albertocampiphoto

Photojournalist | Collective WeReport.fr

  • #film LE VILLAGE SOUS LA FORÊT
    De Heidi GRUNEBAUM et Mark J KAPLAN


    En #1948, #Lubya a été violemment détruit et vidé de ses habitants par les forces militaires israéliennes. 343 villages palestiniens ont subi le même sort. Aujourd’hui, de #Lubya, il ne reste plus que des vestiges, à peine visibles, recouverts d’une #forêt majestueuse nommée « Afrique du Sud ». Les vestiges ne restent pas silencieux pour autant.

    La chercheuse juive sud-africaine, #Heidi_Grunebaum se souvient qu’étant enfant elle versait de l’argent destiné officiellement à planter des arbres pour « reverdir le désert ».

    Elle interroge les acteurs et les victimes de cette tragédie, et révèle une politique d’effacement délibérée du #Fonds_national_Juif.


    « Le Fonds National Juif a planté 86 parcs et forêts de pins par-dessus les décombres des villages détruits. Beaucoup de ces forêts portent le nom des pays, ou des personnalités célèbres qui les ont financés. Ainsi il y a par exemple la Forêt Suisse, le Parc Canada, le Parc britannique, la Forêt d’Afrique du Sud et la Forêt Correta King ».

    http://www.villageunderforest.com

    Trailer :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISmj31rJkGQ

    #israel #palestine #carte @cdb_77 @reka
    #Israël #afrique_du_sud #forêt #documentaire

    –-

    Petit commentaire de Cristina pour pour @reka :
    Il y a un passage du film que tu vas adorer... quand un vieil monsieur superpose une carte qu’il a dessiné à la main du vieux village Lubya (son village) sur la nouvelle carte du village...
    Si j’ai bien compris la narratrice est chercheuse... peut-etre qu’on peut lui demander la carte de ce vieil homme et la publier sur visionscarto... qu’en penses-tu ? Je peux essayer de trouver l’adresse email de la chercheuse...

    • Documentary Space, Place, and Landscape

      In documentaries of the occupied West Bank, erasure is imaged in the wall that sunders families and communities, in the spaces filled with blackened tree stumps of former olive groves, now missing to ensure “security,” and in the cactus that still grows, demarcating cultivated land whose owners have been expelled.

      This materiality of the landscape becomes figural, such that Shehadeh writes, “[w]hen you are exiled from your land … you begin, like a pornographer, to think about it in symbols. You articulate your love for your land in its absence, and in the process transform it into something else.’’[x] The symbolization reifies and, in this process, something is lost, namely, a potential for thinking differently. But in these Palestinian films we encounter a documenting of the now of everyday living that unfixes such reification. This is a storytelling of vignettes, moments, digressions, stories within stories, and postponed endings. These are stories of interaction, of something happening, in a documenting of a being and doing now, while awaiting a future yet to be known, and at the same time asserting a past history to be remembered through these images and sounds. Through this there arises the accenting of these films, to draw on Hamid Naficy’s term, namely a specific tone of a past—the Nakba or catastrophe—as a continuing present, insofar as the conflict does not allow Palestinians to imagine themselves in a determinate future of place and landscape they can call their own, namely a state.[xi]

      In Hanna Musleh’s I’m a Little Angel (2000), we follow the children of families, both Muslim and Christian, in the area of Bethlehem affected by the 2000 Israeli armed forces attacks and occupation.[xii] One small boy, Nicola, suffered the loss of an arm when he was hit by a shell when walking to church with his mother. His kite, seen flying high in the sky, brings delighted shrieks from Nicola as he plays on the family terrace from which the town and its surrounding hills are visible in the distance. But the contrast between the freedom of the kite in this unlimited vista and his reduced capacity is palpable as he struggles to control it with his remaining hand. The containment of both Nicola and his community is figured in opposition to a possible freedom. What is also required of us is to think not of freedom from the constraints of disability, but of freedom with disability, in a future to be made after. The constraints introduced upon the landscape by the occupation, however, make the future of such living indeterminate and uncertain. Here is the “cinema of the lived,”[xiii] of multiple times of past and present, of possible and imagined future time, and the actualized present, each of which is encountered in the movement in a singular space of Nicola and his kite.


