Processing

I feel so bad everyone keeps asking me about the trip, and all I can say is I'm still processing.  And I've even had a few ask me what exactly that means.
I can't talk about it with people who weren't on the trip.  And everyone from the trip is so scattered and busy back in our own lives is hard to have a conversation now that we're home.  When I have had the chance to talk to other members of the group, it's been so refreshing to be able to talk freely about it and have someone completely understand what I'm saying, instead of looking at me with confusion or a loss for words.

As I'm going back through my notes, typing them up into a (somewhat) organized word document that is 5,500 words and 25 pages long, it's amazing how much I've already suppressed in my mind having to come back home and jump back into 'normal' life.  I haven't had a lot of time to really think it all through, and I'm partially procrastinating on it because I know there is still a lot for me to figure out.  How do I feel about BDS, how do I want to present all this information to the community around me, sorting out the facts from opinions, how can I make a difference now, and just trying to figure out what to do with all the new knowledge of everything I saw and learned.  I've been reading Breaking the Silence, testimonies of Israeli soldiers of their experiences specifically in Hebron, put together by an organization of the same name working to help make the truth public knowledge and help soldiers take responsibility for their actions.  I'm reading the 2005-2007 version but there are several including women's perspectives, youth and children, and covering several years.  One of the founders came to speak to us and brought us the books, and I highly recommend you check it out!  They are available in PDF format for FREE online so you have no excuse to not read at least a few stories.

And as much as I have learned, I still feel so inadequately educated.  There is so much to learn,so much to know, and I feel like I wouldn't be able to stand up in an academic debate or conversation very well.  So much has happened in such a short period of time, and so much of this conflict seems to be about theology and beliefs.  But at the core, it's human rights.  It comes down to denying people citizenship, the right to travel from one part of the country to another without being stopped countless times for humiliating searches at security checkpoints.  It comes down to over 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinians who live in Israel, with Israeli passports.  It comes down to dehumanizing a population to the point they want to give up hope.

But they haven't. 

I'm a mediator.  I'm always in the middle of conflicts trying to sort out both parties, not picking a side just trying to find compromise.  With this though, I don't know if I will be able to stay out of the politics.  When you witness something so wrong firsthand, you have to do something about it.  Now I just have to figure out what that is.