I wish I did not have to write this.
I wish I did not have to share about me, because the last thing I want is to make this about me.
I wish I did not have to take a stand.
I wish families could live in their homes and feel safe there, without having to fear eviction.
I wish my government did not encourage such things to happen.
I wish the laws of my country did not allow for such things to happen. Eviction. Taking people from the place where they are supposed to feel the safest. Home. This is their home.
I wish I could do something. But there is little I can do.
I am not Palestinian. I am, in so many ways, so privileged. I have two passports, which means that I always have somewhere to run if necessary. I have two countries I call home. One of them is in Center Europe. The other is Israel.
I could say that I am against eviction because this is simply wrong, because I am a human being, but that would only be half a truth. So here I am, making it about me. Here is why:
In my family, having two passports is a way of feeling safe. Call it generational trauma if you like. We can never know until when we will be welcome, tolerated in a country that is not Israel. Generations of Jews had to flee or were evicted from their homes in the past. So, I have an Israeli Passport in case things go south – again – in Europe, and I have a European Passport in case things get very ugly here, in the Middle East. The motive is not ideal. Still, it is a privilege to have these options. Options that not everyone has.
Oh, and… I have been evicted from my home once when I was a teenager. My parents appealed the judge’s decision, but eventually, we had to leave. I remember the humiliation on my mother’s face and the anger and frustration of my father. He had to leave the apartment where his grandmother had raised him. So many of his memories were there.
I remember being angry at the idea that someone could allow a family to be evicted, to lose their home. I have this same anger now when I see these families in Sheikh Jarrah facing eviction. I have the same knot in my throat. If I am honest, this is why this issue is touching me so deeply, because I feel like I understand.
But there are things I do not understand, because I am not Palestinian. I have a home now. Two homes, actually! My paranoia, my fear of losing them, is neurotic. It is no real. Not anymore! But this fear is real for Palestinians. It has been for a long time now, and I feel shame. I feel responsible. And I do not understand how we, with our history of being evicted from so many places, can do that to anyone else!
Today, I am writing for the people I know, Palestinian people, who live in Jerusalem, who live in Sheikh Jarrah, until someone decides that this is no longer their home. And I want to scream that this decision is not morally acceptable. There is no moral justification for removing people from their homes. We should know better.
I am deeply sorry!
I wish I could do more. I wish I did not have to.
Save Sheikh Jarrah and save our souls, for the two are linked now!