Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Something most of you have never done: Meet a real Palestenian

For the last several weeks, I've been following @ellekay_ on Twitter. All I know about her comes from her profile and feed. Here is what I have determined so far:
  • She is a Muslim Palestinian who lives in the US where she attends University. She is pre-med
  • Currently she is in Israel on a visit. She's mentioned trips to  friends and relatives.
  • She has first hand experience with Israeli settlers and soldiers. You get the feeling that they have mistreated her and/or her family.
  • She's entirely sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, in a way that borders on jingoistic. Honestly, this reminds me of many of the Modern Orthodox Zionists I know. They say everything Israel does is wonderful, and that no Palestinian can be trusted, while she takes precisely the opposite view.  
  • I do not believe that she supports terrorism or violence, but I admit that is a hunch, based on nothing concrete.
  • That said, I believe she may be sympathetic and somewhat understanding of the violence she doesn't support, in the way too many of my friends were sympathetic and understanding when Goldstein went on his rampage. My own father-in-law denounced Goldstien out of one side of his mouth, while explaining and justifying what he did out of the other. My sense is @ellekay_ takes a similar view of her terrorists, but I am not certain.
What I find most appealing about her Tweets is that they provide a side of the story too many of us forget exists. She's writes about what it feels like to see Israeli soldiers everywhere and to encounter fellow Palestinians who are desperate and hopeless. She tells us what its like to go through checkpoints, to see the security wall from the Palestinian side, or to hear IDF drones and gunfire outside her building. She tweets about kids who throw rocks, and the welcome home receptions that released prisoners received.

Best of all there seems to be nothing contrived, or overtly political about her Tweets. This is just a real person, reporting real experiences, honestly encountered. That fact that these experiences are so different from ours, while simultaneously being so familiar,  is what makes them so intriguing.

Here's a sampling:

Lara ‏@ellekay_22h
At bus stops in WB, illegal settlers get to stand under the shade and sit on the bench and Palestinians have to stand far away, in the sun.

Lara ‏@ellekay_20 Aug
On our way to Haifa. 馃挌❤ Forever mesmerized by the beauty of every inch of this land. 

Lara ‏@ellekay_20 Aug
It's no wonder Zionists always brush the apartheid wall off as if its nothing. You don't even notice it on this side.

Lara ‏@ellekay_17h
Just had an interesting drive home. Came across several IOF jeeps so we had to turn around, had my first experience w/ tear gas.. ouch

Lara ‏@ellekay_19 Aug
@nadiadaniali @MayanFT I'm here now. The whole West Bank is settlements and checkpoints. We're unwanted + banned strangers in the rest.

Lara ‏@ellekay_19 Aug
The Arabs suck. They only care about Palestine if it suits their current political agenda

Lara ‏@ellekay_19 Aug
This guy was killed yesterday in a refugee camp while passing out wedding invitations. Why is the world so sick? 馃槳

Lara ‏@ellekay_18 Aug
@JareerKassis @Widgitt today, some guys got into a fight and killed each other for no reason in the refugee camp. corruption everywhere.

Lara ‏@ellekay_18 Aug
. It took 5 hours to get to Yaffa 2day (45 min away).Our"birthright" is apparently suffering

Lara ‏@ellekay_18 Aug
The whole West Bank is expanding settlements and checkpoints, Palestinians are strangers in "israel", and the people are sick of resisting.

Lara ‏@ellekay_18 Aug
I was thinking before that the whole Middle East is up in flames while Palestine is relatively calm.. no, Palestine is almost gone.

More on this in the next post

  1. I want to marry a handsome Palestinian guy in Akka and live there by the sea forever ❤
  2. lolll but we have to live in Akka.. New York just doesn't cut it
  3. You know I'd love to live there
  4. We're both not allowed so our plan would never work 馃様 But seriously, I feel like I left my heart there. So beautiful.

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