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Spotlight on Israel: A Shabbat Speaker Series with NIFC’s New Gen
July 6, 2019 @ 4:30 pm
Join us for a new-ish shabbat afternoon speaker series in the St Clair/Bathurst area. While many of our speakers and attendees will be new gen, everyone is welcome!
We’ll meet at 4:30 PM in the party room of a building, located on the ground floor. There are no stairs to access the room. Snacks provided. Contact Leah with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org. Exact location provided upon registration.
July 6th talk with Naama Baumgarten-Sharon — Tiyul Shel Shabbat: A Visit to Area C
Naama will introduce us to Area C as rarely seen by diaspora Jews: from the Oslo days when this designation was created, through the complicated operational considerations for Israeli and international organizations trying to work in Area C, to the every-day reality for Palestinians living there. She will share photos and stories from her on-the-ground experiences there.
An excerpt from Naama’s upcoming talk:
“On Sunday, June 8, 2014, I was wrapping up my research on the B’Tselem report I authored called ‘The Invisible Walls of Occupation’ about the village of Burka (pictured above. and the report can be found here: https://www.btselem.org/sites/default/files/sites/default/files2/201410_invisible_walls_of_occupation_eng.pdf). I had spent the day tying loose ends, thinking that the report would be published in July, right before I left for what was to be a 2-year adventure in Toronto. I was literally running around on the hills, talking to residents and mapping out what areas they did and didn’t dare go to around their village.
For the most part, the residents of Burka live in Area B of the West Bank, but their agricultural lands, grazing lands, and areas that have potential for further development, were assigned the category of Area C in the Oslo agreement. They have, for many years, been surrounded by settlements, some built on village land. Even after many years in the field, spending so much time in the village working on this report was an unusual experience for me, and taught me much more than I had ever imagined about the everyday impacts of the conflict…
And after so much time wandering around the village, I felt safe. So safe that I went to take this picture – walking almost up to the settlement along an abandoned road – what used to be the main road out of the village. This road used to lead to Ramallah, a short ride away, but was abandoned because the road blocks, and the limited access to main roads, made it useless, and the nearby settlers blocked it just to make sure no one drove on it….
That Thursday evening, three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas. They were on a similar road elsewhere in the West Bank and they most certainly were not safe, and the horror of what happened to them eroded the feeling of safety for everyone. Their kidnapping led to a prolonged military excursion in the West Bank, which spiralled into a deadly, horrible for everyone war in Gaza…“
Naama Baumgarten-Sharon has been a peace and anti-occupation activist since 2001, and has worked professionally for international and Israeli NGOs, most notably B’Tselem.