This project began spontaneously when I was living in Jerusalem as Operation Protective Edge broke out during summer, 2014. I began to make daily posts on Instagram in an attempt to share a glimpse into how complex a place and conflict this is.

This is a compilation of several posts from that time.

I've preserved the original writing including hashtags (#) as it was an intentional part of my post--to create a post that was searchable and communicating within the larger world of social media on Twitter and Instagram.

The photos are a mix of photos taken and edited on my iPhone and older photos taken on 35mm film from previous travels throughout Israel/Palestine.

Breaking the Silence published their report in May 2015 with soldier testimonies of what happened in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. Incredibly important reading. Here in English, here in Hebrew.

July 8, 2014

Good morning from East #Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the IDF launched 'Operation Protective Edge' last night in #Gaza. 85+ rockets launched from Gaza to #Israel and this morning reported 15+ #Palestinians injured or dead. Please keep an eye on multiple news sources, this is never a simple situation. #בלגן #sophietakestheholyland #saidsayswhat

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July 11, 2014

Today as we get ready for Shabbat in #jerusalem, it's hard to process everything that has happened in the last week. The death toll in #Gaza has topped 100 people (see article by +972 mag that lists their names, not just the number). The #IronDome protection system has shot down over 120 rockets that Hamas has shot into #Israel. Over 40,000 soldiers have been called to the Gaza border (including my cousin and an uncle in reserves.) Rockets were fired this morning from #Lebanon. Hundreds of human rights orgs call for a ceasefire, and Bibi #Netanyahu is cited as saying that there is no ceasefire on the agenda. I only wish that we could say "Shabbat Shalom" and mean it tonight. #שלום# سلام #palestine #israel #israelunderattack #palestineunderattack #sophietakestheholyland

 

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July 10, 2014

Another #codered in #jerusalem moments ago. While in a yoga class. The fact that I can have the luxury of yoga and a bomb shelter to run to is not lost on me. In comparison to the situation in #Gaza today, people are losing their homes and have no bomb shelters to hide in. A total of 81 people have died since the beginning of 'Operation Protective Edge' and that's not the least of it. Rockets continue to fall across #Israel, there was a direct hit in #beersheva with reports of injuries. There have been attacks from the sea and the tunnels at the Gaza border have been blown up and collapsed. Meanwhile people on both sides cheer at the deaths of the "other." This is absolute madness. #palestineunderattack #israelunderattack #enough #מפסק #خلص

 

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July 12, 2014

It's official that my cousin is heading off to a place near #gaza in preparation for a potential land invasion. My other cousin wrote in a family group that if he sees her husband at the base, please give him a hug from her and her daughter. Meanwhile #Netanyahu is standing on a podium proclaiming to the international press that the deaths of (now) 121 #Palestinian citizens is justified and that the #IDF is ready for a ground operation. Palestinians living in Gaza are photographed near the Egyptian border trying to escape the nightmare that they are now stuck in: schools, banks, a mosque, and a center for the disabled have been destroyed by bombs. Israelis continue to run to shelters as the #irondome protection system makes the hundred of rockets shot by #hamas turn to a puff of clouds in the sky. I just can't imagine how Gaza will ever be able to pick itself up or how #Israel will be able to continue the #occupation after this. #palestineunderattack #israelunderattack #sophietakestheholyland

 

July 13, 2014 

Last night at 8pm, #Hamas announced that they would strike #telaviv at 9pm. The streets of Tel Aviv emptied completely and everyone counted down to the launching of #j80 rockets and held their breath, ready to run into shelters elsewhere in the country as well. Thanks to the iron dome, no casualties or hits in #Israel. But overnight, everything changed and today we woke up to more signs of true war: some Israeli soldiers began a ground invasion in #Gaza and the #IDF dropped leaflets advising those in the north of the Gaza Strip to leave. Meanwhile, 18 people, all in the same family, died last night in Gaza during a bombing. This brings the death toll up to 157 today. The #UN is releasing a report citing that 77% of those killed in the past 6 days were civilians. Today it feels as though this has taken a turn for the much more serious. Waiting with baited breath for the next chapter in this nightmare and yet still searching for apartments and going to class and shopping for groceries and participating in the schizophrenic daily life on this side of the wall. What else can you do? #sophietakestheholyland #palestineunderattack #israelunderattack #palestine #israel #gazaunderattack #israelunderfire

 

