8th July, 2018 - The Bedouin village of Khan al Ahmar is in danger of demolition. Urge your Senators and Representatives to join the delegation to help save the village. 

Two months ago The Green Olive Collective teamed up with the Rebuilding Alliance to bring US Congressional staffers to Palestine and Israel for an intensive learning experience.

The trip was led by Green Olive Partner Itamar Shapira and the Rebuilding Alliance CEO Donna Baranksi-Walker. In addition to the Bedouin of Khan al Ahmar, they met with dozens of Palestinian and Israeli peace workers, politicians, NGOs, activists and Palestinians impacted by the occupation.

The Congressional staffers and accompanying constituents met with the besieged Bedouin of Khan Al Ahmar, a village in the Judean Desert near Jerusalem that is now in danger of imminent demolition by the Israeli authorities.

The village is in the way of Israel's expansion plans for the nearby settlement of Ma'ale Adumim. As a result the community has received no access roads, water, electricity or other minimum services, and has had their applications for community planning and building permits routinely denied. 

When our strategic partner, the Rebuilding Alliance, recently brought Eid Jahalin, the spokesperson for Khan al Ahmar, to Washington DC to walk the halls of Congress, the best advice we got is this: Take Congress to visit the village - and do it NOW.

Please invite your Senators and Representatives to join the Leadership Learning Mission to the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel starting on August 9th - Sponsored by our strategic partner, the Rebuilding Alliance.

You are urged to invite your Senators and representatives to authorise their staff to join this delegation accompanied by constituents from their district. If they or you are interested in joining the trip, please fill out the form on this page.

The goals of this trip will be to:

1). Visit Palestinian villages of Khan al Ahmar, Susiya, and Al Aqaba to stop the demolitions and assure Palestinian planning rights. Discuss how to safeguard the 12,500 Palestinian homes, schools, barns, and water systems currently under demolition orders.

2) Visit the Israeli court where Palestinian children are tried with a 95% conviction rate and meet with parents of and attorneys for the children.

3). Meet with and encourage Palestinians and Israelis who are already working to secure human rights and bring about justice and peace, and recognize their efforts.

Yes we know this is short notice, but the need is now. Please CONTACT your Congressional Representatives NOW. Please start now, by filling out the form on this page.

If you are receiving this notice but are not a US citizen, please consider recommending to your organisation to work with Green Olive and organise a similar delegation from your country. Just fill out the form and we will be in touch

Green Olive delegation distributing Solar Lamps to the Bedouin residents of  Khan al Ahmar


Tell your friends. Help spread the word . . . .

Twit it Sphinn it Add To Del.icio.us Digg it Add To Google Bookmarks Add To Reddit Add To Technorati Add To StumbleUpon Add To Facebook Furl it Subscribe to RSS

The Killing Fields of Gaza

- by Fred Schlomka - - 20th May, 2018 -

Gaza continues to be desperate. Your help is needed.

Imagine a giant prison bounded by the sea on one side, and fences and walls on the other three sides. The original prison guards were thrown out in 1967, and the new prison guards evacuated themselves in 2006, retreating to the prison borders, sealing it off except for a few heavily guarded entrances, fortresses along the prison’s land border, and gunboats patrolling the shoreline. Since then few have been allowed to enter or exit. A bare minimum of goods are permitted to enter, barely enough to allow the subsistence for the inmates. 

One of the prison gangs took over the management of the prison, and terrorised the inmates into compliance with their demands. Rival gangs have sent a some small rockets over the fence, causing little property damage and almost no casualties. This results in remote retaliatory attacks by the prison guards via drones, rockets and bombs. Most of the prison inmates live in fear, from the Israelis, from Hamas, and of destitution and despair. There is little hope for the future

The 2 million inmates of Gaza have no citizenship - no state - no freedom. 

Over the past two months, tens of thousands of people come to the fence every Friday to protest their plight. A few try and approach the fence. Some burn tires and throw stones across the fence. The vast majority stay at a distance. It seems likely that these protests are organised by Hamas. It’s also possible that Hamas is orchestrating and planning for the eventual killings, by managing teams of people who are trained and instructed to approach the fence. And yes, there were a few visible armed protesters.

Israel set up teams of snipers and is playing its part by shooting them down. It’s all very predictable. Just a last week, about 60 people were killed in a calculated manner by these snipers. It’s a turkey shoot. 