      http://mediafieldsjournal.squarespace.com/documentary-space-place-and-la/2011/7/18/documentary-space-place-and-landscape.html;jsessioni
      #cactus #paysage

    • Memory of the Cactus

      A 42 minute documentary film that combines the cactus and the memories it stands for. The film addresses the story of the destruction of the Palestinian villages of Latroun in the Occupied West Bank and the forcible transfer of their civilian population in 1967. Over 40 years later, the Israeli occupation continues, and villagers remain displaced. The film follows two separate but parallel journeys. Aisha Um Najeh takes us down the painful road that Palestinians have been forcefully pushed down, separating them in time and place from the land they nurtured; while Israelis walk freely through that land, enjoying its fruits. The stems of the cactus, however, take a few of them to discover the reality of the crime committed.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ_LjknRHVA

    • Aujourd’hui, j’ai re-regardé le film « Le village sous la forêt », car je vais le projeter à mes étudiant·es dans le cadre du cours de #géographie_culturelle la semaine prochaine.

      Voici donc quelques citations tirées du film :

      Sur une des boîtes de récolte d’argent pour planter des arbres en Palestine, c’est noté « make wilderness bloom » :

      Voici les panneaux de quelques parcs et forêts créés grâce aux fonds de la #diaspora_juive :

      Projet : « We will make it green, like a modern European country » (ce qui est en étroit lien avec un certaine idée de #développement, liée au #progrès).

      Témoignage d’une femme palestinienne :

      « Ils ont planté des arbres partout qui cachaient tout »

      Ilan Pappé, historien israëlien, Université d’Exter :

      « ça leur a pris entre 6 et 9 mois poru s’emparer de 80% de la Palestine, expulser la plupart des personnes qui y vivaient et reconstruire sur les villes et villages de ces personnes un nouvel Etat, une nouvelle #identité »

      https://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/iais/staff/pappe

      Témoignage d’un palestinien qui continue à retourner régulièrement à Lubya :

      « Si je n’aimais pas cet endroit, est-ce que je continuerais à revenir ici tout le temps sur mon tracteur ? Ils l’ont transformé en forêt afin d’affirmer qu’il n’y a pas eu de village ici. Mais on peut voir les #cactus qui prouvent que des arabes vivaient ici »

      Ilan Pappé :

      « Ces villages éaient arabes, tout comme le paysage alentour. C’était un message qui ne passait pas auprès du mouvement sioniste. Des personnes du mouvement ont écrit à ce propos, ils ont dit qu’ils n’aimaient vraiment pas, comme Ben Gurion l’a dit, que le pays ait toujours l’air arabe. (...) Même si les Arabes n’y vivent plus, ça a toujours l’air arabe. En ce qui concerne les zones rurales, il a été clair : les villages devaient être dévastés pour qu’il n’y ait pas de #souvenirs possibles. Ils ont commencé à les dévaster dès le mois d’août 1948. Ils ont rasé les maisons, la terre. Plus rien ne restait. Il y avait deux moyens pour eux d’en nier l’existence : le premier était de planter des forêts de pins européens sur les villages. Dans la plupart des cas, lorsque les villages étaient étendus et les terres assez vastes, on voit que les deux stratégies ont été mises en oeuvre : il y a un nouveau quartier juif et, juste à côté, une forêt. En effet, la deuxième méthode était de créer un quartier juif qui possédait presque le même nom que l’ancien village arabe, mais dans sa version en hébreu. L’objectif était double : il s’agissait d’abord de montrer que le lieu était originellement juif et revenait ainsi à son propriétaire. Ensuite, l’idée était de faire passer un message sinistre aux Palestiniens sur ce qui avait eu lieu ici. Le principal acteur de cette politique a été le FNJ. »

      #toponymie

      Heidi Grunebaum, la réalisatrice :

