Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Meeting of the Facebook Generation

My Daughter Lauren has been visiting this past week with a group from the University of Michigan. It has been great to see her and spend some time with the group as they explored both the historical and holy side of this land, while making plenty of time to see the “facts on the ground”. You use all of your emotions when you come here and this group is no different. There should be a warning on the airline ticket that says something like, “warning: you will see the world differently after this trip”.

Among many wonderful experiences, the group had the opportunity to meet informally with a group of their piers during a tour of Al Quds University in Abu Dis. I asked them if they all had a Facebook page and they laughed and said, “of course!” College students are the same the world over at the end of the day.

You may recall from my previous posts that Abu Dis, while very close to Jerusalem is outside of the wall. Al Quds is Arabic for Jerusalem so this is “Jerusalem University” or the “University of Jerusalem”. The school has a very good reputation and a very broad offering, including a medical school. One of the professors in the medical school lives here in our guest house. He is a pathologist from San Francisco who happens to be Jewish. He is in his second year teaching at Al Quds. He taught in different medical schools in California before he retired and decided to teach here for a while to give back. He told me last night that his students are the best and brightest he has ever had the pleasure of working with in his entire career.

In additional to the academic challenges of a very competitive learning environment, the students at Al Quds face daily challenges students in any other part of the world have no idea about. The students shared some the challenges they face in trying to get an education with the group from U of M.
As with the rest of the Palestinian population, transportation is a daily misery. The students come from all around Jerusalem, including West Bank towns like Ramallah to the north, and Bethlehem which is to the south. Many come from the area immediately surrounding Jerusalem, on the Israeli side of the wall but in the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhoods. While the university is actually very close to Jerusalem, because it is on the West Bank side of the wall, they must travel a very long way to get to school each day. Because of its location, there is a mix of students with West bank ID’s, who cannot go to Jerusalem and those with Jerusalem ID’s who can. There are no dorms on the campus so many students opt to share flats or apartments in Abu Dis or live as borders with local families and they go home on the weekends to minimize the transit problems.

It is interesting to note that international studies have found that the Palestinian people worldwide are the most highly educated population in the world on a per capita basis. This is likely due to the occupation. A good education is something no one can take away from you and a ticket out. The Palestinians know that, and education is very highly valued within the society. The Israeli government does not like the fact that the Palestinians are so high educated and they do whatever they can to disrupt education particularly at the university level. Some of these measures are very systematic. For example, degrees from Al Quds are not formally recognized in Israel even though the university has all the necessary international accreditations. The battle stems from the name of the university. Israel says that there is only one “Jerusalem University” and that is Hebrew University on Mt Scopus adjacent to the property I am staying on. They have said that until the university changes its name Israel will not recognize it, or it graduates. It frankly matters little because employers in Israel do not hire graduates of any of the prestigious Palestinian universities like Bethlehem University or Ber Zeit University north of Ramallah anyway.

Other measures are more confrontational and designed to disrupt and maintain a sense of fear and uncertainty among the students. The students told us that at the beginning of each semester a very large number of armed Israeli Defense Force soldiers enter the campus and go room to room checking ID’s and disrupting classes as much as possible. They do this on the pretext of security and to search for law breakers. Each time they do this they round up several students seemingly at random and take them for very high pressure questioning. The idea is to instill fear and develop a network of informers who they can come back to from time to time to get information on other people in order to build the security files they have on every Palestinian. The idea is that these students, who have a future, likely outside the country, have the most to lose and they are a good source of information on others who have less opportunity. Another measure is to increase delays at the checkpoints during the final exam days. One of the students told us that while she had never been detained before, she was delayed at the checkpoint for four hours on her exam day a few semesters ago. While many professors understand and will allow students to take their exam late, her professor told her he was tired of hearing about the checkpoints. He said that the students needed to “plan for the occupation”. She was not allowed to take the final and got an E.

The IDF also has a higher presence in the community of Abu Dis because of the student population and they regularly create what they call “flying checkpoints” in the streets to target students for ID checks. I passed through one in Abu Dis earlier this week and saw that they had four students with their faces to a wall undergoing a search. This is in addition to the daily checks they must endure to get to the university each day at the fixed checkpoints that are impossible to avoid. They also go house to house in the evenings to “look for subversives and instigators”. One of the girls we met with shared a story that stunned us all.

