Monday, August 28, 2006

A meal in solidarity with a Palestinian that refuses to give up his restaurant.

Stop annexing Palestinian lands and the colonization around Rachel’s tomb-
28 August 2006.

A meal in solidarity with a Palestinian that refuses to give up his restaurant.
Friday 1st of September, 11.45 am. Bethlehem.

I have been visiting a Palestinian man, Khali, for months who owns a small restaurant just next to Rachel’s tomb. Rachel’s tomb is a holy site for the three monotheist religions but it has been turned into a synagogue whose access has become restricted to only Jews.
For months there has been an increase in the building of military fortifications around Rachel’s tomb, including the building of new sections of the Wall and military watch towers. These developments affect many Palestinians residents and shops in the area. It is expected that many of them will move. The once busiest street of Bethlehem is now totally blocked and deserted. The Israeli plan is to build a new synagogue and settlement in this area which is located just next to Aida refugee camp, in violation of international law and past agreements.
Khali, whose restaurant is now completely surrounded by walls, feels as if he is being buried alive. Access is increasingly difficult and in a few weeks time the Wall will completely encircle the shop and be closed by a gate. What will then happen to his shop with no customers able to enter?
Still, everyday he opens his restaurant, fearing that if he closes it for only one day his shop will be taken by the soldiers. His income has dramatically dropped as almost no customers go there anymore. In one instance I was prevented from entering by a security guard.

I invite you to show solidarity with him by joining us for a simple meal in his restaurant (humus, salads, sandwiches, fruit, coffee, etc…). Our aim is to give him a minimum contribution of 30 NS per meal, or more if you wish. Part of the funds will help him to secure with a fence the lands that he owns on the other side of the wall; they may be in danger of being annexed by Israel for security purposes. (he has also some lands behind the wall and wants to secure it with a fence which costs of around 1,000 NIS).
In order to get there, from Jerusalem, once you pass the terminal at the entrance to Bethlehem you can walk down (it is 500 meters away), just ask for the direction of the Intercontinental hotel. The shop is located 100 meters from the Intercontinental hotel, just after the military tower that you can see from the hotel, inside the Walls (there is still an opening in the wall).
If you come from Ramallah and go directly to Bethlehem; the service can leave you at the street of the Intercontinental hotel, then just walk towards the military tower- you cannot miss it.

I propose that we meet in front of the Intercontinental hotel around 11.45 am, and then we can all walk together to the restaurant. For the latecomers, join us in the restaurant. Then for those interested, we can walk around the area to see the developments on the ground. There is also a peaceful demonstration against the Wall in Khader (5 minutes in taxi from Bethlehem) every Friday around 1pm that you can attend.

See you in Friday!


  1. Very nice your blog an I support to Palestina too.