      « J’ai grandi au moment où le FNJ cultivait l’idée de créer une patrie juive grâce à la plantation d’arbres. Dans les 100 dernières années, 260 millions d’arbres ont été plantés. Je me rends compte à présent que la petite carte du grand Israël sur les boîtes bleues n’était pas juste un symbole. Etait ainsi affirmé que toutes ces terres étaient juives. Les #cartes ont été redessinées. Les noms arabes des lieux ont sombré dans l’oubli à cause du #Comité_de_Dénomination créé par le FNJ. 86 forêts du FNJ ont détruit des villages. Des villages comme Lubya ont cessé d’exister. Lubya est devenu Lavie. Une nouvelle histoire a été écrite, celle que j’ai apprise. »

      Le #Canada_park :

      Canada Park (Hebrew: פארק קנדה‎, Arabic: كندا حديقة‎, also Ayalon Park,) is an Israeli national park stretching over 7,000 dunams (700 hectares), and extending from No man’s land into the West Bank.
      The park is North of Highway 1 (Tel Aviv-Jerusalem), between the Latrun Interchange and Sha’ar HaGai, and contains a Hasmonean fort, Crusader fort, other archaeological remains and the ruins of 3 Palestinian villages razed by Israel in 1967 after their inhabitants were expelled. In addition it has picnic areas, springs and panoramic hilltop views, and is a popular Israeli tourist destination, drawing some 300,000 visitors annually.


      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_Park

      Heidi Grunebaum :

      « Chaque pièce de monnaie est devenue un arbre dans une forêt, chaque arbre, dont les racines étaient plantées dans la terre était pour nous, la diaspora. Les pièces changées en arbres devenaient des faits ancrés dans le sol. Le nouveau paysage arrangé par le FNJ à travers la plantation de forêts et les accords politiques est celui des #parcs_de_loisirs, des routes, des barrages et des infrastructures »

      Témoignage d’un Palestinien :

      « Celui qui ne possède de #pays_natal ne possède rien »

      Heidi Grunebaum :

      « Si personne ne demeure, la mémoire est oblitérée. Cependant, de génération en génération, le souvenir qu’ont les Palestiniens d’un endroit qui un jour fut le leur, persiste. »

      Témoignage d’un Palestinien :

      "Dès qu’on mange quelque chose chez nous, on dit qu’on mangeait ce plat à Lubya. Quelles que soient nos activités, on dit que nous avions les mêmes à Lubya. Lubya est constamment mentionnées, et avec un peu d’amertume.

      Témoignage d’un Palestinien :

      Lubya est ma fille précieuse que j’abriterai toujours dans les profondeurs de mon âme. Par les histoires racontées par mon père, mon grand-père, mes oncles et ma grande-mère, j’ai le sentiment de connaître très bien Lubya.

      Avi Shlaim, Université de Oxford :

      « Le mur dans la partie Ouest ne relève pas d’une mesure de sécurité, comme il a été dit. C’est un outil de #ségrégation des deux communautés et un moyen de s’approprier de larges portions de terres palestiniennes. C’est un moyen de poursuivre la politique d’#expansion_territoriale et d’avoir le plus grand Etat juif possible avec le moins de population d’arabes à l’intérieur. »

      https://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/people/avi-shlaim

      Heidi Grunebaum :

      « Les petites pièces de la diaspora n’ont pas seulement planté des arbres juifs et déraciné des arbres palestiniens, elles ont aussi créé une forêt d’un autre type. Une vaste forêt bureaucratique où la force de la loi est une arme. La règlementation règne, les procédures, permis, actions commandées par les lois, tout régulé le moindre espace de la vie quotidienne des Palestiniens qui sont petit à petit étouffés, repoussés aux marges de leurs terres. Entassés dans des ghettos, sans autorisation de construire, les Palestiniens n’ont plus qu’à regarder leurs maisons démolies »

      #Lubya #paysage #ruines #architecture_forensique #Afrique_du_Sud #profanation #cactus #South_african_forest #Galilée #Jewish_national_fund (#fonds_national_juif) #arbres #Palestine #Organisation_des_femmes_sionistes #Keren_Kayemeth #apartheid #résistance #occupation #Armée_de_libération_arabe #Hagana #nakba #exil #réfugiés_palestiniens #expulsion #identité #present_absentees #IDPs #déplacés_internes #Caesarea #oubli #déni #historicisation #diaspora #murs #barrières_frontalières #dépossession #privatisation_des_terres #terres #mémoire #commémoration #poésie #Canada_park

