Adele Raemer
Adele Raemer
Life on the Border with the Gaza Strip

A voice from the other side of the border

The view from our side, to theirs; the fields under which tunnels grow.
The view from our side, to theirs; the fields under which tunnels grow.

My name is Adele and I live in the Western Negev, on the border with the Gaza Strip. I moderate a facebook group called Life on the Border, and had the opportunity to interview one of the members of the group. I am sharing the words of this brave Gazan with whom I am in contact. S/he has asked that I post her/his words anonymously … for now… but it is important to her/him that you all know about this. (Please note: words in quotations are her/his words):

Every day we … resist Hamas and you can follow our internal life…. and the majority of people recognize Israel’s right to exit.. but no leadership represents this voice until now.. we need any chance to change ourselves and I think we are on our way

After I asked her/him if s/he would be willing to post that here in the group, s/he wrote:

I think it’s not the good time to show my goal for public .. but I promise you one day I will tell (everyone). But don’t worry .. I’m not working alone here.. I have a group and am promoting these goals with them

S/he also wrote, however:

After these years (of) blockade and (internal) Palestinian division, Gazans here know that not only Hamas launch rockets from Gaza.. (that there are other factions that launch rockets and spark rounds of violence, as well, and the Hamas often try to PREVENT rocket attacks that will spark violence). However, after the last missile attack from Israeli tanks, the people here started to talk about resistance against Israel. For 2 or 3 days the people had had some hope, believing that we have another chance for life with a truce for 5 years, but then the IDF attacks, so what happened?? (So unfortunately,) this kind of Israeli operation (causes Gazans to) support … Hamas (because they believe that only Hamas can resist Israel) and (encourage) people here (to stand) with Hamas…. you can imagine yourself when you lost your son, home or safety you will ask anyone for any reaction (turn to anyone you can, for help).

When I wrote that Hamas continues to declare that they do not want Israel to exist, that their aim is to destroy Israel, s/he goes on to explain that Hamas’ call for the destruction of Israel is only a “media show”. That, in the same way that Netanyahu and Trump rule via the fear factor, Hamas rules by keeping Gazans fearful and angry.

I explained that as I see it, it gives the message to the Gazans that they need to strive for Israel’s destruction. My concern is, with all of these demonstrations on the fence , the minute one Gazan throws a Molotov cocktail, Israeli soldiers retaliate and it sparks violence. And it encourages the balloons.

The response to that was:

Most… Gazans don’t support march of return.. it’s not their game
But the factions here push the people to the border….. They wash their brains. When people find another way, they will (leave) these groups. Until now, no one (has offered another way). We are trying to create another way.

The “we” mentioned are a large group from both within Gaza and outside of it, who are creating a new vision.

S/he continues:

I want to create 30 leaders, dividing them (according to) 30 sectors: politics, media, culture, health, education, sport, agriculture, women, law, embassies .. etc. I will find outcomes. Now I’m (planting) seeds, (I have been working on it for years – since 2009) We will lead our society oneday. We are preparing ourselves. It is not easy to work in Gaza with this complex situation. Together with Israelis and foreigners.

S/he also calls out Abu Mazen for not doing anything to improve the plight of the Gazans. Even though he has had years in which he could have done something. (Sort of like what I feel on OUR side…. especially the last 4 years of relative quiet, which was a HUGE window of opportunity to have gotten something done. But this isn’t MY story I am bringing here… it is my interviewee’s side. )

In the end I wished her/him safety with the words: May Allah protect you and give you strength to continue this amazing project.

This is my glimmer of hope. This person. This project. This goal.

About the Author
Born in the USA, Adele has lived in a Kibbutz on the border with the Gaza Strip since 1975. She is a mother and a grandmother living and raising her family on the usually paradisaical, sometimes hellishly volatile border. She is affiliated with "The Movement for the Future of the Western Negev", and "Achdut Im Hadarom" for sanity's sake. She also moderates a FB group named "Life on the Border". Adele is a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, as well as a teacher trainer and counselor for the Israeli MoE for EFL and a Tech Integration Coach. She blogs here about both Life on the Border, as well as about digital pedagogy, in "Digitally yours, @dele". She has recently become a devoted YouTuber on the topic of digital stuff. ( Her personal channel covers other issues close to her heart (medical clowning, Life on the Border, etc.) ( In addition, she is a trained medical clown and, as any southern clown would do, clowns as often as she can in the pediatric ward in the hospital in Ashkelon. She was recently included among the Haaretz "Ten Jewish Faces who made Waves in 2018" She was invited to Geneva by an independent investigative committee for the UN to bear witness to the border situation in November 2018, and in December 2019 addressed the UN Security Council at the request of the US ambassador to the UN.
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