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July 15, 2014 

We woke up this morning to the tantalizing rumor of a #ceasefire. #Egypt had made a proposal and it sounded like the #Israeli security cabinet was going to accept it. One small detail--#Hamas hadn't been consulted on the agreement. No deal. Both groups are back to bombardment. I have no words. #gaza #israel #palestine #countryofcontradictions #operationprotectiveedgecontinues #sophietakestheholyland

July 17, 2014

Off to the #DeadSea for the weekend. Seems that you can't escape death in this country right now. #Israel accepted a 5 hour "Humanitarian" #ceasefire to provide aid to #Gaza before the #IDF returned to its unrelenting attacks. It seems that leadership on both sides have the gall to continue fighting until they can prove that they've won. Forget about the future deaths to civilians, the infrastructural and psychological damage on both sides, and the hammering of another nail in the coffin of peace. Rather, they would prefer to continue striking fear into every moment of daily life. Today, the bus I normally take when I go from Be'er Sheva to my family's kibbutz was hit by shrapnel from a rocket and a window shattered. I've been reminded again by my aunt that I shouldn't sit next to windows while riding buses. How could something so innocuous as looking out the window now be a dangerous activity? Or running on a beach? Yesterday, 4 children were on a beach in Gaza running away from an air strike and only moments after the first strike, they were hit by a second bomb. The before/after photos have gone viral online and there are no words to describe how horrifying it is. No place in Gaza is safe. There are also reports coming in right now that there has been a terrorist infiltration in the South near the Gaza border. Residents are being told to stay inside and twitter is covered with reports of gunfire. What happens when the illusion of safety in Israel is also shattered? Will that be the time when we can finally say enough is enough? I'm worried it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. #israel #palestine #israelunderattack #gazaunderattack #palestineunderattack #israelunderfire #sophietakestheholyland

 

July 18, 2014

This photo is a from 3 years ago when my cousin and I wandered around Tzipori, an old roman town near Nazareth where you can still see the traces of the Empire. He used to walk barefoot wherever he went. Now he is serving in the army and wears heavy brown boots every day. I was just told by my aunt that he's inside Gaza with his troop. The ground invasion has officially begun under the dark of night while journalists were poised to begin reporting on a meeting of the security cabinet slated for this morning. One #israeli soldier was killed this morning, opening up the tally for #Israel now. He was 20. The count in #Gaza is now over 260. Turned on the TV today just as Bibi #Netanyahu was speaking on the "Situation in Gaza." It was scarier because of how much Hebrew I understand now... He spoke against terror and promised to return quiet to #Israel. He said that their war is against #Hamas, not civilians. But all I could focus on was how many pencils they had sitting on the desk that were in the frame on tv. Why do they need so many pencils? Do they use the erasers ever to change their plans? Meanwhile, I woke up this morning as an alarm sounded at 8am in #Arad and the family living next door all crowded into my room which is the "safe room" in the house. Sleeping, groggy Sophie suddenly had 7 people crowded into the room sitting on my bed, grandmother and new baby included, and as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes I began to slowly understand what was happening. #andsoitbegins #war #sophietakestheholyland #המצבבעזה #ישראל #עזה #מלחמה #israelunderattack #gazaunderattack #israelunderfire #palestineunderattack

 

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July 21, 2014

I haven't posted in the last few days because I've been holding my breath and trying not to let the cracks show. We haven't heard from my cousin since last Wednesday when all the soldiers had their phones taken away. I can't read the news anymore. And yet, you can't turn it off; this isn't a roller-coaster that you can get off when it gets scary--rather, the steep pitches get steeper and you find yourself with your heart stuck in your throat. 87 Palestinians died yesterday, over 60 from this one neighborhood in Gaza City alone. The #IDF razed a neighborhood called #Shejaiya to the ground. The photos and stories circulating are beyond horrifying. The total count in #Gaza after today is now 547, over 100 children. Meanwhile, 25 #Israeli soldiers have died so far, and others injured. It's worse when they don't say the names of the soldiers that died. You begin to worry that hiding behind the veil of ambiguity is someone you know. Everyone here has a brother, cousin, father, uncle or friend that they know in Gaza now. I keep finding that as always, no perspective or report is complete; it's all propaganda, statistics and talking points on both sides. What's real is that people are dying. What's real is that people were born into the life they have and they had no choice in the circumstances, whether that means blockaded and persecuted in Gaza or born in Israel and taught from day one that you must fight to defend your life and your family. It's a living nightmare for both sides. No one should have to endure life and death like this. We lose sight of what is humanity in these moments, and it's terrifying to encounter so much destruction and so much hate. How do you find the ways to still create and make something good out of all of this bad? #gazaunderattack #israelunderfire #palestine #israel #sophietakestheholyland #operationprotectiveedge