    • Effacer la Palestine pour construire Israël. Transformation du paysage et enracinement des identités nationales

      La construction d’un État requiert la nationalisation du territoire. Dans le cas d’Israël, cette appropriation territoriale s’est caractérisée, depuis 1948, par un remodelage du paysage afin que ce dernier dénote l’identité et la mémoire sionistes tout en excluant l’identité et la mémoire palestiniennes. À travers un parcours historique, cet article examine la façon dont ce processus a éliminé tout ce qui, dans l’espace, exprimait la relation palestinienne à la terre. Parmi les stratégies utilisées, l’arbre revêt une importance particulière pour signifier l’identité enracinée dans le territoire : arracher l’une pour mieux (ré)implanter l’autre, tel semble être l’enjeu de nombreuses politiques, passées et présentes.

      http://journals.openedition.org/etudesrurales/8132

    • v. aussi la destruction par gentrification de la Bay Area (San Francisco), terres qui appartiennent à un peuple autochtone :

      “Nobody knew about us,” said Corrina Gould, a Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone leader and activist. “There was this process of colonization that erased the memory of us from the Bay Area.”

      https://seenthis.net/messages/682706

    • La lutte des Palestiniens face à une mémoire menacée

      Le 15 mai, les Palestiniens commémorent la Nakba, c’est-à-dire l’exode de centaines de milliers d’entre eux au moment de la création de l’Etat d’Israël : la veille, lundi 14 mai, tandis que plusieurs officiels israéliens et américains célébraient en grande pompe l’inauguration de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem, 60 Palestiniens étaient tués par des tirs israéliens, et 2 400 autres étaient blessés lors d’affrontements à la frontière de la bande de Gaza.
      Historiquement, la Nakba, tout comme la colonisation de Jérusalem-Est et des Territoires palestiniens à partir de 1967, a non seulement eu des conséquences sur le quotidien des Palestiniens, mais aussi sur leur héritage culturel. Comment une population préserve-t-elle sa mémoire lorsque les traces matérielles de son passé sont peu à peu effacées ? ARTE Info vous fait découvrir trois initiatives innovantes pour tenter de préserver la mémoire des Palestiniens.

      https://info.arte.tv/fr/la-lutte-des-palestiniens-face-une-memoire-menacee

    • Effacer la Palestine pour construire Israël. Transformation du #paysage et #enracinement des identités nationales

      La construction d’un État requiert la nationalisation du territoire. Dans le cas d’Israël, cette appropriation territoriale s’est caractérisée, depuis 1948, par un remodelage du paysage afin que ce dernier dénote l’identité et la mémoire sionistes tout en excluant l’identité et la mémoire palestiniennes. À travers un parcours historique, cet article examine la façon dont ce processus a éliminé tout ce qui, dans l’espace, exprimait la relation palestinienne à la terre. Parmi les stratégies utilisées, l’arbre revêt une importance particulière pour signifier l’identité enracinée dans le territoire : arracher l’une pour mieux (ré)implanter l’autre, tel semble être l’enjeu de nombreuses politiques, passées et présentes.

      https://journals.openedition.org/etudesrurales/8132

    • The Carmel wildfire is burning all illusions in Israel

      “When I look out my window today and see a tree standing there, that tree gives me a greater sense of beauty and personal delight than all the vast forests I have seen in Switzerland or Scandinavia. Because every tree here was planted by us.”

      – David Ben Gurion, Memoirs

      “Why are there so many Arabs here? Why didn’t you chase them away?”

      – David Ben Gurion during a visit to Nazareth, July 1948


      https://electronicintifada.net/content/carmel-wildfire-burning-all-illusions-israel/9130

      signalé par @sinehebdo que je remercie

    • Vu dans ce rapport, signalé par @palestine___________ , que je remercie (https://seenthis.net/messages/723321) :

