Dear Friends, Representatives, and Family,
If you are receiving this note, you were contacted by those concerned for my safety and well being, as well as the safety of village members in Al Aqaba, a village located in Area C of the Jordan Valley (in the West Bank).
Thank you for all of your work and intervention! Your active attention on Al Aqaba impacted regional news, diplomatic pressure, and internal decision-making within the Israeli administration. The village currently stands safely, live fire has ceased, and the bulldozers have not returned to demolish homes thus far.
Anything can change at any moment, so it is good to know that our fast acting response does impact the survival of Al Aqaba village! I hope that I will not have to call on your help again, but until larger policy changes are made and Al Aqaba is permanently protected from demolition, gunfire, water shortage, and restriction of movement, your attention and intervention will likely be needed again in the near future.
I just had tea with the Jabbar family, a household of 12 people (10 children!). The live fire has terrified their children, and the demolition order they received on the same day has made this family very worried. When I asked them what they will do if their 15-year-old house is demolished, they said they will have no choice but to simply live and sleep outside or in tents. This is unacceptable. It is already difficult for me to teach English to children traumatized by the frequent-but-random spurts of Israeli military violence they face. It becomes a burden on the international community, and reflects a failure of political reflexes, to wait until after homes are demolished and people are injured by gunfire to intervene. I am grateful that you were all able and willing to act preventatively: your efforts are greatly appreciated!
I continue what will hopefully be a decades-long relationship with Al Aqaba village; teaching here, bringing friends with me to visit, and spending time with the families. I will appreciated your attention and protection in the event of future violent outbreaks by Israeli soldiers.
I will keep you updated if live fire and demolition take place in the coming days, weeks or months.