A disclaimer is needed as I begin to share my stories from Palestine. I have changed all names in my stories. The memories, the places, the foods, the sights, the experiences–all of these are real and I describe them as I remember them. But I have deliberately disguised the people in my stories. I will share nothing about the unique circumstances of my two visits to West Bank, Palestine in 2013 and 2014.
Indeed, authorities in the state of Israel will not welcome these stories. They would not respond kindly to learning the unique and clandestine circumstances that allowed an American visitor to live inside Palestine and learn the intimate humanity of the people they persecute and imprison inside their own home.
I will refrain when possible from dwelling on the political story. Yet, that cannot be ignored. The state of Palestine, West Bank and Gaza, are prisons. Decades after the International Court declared the intention of creating a Palestinian nation, Israel holds these human beings in a state of poverty and disenfranchisement. Every people longs for freedom. The people of Palestine ask for nothing less.