A large group of people pose together for a group photo, smiling and celebrating with their arms in the air.

Day 7 – Report from Sfai in Masafer Yatta

May 22, 2023 — Day 7 of the delegation was a pleasant reminder that activism can be — and sometimes should be — joyful.

We spent the day with the people of Sfai. The people of Sfai are currently facing forced transfer from their village, which is located in what Israel calls “Firing Zone 918.”

During the day, we met the villagers and their children and helped them build new playgrounds in each village. The positive feedback was immediate. Children were looking on excitedly all day, and as soon as we finished working, the new slides and swings and seesaws were put to good use.

A small group of people work together to build some kind of construction. Two people are holding metal support beams while a third person bends over on the ground. The group is standing with a fenced off area where there is playground equipment. The area looks remote and rural.

Four people walk with buckets in a dry, rural, rocky environment.

An adult pushes two children on a swing.

We bonded with our hosts, with Israeli activists, and with our cohort members within the delegation. These bonds are not just a nice break from direct action, but a radical act in and of themselves.

The Israeli regime does not want bonds across their apartheid lines. Our solidarity has a real impact on the people suffering most under this regime. We hope that it strengthens them and aids them in their struggle. We also hope it helps us bring these stories back home to our communities and build broader networks of solidarity.

Two people crouch down on the floor working together to place rocks up against a chain fence.

A group of people sit and stand outside, around a narrow wooden table, sharing a meal.

For at least just one day, joy was a radical act against apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

In solidarity,
Sam Stein

All photos from Emily Glick