Much of the foreign media mirrors the official Israeli use of words like ‘clashes’ or ‘riots, describing the protestors as ‘terrorists’. Terminology is used to imply that Israelis are at risk, and the fence might be breached.  Israel fuels this misconception by massing troops along the Gaza border, backed by teams of paramilitary police. 

CNN International said that the ‘clashes’ resulted in ‘deaths’, as if they were acts of God, yet also allowed that ‘Many of them caused by Israeli fire’. Even Israel’s liberal Haaretz newspaper called the protest a ‘clash’.

There were no ‘clashes’. Every Palestinian was murdered on their own side of the fence by Israeli snipers on the Israeli side of the fence. No protesters came in close contact with any Israeli soldier, not was there any possibility of this happening. 

Every Palestinian murder was a calculated decision of an Israeli sniper or his/her immediate commander, in accordance with their rules of engagement which allows the killing of unarmed Palestinians who are causing no immediate danger to anyone. 

These tactics are the same as used by colonial empires of bygone eras and other authoritarian regimes of today, which prohibit any actions by disenfranchised people protesting their rule. The British likewise conducted lethal reprisals against protests by their subject peoples in India and Africa. China has more recently followed suit. Israel has learned well. 

Non-violent protests are especially feared by the state of Israel, and every effort is made to ensure that violence ensues, thus justifying the killings, at least in Israel’s worldview.

Make no mistake. If Israel wanted to use non-lethal means to drive back the few hundred protesters that approach the fence, then it has sufficient means at it’s disposal, notably water cannon and tear gas. However it also serves Israel’s purpose to conduct these killings.

Israel also needs to learn that murderous repression of protest never has the desired results in the long term. Palestinian steadfastness will not be contained by murder and slaughter. Ultimately the likes of Hamas and the Zionist regime will be tossed in the dustbin of history, and the liberation of the people of Palestine and Israel will be realised. In the meanwhile people are being killed.

Your support is critical at this time. Here’s what you can do:
  • Contact the nearest Israeli Embassy to protest the actions of the IDF
  • Organise a protest outside your nearest Israeli consulate or Embassy
  • Join an organisation in your locale that is active in these issues
  • Contact your political representatives to exert pressure on the Israeli government. 
  • Encourage your friends and relatives to come and visit Israel/Palestine, and bear witness to the events that are unfolding.
  • Organise a group to come on a study tour.
In Peace,
Fred Schlomka
CEO, Green Olive Collective


Tell your friends. Help spread the word . . . .

Twit it Sphinn it Add To Del.icio.us Digg it Add To Google Bookmarks Add To Reddit Add To Technorati Add To StumbleUpon Add To Facebook Furl it Subscribe to RSS

of Genocide and Redemption

- by Fred Schlomka - 
Holocaust Memorial Day, 12th April 2018

Michael Schlomka
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. My father, Michael Schlomka was an early survivor, and escaped from Nazi Germany in 1934, eventually making his way to mandate Palestine.  - May his memory be a blessing - He had been tortured and abused by the German regime, contributing to his early death in the 1950s when I was just a child. 

Remembering him is painful. His life and death defined my early years.  He passed suddenly when I was three years old, resulting in my mother’s psychological breakdown and hospitalisation shortly thereafter. My father, mother and brother had fled Palestine in 1948 and settled in Edinburgh, Scotland, where my sister and I were born. 

We became wards of the state after father’s death, passing through a series of orphanages and foster parents, leading to my brother Connie’s suicide when he was just fourteen years old - May his memory be a blessing - . My mother was confined to an institution until I was fifteen, by which time we were so traumatised and estranged as a family that there was no recovering from it, at least not for me while I remained in Scotland.

Hannah and Conny Schlomka
I left the country at seventeen years old, became a wandering hippie for many years, settling first in the USA, then finally back in Israel with my dear wife Sunita, and our two wonderful children, Mikhael (Muki) and Maya. It has also been a blessing that after serious estrangement in our early years, my sister Helen and I have managed to build a close relationship over the past few decades. My mother passed away several years ago after a lengthy period of deteriorating dementia, likely caused by the primitive electric shock treatments she received at the institution.  - May her memory be a blessing - We returned mother to Israel where she now rests in a beautiful spot in the Judean hills.