 

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July 25, 2014

You can hear air strikes from here. I came to the kibbutz where my family lives this weekend to celebrate my birthday. Located about 8 km from #Gaza, we woke up to the loud booms of shelling in Gaza City. Every few seconds for an hour without stop. Last night, as we all gathered to celebrate the birthdays of the July babies in the family, the house was packed, the table was crammed with food, everyone sang loudly in Hebrew and English, and the house felt full for a moment. But underneath, you could see the cracks. Everyone is feeling the "situation," as we say in Hebrew. My cousin and his fiancé, who were supposed to get married last night, were sitting at the table, but they were not fully present. My other cousin's husband was back for one day from serving in the Reserves next to the border. Exhausted beyond words, he filled his plate with only vegetables and salad--the things he had missed in the last 2 weeks while guarding the exit of a tunnel and being in a tank for 48 hours straight. We talked after dinner, his gun sat nearby, and he told me how he doesn't know what he's doing there. "But it's not simple," he said. As we sat there talking, with him knowing that in the morning he would be going back, you could see the moral quandary ripping him apart. We heard that my 21 year old cousin is okay. His dad spontaneously drove 4 hours from the north down to the border of Gaza and found someone in his troop: the "supply guy" who goes into Gaza every night bringing them supplies. He said that he's seen my cousin. He's okay. That was the best birthday present I could have received. But he's deep inside Gaza, completely surrounded by destruction and death. The death toll in Gaza today is at 828. 185 children. 33 Israeli soldiers. The number of injured people is over 5,000. Internally displaced Palestinians in Gaza is over 170,000. And here I am, sitting at the Kibbutz, hearing not so distant, deadly booms, and my aunt is standing in the kitchen and yelling at the Iraqi meatballs she is frying in oil, "Enough already! Stop jumping!" #israel #palestine #gaza #israelunderfire #gazaunderattack #sophietakestheholyland

 

July 30, 2014

Yesterday afternoon, in the timespan of 3 minutes, I received 21 messages in my family's group because there had been a rocket in the south where 4 soldiers died, 10 people wounded. Located in the region where my family lives, everyone was writing to see if they were okay. They were. But it was the most devastating attack on Israel so far. No ceasefire in sight. Rather, after a brief respite in the last 2 days, the operation has intensified. This morning, Israeli bombing of #Gaza increased and thousands of leaflets were dropped in Gaza telling the citizens to evacuate. But to where? They're already living in an open air prison under #occupation. They have no place to run. I had a frustrated conversation with my mom recently and she asked me who I thought could actually sit at a table to negotiate peace in this country. Bibi? Kerry? Sisi? Abbas? I just answered back to her, mothers. Kids on both sides are dying. 251 children have been killed in Gaza. A six-year old in Gaza has already lived through 3 wars. That's no life to live. And soldiers are just kids too, their ages range from 18-22. They're my age, they're using powerful weapons against another people, and they're dying. It's terrifying to imagine what they're going through while serving inside Gaza. How will they ever be the same when (if) they make it out? Maybe mothers would be able to overcome the stubborn details, and be brought together by pain and fear and love and a desire for their children's futures to be better. Where are the women leaders in this conflict? The death toll in Gaza today is 1,120. 182,604 are displaced (according the UNWRA). Over 6500 are injured. 53 Israeli soldiers have died. Hamas says that number is actually 91, but no confirmation on that. 549 soldiers have been injured and 2,612 rockets have been fired into Israel (according to #IDF). I hate how I'm getting used to this. #sophietakestheholyland #israelunderfire #gazaunderattack #palestine #israel

 