On the evening of September 20th 2008, this young woman was home with her parents. Her father is very old and mentally incapacitated. Her brother, his wife and their two small children live on the second floor of the home which is what all families do here. Her brother and sister-in-law were not home and they were watching the two small children. The IDF came to the door and asked if any students lived in the home. They told them that they did not board any students. The soldiers demanded to search the house and told the family to go outside while they did that. The family insisted that they needed to get the children who were upstairs sleeping so that they were not frightened by the soldiers. They were told they could not, were forced outside, and told to sit on a wall at gun point. Shortly afterward gunfire began in the home. The young women’s mother got up and started to run toward the house to check on the children. She was abruptly pushed to the ground and hit her head on a rock. She was unconscious and bleeding from a head wound. The student who was telling us this story, while trying to remain composed demanded that the army call an ambulance. They refused. She ran away, expecting to be shot in the back but she felt she needed to find help for her mother. She ran to a nearby house and called an ambulance. The ambulance was refused entry to the area “until the military operation was completed”. During this precious time the girl’s mother, who had never said one bad thing about Israel, died of her wounds on her front step. The army wrapped up their “military operation” and determined that there were no subversives in the home and they simply left, leaving the dead woman with her family.

The cursory army investigation that was demanded by the community did not find fault with the soldiers because they thought they saw something in a dark hallway and reacted by firing their weapons. The incident was determined to be an unfortunate accident….case closed!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Government of the People?

Coming from the prospective of a citizen of United States, with our two party system of government, the system here in Israel, where there are 36 different parties, representing every conceivable special interest group, seems very hard to understand. While our system is not perfect, once the votes are counted, we at least know who won, and who will lead. Israeli citizens also vote for their government but there vote seems to be more of a recommendation than a real vote. In the recent national election Tzipi Livni and her centrist Kadima party edged out Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud party that is right of center by one vote. Avigdor Lieberman and his radical Yisrael Beiteinu party, who openly hates Palestinians, came in third. Even though she won the most votes, Livni did not win anything, and the people of Israel have no idea who will end up governing them. In order to govern, the leading party must have a majority of the seats in the Knesset (Israel’s senate) and must build a coalition of parties to get that majority. While she won the most votes she did not win a majority of the seats. She did not even necessarily win the right to try to build a coalition among the 36 parties.

As it turns out, the President of Israel, Shimon Peres, who is the Head of State, a figure head role elected by the members of the Knesset, is the one and only person who has the power to decide who will get the chance to form the new government. It is likely that he will not choose Tzipi Livni even though she got the most votes. He has the autonomy to select anyone who he thinks has the highest probability to build a majority coalition. At the end of the day the decision as to who runs the country is based on negotiation among the parties and each one of them has their price. Before the election last week the negotiations between all the different parties began with the minority parties outlining their demands in order to join a coalition. Those negotiations are going on now at a furious rate and will continue over the next two months before the Israeli people will have any idea who will lead their country. Netanyahu has cozied up to Lieberman and other right wing parties like the ultra-orthodox Shaas party, giving him the upper hand in the coalition building negotiations. These radical elements that support settlement building and sustained oppression of Palestinians will surely get whatever they want out of the deal no matter who ends up being Prime Minister of Israel.

It is this distorted system of government that allows a minority in Israel that is in favor of sustaining the occupation over the Palestinians and continuing to steal their land, to control public policy, and money. In an editorial in today’s Haaretz, Israel’s leading newspaper, titled Looser Takes All, Nehemia Shtrasler provides a good prospective on how this system of electing a government prevents peace:

“David Ben-Gurion copied our system of government from the Zionist Congress. The problem is that the Zionist Congress was a body whose goal was talking, and a government is a body whose goal is implementing. By the time Ben-Gurion realized this in the early 1950’s and sought to change the system, he couldn’t muster a majority. The small parties who were members of the coalition, refused. They understood that in Israel there is a special system in which the loser takes all. It’s a system in which the small parties get everything they want because the party in power has to pay the small parties anything they ask for, otherwise there is no coalition and no government.’

