The voice of an Israeli activist
My name is Jude Liemburg. Born in The Netherlands and moved to Israel in 1991 when I was 24. I came to Israel because I could, as a Jew, without too many administrative hassles. One of the things that I really liked about Israel was the “us” feeling. When somebody would fall on the street, everybody would rush over and help the person. That is gone now.
Until two years ago I lived inside my pink bubble, there was no Palestine and if a Palestinian was killed, he must have deserved it. Bibi and the corruption, now that was an issue that I was willing to go to the streets for.
I started going to Balfour, which created some holes in my pink bubble. Realising that what we see on TV and read in the newspapers is not true. Now if the reporting is not true about certain things, what does that say about the other items that are reported? And what about those items that are not reported on at all?
I joined the Mothers Against Police Violence at Balfour (crazy Kobi Jakobi) and with them I went to Um El Fahum to stand in solidarity with the mothers there, with their then weekly demonstrations to beg the police to take actions against all the killings taking place in the city.
And here my pink bubble was shattered into 1000 pieces. It made me realize, with pain, that the narrative told to me my whole life about Israel, its existence, and the outside threat that we have to defend ourselves against, has been carefully crafted from the top down since day one of its existence. Once the veil has been lifted, you can't unsee it anymore.
I can't unsee the daily atrocities our government instructs the Israeli army, our boys, to inflict upon millions of people. By daily harassing them, controlling them, by denying them any basic human rights such as water, electricity and housing. By stealing their land, allowing illegal settlements to be built, denying them to work their land next to these illegal settlements, arrest them (over 1M Palestinians since 1967 and preferably in the middle of the night) and hold them in administrative detention (723+) if they can't build a proper case against them, with many endless extensions. A "legal system" where the oppressor rules over the oppressed.
I realized that being a Palestinian, throwing a stone, protesting the occupation, holding a Palestinian flag, being a Palestinian journalist reporting from the ground or a Palestinian medic providing aid is a crime that can get you wounded (6717+ so far in 2022) or killed (2589 Palestinians in occupied territories and another 7718 Palestinians in Gaza since 1967)*.
I wanted to do something and I found out that there are Israeli activists that stand in solidarity with the Palestinians in occupied territories. I started going with some of them on Fridays to Beita, where the village is demonstrating to get their mountain back that is still occupied by the IOF. I wanted to share the absurdities that I was seeing there and the only way I know is with the power of the camera. Palestinian sources are not taken seriously, so by reporting from the territories as an activist it might make it a bit truer. I joined the group Looking the Occupation in the Eye and join some of their activities, like the quiet demonstration every Friday at Zaatara junction and guerilla activities such as cutting illegal fences somewhere in the Jordan Valley. I join Palestinian demonstrations against the occupation as much as I can, as I find it important to show the Palestinians that they are not alone and to make noise, lots of good noise in Israel so people can’t say that they didn’t know.
Imagine a life under occupation. Under constant threat for just being. Constant fear.
I do not stand for this behavior and this regime and I hope neither will you. Join us in fighting the good fight and making some good noise!