Endangered Palestinian village gets int’l media attention– except from the U.S.

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Haj Sami Sadeq is a mayor in Palestine. Behind him is the Jordan Valley. Around him are the lands of his little village, Al Aqaba.

The entire village is under Israeli demolition orders. In fact, the Israeli army bulldozed the road to his village on Sept. 15, 2 weeks before I shot this picture. They want his lands. And they seem to be cutting his village off from the rest of the world.

Despite the fact that Haj Sami is in a wheelchair because he was crippled by the Israeli army when he was 16 years old and just walking on his family lands, despite the fact that  the people of Al Aqaba village are not allowed to drill for water on their own land and they have been slowly leaving this starved village– their mayor believes in peace. Here is the mural on the wall of his school. pencil2Inside the school these days is an American volunteer, Morgan Bach, 24, below, teaching kindergartners the ABC’s.

Morgan Bach is not just in Al Aqaba to teach– but to make sure that the Israeli army doesn’t tear the village off the map. The Rebuilding Alliance paid Morgan’s airfare, but nothing more. The village feeds her. 

And this brave young woman, who not long ago was living in a sorority house in Walla Walla, stays in Al Aqaba to protect the village– something no international government body is willing to do for Haj Sami or his people.morgan2I’ve been a journalist all my life. I think this is a pretty good story.

But below is a video I shot of Haj Sami the night I stayed in his village. He had just given me dinner. Then I asked him how much media attention he’s gotten.  Highlights: At :48 he tells where all the media have come from. At 2:55-4:00 he tells about his visit to the U.S. in 2008, and people don’t even know where Palestine is. I wonder why…Update: There’s a campaign to raise money for Al Aqaba right now, at Rebuilding Alliance’s website. Can you help out?

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It’s beyond disgusting. Yet the myriad of apologists and deniers just ignore the daily evidence like this, and turn away from people who have done nothing, harmed no-one, and pretend they don’t exist. Or, in other words, deny their right to exist, and delegitimise a whole people who, incidentally, have genuine claims to their own land, unlike Israelis, who have an entirely fictional claim.

We also need a video of the class learning ABCs (English? seems NOT Arabic). Nothing so humanizing as children.

Al Aqaba has a comprehensive plan to rebuild and TODAY they’re crowd-sourcing the funds to begin. Every dollar donateduntil 9 pm tonight will be matched by Global Giving by 30%

In any other place in the world, planning & building homes is normal civic activity; in Area C, it’s civil disobedience. Maybe we here on Mondoweiss can give them a big boost!

Would everyone please start calling this continous destruction what it is..Genocide. Elements of the Crime of Genocide From the Report of the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court, 6 July 2000 Articles 6 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1998 and Article II of the the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide of 1948 Crime: Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction.… Read more »

The Israeli state really is run by the scum of the earth. Truly.