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August 1, 2014 

I was in #TelAviv for one day and it's crazy. You can run around art museums, and drink yourself silly, and go to the beach, and forget about everything. Interrupted once by a code red siren, but most people around us took it as an opportunity to stop in a cafe and have a snack. Then you leave the bubble and the world hits you in the face again. On the bus, the news comes on and everyone gets quiet to hear what happened next. Every hour on the hour in #Israel on the radio you hear 3 beeps signaling the news. It's like an inner clock in Israelis. The bus driver turns up the radio and people stop their conversations and listen. 61 soldiers have died now. And one was captured this morning. You can't forget that everyone is going through this. I got in a fight with a cab driver, and then I stopped arguing with him. Who knows, maybe he has a son inside #Gaza right now? My cousin's friend from high school died. He was 22. Same age as us. She was at the funeral. And then she went back to work the next day. Because what else can you do? Meanwhile, the diplomatic world is doing their dance around terms like "ceasefire," "humanitarian" and "solution." I have no trust in Kerry to broker something here. Already today, only a few hours after the new ceasefire began, 25 Palestinians were killed in #Rafah, attacks from #Hamas on Be'er Sheva recommenced, and the soldier was captured. Meanwhile, the situation in Gaza is becoming more dire. Whenever a ceasefire is thrown about, the bombing of Gaza seems to increase in the hours before it's slated to begin. Speculations are flying about how much of Gaza has been destroyed by air raids, numbers ranging from 40-60%. Israel is confirmed as now having targeted a UNWRA school where Palestinians were taking refuge. Over 239,270 are displaced with no home to return to. Hospitals have been bombed. Journalists in Gaza are even reporting on how they feel scared for their own lives. The destruction seems to be everywhere and nowhere in Gaza feels safe from attack. 1,452 are dead as of this morning. No end in sight. #sophietakestheholyland #israelunderfire #gazaunderattack #palestineunderattack

 

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August 2, 2014

MY COUSIN IS OUT OF GAZA! MY COUSIN IS OUT OF GAZA! MY COUSIN IS OUT OF GAZA!!!!will write more tomorrow. Excuse me while I enjoy a moment of excitement and bliss. Seeing him tomorrow!! #sophietakestheholyland #gazaunderattack #israelunderfire

 

August 4, 2014

Yesterday we packed into two cars and drove from the north to the south in order to see my cousin at the base he was brought to when he left #Gaza. We were told that between 5-9PM we could visit him. So we brought a watermelon, his girlfriend and his best friend and headed south. We the. found out that not only would we get to see him, we would get to take him home!!! I've been bursting with happiness since I first saw my cousin walk into his grandmother's house. He's here! I wanted to scream it. He's alive! He's changed, definitely. But he's joking with people and smiling and talking and sharing stories and telling us about what happened and what it was like and what he saw. His heart of gold remains pure. So late last night, his friend, girlfriend and I drove our sacred package home. As he sat in the backseat, his appendages intertwined with his girlfriends' in a tangle of arms and legs, he asked for news from outside: did anyone he know die? Once they fell asleep in the backseat, his friend and I got into a long conversation about everything that's happened. He told me that if anything is going to change, it has to start with the individual, start with the home, start with the way that we talk about other people, other sides. Change will start with the people, he said, right as at the same time an old song came on the radio "You and I, we will change the world." It felt as though my own personal war was over--which made it even stranger when we heard booms coming from the direction of Gaza while on the kibbutz. How could there still be bombing and fighting when for me this war has ended? Yesterday, 71 Palestinians died, raising the total to 1,822, with 9,370 injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. 64 soldiers and three civilians have died; 55 rockets were fired from Gaza. Tensions are definitely staying high in Jerusalem and in the West Bank. There were 2 terror attacks in Jerusalem today, one near my university. Heading back to Jerusalem tomorrow to continue moving into my apartment, starting a job, and heading back to classes. The normalcy of settling continues against the backdrop of war. What a world. #sophietakestheholyland #israelunderattack #palestineunderattack #gazaunderattack #israelunderfire #israel #palestine #operationprotectiveedge #idf

 