      A method of enforcing the eradication of unrecognized Palestinian villages is to ensure their misrepresentation on maps. As part of this policy, these villages do not appear at all on Israeli maps, with the exception of army and hiking maps. Likewise, they do not appear on first sight on Google Maps or at all on Israeli maps, with the exception of army and hiking maps. They are labelled on NGO maps designed to increase their visibility. On Google Maps, the Bedouin villages are marked – in contrast to cities and other villages – under their Bedouin tribe and clan names (Bimkom) rather than with their village names and are only visible when zooming in very closely, but otherwise appear to be non-existent. This means that when looking at Google Maps, these villages appear to be not there, only when zooming on to a very high degree, do they appear with their tribe or clan names. At first (and second and third) sight, therefore, these villages are simply not there. Despite their small size, Israeli villages are displayed even when zoomed-out, while unrecognized Palestinian Bedouin villages, regardless of their size are only visible when zooming in very closely.


      http://7amleh.org/2018/09/18/google-maps-endangering-palestinian-human-rights
      Pour télécharger le rapport :
      http://www.7amleh.org/ms/Mapping%20Segregation%20Cover_WEB.pdf

    • Il y aurait tout un dossier à faire sur Canada Park, construit sur le site chrétien historique d’Emmaus (devenu Imwas), dans les territoires occupés depuis 1967, et dénoncé par l’organisation #Zochrot :

      75% of visitors to Canada Park believe it’s located inside the Green Line
      Eitan Bronstein Aparicio, Zochrot, mai 2014
      https://www.zochrot.org/en/article/56204

      Dont le #FNJ (#JNF #KKL) efface la mémoire palestinienne :

      The Palestinian Past of Canada Park is Forgotten in JNF Signs
      Yuval Yoaz, Zochrot, le 31 mai 2005
      https://zochrot.org/en/press/51031

      Canada Park and Israeli “memoricide”
      Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, le 10 mars 2009
      https://electronicintifada.net/content/canada-park-and-israeli-memoricide/8126

    • Israel lifted its military rule over the state’s Arab community in 1966 only after ascertaining that its members could not return to the villages they had fled or been expelled from, according to newly declassified archival documents.

      The documents both reveal the considerations behind the creation of the military government 18 years earlier, and the reasons for dismantling it and revoking the severe restrictions it imposed on Arab citizens in the north, the Negev and the so-called Triangle of Locales in central Israel.

      These records were made public as a result of a campaign launched against the state archives by the Akevot Institute, which researches the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      After the War of Independence in 1948, the state imposed military rule over Arabs living around the country, which applied to an estimated 85 percent of that community at the time, say researchers at the NGO. The Arabs in question were subject to the authority of a military commander who could limit their freedom of movement, declare areas to be closed zones, or demand that the inhabitants leave and enter certain locales only with his written permission.

      The newly revealed documents describe the ways Israel prevented Arabs from returning to villages they had left in 1948, even after the restrictions on them had been lifted. The main method: dense planting of trees within and surrounding these towns.

      At a meeting held in November 1965 at the office of Shmuel Toledano, the prime minister’s adviser on Arab affairs, there was a discussion about villages that had been left behind and that Israel did not want to be repopulated, according to one document. To ensure that, the state had the Jewish National Fund plant trees around and in them.

      Among other things, the document states that “the lands belonging to the above-mentioned villages were given to the custodian for absentee properties” and that “most were leased for work (cultivation of field crops and olive groves) by Jewish households.” Some of the properties, it adds, were subleased.

      In the meeting in Toledano’s office, it was explained that these lands had been declared closed military zones, and that once the structures on them had been razed, and the land had been parceled out, forested and subject to proper supervision – their definition as closed military zones could be lifted.

      On April 3, 1966, another discussion was held on the same subject, this time at the office of the defense minister, Levi Eshkol, who was also the serving prime minister; the minutes of this meeting were classified as top secret. Its participants included: Toledano; Isser Harel, in his capacity as special adviser to the prime minister; the military advocate general – Meir Shamgar, who would later become president of the Supreme Court; and representatives of the Shin Bet security service and Israel Police.

      The newly publicized record of that meeting shows that the Shin Bet was already prepared at that point to lift the military rule over the Arabs and that the police and army could do so within a short time.

      Regarding northern Israel, it was agreed that “all the areas declared at the time to be closed [military] zones... other than Sha’ab [east of Acre] would be opened after the usual conditions were fulfilled – razing of the buildings in the abandoned villages, forestation, establishment of nature reserves, fencing and guarding.” The dates of the reopening these areas would be determined by Israel Defense Forces Maj. Gen. Shamir, the minutes said. Regarding Sha’ab, Harel and Toledano were to discuss that subject with Shamir.