“That’s how every Israeli government becomes a government of paralysis, with the minority ruling the majority – the opposite of representative democracy. For many years the extreme-right parties dictated policy on the settlements. They always managed to get budgets passed for the settlements by threatening to break up the coalition”

“This is a major distortion of the will of the majority because many surveys in recent years show that the public is ready for a significant territorial compromise in exchange for peace with the Palestinians, but the minority controls the majority.”

“Therefore, if we want the majority to rule and establish a stable government that lasts……we must change the system of government.”

The next time someone tells you that we (the taxpayers of the United States) need to support Israel because it is the only democracy in the Middle East, consider the fact that a principal tenet of democracy is the concept of majority rule which is clearly not the case in Israel.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Home Wrecking

Last week as we were making dinner in our guest house on the Mt of Olives when we had an unexpected visit from a neighbor, Ibrahim Ahmad Abu El-Hawa. Ibrahim and most of his family have lived here on the Mt of Olives for many generations. He is an affable and kind man who is a member of an organization dedicated to inter-religious cooperation and peace with Israel. It is called Jerusalem Peacemakers (

He has spoken all over the world on his heartfelt desire for peace and harmony between the Palestinians and Jews. He was quick to point out that he has spoken to groups in 46 states and been invited to the White House. I was completely struck by his warmth even as he told us why he had come to visit. He told us that the home of his niece, her husband, and their family, who live just down the hill from us, was to be demolished by the Israeli Army the next morning. They had built a very nice house just a few years ago on land they own, to house their growing family. They spent years trying to get a building permit to build their home, but like most Palestinians they were unable to secure the permits and in the end, were forced to build anyway in order to put a roof over their families head.

One of the most horrific forms of the occupation is going on every day in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Authorities use bureaucratic process to try to force Palestinians out of their homeland and away from their friends and families. They do this with a systematic process that prevents Palestinians from getting a required building permit to expand, improve, or build a home. Jewish citizens of Israel have no problem getting a building permit. For Palestinians, it is nearly impossible and if they are allowed a permit it is very expensive. Ibrahim was lucky enough to get a permit for his home. He told me, in his excellent English that the permit alone cost 550 Sheckels per square meter or over $100 Thousand dollars!

When they build without a permit out of sheer need, a demolition order is placed on their house and the Army can show up at anytime without any notice, reduce the home to rubble and give the family a huge bill for the demolition. The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions ( calculates that 28 structures (including garages, storage areas and Bedouin tents) have been demolished in the past two weeks, and 78 in all so far this year, in East Jerusalem alone. Hundreds of homes have active demolition orders on them that can be acted on at the whim of the municipal authorities.

In this family’s case, they were told last year that if they took down part of the house they would be able to keep the rest. They did that. A few months later they were told they needed to take down another part of the house. They paid for that demolition too. Last week they received yet another demolition order; the one Ibrahim came to tell us about. The order was to be executed the following morning at 7 AM. He asked our team to be present to witness this heinous act. His lawyers were fighting to save the house and continued in their efforts right up to the end. They lost the fight and while our team watched from the neighbor’s rooftop what looked like the whole Israeli Army descended on the house, and in a matter of a few hours reduced it to a pile of broken concrete. We got the whole process on video which is no consolation to the family that is now homeless. The pictures tell the story much better than I can.

This process has been going on for years and it is well know to be a significant part of the Israeli governments attempt to take over as much Palestinian land as possible and make life for those who remain as miserable as they possibly can to encourage them to leave the country.

The building restrictions for Palestinians are on top of other very restrictive land laws that the government uses to take control of Palestinian land. One of those laws provides that any agricultural land that has not been tended for three years becomes government property. This law has been used extensively to take land with the wall. The wall has been built between the homes of Palestinians and their farm land. The Army puts an ‘agricultural gate’ in the wall and the farmers need to wait at the gate for access to their farm land. There is no real schedule for access so they sit there for hours waiting for a passing jeep to get to their own land. They must repeat the process to get their crops to their village. I may cases only the old people are given permits to tend the land to ensure that it does not pass to a younger generation. When people tire of this process or become too old to endure it, the Israeli government takes the land because it is not being cared for.

