (Ma’an) 7 Dec — Israeli authorities on Friday returned the body of a man killed by Israeli security agents in the northern West Bank this week. Construction worker Hatem Shadid, 37, was shot dead by members of the Israeli internal security service, the Shin Bet, on Monday. His car had collided with their vehicle on a West Bank road, and Israeli officials said he attacked the agents with an axe, a charge denied by his family.
PA security kidnaps two Hamas supporters, summons liberated prisoners
RAMALLAH (PIC) 7 Dec — Palestinian Authority security apparatus continued their violations against supporters and cadres of the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” in the West Bank, arresting two of them in al-Khalil, and summoned two for interrogation in Ramallah. PA services also postponed the courts of 23 Palestinians in Nablus and Qalqilya, and extended the detention of two others.
Political, economic developments / Other news
Islamic Movement elects Sheikh Raed Salah head for a new term
UMM AL-FAHM (PIC) 7 Dec — The Islamic movement in the Palestinian 1948 occupied territories elected a new leadership headed by Sheikh Raed Salah, for a second term … The Islamic Movement also discussed on Thursday the present situation of the movement and its future. It concluded its tenth conference talking about the latest developments taking place in the domestic arena, including the Israeli occupation attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy sites in the occupied city of Jerusalem and the issue of racial discrimination from which the Palestinian citizens in the 1948 occupied territories have been suffering.
PA: World should retrieve our tax revenues from Israel
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Dec — The Palestinian Authority government on Thursday slammed Israel’s seizure of its tax revenues after Palestine won a UN status upgrade as a “policy of piracy”. “The international community (should) reject this blackmail and compel Israel to transfer our tax revenues,” a PA cabinet statement said Thursday.
Why we lost Pacific Islands
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Dec — As Israel reflects on losing Europe in Thursday’s vote to upgrade Palestine’s UN status, mystery shrouds the positions of four Pacific island nations that broke with international consensus and sided with Tel Aviv … representatives of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau all refused this week to discuss the vote, dodging calls from Ma‘an and even their own aides.
After UN vote, Lieberman cancels visit to Georgia
Haaretz 6 Dec — The United Nations’ vote to accept Palestine as a non-member observer state has created a rift in relations not only between Israel and European Union member states, but with other nations as well. One of these nations is Georgia. According to a Foreign Ministry source, a planned visit to Tbilisi by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, was canceled, as a response to Georgia’s decision to vote in favor of the Palestinians’ UN bid.
Palestinian journalists conclude safety training in Jenin, West Bank
PNN6 Dec — On Wednesday 5th December, Fifteen Palestinian journalists concluded a three-day training in safety which was organised jointly by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS) with the support of UNESCO Office in Ramallah … “The safety of journalists remains of paramount importance to the IFJ and we congratulate our Palestinian colleagues on the completion of this workshop,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “We are committed to continuing providing the life–saving skills taught in these courses to many journalists who face security risks in their daily work.” The UNESCO support for this workshop followed the official launch of the implementation of the UN Action Plan on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity during a meeting held in Vienna on 22 and 23 November 2012.
King of Jordan arrives in Ramallah for first visit of foreign leader since Palestine UN upgrade
MEMO 7 Dec — …The King was received by the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, at the presidential headquarters in the West Bank city. The two leaders inspected a military guard of honour while the Royal Jordanian and Palestinian national anthems were played. According to Jordanian press reports, the visit of King Abdullah carried a strong message to the Israelis. “This confirms that Jordan stands alongside the state of Palestine, the Palestinian people and their national rights,” said one.
Dismissed teachers continue their protest in West Bank
RAMALLAH (PIC) 7 Dec — A number of dismissed teachers continued their sit-in for the fourth day demanding to return to their jobs after being dismissed for their political affiliation. Ayman Qawariq, one of the dismissed teachers, had declared his open hunger strike, insisting to continue the sit-in outside the Council of Ministers in Ramallah, before being transferred to the hospital on Thursday for treatment due to his hunger strike. Ayman Qawariq, a teacher of mathematics, was protesting with 6 other teachers since Tuesday to meet their demands topped by returning 500 teachers to their jobs.
Switzerland donates $3.2 million to UNRWA
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 7 Dec — Switzerland has contributed $3.2 million to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said Friday. The funds will support UNRWA’s regular programs, and follows a Swiss contribution of $11.8 million earlier in 2012, the agency said in a statement.
Analysis / Opinion / Human interest
A week in photos: November 29 – December 5
The Palestinian statehood bid, the ruins of Gaza, nurses strike in Israel, and more: Activestills images tell the stories of the week.
Palestine’s new status: Rerun of history or new strategy? / Ramzy Baroud
Ma‘an 6 Dec — Palestine has become a “non-member state” at the United Nations as of Thursday Nov. 29, 2012. The draft of the UN resolution beckoning what many perceive as a historic moment passed with an overwhelming majority of General Assembly members: 138 votes in favor, nine against and 41 abstentions. It was accompanied by a passionate speech delivered by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. But decades earlier, a more impressive and animated Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat sought international solidarity as well. The occasion then was also termed ‘historic’.
1000 children to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem
PNN 6 Dec — Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) said in a press release that HB Patriarch Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and other religious and civic leaders in Bethlehem will join HCEF’s Children’s Journey to Bethlehem for Peace on Thursday, December 6, 2012. The Journey to Bethlehem for Peace brings Palestinian children to visit the city of Bethlehem and the Nativity Church. For many of these children, this is their first opportunity to visit Bethlehem, even though they live close by. Mayors of 13 Cities and Towns including Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour, Jifna, Aboud, Ein Ariek, Jericho, Taybeh, Birzeit, Nablus, Zababdeh, and from all over Palestine were invited by HCEF to celebrate this significant Christmas event with the Children of Palestine. The invitation of mayors is intended to make more visible the Christian presence in Bethlehem and throughout Palestine, where many Christians live.
It’s more than a hip-hop and a jump to the moon for this Arab-Israeli band
Haaretz 7 Dec — Lod-based threesome DAM have played New York and Paris 30 times, but Jordan and Egypt just once because they have Israeli passports — The idea for the song “Nudbok al Amar” (“Dabke on the Moon” ), the title track of the new album by the Lod-based hip-hop group DAM, was conceived by band member Tamer Nafar while watching the news on television one day. “There were two stories. One was about a research study that NASA is doing on the moon, and the other was about the tunnels in Gaza,” he recounts. “It hurt me to see the difference between them. Light-years apart. The Americans are flying to space, and we [the Palestinians] are still digging underground. And they are also responsible for our being in the ground…”
Sayed Kashua’s right of return
Haaretz 6 Dec — ‘Your Arabic is excellent,’ the cleaner of his new home tells him — “Excuse me,” the banister installer said, smiling, “I just never imagined that you live here, yes, Sa’id?” “Sure,” I said, “sure, forget it.” And I really meant that, because it didn’t hurt me in the least that he thought I was an Arab worker …”So I have to live in a village to feel I am in a natural place?” I asked. “I’m not allowed city life?” “That’s not what I’m saying,” she replied, with a patience I was quickly losing. “Then what are you saying?” I insisted. “I really want to understand. What are my options for being natural? To buy some house that is unregistered and unrecorded in the eastern city? To buy a place in the area that was conquered in 1967? To forgo my values for a crappy apartment in an Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem? What? What is natural? To go back to the village? Back to Tira? To the family? To fights between siblings over every meter of land? What is natural? What can I do in order to safeguard the children? Tell me, please, what is right and what is wrong, and I will do it!”