      However, as to Arab locales in central Israel and the Negev, it was agreed that the closed military zones would remain in effect for the time being, with a few exceptions.

      Even after military rule was lifted, some top IDF officers, including Chief of Staff Tzvi Tzur and Shamgar, opposed the move. In March 1963, Shamgar, then military advocate general, wrote a pamphlet about the legal basis of the military administration; only 30 copies were printed. (He signed it using his previous, un-Hebraized name, Sternberg.) Its purpose was to explain why Israel was imposing its military might over hundreds of thousands of citizens.

      Among other things, Shamgar wrote in the pamphlet that Regulation 125, allowing certain areas to be closed off, is intended “to prevent the entry and settlement of minorities in border areas,” and that “border areas populated by minorities serve as a natural, convenient point of departure for hostile elements beyond the border.” The fact that citizens must have permits in order to travel about helps to thwart infiltration into the rest of Israel, he wrote.

      Regulation 124, he noted, states that “it is essential to enable nighttime ambushes in populated areas when necessary, against infiltrators.” Blockage of roads to traffic is explained as being crucial for the purposes of “training, tests or maneuvers.” Moreover, censorship is a “crucial means for counter-intelligence.”

      Despite Shamgar’s opinion, later that year, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol canceled the requirement for personal travel permits as a general obligation. Two weeks after that decision, in November 1963, Chief of Staff Tzur wrote a top-secret letter about implementation of the new policy to the officers heading the various IDF commands and other top brass, including the head of Military Intelligence. Tzur ordered them to carry it out in nearly all Arab villages, with a few exceptions – among them Barta’a and Muqeible, in northern Israel.

      In December 1965, Haim Israeli, an adviser to Defense Minister Eshkol, reported to Eshkol’s other aides, Isser Harel and Aviad Yaffeh, and to the head of the Shin Bet, that then-Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin opposed legislation that would cancel military rule over the Arab villages. Rabin explained his position in a discussion with Eshkol, at which an effort to “soften” the bill was discussed. Rabin was advised that Harel would be making his own recommendations on this matter.

      At a meeting held on February 27, 1966, Harel issued orders to the IDF, the Shin Bet and the police concerning the prime minister’s decision to cancel military rule. The minutes of the discussion were top secret, and began with: “The mechanism of the military regime will be canceled. The IDF will ensure the necessary conditions for establishment of military rule during times of national emergency and war.” However, it was decided that the regulations governing Israel’s defense in general would remain in force, and at the behest of the prime minister and with his input, the justice minister would look into amending the relevant statutes in Israeli law, or replacing them.

      The historical documents cited here have only made public after a two-year campaign by the Akevot institute against the national archives, which preferred that they remain confidential, Akevot director Lior Yavne told Haaretz. The documents contain no information of a sensitive nature vis-a-vis Israel’s security, Yavne added, and even though they are now in the public domain, the archives has yet to upload them to its website to enable widespread access.

      “Hundreds of thousands of files which are crucial to understanding the recent history of the state and society in Israel remain closed in the government archive,” he said. “Akevot continues to fight to expand public access to archival documents – documents that are property of the public.”

    • Israel is turning an ancient Palestinian village into a national park for settlers

      The unbelievable story of a village outside Jerusalem: from its destruction in 1948 to the ticket issued last week by a parks ranger to a descendent of its refugees, who had the gall to harvest the fruits of his labor on his own land.

      Thus read the ticket issued last Wednesday, during the Sukkot holiday, by ranger Dayan Somekh of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority – Investigations Division, 3 Am Ve’olamo Street, Jerusalem, to farmer Nidal Abed Rabo, a resident of the Jerusalem-area village of Walaja, who had gone to harvest olives on his private land: “In accordance with Section 228 of the criminal code, to: Nidal Abed Rabo. Description of the facts constituting the offense: ‘picking, chopping and destroying an olive tree.’ Suspect’s response: ‘I just came to pick olives. I pick them and put them in a bucket.’ Fine prescribed by law: 730 shekels [$207].” And an accompanying document that reads: “I hereby confirm that I apprehended from Nidal Abed Rabo the following things: 1. A black bucket; 2. A burlap sack. Name of the apprehending officer: Dayan Somekh.”