Such is the legacy of the Nazi Holocaust, which ravaged the Jews and non-Jews of Europe in a manner the world had never seen, and hopefully never will again. Have we learned much from their evil legacy? On the whole, I think not, given the various genocides perpetrated since the 1940s, and the ongoing dehumanisation of the Palestinian population under Israel’s control. 

My mother’s family were indigenous to Palestine for generations before the advent of Zionism. Like many devout Jews an ancestor of mine settled there for religious reasons under the Ottoman Empire and became part of the mosaic of ethnic and religious groups, some of whom date back many centuries, even millennia. I now have over a thousand living relatives in Israel, who are part of the revival and renaissance of Jewish life, reborn in the shadow of the holocaust.

Yet the trauma has not left us, and will not for another few generations, until the survivors, and their children, myself included, are long gone. Many second and third generation Israelis sadly continue to instil xenophobic notions of humanity into their children, resulting the type of narrow religious nationalism that is prevalent in Israel today, and growing stronger.

Michael Schlomka was a socialist and an activist in the political opposition against the Nazis in Germany, which was why he was among the first to be taken. Shortly after the Nazis were elected to power in the early 1930s, they consolidated their power by eliminating all opposition, torturing and imprisoning the leadership, my father among them. Eventually in 1934 he escaped Germany with his wife.

Father was probably shocked after his arrival in Palestine, at the excesses of the terrorist pre-state Jewish militias, and by the attitudes of many immigrant Zionists towards the non-Jewish population. His imagined Zionist-socialist utopia melted in front of him, even as it was emerging into a state, strident and authoritarian from the beginning. 

I can only imagine what he might have thought of today’s scenario in Israel/Palestine - the colonisation of the West Bank - the encapsulation and blockade of Gaza - the dehumanisation of human life - the wanton killing of Arabs - the degeneration of Zionism into a twisted effigy of the founders’ dreams.

What have we become? Have we learned nothing from the Holocaust? Does ‘Never Again’ really mean that in order to be strong we have to degrade most of the non-Jews in the so-called Holy Land? The soul of Jewish life in Israel is slipping away and being replaced by an ugly and deformed parody of the Zionist Dream. 

Worst of all, the nation can’t see it. The Jewish people in Israel are so bedazzled by their ‘Start-up Nation’ status and Neo-riche lifestyles, that they have come to accept the daily atrocities as somehow a normal and necessary part of our development as a state - Much like the European immigrants to the colonial regimes of the Americas accepted the genocide of the native population. 

I cried last night after watching ‘Shindlers List’. Not for the 6 million who perished. Their tragedy is over. Enough tears have been shed in their memory. My tears were for us, the descendants of the survivors, who have normalised the barbaric attitudes and behaviours that continue to define the state of Israel. 

Rays of sunshine - Maya and Muki
together with parents Fred and Sunita
Despite the country's descent into a fortress state of religious nationalists, many of third generation have emerged as rays of sunshine. Some of us have beaten the odds, and raised healthy vibrant children who have humane values and are pursuing productive lives. These sons and daughters are the hope of the future, and our ultimate redemption as Jews and human beings.

They will eventually show the world that the legacy of the six million lives that were cruelly taken, will become light amid the darkness, and hope amid despair.

I am counting on them to let my father’s memory and countless others, shine like beacons of possibility, and create a future where all of us, Jew and non-Jew alike, can live together in dignity, equality, and peace

Make no mistake, my fellow Israelis and fellow Jews, Zionists and non-Zionists alike. We are all responsible. Turn your backs if you like. Put your head in the sand. Justify all you want. But when the tally is taken at the end of the road, we will all be found wanting, and you may be asked by your children or grandchildren,  - “What did you do?”. How will you answer?

Dedicated to the memory of the six million. May they rest in peace.
Fred Schlomka is the CEO of Green Olive Tours and currently spends about half the year in Israel/Palestine, and a few months each year in Scotland and the USA, where his grandson Logan came into this world in 2016. 


Tell your friends. Help spread the word . . . .

Twit it Sphinn it Add To Del.icio.us Digg it Add To Google Bookmarks Add To Reddit Add To Technorati Add To StumbleUpon Add To Facebook Furl it Subscribe to RSS