Another horror story from Israel, where IDF soldiers arrived early in the morning to uproot over 1,500 fruit trees at the longtime Nassar farm just west of Bethlehem in the Occupied West Bank - a farm now surrounded by illegal settlements that the Nassar family has owned since the days of the Ottoman Empire, has fought to keep for decades, and has turned into the Tent of Nations educational farm offering an array of programs to local Palestinian kids aimed at "building bridges between people, and between people and the land." The soldiers arrived as the family's latest legal battle to keep their land was still unfolding in court, and right before international volunteers were scheduled to arrive to harvest the apples, apricots and grapes. There was no warning. On May 5, the family lawyer had appealed an Israeli warning declaring the 100-acre farm "state land"; when family members had previously produced registration papers for the farm dating back centuries, Israeli authorities responded with the claim they had "papers from God." A rock outside the gates of the farm still proclaims, as it always has, "We Refuse To Be Enemies." Protest here, updates here.
“This is not the way it’s supposed to be. Why destroy a tree? Why destroy a tree that will give fruits very soon? Why destroy the land?” - Daoud Nassar