      Ostensibly, an amusing parody about the occupation. An inspector fines a person for harvesting the fruits of his own labor on his own private land and then fills out a report about confiscating a bucket, because order must be preserved, after all. But no one actually found this report amusing – not the inspector who apparently wrote it in utter seriousness, nor the farmer who must now pay the fine.

      Indeed, the story of Walaja, where this absurdity took place, contains everything – except humor: the flight from and evacuation of the village in 1948; refugee-hood and the establishment of a new village adjacent to the original one; the bisection of the village between annexed Jerusalem and the occupied territories in 1967; the authorities’ refusal to issue blue Israeli IDs to residents, even though their homes are in Jerusalem; the demolition of many structures built without a permit in a locale that has no master construction plan; the appropriation of much of its land to build the Gilo neighborhood and the Har Gilo settlement; the construction of the separation barrier that turned the village into an enclave enclosed on all sides; the decision to turn villagers’ remaining lands into a national park for the benefit of Gilo’s residents and others in the area; and all the way to the ridiculous fine issued by Inspector Somekh.

      This week, a number of villagers again snuck onto their lands to try to pick their olives, in what looks like it could be their final harvest. As it was a holiday, they hoped the Border Police and the parks authority inspectors would leave them alone. By next year, they probably won’t be able to reach their groves at all, as the checkpoint will have been moved even closer to their property.

      Then there was also this incident, on Monday, the Jewish holiday of Simhat Torah. Three adults, a teenager and a horse arrived at the neglected groves on the mountainside below their village of Walaja. They had to take a long and circuitous route; they say the horse walked 25 kilometers to reach the olive trees that are right under their noses, beneath their homes. A dense barbed-wire fence and the separation barrier stand between these people and their lands. When the national park is built here and the checkpoint is moved further south – so that only Jews will be able to dip undisturbed in Ein Hanya, as Nir Hasson reported (“Jerusalem reopens natural spring, but not to Palestinians,” Oct. 15) – it will mean the end of Walaja’s olive orchards, which are planted on terraced land.

      The remaining 1,200 dunams (300 acres) belonging to the village, after most of its property was lost over the years, will also be disconnected from their owners, who probably won’t be able to access them again. An ancient Palestinian village, which numbered 100 registered households in 1596, in a spectacular part of the country, will continue its slow death, until it finally expires for good.

      Steep slopes and a deep green valley lie between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, filled with oak and pine trees, along with largely abandoned olive groves. “New” Walaja overlooks this expanse from the south, the Gilo neighborhood from the northeast, and the Cremisan Monastery from the east. To the west is where the original village was situated, between the moshavim of Aminadav and Ora, both constructed after the villagers fled – frightened off by the massacre in nearby Deir Yassin and in fear of bombardment.

      Aviv Tatarsky, a longtime political activist on behalf of Walaja and a researcher for the Ir Amim nonprofit organization, says the designated national park is supposed to ensure territorial contiguity between the Etzion Bloc and Jerusalem. “Since we are in the territory of Jerusalem, and building another settler neighborhood could cause a stir, they are building a national park, which will serve the same purpose,” he says. “The national park will Judaize the area once and for all. Gilo is five minutes away. If you live there, you will have a park right next door and feel like it’s yours.”

      As Tatarsky describes the blows suffered by the village over the years, brothers Walid and Mohammed al-‘Araj stand on a ladder below in the valley, in the shade of the olive trees, engrossed in the harvest.

      Walid, 52, and Mohammed, 58, both live in Walaja. Walid may be there legally, but his brother is there illegally, on land bequeathed to them by their uncle – thanks to yet another absurdity courtesy of the occupation. In 1995, Walid married a woman from Shoafat in East Jerusalem, and thus was able to obtain a blue Israeli ID card, so perhaps he is entitled to be on his land. His brother, who lives next door, however, is an illegal resident on his land: He has an orange ID, as a resident of the territories.

