FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Jenin, A Garden in Tent City

by Marylin Robinson

I spent the day going into the Jenin Refugee Camp, first to Tent City, I call it, tagging along to watch the children and the adults talk of their horrific experiences during the days of the Israeli invasion. In describing Tent City, the UN offering of 64 pitched tents of which only 6 are in use as of the present time is disgraceful and inhumane.

Yes, it was a great idea to at least provide tents but, in doing so, they created a community. This in my estimation creates a responsibility for the UN. This community however, lacks a few basic needs such as: toilet areas, areas to go bathe, wash and dry clothes, wash dishes and utensils; areas to eat, and food (remember these are people not only displaced from their homes which have been either bombed, bulldozed or demolished by gunfire or set ablaze, they also do not have work/jobs, sources of income).

They received some clothing at first, some food, some money but basic needs such as those described above are not provided. The UN has a center in the camp where people go requesting help and services, fill out forms, then, are told the UN personnel will see what they can do. That is why only 6 tents are occupied at the camp; simply said, human beings cannot live in this condition and stay healthy. Many of the people are living with relatives in conditions already cramped before their arrival. The 6 families remaining in Tent City have no relatives to stay with or the relatives have no where to fit them in.

In the middle of the second row of tents is a neatly placed, small, circular stone rimmed garden area with the UN flag planted in the middle with flowers blooming in several colors. They took the time to create this area to let everyone know the UN was there.

Today, I also went to the government hospital and met with a group of men who described the scene in the parking lot where 40 bodies were found lying under a heap of dirt bulldozed over them since the hospital morgue was full. Discovery of the bodies was due to the exposure of a hand found reaching out from the dirt pile.

I also went to Ground Zero again in the center of the camp, taking pictures and meeting with adults but mainly children who freely talked with me about their feelings and experiences during the invasion. They would hold my hand while they talked.

Afterwards, I asked each one their names and ages, feebly repeating their names in Arabic. I told them I would adopt them and become their second mamma if they agreed. A resounding yes, and it was official. I adopted a few more beautiful faces with warm, loving eyes. As I touched each ones head and caressed their faces, they would say, I love you, Marilyn.

In my feeble Arabic, I said ana bahebik back to them. It is supposed to be I love you in Arabic. I meant it. I will never forget them. They are etched on my soul.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment (they don’t know about yet) with the UN in the camp. I want to find out why a garden area was provided but, a place to even bathe or go to the toilet was not. I expect miracles.

Marilyn Robinson is one of four members of the Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace who have joined internationals in solidarity with Palestinians nonviolently resisting Israel’s illegal military occupation. More on their trip at: http://www.ccmep.org/palestine.html

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Dave Archambault II
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Statement on Dakota Access Pipeline Decision
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail