Why is it that a school, made of recycled tires and mud, is under a demolition order, while a mile away, there is a community with multiple nice, limestone school buildings? Why do some people, have to go to court to get basic water access, considering they live in the desert, while a mile away, there is an outdoor fountain spilling untold amount of gallons of water an hour for a round-a-bout decoration?
Why do parents have to run into grazing fields to find parts of their children's bodies on the ground after they picked up a booby trapped- explosive watch or other object?
Why should a father and mother have to search for their daughter in the mountains at night...finally realizing that she should have been home from school by now?
These are the questions members of the Bedouin communities in Palestine-Israel are asking themselves....and asking us, as the international community that passively and actively supports Israel's policies. The state of Israel allows for pretty much unrestricted water usage in housing settlements that are illegal under intl. law (because they are on occupied Palestinian territory) just down the road from displaced Bedouins who lives in shacks and have had to fight for just basic water. They also are finding that their land available for grazing is diminishing in greater amounts year after year forcing them to graze their herds illegally......allowing the Israeli military to set booby-traps with explosives in the "closed military zones"....meters away from these herders' communities.
And that is the problem....the Israeli state doesn't see these people as human beings with families and communities, they only allow themselves to see them as terrorists.
So I ask this: why would a state support the demolitions of schools? What kind of peace do you think you could create by denying education? Creating and supporting community infrastructure that builds human capacity is what is needed....not these barriers that tell young children ," I see the evil in you already, before you are allowed to develop the ability to choose your path, your identity, your sense of self and the world...I am going to deny this opportunity to you. I will suppress the opportunity within you."
Is the message we want to send to young children and their families in poverty? I don't. But we are....by allowing these policies to happen supported by U.S. and intl funding and compliance and in our country with our school system. We view children as empty vessels, just needing to be filled with the "right" information instead of cultivating their capacity to flex the human muscle of compassion, integrity, and curiosity. I can't support policies that say no to a child's capacity to develop fully.