      A sewage line that comes out of Beit Jala and is under the responsibility of Jerusalem’s Gihon water company overflows every winter and floods the men’s olive grove with industrial waste that has seriously damaged their crop. And that’s in addition, of course, to the fact that most of the family is unable to go work the land. The whole area looks quite derelict, overgrown with weeds and brambles that could easily catch fire. In previous years, the farmers would receive an entry permit allowing them to harvest the olives for a period of just a few days; this year, even that permit has not yet been forthcoming.

      The olives are black and small; it’s been a bad year for them and for their owners.

      “We come here like thieves to our own land,” says Mohammed, the older brother, explaining that three days beforehand, a Border Police jeep had showed up and chased them away. “I told him: It’s my land. They said okay and left. Then a few minutes later, another Border Police jeep came and the officer said: Today there’s a general closure because of the holiday. I told him: Okay, just let me take my equipment. I’m on my land. He said: Don’t take anything. I left. And today I came back.”

      You’re not afraid? “No, I’m not afraid. I’m on my land. It’s registered in my name. I can’t be afraid on my land.”

      Walid says that a month ago the Border Police arrived and told him he wasn’t allowed to drive on the road that leads to the grove, because it’s a “security road.” He was forced to turn around and go home, despite the fact that he has a blue ID and it is not a security road. Right next to it, there is a residential building where a Palestinian family still lives.

      Some of Walaja’s residents gave up on their olive orchards long ago and no longer attempt to reach their lands. When the checkpoint is moved southward, in order to block access by Palestinians to the Ein Hanya spring, the situation will be even worse: The checkpoint will be closer to the orchards, meaning that the Palestinians won’t be permitted to visit them.

      “This place will be a park for people to visit,” says Walid, up on his ladder. “That’s it; that will be the end of our land. But we won’t give up our land, no matter what.” Earlier this month, one local farmer was detained for several hours and 10 olive trees were uprooted, on the grounds that he was prohibited from being here.

      Meanwhile, Walid and Mohammed are collecting their meager crop in a plastic bucket printed with a Hebrew ad for a paint company. The olives from this area, near Beit Jala, are highly prized; during a good year the oil made from them can fetch a price of 100 shekels per liter.

      A few hundred meters to the east are a father, a son and a horse. Khaled al-‘Araj, 51, and his son, Abed, 19, a business student. They too are taking advantage of the Jewish holiday to sneak onto their land. They have another horse, an original Arabian named Fatma, but this horse is nameless. It stands in the shade of the olive tree, resting from the long trek here. If a Border Police force shows up, it could confiscate the horse, as has happened to them before.

      Father and son are both Walaja residents, but do not have blue IDs. The father works in Jerusalem with a permit, but it does not allow him to access his land.

      “On Sunday,” says Khaled, “I picked olives here with my son. A Border Police officer arrived and asked: What are you doing here? He took pictures of our IDs. He asked: Whose land is this? I said: Mine. Where are the papers? At home. I have papers from my grandfather’s time; everything is in order. But he said: No, go to DCO [the Israeli District Coordination Office] and get a permit. At first I didn’t know what he meant. I have a son and a horse and they’ll make problems for me. So I left.”

      He continues: “We used to plow the land. Now look at the state it’s in. We have apricot and almond trees here, too. But I’m an illegal person on my own land. That is our situation. Today is the last day of your holiday, that’s why I came here. Maybe there won’t be any Border Police.”

      “Kumi Ori, ki ba orekh,” says a makeshift monument in memory of Ori Ansbacher, a young woman murdered here in February by a man from Hebron. Qasem Abed Rabo, a brother of Nidal, who received the fine from the park ranger for harvesting his olives, asks activist Tatarsky if he can find out whether the house he owns is considered to be located in Jerusalem or in the territories. He still doesn’t know.

      “Welcome to Nahal Refaim National Park,” says a sign next to the current Walaja checkpoint. Its successor is already being built but work on it was stopped for unknown reasons. If and when it is completed, Ein Hanya will become a spring for Jews only and the groves on the mountainside below the village of Walaja will be cut off from their owners for good. Making this year’s harvest Walaja’s last.

      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-is-turning-an-ancient-palestinian-village-into-a-national-p
      https://seenthis.net/messages/807722