Jody McIntyre writing from Bilin, occupied West Bank, Live from Palestine, 11 September 2009
(Jody McIntyre is a journalist from the United Kingdom, currently living in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin. Jody has cerebral palsy, and travels in a wheelchair.)
"......Also present in the meeting was Shai Pollak, an Israeli activist and long-time supporter of the people of Bilin -- "a member of the family" as Mohammed Khatib described him.
"Twenty years ago, I did my military service," Shai explained, "but if I knew then what I know now, I never would have served in the Israeli army."
"Israeli society today is becoming increasingly closed off," Shai continued, "making pressure from outside even more important. After the second intifada, I went and met with literally thousands of Palestinians. While my friends in Tel Aviv were telling me they would stab me with a knife, the opposite was true. Everyone I met welcomed me with open arms, because the Palestinian people want a peaceful solution."
The visit of these world leaders to Bilin was a clear message to the Israeli government, that they are opposed to the continuing oppression of the Palestinian people. Now, it is time for the leaders currently in power to follow suit."