JSTOR Daily on the olive trees of Palestine

For JSTOR Daily, May Wang looked at the history of olive trees in Palestine, and how their importance has been used against Palestinians by the State of Israel:

[…] Through numerous interviews and anecdotes borne out in legal cases, economics, and statistics, Braverman outlines how the Palestinian identification with the olive tree “is not only the result of its economic, cultural, and historical significance within this particular culture, but is increasingly a product of the olive’s brutal targeting by the State of Israel and by certain Jewish Israeli settlers.”

As the genocide has continued, I’ve learnt more about parts of Palestinian culture I’d never heard about previously. I didn’t know that Palestinians relied so much on olive trees, economically, culturally, and religiously. Or that olives were used to make soap!

I’ll end this post with an excerpt from a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye titled ‘Different Ways to Pray’:

Under the olive trees, they raised their arms —

Hear us! We have pain on earth!

We have so much pain there is no place to store it!

But the olives bobbed peacefully

in fragrant buckets of vinegar and thyme.

At night the men ate heartily, flat bread and white cheese,

and were happy in spite of the pain,

because there was also happiness.

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