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Archive for April, 2009

Petition

I hope that you can take the time to read IPSC Petition to the Board of Eircom plc and if you agree then sign it and pass it on. It doesn’t matter what nationality you are.

Thanks,

http://www.petitiononline.com/ipsceirc/petition.html

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My Grandparents' Travel Group

My Grandparents' Travel Group

The last three days we have been out and about traveling once again. And while I still need to catch up on previous hitchhiking experiences, I guess I briefly want to give an overview on our latest traveling – a somewhat different kind.

 

So it just so happened that during my stay in Palestine, my grandparents were also going to be visiting the Holy Land. Last Thursday I went to meet their group of around 30 people (about two generations older than me) in Jerusalem and joined their program at different points. To me, this was a very different kind of getting around. Never before had I joined a travel group and I had not really missed it. However, I need to say that this time was much more than good meals (after having been living on Falafel) and good company!

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Past and Present

Yesterday I eventually made it to Yad Vashem; being in Jerusalem and not visiting this place would be unforgivable. Yad Vashem is Israel’s official memorial to all Jewish victims that lost their lives during the Holocaust.* 

Undoubtedly, people must visit this place as well as others, such as Auschwitz, the Killing fields in Cambodia, and many more, in order to know about the past, to realize what human beings are capable of doing to other human beings, but also to commemorate those who lost their lives during these tragic events since they deserve to be remembered.  

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I have been told about “Arabic Hospitality” many times, and I have experienced it too. No matter where you go, people will invite you for tea or coffee, ask you how you are and wish you all the best. But I want to give you a more vivid picture on this one.

Artas Village behind the mountain confiscated for the building of a new settlement

Artas Village behind the mountain confiscated for the building of a new settlement

On Thursday three of us took the day “off volunteering” because we wanted to join a tour in Artas village. The situation in Artas has been described in the previous post. Guided by Awwad, a local who works on preventing Israel from building a settlement next to the village, we went to see the beautiful land and nature which are the main source of income of the people in Artas. If the settlement is built, huge amounts of land will be confiscated, nature will be destroyed and the valley in Artas probably be used for sewage disposal.

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Artas land - the illegal Israeli settlement in the background

Artas land - the illegal Israeli settlement in the background

Land confiscations are threatening many farmers in Palestine. Israel uses different tools to expropriate Palestinian land, such as old laws – the Ottoman Land Laws from 1858 stating that if land is not cultivated/used for three consecutive years, it will be declared a ‘state land’. When one reads about it, it is not as powerful as listening to a farmer whose land was taken. (more…)

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I have been in this country just long enough to get a first view to both sides of the conflict in the Middle East. Speaking to both Israelis and Palestinians has been very eye-opening and offered me a lot of new perspectives. I will write more about this soon.

It was following the news however, that lately gave me the biggest shock. I had to read that the US was boycotting the UN Anti-Racism-Campaign because the conference might turn against Israel.

I will try to analyze this statement as objectively as I can. (more…)

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In a short time you will find articles about our time in Palestine.

Please visit the “The current situation in Palestine” section to learn about the country and the conflict.

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