When I was in the village of Yanoun last week I was told by the mayor of Yanoun that the Army had come to the village a few years before and taken detailed pictures of every house in the village. They were told that if they made any improvement or changes to their homes they would be subject to a demolition order for the entire home, and they would be arrested. The village is the middle of nowhere. The only other people in the area are the armed settlers above and around them who want to steal their farm land which is very good land. The mayor wanted to improve the well on his property that provides water for the village. He was told that if he did, his home would be leveled. This is all because the village is within a protection zone of the illegal settlement and the settlers, who all have M16’s and are well versed in their use, need to be protected from the farmers and their goats in this tiny village.

In the cities like East Jerusalem there is a long list of methods employed including taking land for ‘public use’, for dubious historical significance, or simply to build the wall. In many of these cases the ‘public use’ is never known. We did identify the use for one plot of land that was taken to build a new park to honor Jewish Tolerance. They call it Tolerance Park. The Israeli government has demonstrated their tolerance of others by building Tolerance Park on an Arab cemetery.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Update - Im Kamel and Running the Gauntlet

An interesting turn of events has taken place in the case of Im Kamel, the elderly woman who was forced out of her home in East Jerusalem. By way of quick review, settlers moved into a part of her and her husbands home three years ago. They were fighting in the courts to have them removed for three years because the police refused to do it. They won the case and the settlers were to be removed. The housing authority refused to execute the court order and on the day after the settlers were supposed to be removed, she, and her husband who was in a wheelchair and died from the trama, were removed from their own home, She has been living in a tent nearby with the daily support of many internationals.
Last week, just ahead of another court date for other settler related issues in the neighborhood, the settlers in Im Kamel’s home were removed. The house is now empty. The settlers were however allowed to return for the Sabbath to celebrate Shabbat in the house and then left again. She has still not been allowed to move back into her house. The case that was to be heard last week was postponed until the 19th at which time the judge will deal with many pending cases in the neighborhood related to the same settler group together, including the case of Im Kamel. Our team and many other international observers will be in the courtroom to see how this turns out. I will let you know.
I traveled with the hospital medical team again this past Wednesday, one day after the Israeli national election. This time on the way to the village clinic in the morning we were refused passage at the first of the three checkpoints they must pass. The young soldier was quick to point out that he voted for Lieberman, the Russian ultra conservative right wing fanatic who wants to significantly increase the dominance over Palestinians, and demand that all Palestinians sign an oaf of allegiance to Israel. He is in favor of forced expulsion of anyone who does not sign the oaf. He got the third largest number of votes behind Livni and Netanyahu who are both very right wing themselves. It is clear that Lieberman will have a significant role in a new collation government in Israel. I will write more about this later.

The politically motivated soldier was not happy that his guy came in third and decided to express his unhappiness by not letting the team pass. The team indicated they had never been stopped at this particular checkpoint. We tried to argue and once again started to work various help networks. The hospital administration decided that in the interest of time (there were patients waiting at the clinic) we should turn around and go a different way. We drove back to Jerusalem and crossed the checkpoint in Ramallah. We drove to the village over roads that were like wagon trails. We arrived at the clinic at 10 AM, two hours late. On the return trip we sailed right through the checkpoint we spent an hour at the week before with the same staff that was refused then. It is clear that there is no real process to these checkpoints. The Palestinians refer to the soldiers as the kings of the checkpoint. It appears they are.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Politics of Maps

Jerusalem is obviously a very old place and the roads have been here a very long time. These ancient and historic roads are named for where they have lead to, and from, for thousands of years. Jafa Road takes you west to the sea coast and the ancient port city of Jafa. Nablus Road took you north through Ramallah to Nablus. Hebron Road took you south through Bethlehem to Hebron. And Jericho Road took you east through Abu Dis (Bethany) and on to Jericho and the Jordon River. Today you cannot get to any of these places by following the road of the same name. These roads have had their names for centuries but there are new “facts on the ground” that may or may not show up on your map depending on who you got your map from. This became abundantly clear to me this last Friday. I was back in Abu Dis where the Jericho Road stops abruptly at the wall in the middle of Abu Dis.

