Weekends on the Border with the Gaza Strip

Mosque in Gaza seen through the wheatfields of Kibbuz Nirim, fields which are planted and tended right up to the border.
Mosque in Gaza seen through the wheatfields of Kibbuz Nirim, fields which are planted and tended right up to the border.

Weekends are supposed to be the times when I can kick back and relax from the demands that life makes of me during the week. Working, parenting, grandma-ing, rehearsing, planning lessons, marking tests, writing report cards, taking groups on tour, clowning…..the list is endless (mostly my own fault). I’m always thirsty for the weekend promise of respite; time to do my own thing, be it getting out into nature, learning more about photography and film editing, or just melting into the couch with a good book. But for the past 44 weeks — since the violent “Marches of Return” began, my weekends here on the border begin with tangibly seeing, hearing and feeling the posturing rhetoric that comes from both sides of the border: “What we will do to them if……”; “What they will do to us if….”

These “Marches of Return,” which were theoretically initiated as peaceful ways for the people of Gaza to voice their protest against the entity whom the Gazans feel are to blame for their tragic conditions, were hijacked by the Hamas right from the very first one. These violent riots have turned into practically a religious ritual, with the Hamas sanctifying each casulaty joining the army of one-legged men filling the streets of Gaza on their crutches; glorifying each new “shahid” (martyr) that joins the long list of present-day saints. While I know for a fact that the army uses much restraint, bordering on putting our own soldiers at risk, from where I sit, I hear each side posturing, wanting to be seen in the eyes of their electorate as being gung-ho ready to rumble if need be….if only they were given free rein ….

So once again, for the 44th time, our weekend begins with feelings of apprehension, waiting to see how the day ahead of us unfolds.

Today the Hamas are demanding $22 million (including interest on the $15 million… somehow). One of the sides (Israel? Qatar?) are saying the $15 million will be allowed, BUT half of that needs to be in food and humanitarian aid, as opposed to cash (which actually sounds good to me, since NO ONE oversees where the money actually goes, and we ALL know that it gets to the wrong places.) There also seems to be a demand on the side of Israel not to have some say over who gets the money and who does not.

No one’s budging … so far. I see that there are calls for violent protests this afternoon …. and my eyes are pointed west.

Life on the Border. Just thought you would want to know.

Life here is 95% heaven, 5% hell. If you want to follow what life is really like down here on the border with the Gaza Strip, join our Facebook group: Life on the Border

Video footage from the beautiful corner of the Western Negev

Posted by Adele Raemer on Thursday, 24 January 2019

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", for sanity's sake. She also moderates a FB group named "Life on the Border". https://goo.gl/xcwZT1 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 Digital Pedagogy. 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. (https://goo.gl/iBVMEG) Her personal channel covers other issues close to her heart (medical clowning, Life on the Border, etc.) (https://goo.gl/uLP6D3) 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" https://goo.gl/UrjCNB.
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