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Free Jonathan Pollak

14 5 0
18.01.2020

Back in my mid-twenties, I went off to Palestine to become a solidarity activist.

I volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) – a group which used to take part in non-violent Palestinian protests in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

All told, I spent the best part of two years in the West Bank, with Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation regime.

I was lucky enough to be able to travel all over the West Bank, meeting many Palestinians. They were all united in their loathing of the Israeli military dictatorship, dictating even the most minute aspects of their lives.

Like many other volunteers, I witnessed the horrors of what the Israeli occupation imposes on the Palestinians: the violence, the racism, the general injustice.

READ: Will Israel ‘invade The Hague’ now?

The ISM always needed people to write and edit reports and press releases on its solidarity actions. More short-term volunteers, often only in the country for two or three weeks, would want to spend their time at demonstrations meeting Palestinians, rather than being confined to the ISM’s dingy, little office apartment in Ramallah.

So more often than not, I found myself in that office writing reports on what I had seen for the ISM website, or editing and publishing the reports of other volunteers. I began to realise that I was a far better writer and editor than I was an activist – and here I am today, writing about Palestine and the Israel lobby as my profession.

Although I was often the one to stay behind in the office, especially during the latter period of my time in Palestine, nonetheless, I did attend many different Palestinian protests........

© Middle East Monitor