ICAHD’s 13th rebuilding camp is now underway and 20 volunteers from around the world have come together to help build a Palestinian family home that has been demolished.
After our first few days of analysis and travelling around within Israel and Palestine, someone today described our rebuilding as being “a kind of therapy for everything else”. Which is certainly needed, when trying to reconcile the contradictions and complexity of a land under Occupation.
How can you explain the Museum of Tolerance being built upon a Muslim cemetery? Or the black tanks of water, essential for all Palestinian homes due to the frequent restrictions of supply or “scarcity of water”. In contrast to the white solar thermal tanks on Israeli roofs whose supply never runs dry. Or the strictly ornamental artificial lake you can find in the Ma’ale Adumim settlement developed in the parched Judean desert – where you can simultaneously find four Olympic-sized swimming pools. Yet there are villages in the West Bank that don’t get water for most of the summer. And 85% of the water in the West Bank gets diverted to settlements or to Israel rather than serving Palestinian neighbourhoods.
This place can feel so hopeless and surreal, so impossible and unbelievable, so appalling. Yet in some small way, there is satisfaction in having slogged through the sweltering sun to help rebuild a new home for a Palestinian family living under the daily threat of having their one-roomed house deliberately demolished by Israeli authorities.