100 days have passed since the Black Saturday of October 7th. Like everyone else, we too are worried sick about the hostages, are grieving with the relatives of the dead, are concerned about the future of those evacuated from the Gaza envelope and the north, and worried for the welfare of the soldiers. Notwithstanding, we are also part of a small group in the Israeli public, too small, that is aware of the occurrences on the other side of the hill, and we empathize with the pain and suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. We, therefore, call for a ceasefire, return of the hostages, government exchange and the initiation of a political peace process.
Despite the concern and worry, and the partnership in pain, we are also restless and want to know where this is all heading. We all agree on the goals. We all wish the war will end as soon as possible, the hostages returned, and later wish that a rehabilitation process will start and end with a political settlement. This process necessitates national and international collaboration, including with the Palestinian Authority. At the end of the process, the occupation and the conflict will cease. All this is a derivative of the vision of ‘Looking the Occupation in the Eye’.
The problem is, that under the current administration, there is no chance that such a process will take place. This disastrous government is leading us in the opposite direction, to the endless continuation of the war, even expanding to other war zones, when the current ‘political horizon’ is the messianic illusion of an eternal governing of Jews over Palestinians.
Most of the Israeli public wants to overthrow this government, even if their reasoning is different than our own priorities. Most of those opposing the government, make claims that are unrelated to the occupation, but we still believe we need to collaborate with them to overthrow the government and change it for a saner administration.
We want to collaborate without forfeiting the flag we wave. We believe the wave of government opposition has yet to increase, and will soon turn into a tsunami. When this happens, we need to be there, strengthen the current but also aim it to the direction we desire, and make people look the occupation in the eye, understand how the occupation is the main reason for the disaster and how without solving it, there is no future for this country.
This was our way in the protest days before October 7th, and we were starting to reap the fruits of our efforts. It is also the right way now. For this goal, we need to concentrate our efforts in collaborations and discussions with the general public – because only if we manage to sweep large parts of the Israeli public closer to our opinions, can we make a difference.
This is the policy we have decided to act upon.
After making this clarification, we can continue to a short summary of our activities:
First, we would like to update that the leading team is re-organizing. Ronit and Shaul have left the team for their reasons. We all thank them for their huge contribution to ‘Looking’, and we are confident they will continue to donate. Soon, new members will join the team (the current team members are Eyal, Anat, Miriam, Doron, Guy, Sigal, Oded and Martin). The reorganization is currently taking place with the aid of Nirit and Dani Danieli as consultants, and we will update its results soon.
In the protest in Israel, we have returned to our regular weekly events of the tent on Thursdays and participation in the Saturday night demonstrations. From week to week, we grow and include more people, and will continue to grow per the policy spirit described above. We also participate in events held by other organizations, under the general anti-occupation rally. For this purpose, we have produced posters and banners, with texts that were agreed upon in a survey sent to the whatsapp group members.
Our activity in Palestine has also stabilized again. We escort three communities, while combining the shepherds with accompanying protection. The wave of deportations from early on in the war has ceased for now in ‘our’ area, but the motivation and the felonies committed by the settler terrorists in the area, as well as other areas, is still very active. We hope these communities will manage to stay there with an improvement in these tense conditions. We will continue to act with international bodies and with the media to stop the settlers’ violence.
The media team continues its intense activity, and is promoting the agreed-upon messages, as well as the website. This team is also going through changes, and we will update about them soon.
We are trying to renew the weekly activity in Za’tara on Fridays, thus far unsuccessfully, due to lack of volunteers. We are trying to understand what is causing people to avoid and refrain from this important activity, and we hope to renew it soon.
Efforts are taking place to build an organized archive, and the international effort is also continuing. I will elaborate on those in the next letter.
As always, we need volunteers, and we depend on them, both for the daily activity and for specific jobs and responsibilities. Due to the reorganization, we will soon reach out to people and ask them to take on specific roles and responsibility. We hope you will adhere to our requests.
Sincerely yours, and in partnership,
The team of Looking the Occupation in the Eye