hile we were there on the Jerusalem side from where I took the picture in my previous post, discussing the wall with a representative from the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions ( a tourist from Finland came up to us with his tourist map in his hands and asked us how to get to Jericho. We all laughed and pointed at the wall and said, “that way”. We looked at his map and noticed that the wall and all of the checkpoints were not on the map so he would have no idea that the Jericho road no longer goes to Jericho. Clearly the producer of his tourist map did not want to scare the tourists with little details like walls and checkpoints with kids carrying M16’s. We showed him our map produced by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which shows the wall and all of the checkpoints and he was stunned. Our driver knew the way through the back roads to get to the Zaytoun checkpoint through which he needed to travel to get to Jericho. He followed us because he would have never found his way. While there are wonderful signs in West Jerusalem and signs throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories to show you how to get to the many settlements, there are no signs telling you how to get to any of the hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages like Jericho, even on the Jericho road.

As I looked into this further I found that there are many different maps of this area. The UN produces detailed maps of the Occupied Palestinian Territories that shows the path of the wall relative to the recognized international border and locations of both the settlements and the Palestinian villages. It shows the checkpoints and who can use them as well as the roads that Palestinians have no access to. Another “Road Map of Israel” makes no distinction between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It indicates that everything from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea is Israel. It shows the Palestinian towns and villages but the names have been changed. For example Nablus is called Shechem. No checkpoints are shown nor is the wall. Interestingly, on this map the Palestinian village I am sitting here writing this from is called Khirbet Yanun which in Hebrew means that this is an ancient ruin where no one lives. Well I can assure you that I am staying in a very real house with real neighbors including the mayor who I visited earlier this afternoon. This is apparently the only ancient ruin with wireless internet!

The village is completely surrounded by armed settlers on the hills above us. I guess the map is wishful thinking on the part of the settlers who have been trying to scare the villagers away from the land their families have lived on for generations. There are bright spotlights shining in our windows from the settlement outposts above as I am sitting here writing this at 11 PM.

Yet another map produced by a settlers group does not even show the Palestinian towns and villages. It is like they do not exist. I honestly believe that in the minds of some Israelis the millions of Palestinians who have lived here for all of recorded time do not exist. They are doing everything they can to make them invisible. It is quite a trick to make millions of people disappear. The truth is that they are still there. They are just behind the 25 foot high wall.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Running the Gauntlet

Last week I was asked to escort a medical team from The Augusta Victoria Hospital on their daily visit to one of the three clinics they serve in small villages in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The need for these clinics surfaced six years ago as a result of the increasing movement restrictions placed on Palestinians, making health care inaccessible for these people. Augusta Victoria is the only specialty hospital serving Palestinians in all of the West Bank and Gaza. It is located on the Mt of Olives in East Jerusalem. Every day for the past six years this team, in a specially marked van and with all the proper permits travels through three checkpoints to reach the clinics. For the most part they have not has any difficulty but beginning about two weeks ago they have had tremendous problems at the checkpoints. I went along as an international observer and to see if my presence, and US passport, would help them get through.

We had no trouble getting through the checkpoints on the way into the West Bank from Jerusalem. The clinic we visited was funded by the German government and it was very nice. It had clean and professional exam room, a small lab and a pharmacy. On the day I was there they had a special day for the local diabetes patients. On the team there is a doctor, nurses, a medical assistant and a dietitian. About 25 patients were seen and each was saw the doctor and a nurse for a preliminary exam. They received training in how to manage their disease with food choices from the dietitian and had the opportunity to ask questions both in a group setting and privately.

It was a very good day until we tried to get back to the hospital in Jerusalem late in the afternoon. We went back the same way we came, through the checkpoint that this team passes through six days a week. We pulled up to the booth and were pulled over which almost always happens to Palestinians. I knew we were in trouble when we got a cute, 18 year old girl soldier, carrying an M16 that was as big as she was. I had heard that the girls are the toughest and the cuter they are the worse they are. They act as tough as possible to show off for the boys. It is a way they flirt. When the girls get push back the boys jump in to defend them. That is exactly what happened to us. She immediately told us we could not pass because some of the team did not have the proper permits and that we had to go to a different checkpoint over an hour away. When our driver protested the boys, with their M16’s converged on us. Our driver, Haitham, who is well used to this daily dance, and speak fluent Hebrew, argued vehemently that the permits were in order and that we had the approval to pass. He worked his way up the chain of command at the checkpoint including talking to the senior army officer, and a senior military police officer, who personally checked our permits on the way in that same morning. Nobody was interested. They all defended the decision of the girl.