August 7, 2014

The 72 hour ceasefire is almost over, no agreement yet in place, and yet it feels as though (in this part if the country) people are beginning to breathe a little deeper and sink back into their "normal" routines. But routines keep getting interrupted as my friends go to sit shiva for their friends who died (Shiva is the Jewish tradition when someone dies is that the family mourns and accepts visitors for 7 days). Or the farmers in the south are coming to #Jerusalem to sell their goods in an attempt to make up for the loss during the war. The news is beginning to tally up the economic "cost" of the Operation, and my uncle has been called up by the army to begin investigating everything that happened. Who "won"? What percentage of Israel's GDP was spent? How much will it cost to rebuild #Gaza? Who will fund it? These questions are pressing, but I also feel that they undermine the true "cost": the lives lost, ruined, changed; the creation of yet another generation who knows war; the barriers that have been created that will impede any attempts to build something together. It was a devastating operation, yet will it have allowed enough space for things to actually change and become better? My cousin, after leaving Gaza, was vibrant and talkative and shared stories about the things he saw. He was most confused by the reception that the operation has received from the outside. While inside Gaza, he was in charge of his soldiers and tasked to destroy tunnels--he felt that the job was good and important and necessary. He said that there was a whole city of tunnels under the cities. High morale, he said. They felt that what they were doing was right. But he wasn't exposed to all of the events happening and the terror caused to Gazan citizens and the level of destruction of homes and cities. How do you reconcile these two things? These two experiences? These different narratives? So much happened and it is all so intertwined. Bad and good. Good and bad. Unsure if the ground will cave in or support us, we're taking each day now step by step. #sophietakestheholyland #israel #palestine #israelunderfire #gazaunderattack #operationprotectiveedge


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August 9, 2014

Ceasefire broke this morning at exactly 8am on the dot. Too tired and sad to report on the happenings of today. #sophietakestheholyland #israelunderfire #gazaunderattack #israel #gaza #palestine

 

August 13, 2014 

My life has been dominated lately by moving into a new apartment and all the things that come with organizing: buying sheets, finding a fridge, measuring the awkward angles and wondering what size table will fit. What about random hooks to hang towels on? There hasn't been much space left to think about much else, and I am lucky enough that my living circumstances allow me to forget about everything happening in Gaza for a brief respite. That combined with the current off again/on again cease-fires, it almost feels as though the pot that was overflowing with boiling water has returned to a simmer. Political analysts and pundits are having a field day dissecting every moment of possible negotiations and whether to call the last month a war or not. Both parties currently have delegates in Cairo discussing a possible solution before the midnight deadline of the current ceasefire. I'm getting the feeling that everyone in Israel is tired. I can't even imagine what life is like in Gaza where people don't even have a home to return to in these moments of "quiet." The IDF is calling up more reserve soldiers and it feels like musical chairs here--trading one cousin or friend for another. It's a scary dance that never seems to end. I'm also back in classes learning Hebrew, and this time half of the program is young Palestinians from Jerusalem who are attending a year-long preparatory program before they attend university (there is also a program for French students and English speakers). It's fascinating because every time that we read a text in class about the history of Israel, it sidesteps anything to do with Palestine; I wonder what my Palestinian peers are thinking and I wonder if the other students in class even notice. Slowly slowly things are settling into a rhythm again. I can't yet tell if that's a good thing or not... #sophietakestheholyland #israel #palestine #gaza #israelunderfire #gazaunderattack

 

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August 17, 2014

Last week while at my family's kibbutz in the South, we had dinner with one of the "lone" soldiers. He had just left Gaza--he was in a combat unit and he knew 8 people that were dead, including some of his best friends. It hadn't hit him yet. Everyone around the picnic table at the pool leaned in close and asked him what happened. How many people did he kill? 2, that he is sure of. How many grenades did he throw? Anywhere from 8-15. He can't remember. His job was to blow things up, and he turned to me and confided in English that, after awhile, his commanders told him to just blow things up for fun. He had been stationed in Shejaiya. I was crawling out of my skin during this conversation. As he was telling us about the size of the tank they used to transport the soldiers in and out of Gaza safely, we heard booms of bombs dropping. This week, I was with other family up north, and I found similar conversations. Friends come over for a house call, cups of tea are poured, dates are put on the table, and everyone leans in and asks "So what really happened?" People are trying to piece together the reality of the situation. Stories from the last month are shared, "Where were you stationed?" "I was in the south." "We were in charge of herding the babies into the shelters and playing with the kids." "I was next to the border." "We saw a guy driving around with a shower attached to a truck. He handed out clean socks and underwear to every soldier as he went into the shower." "Was (name) inside?" "Did you know anyone that died?" The thing with the army here is that everyone is a part of it. It's not like in the States where it can feel like a far off entity, separate from daily "civilian" life. Here, civilian life ends the minute you get on a bus and every other seat is filled with a soldier going somewhere or you have to squeeze past a huge gun when walking to your seat. With the young sons returning from Gaza, the war is suddenly in your living room. Older brothers and fathers commiserate with their experiences. "It's like when we were in Beirut..." "It's like in Sinai..." Every generation makes their sacrifice for this place, it feels like a never ending cycle. #sophietakestheholyland #palestine #israel #palestineunderattack #israelunderfire #gazaunderattack #israelunderattack #operationprotectiveedge

