a sense of purpose
Um Salamona is a village south of Bethlehem can be seen en route to Hebron surrounded by the settlement of Efrata and an Israeli industrial park built on its land. The village faces yet another threat of being shrunk by the relentless Israeli appetite to confiscate more and more land. Half a mount is under threat of confiscation by the Israelis, under the claim that it should be government land, which would then be allocated to yet more settlement growth.
The people of Um Salamona petitioned the matter to an Israeli court, which ruled that they can keep THEIR land if they changed it into agricultural land. Otherwise, it would be up for land grab.
The challenge, as unfair as it is was taken up by the owners of the land. They also went on in recruiting volunteers for help in preparing the land and making it into agricultural land. Tens of volunteers have been flecking to the village over the past 3 weeks with trees and shovels and their bare hands to do the best they can to change how this plot looks on areal photographs in order to protect it from from being stolen.
It was a hard day, trying to remove the thorny bushes that covered the slopes of this mount. I believe the volunteers were able to work on more than 20 dunums on that day, maybe even more. But it was not the size of the plot that mattered to us, but rather the feeling that each of us felt that he was doing something of purpose.
Sitting in an office all day, typing on a computer or meeting with professionals, I often get into a mood of dissatisfaction from myself and the purpose of what I do. On that day, I felt that everything I have done was meaningful. I can hold the excitement of actually participating in a positive act of resistance that is not meant to harm anyone, but rather to revive the land.