Jordan Valley: food deliveries to shepherds communities

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Ayelet Tz. Rachel Afek (report and photos)

I want to tell you about the food delivery we made yesterday to communities in the Palestinian Jordan Valley.

The call for this resulted from the dire state in which all Palestinians have been.

Food prices have skyrocketed, as I have already written, because of the steep prices of transportation, blocked roads and perhaps other reasons to do with the war.

We, who help in the Palestinian Jordan Valley, and to our dismay see distress in other parts of the West Bank as well, have to choose where to invest. The ones profiting from this are the inhabitants of the Valley who are close to our hearts.

Their economic situation is always dire. I have no idea how they continue to live. Their expenses on their flocks are higher than their income. The do subsist on cheeses and homemade bread, but this meager nutrition affects their health and mood. The little we are able to provide does help a bit, but is also valuable beyond the food and accompaniment themselves – the mere knowledge that someone sees them and listens and is present.

I wish to thank all our women who donated generously, as well as others in different venues. Within a few days we reached the sum of over 8000 NIS.

We were helped by a resident of Tirah, active in peace organizations. He mobilized a Tirah mini-market that donated all the food at cost prices, packed it all and loaded our cars (Ayelet’s and mine) full. That activist also donated to the project. Ayelet, who has been wonderful in all that she has done in the Palestinian Jordan Valley for years now is the one who found this combination, so a great big thank you to her (she is the daughter of our member Rina Tzur).

Mahdi and I gave packages to communities not all of which I had known – some of them I first saw only yesterday. They live among the hills where even the colonists don’t go. Some are situated right next to a colony and have nothing. The remains of demolitions of the previous month are still strewn around. I couldn’t figure out how these people live. An elderly couple – the woman walks barefoot among stones and thorns and claims she cannot put on shoes because of the pain. She sends her regards to Daphne. Other communities we visited are in better shape, but not much.

I felt a bit like the British ladies in India… But Mahdi did a wonderful job of handing the food out and it seems that this food project should continue not only in times of war. Their time of war does not stop for a moment.

Someone told me that the colonists enter the Palestinian private area and behave as if it is theirs – they don’t speak, make rounds and go. Who knows what they’ll be doing next.

Fear, fear, fear.