Episode 5 - Sara’s Story: Longing to Experience Basic Human Rights
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Sara shares about Beit Al-Liqa, an organization that provides one of the few indoor play centers for children in the Bethlehem area. They also organize monthly activities for young children, teenagers, women, and more. You can learn more about Beit Al-Liqa on their website or make a donation to the organization here.
Check out these helpful resources for more information on the issues raised in this episode.
The Permit System and Israeli IDs
Sara mentions the permit system and how it affects her family.
- In the episode narration, we reference some statistics from a Haaretz article, “Israel has 101 different types of permits governing Palestinian movement.”
- The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem provides more information on freedom of movement, particularly as it relates to permits and checkpoints.
- HaMoked, another Israeli human rights organization, provides an in-depth look at the permit system in a report called “The permit regime: Human rights violations in West Bank areas known as the seam zone.”
- Visualizing Palestine provides a helpful infographic of how the Israeli ID system works, and for whom it works.
“The wall,” otherwise known as the “separation barrier” or “apartheid wall” in different circles, refers to a circuitous barrier winding its way through the West Bank, purportedly to prevent attacks on Israeli citizens. While some argue it played a role in decreasing Palestinian attacks in Israel, others argue that this is not the case, and the barrier was intended to create a new border between Israel and Palestine, robbing Palestinians of large swathes of private property, separating families from one another, and separating farmers from access to their agricultural lands. The barrier appears as an imposing concrete wall in densely populated areas, and as a fence in less densely populated areas. The wall is not continuous, with large gaps in between, thus contributing to the argument that if someone wanted to perpetrate an attack in Israel, the gaps in the wall would allow them to do so.
For more information on the wall or separation barrier, see Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem’s extensive reporting on the subject in a brief introduction to “The Separation Barrier” (note the links on the right of the page with more information) and an interactive map to explore more about the wall and other human rights issues in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Sara mentions the Second Intifada. The Arabic word “intifada” means “shaking off,” and in our context it refers to the Palestinian uprisings against oppression and the Israeli occupation.
- Wikipedia provides information on the First Intifada, which was a largely non-violent Palestinian uprising from 1987 to 1993 against Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. To learn more about the human element of the First Intifada and the active and important roles women played in this struggle, see Just Vision’s film Naila and the Uprising.
- Wikipedia provides information on the Second Intifada, which lasted from late 2000 to early 2005.
While the information in the links provides a lot about the background, political context, casualties, and more, Sara’s story emphasizes the human element, a small look into how this political situation affected her life.
Medical Care and Facilities in Israel and the West Bank
Sara discusses the difference in medical care in Israel and the West Bank and her desire for her children to have an Israeli ID, in part so they can have access to Israel’s universal health care system.
- One foreign doctor discusses his observations of the differences between the health care systems in Israel and the West Bank.
- Wikipedia provides more detail on health care in the West Bank (and Gaza).
The Green Line
The Green Line refers to the pre-1967 demarcation line and de-facto border between Israel and its neighbors (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria), particularly the borders established following the 1948 War.
Palestinian Land Owners in Area C
Sara discusses how her husband’s family owns thousands of dunams of land (1 acre = ~4 dunams) in the West Bank. After the Oslo Accords, the West Bank was divided into areas A, B, and C, demarcating which areas are under Israeli and Palestinian civil and security control. Areas A and B comprise a little less than 40% of the West Bank and designate the heavily-populated areas for Palestinians. Area C is under full Israeli civil and security control and comprises 60% of the West Bank. Most of Palestinian agricultural lands are in Area C, and Israel’s illegal settlements are also built in Area C. In effect, Palestinians comprise 90% of the population in the West Bank with 10% illegal Israeli settlers, yet Palestinians are only allowed to build their homes in Areas A and B, limiting their ability to expand in their own land. Palestinians, like Sara’s husband’s family (who own land in Area C), are not allowed to connect to the same electricity and water grids as the Jewish settlements around them, and they are also forbidden to build on their private property. At the same time, they must continue to cultivate the land as Israel can confiscate uncultivated land, which it then often grants to a settlement for Jewish expansion in Area C.
- Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem provides numerous articles, press releases, publications, testimonies, and videos, continually updating what is happening in Area C.
- Al-Jazeera provides an interactive look at what it means to live in Area C.
The music featured in the intro and outro of the podcast comes from a live jam session of Palestinian musicians at Hosh Al Yasmine organic farm and restaurant located in Area C in Beit Jala.
The music tracks behind the interview and narration come from the following sources:
- "Ability," "Choice," "Walking," and "Determination," by Borrtex on the album Ability, which is available for noncommercial use under the Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International License through the Free Music Archive. Slight changes were made to "Ability."
- Oud, 02 and 05. Thank you to the New Vision Media Center for generously providing us access to these resources.
*Some names have been changed for anonymity.
Disclaimer: The WOMEN BEHIND THE WALL Team does not necessarily agree with or endorse all the opinions and perspectives linked to in the resources above.