Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Jewish American woman's struggles to help Palestinians

This is the name of a great website that Anna Baltzer has. Till few days ago, I did not who she was, and I saw her for the first time last Sunday. This Jewish American young woman, and a Fulbright Scholar, was giving a talk on the empowerment of Palestinian women, and the horror that all Palestinians suffer just to go through one more day in the hell of the Israeli occupation. Their resilience is amazing, and their determination is unbelievable, and is matched only by their hospitality.

I did not need to hear this from Anna Baltzer to realize it. I have always imagined it has to be the truth. How else would it be possible to maintain an identity, and win the hearts of millions that did not even know that your people existed? To be able to fight for a national homeland in the face of brutal occupation of unbelievable public relations mastery, that is supported blindly by the USA, Palestinians must be very special people. And it sure feels good hearing it from someone with first hand experience in Palestine.

Palestinians, like any other people, are not angels or saints. Some of them are even terrorists. But most importantly, they are collectively a great people of wonderful qualities, history and culture.
This is exactly how one would feel about Palestinians after attending the great presentation she gave in the United Methodist Church on Ladue street in Chesterfield, Missouri, arranged by St. Louis peace activist and member of the Women in Black Mrs. Betsy Hamra. The love Anna Baltzer have for Palestinians, out of her love for peace and justice, show in every sentence she uttered. This is not love from a distance, or based on a fantasy novel she read. She has actually lived with them for periods of time, seen their suffering first hand, and even learned their language to be able to know them with nobody interpreting for her their emotions and thoughts.

She showed a huge collection of pictures depicting Palestinian lives with great commentary, and she has many more on her web site photo section. She concluded with an emotional song that i will ask her if I can post in the future (if there are no copyright issues) on my blog. Many Muslim, Jewish and Christian attendees lined up afterwards to express how they felt about her presentation.

On a Sunday that concluded a gloomy week for any media observer with interest in the Israeli Palestinian conflict, her presentation and how she was received by the United Baptist Church community re-energized me.
There is a lot of good people still around. They just need to be lot louder than the bad ones.


Parts of her presentation is available on Youtube, Here is a sample.

Links to Anna Baltzer's Web pages:
For Anna's double-sided handout with facts and sources of information from her presentation click here.

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