We have recently had a report from one of our more energetic members on his cycle ride for Medical Aid for Palestinians in the West Bank last September.
He captured very movingly the mixture of emotions generated by his visit. There was of course the friendship and camaraderie of the riders, the welcome, generosity and humanity of the Palestinians and the captivating landscape and culture shown in, for example the ride down to Jericho, the art on display in Bethlehem and the serenity of the Al Aqsa mosque seen in the setting sun from his bedroom in Jerusalem. Not to mention the break-dancing to traditional Palestinian music by one of the group during a memorable evening in Jericho. There was also the sadness of witnessing the plight of Bedouins, the reality of areas A, B and C in practice, the tragedy and oppression in Hebron and the monstrosity that is the separation wall with its gun towers and graffiti frescos. Fortunately, some Israelis are themselves taking a stand against the government, breaking the silence, and the cyclists met with Yehudi Shaul and colleagues to hear some of the 1000 or more testimonies from ex-soldiers to the abuse, violence and humiliation inflicted on many Palestinians by the Israeli military.
He hopes to meet up again with his cycling companions, as ‘It was a pleasure to cycle with such a great bunch of people from all walks of life, each with a desire to help and stand up for the rights of the people of Palestine. It struck home that many felt strongly about the injustice and suppression even though they had no direct links with Palestine, they just wanted to make a difference, their every action and gesture ensuring the situation is not forgotten.’
We congratulate him on finishing the ride (despite a lack of training on hill climbing!) and raising over £2700 For Medical Aid for Palestinians.