ustxtxb_obs_2001_08_03_50_00037-00000_000.pdf

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Facing page, top: Grandfather Jabber holds a survey of the family property in his right hand and a deed from the Ottomon empire in his left hand. Bottom: Doug Zachary, a member of the Austin Peace and Justice Coalition, stands on boulders left behind by Israeli bulldozers when they destroyed the road from Bethlehem to the main highway. Palestinians must walk over boulders, one hundred yards of dirt and rocks, then over another pile of boulders to enter or leave Bethlehem. This page, top: Israeli “settlement” between Bethlehem and Hebron. Bottom: Workers at the Paradise Hotel in Beit Jala, West Bank, examine rooms with walls blown out by Israeli tank fire. \\ “Well, what can you paint?” “Flowers.” “Without the color green?” Once I was sitting talking with my grandmother, who was then about 105 years old, when an 11-year-old cousin burst into the room weeping, his face purpled, both eyes rapidly growing black. He lived down the road in the village and had just been assaulted by an Israeli soldier while taking a shower in his own house. The soldier had burst in upon this child in the bathroom and beaten him up, while the boy was naked and wetand for what? The soldier, who had a huge rifle paid for by my American tax dollars dangling from his shoulder, thought my cousin might know another boy who had thrown a rock at a tank a few days before. Some years ago I was asked to contribute a poem for an anthology. I had just returned from Jerusalem, where I had tea with a beautiful Palestinian friend from Bethlehem who poured her recent woes out onto the white tablecloth alongside our sugar bowl. My notebook pages were filled with everyone’s painful eyewitness accounts of recent horrors. The poem I wrote for the anthology was called “Burning.” It described what had recently happened to my friend when she shopped for cheese in a Jewish deli in west Jerusalem. 813/01 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 37