Cats, Trash, and Humanewashing (by Isabella and Elijah Gold)

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There are tons of cats in Palestine/Israel. They are , too quote Isabella, “Witty Itty Bitty Pretty Kittys” they are so cute. They are literally everywhere. But they are not in the greatest shape they are hungry and dirty and afraid they get teargased and ignored. But they are still adorable. You can find them everywhere in Palestine/Israel. We, Elijah and Isabella Gold, keep a daily cat count with the record at 33 in one day. We counted 33 cats by just walking around in Palestine, so that is just an example of how many cats are here. You can find them on the streets in alleyways on the roofs and even in the dumpsters.

The cats are not the only beings in Palestine that are being thrown in the dumpster. Israel is trying to make the Bedouin people that live in Greater Jerusalem move to the dump in Azeria. Israel is so mean to the Bedouins. Like the Bedouin tribes in the Negeve, (Southern Israel) they are “unrecognized” as a tribe or village by Israel and so Israel refuses to supply them with infrastructure like water and electricity. They Rely completely on their animals, rain water collection, and small amounts of day labor. Because their villages are unrecognized, and Israel does not like that their villages are visible from the Israeli road between Jerusalem and the settlement of Ma’ale Adumin, they are focing them to leave. They did offer another home for them though, the dumpster.

Other than cats and the Bedouins, Palestinians in general are living in a giant dumpster. After the second intifada, Israel declared that it was too dangerous to pick up Palestinians trash in East Jerusalem so they handed to job of taking out the trash in east Jerusalem to a subcontractor who is picking up the trash. But, they are picking it up based on a quota from 25 years ago and the population has grown, so a lot of trash is not picked up and instead has to be either left on the ground or burned. That’s why there is trash throughout east Jerusalem, they have nowhere for it to go. They burn it, but they have nowhere to do it so they just burn it by houses. And the fumes from burning trash are not healthy. Not only this but Israel also uses Palestinian towns as a place to put their garbage. The dumpster in Azeria where Israel wants the Bedouins to go, is where settlers trash goes and the Bedouins are not the only ones living there. Other Palestinian families live there because it is a cheap place to live.

On the other side of the wall in west Jerusalem and the rest of Israel there is no trash it is completely clean. It is the opposite of the trash situation in Palestine. This is just one of the many infrastructure inequalities.

The infrastructure difference it extremely noticeable while you’re in Jerusalem. When you walk into west Jerusalem there are clean new busses while in east Jerusalem the busses are dirty and have broken seats. The train that goes around Jerusalem just stops and turns around when it gets to east Jerusalem making it harder for the Palestinians in east Jerusalem to get access to it.

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Palestinians inside Israel and in the West Bank have very little water and it costs a lot of money. Throughout Israel and the West Bank you can tell Palestinian houses from Israeli houses because Palestinian houses have black water tanks on their roofs to store water because their often do not have running water. When we stayed in Azaria we took an “Arab shower” where water was heated in a bucket and then we poured it over us with a bowl. But in the Ma’ale Adumin Jewish settlement right next to Azaria, there is a man made lake where Jewish adults and children can swim, boat and play. There are also many other differences.

To cover all these crimes up Israel does a lot of greenwashing and pinkwashing (promoting themselves and LGBTQ friendly). Now they have added humanewashing where they have vegan restaurants everywhere. They just had the Israeli army begin serving vegan food in the mess hall and they have fake leather boots to draw attention away from all the crimes the army is committing. They are like, “oh look we have vegan food and solar panels we care about the environment and animals.” But these are just distractions from the real problems. Before they can start caring about the environment and the animals they must care first for the people around them and stop oppressing Palestinians. Otherwise all that all these good things that Israel do is just a cover up for all the bad things that they do.

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