In an article in the Observer on 19 December, Bethan McKernan and Quique Kierszenbaum report on a small project which is helping to form strong bonds between Israelis and Palestinians.
Israeli Arabic students Maya Mark and Nnur Zahor working together with Palestinian Iman al-Hathalin coordinate Arabic lessons for Jewish activists in the isolated and dangerous south Hebron hills.
“This rocky, difficult place is one of the fiercest frontlines of the occupation,” the authors report. “Palestinian homes, paved roads and water cisterns are repeatedly demolished thanks to a near-total ban on construction, while illegal Israeli settlements flourish. Rather than collapse under these pressures, however, the local community has become a deep wellspring for non-violent Palestinian activism, which has often worked hand in hand with the anti-occupation movement in Israel. In the absence of any meaningful top-down peace process, Hathalin and Mark are part of a new generation of activists who are quietly taking an extraordinary new step.”