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Sunday, March 06, 2005

 

"The Olive Grove"

Andrew Shamess, visiting Ramallah, writes, "One person told us of a friend, a physics teacher. He was well-liked, a totally non-political person, dedicated to his students. One day the Israelis came and uprooted the olive orchard he had inherited from his father - one thousand trees, some of them 500 years old. He went to his class and told them to pay attention because next week, he would teach them an important lesson. And the next week, he became a suicide bomber."

Elsa Marston wrote a lovely short story for adolescents, "The Olive Grove." She compares the significance of the olive tree to the Palestinians to the importance that the buffalo held for the native Americans. Both are targets of invaders, whose interests determine that they decimate what is both life sustaining and culturally significant for the indigenous people.

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