The hospital has special access to top Israeli officials within the authority that issues permits. After a 20 minute stand off, the team called the hospital administration, who in turn called the top person within the Israeli government for humanitarian affairs. After another 40 minutes of waiting for this process to work. The Israeli official called the checkpoint and told them to let us pass. Even this did not work. Haitham translated for me. They told the official we are the army and you are only the civil administration. We are the kings of the checkpoint and we do not care about your permits. We will decide who passes and who does not. We will not let them pass. While we waited, dozens of Israeli cars coming from the various settlements in that part of the West Bank sailed through without even stopping.

In the end we were forced to turn around. We dropped of the team at a remote crossing where they started walking toward Ramallah with the hope of getting ride. Haitham and I had to go back to the checkpoint because we had dropped off another nursing team at one of the other clinics on the other side of the checkpoint. We had to pick them up and the only way to get to them was through the checkpoint. Haitham has a Jerusalem ID and my US passport allows me to go anywhere so an hour and a half after we approached the checkpoint we were able to pass and get back to the hospital so they could get ready to do it all over again the next day.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Walling out Abu Dis

Within a mile and a half of the Old City of Jerusalem along what was historically the main road to Jerusalem from the east is the community of Abu Dis. In biblical times Abu Dis and the nearby town of Al Eizariya were know as Bethany. It is noted as the place where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. You can still visit what is supposed to be the tomb of Lazarus. As is the case with every other religiously significant site in the area there is a church there. Tourists do visit as evidenced by the four large tour buses that were there when I walked by. As you walk down the main street heading toward Jerusalem, a short stroll down the hill, you come to what seems surreal. As you come around a bend you see an imposing 25 foot high wall closing off the road right in front of you and going off into the distance for as far as you can see in both directions. The community of Abu Dis is east of Jerusalem well into the West Bank, and several miles from Israel. The wall in front of us is one part of a vast land grab that the State of Israel has undertaken in recent years in the name of security. The real reason is immediately clear as you walk along the length of the wall. It is clearly designed to grab as much land as possible, establishing a new border between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It snakes around to make sure the most land with the least amount of Palestinians living on it is on the Israeli side. In every case the wall is built immediately adjacent to people’s houses and their yards, olive groves, and open land have been included on the Israeli side of the wall.
One of our guides Abed has lived in Abu Dis his whole life. Almost everyone in Abu Dis works in Jerusalem, or did, before the wall and the need for a special permit to go to Jerusalem for any purpose. When he was a boy they simply walked the mile and a half to the markets in the Old City or to visit family and friends. Now they need a special permit that is rarely received, and even if they get one, they need to reapply every 6 months.
On another tour from the other side with B’SELEM, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (, a short distance from where the road is closed, we were showed one story of a family who ended up on different sides of the wall while their houses are next to each other. Even though part of the family, and about eight other houses ended up on the Jerusalem side of the wall they are not allowed to go to Jerusalem. They must go through a special gate manned by the Israeli Army, go East to Abu Dis and then like, everyone else in Abu Dis travel further East on the 417 to highway 1 and then to the North of Jerusalem near Hebrew University and then back South to within 2 miles of their home. This is a trip of about 20 miles which you can only make if you have the proper permit to show to the Army at the Zaytem checkpoint. They are not even allowed to go to a grocery store across the street from their homes. Just last week one of the family members needed some bread and did not want to walk all the way to Abu Dis going through their special checkpoint. He was stopped in the shop by the Army, given a large fine and told that if was caught again he would be put in jail. They are only allowed to walk on a dirt path immediately adjacent to the wall to the checkpoint and nowhere else.
The tour busses must also make this trip which is why fewer and fewer bother to do it. They do not want to expose the tourists to the unpleasantness of the military checkpoints where everyone has an M16 and looks ready to use it. The same is true of Bethlehem. In spite of this obvious oppression it is clear that the Palestinians are not leaving. Even this wall, much to the dismay of the Israeli government, will not force the Palestinians out of their homeland. Abed says that this is his home and he has no intention to leave. He will continue his non-violent pursuit of justice even if it takes a lifetime.

60 Minutes - Is Peace Out of Reach?