I am Diane Josephy Peavey, a writer and sheep rancher from Hailey, Idaho. I’ve traveled extensively through Palestine. When I can’t be there, like you I rely on Mondoweiss to bring me real stories about the country and people I have come to know.
When I first traveled to Palestine in 2004, I was immediately inspired by the same passions for home and land that have filled my life in Idaho. Since then, I have returned often and always try to find my way to the land and its stories.
Generous donors have pledged to give Mondoweiss $30,000 if you and others in our community can match that amount. Thanks to this challenge, your gift will be doubled. But we only have until July 18 to meet this challenge.
Today, with the threat of annexation, I am drawn back to the settlement growth and settler violence I witnessed during my travels in Palestine.
Young sheep herders and their flocks rerouted miles from their traditional grazing lands in the Hebron hills as they move around huge settlements. Well water poisoned and farm animals mutilated and killed. Centuries-old olive trees ripped from the ground. Children blocked from school by settlers armed with rocks and bats and protected by Israeli soldiers.
But these stories are rarely told in today’s mainstream media.
With settler violence and Israeli land theft comes the irreversible destruction of sweeping biblical landscapes without regard for the history of this land. Small farms and hillsides of olive trees dating backing 2,000 years are seized from Palestinians and paved over with ugly high-rise buildings, tract housing and modern highways for Israelis only.
The sprawling settlement of Ariel dumps its toxic industrial waste into waters that flow directly through a Palestinian town below. Outside of Bethlehem, settler sewage water trickles down steep hills to burn the Palestinian fields below.
I know these stories because I and others have witnessed them. But these stories aren’t told in today’s corporate media.
At the same time, I’m amazed at the tenacity of Palestinians to protect their homes, their lands and histories and make everyday life somehow bearable. In the Jordan Valley, I walked a newly leveled football field for children that the villagers built entirely at night to hide their efforts from nearby malicious settlers.
These stories, too – of Palestinian resilience and courage – are missing from today’s mainstream media.
Mondoweiss is there to tell the stories other media ignore. Please support Mondoweiss by July 18. Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar to help Mondoweiss reach this generous challenge and continue their truth-telling journalism.
As settler terrorism and wanton destruction of Palestinian lives and lands are encouraged with the prospect of annexation, now more than ever we need to hear stories from the ground. Mondoweiss is there to tell them.
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Diane Josephy Peavey
Diane Josephy Peavey is the author of Bitterbrush Country: Living on the Edge of the Land. Her essays on life in the American West aired weekly for 18 years on regional public radio and have appeared in many magazines and western anthologies.