6th, November 2013
Having taken part in both olive tree planting (2012) and olive picking (2013) I can only say that both programmes are well worth participating in. Why? Because you feel needed, appreciated and doing something in an active way ,as a sign of solidarity with the Palestinian people. It may seem a minor thing to do, but- anyway-it is more than words. Also, if followed up by sponsoring of trees and other actions taken back at home it will be part of the popular resistance needed all over the world in favour of a just peace between Palestine and Israel.
The information you get through lectures and by seeing and learning about the disgusting "facts on the ground" give good knowledge for the advocacy work. Amongst these are The Apartheid Wall, the illegal settlements and outposts, the awful uprooting of olive trees and the home-demotitions. It is tough to digest all this for us who come from a free world, but the Palestinians have to digest it every day…year after year. If our presence gives them a wee bit of hope it is certainly worth our pain and frustration.
Finally, comparing my two olive-programme experiences I would go for the planting if asked to join again. Even if the work was harder and the weather worse the planting filled me with more satisfaction. It was like starting a new life – a typical act of restistance against all uprooting and burning of trees done by the illegal settlers. For me that act represented even more the feeling and challenge of Keep hope alive. Never, ever, should we let the evil win.