For the most part, I spend the hours of my life allotted to religious devotion at my altar or outdoors, working in the spaces I have built and in the spaces provided by the Goddess herself. I do not usually need much: a table and some candles, or even just a quiet path in the woods. But every so often I feel the need for something else, and in those times, I find myself entering museums, seeking a window onto the past. Today I am sitting on the floor in front a glass case in the University of Missouri’s Museum of Art and Archeology. The museum building housed the university hospital a few years ago; I am told that this room, which holds the collection of materials from the ancient world, was once the surgery ward.
Much has already been said about the current crisis in the Middle East. For decades, a violent tragedy has been playing out between Israel and the Palestinian territories. The death toll continues to rise, year after year, as the headlines pile up. When cutting through all political propaganda, cultural biases and angry rage, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is, at its very simplest, a struggle over land rights and nationhood. It is a battle that has been fueled by hardened mistrust and stubborn resolve.
On Friday Reclaiming activist Tristan Anderson was critically injured at a demonstration against Israel’s separation barrier (called the “Apartheid Wall” by activists, and deemed a breech of international law by the ICJ) in the West Bank village of Ni’lin. Anderson was shot in the head by a high-velocity tear gas canister. According to the Israeli military the canisters were fired in response to thrown rocks, witnesses on the scene say that Anderson was not near, and took no part in any violent action. A video of the shooting has been posted to YouTube (warning: the images are bloody and disturbing). “Tristan Anderson from California USA, 37 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv.