I have had a challenging couple of weeks here in Palestine. I was attacked by a settler on March 7. The settler has been identified now, and I am hoping there may be legal consequences, which would be unusual for a settler. I got fantastic medical care here, and am doing well. If you would like to contact congress asking that they follow up and hold the settlers accountable for violent attacks against Palestinians and internationals, there is information at the end of this email, and if you would like to share this with anyone here is a statement. Thank You Cassandra ********************************************
I am a citizen of the US currently visiting Palestine. I’m 64 years old. On March 7, I and another international were attacked by Israeli settlers while standing on the outskirts of the Palestinian village of Tuba in Masafer Yatta. I was hit from behind, hard, with a large stick, and my companion was chased and threatened by a settler with an iron bar. The settler who hit me fractured my skull and caused a bleed in my brain.
This is what the colonialism of Israeli settlers looks like for Palestinian families living in Masafer Yatta in the southernmost end of the West Bank. Supported by Israeli military and Police, settlers from the many settlements and illegal outposts in Masafer Yatta are systematically stealing Palestinian grazing land, destroying crops, and violently forcing people from their lands. To be here now in these 15 villages is to witness ethnic cleansing in real time.
In addition to daily settler threats, attacks, land theft, property destruction and violence, the area’s 1300 residents, more than half of them children, are facing imminent forced removal from their homes to make way for the use of their lands by the Israeli military as a firing zone.
An Israeli high court decision in May of 2022 ended a years long legal battle by residents for the right to remain, and now the largest forced relocation of Palestinians since 1967 could happen at any moment. Israeli forces have already demolished schools, homes, roads, wells, olive trees and agricultural buildings, and delivered demolition orders to every single structure.
As US taxpayers we contribute more than 8 million US dollars a day to the state of Israel. This is what we are buying. The strangulation of villages that are pinned down between illegal outposts. The shepherds forced to sell sheep to buy feed because they cannot access the land they planted a month ago. Women who face settler attacks while trying to reach a hospital in labor.
Children who watched as their classrooms were demolished by Israeli forces with their desks and papers still inside. Families waking to the sight of entire olive groves burned or uprooted in the night by settlers. A young man about to be married shot and paralyzed by Israeli soldiers while attempting to save his village’s only generator from confiscation. The death of a beloved elderly man run over and dragged by a heavy equipment trailer during a police raid to confiscate cars in his village.
The humans living in Masafer Yatta desperately need the world to witness the bitterness of colonialism in their fields and olive groves. They desperately need for us to pay attention. If you would like to help:
Since the attack Senator Tammy Baldwin’s office has been surprisingly helpful in contacting the state department and I hope that they will continue to push them to communicate with the Israeli police and insist on legal consequences for the settler, as they may have some impact on the safety of Tuba Village.
For friends in Wisconsin, If you would like to help, please consider contacting Baldwin’s washinoffice through this link and asking for the following:
1) Thank them for their attention to the attack.
2) Ask that they continue to monitor the complaint in Israel and let the Israeli police know that we expect legal consequences for the settlers involved in the attack.
3) Request that the US consulate make a visit to Tuba in order to understand the threat of violence and human rights abuses caused by expansion of the illegal Israeli outpost of Havat Ma’on.
4) Ask them to continue to request updates and a written report from the state department.
5) Express your appreciation for their attention to this matter and add that you hope this will lead to greater attention by the Senator in the future to the reality of life on the ground under what is increasingly becoming an Apartheid regime that the US needs to start holding accountable, especially given out current level of aid to Israel.
Contacts to the state department from other congressional representatives would also be very helpful, however with Tammy Baldwin you can mention that I am a constituent of hers.
Here is a link to look up contact information for your senator and representative.
Contact: Cassandra Dixon
Address: 3579 County Road G, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965