 

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August 25, 2014

And here we go again. Talks between Israel and Hamas broke down in Cairo days ago. Rockets have been flying again, bombs have been hitting targets again. Of course talks failed. Of course everyone is back at it again. What did you actually expect? There was a code red siren in Jerusalem and I slept right through it. I find myself shrugging my shoulders and saying "So what now?" A 4 year old Israeli boy died this week from rocket fire, opening up the count of children fatalities for Israel. I can't believe that we trade children's lives as a sign of righteousness here. It's a disenchanting period of time--how do you hold onto your agency to change anything at all in the face of numbing numbers where a death count no longer resonates as correlating to tangible people and lives. How do you fight the feeling that rockets being fired at you is as natural as breathing? We have to find the enchantment again to believe that people can make a difference and change the system. In the face of cycles of violence and death and hopelessness, we can neither lose our ability to dream nor our personal agency. So while I'm sitting here watching everything happen again with a crazy sense of déjà vu, barely flinching now when I hear the news, it must not become the moment of hopeless surrender. The numbers of dead must not become just a number. The rockets falling on the south must not become routine. Failed political negotiations must not be the expectation. We need to rediscover the magic. This can't be all that there is. #sophietakestheholyland #israelunderfire #gazaunderattack #israelunderattack #palestineunderattack

 

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August 31, 2014

Things have quieted down. A month-long ceasefire is on the horizon, which means no more action in #Gaza for the moment. Meanwhile, the #WestBank and #EastJerusalem have continued to see protests and over 600 arrests, 150 minors. The struggle against the status-quo is not yet over. The tallies have come out from the 51 days of fighting: 2,168 Gazans are dead, 1,662 civilians with 519 of them children (according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights). 89 families were completely killed by air strikes. Acc to Ha'aretz, 73 Israelis are dead, 66 were soldiers, 7 were Israeli citizens, including the father of my cousin's friend. This country is too too small. I'm hesitant to judge anything by numbers alone. Numbers cannot describe the fear, anxiety, despair and destruction that the recent Operation caused. We still have yet to see what the long term consequences will be or how this will play out. The feeling that I have been noticing here is that everyone is picking up the pieces and letting things settle. The high emotional stress is finally abetting somewhat. Friends and reconnecting and calling each other. Families are going on their postponed vacations, weddings are being rescheduled. I have no idea what life in Gaza is like right now. I have no ability to comprehend it or imagine it properly. All I can safely say is that houses, neighborhoods and families have been destroyed in Israel's quest for quiet. I honestly don't have words. What an exhausting 7 weeks. #sophietakestheholyland #israelunderfire #gazaunderattack #palestine #operationprotectiveedge


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September 14, 2014

I've been trying to figure out how to return to "normal" Instagram posts--of food and friends and views and cool finds filtered through an array of colors and contrasts to make others elsewhere jealous of the world I'm seeing. While the operation in #Gaza is over and life here in west #Jerusalem may seem quiet and returning to "normal," the tensions and struggles elsewhere continue. Things are not "normal" here. It's quiet along the border with Gaza thanks to the ceasefire. But that quiet doesn't hear the sound of Gazan children returning back to school to buildings that were bombed or places that are still being used as refugee centers. That quiet doesn't hear that people have access to water every four or five days and that sewage is starting to seep into the sea off Gaza because of the broken electric and sewage systems. This quiet doesn't acknowledge the protests and arrests that are occurring almost daily in the #WestBank as Palestinians rise up against the (now old news) announcement that Israel had approved a land grab of over 1,000 acres to build more settlements. This quiet doesn't hear the mourners at a funeral for a 16 year old who was shot in the head near #Ramallah by soldiers. Or the screams of a 7 year old boy that was arrested because he threw a stone. Or the shouts of young #Palestinians in East Jerusalem who were clashing with police only a week ago. This quiet is seeping into my life and destroys the things that I find to be so beautiful about this place: the feisty, loving, wonderful people, the ever evolving language, the rolling hills and beautiful views, the fresh fresh fresh food. We're overlooking and ignoring the problems that still permeate our lives because it's easier to pretend that this all isn't happening. It's comfortable. It's "normal." My stomach churns. #sophietakestheholyland #israel #palestine #countryofcontradictions



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