The Prime Minister’s Neighbors: The Fishermen of Jisr al-Zarqa

This story was originally published on Mondoweiss. Read the  full story here.

“So I want you to know, Barack, that you’ll always be a welcome guest in Israel.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is speaking with President Obama at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, a few blocks from Rockefeller Center and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.

The Prime Minister continues: “And, by the way, I don’t play golf, but right next to my home in Caesarea, in Israel, is a terrific golf course.”

It’s true that Caesarea, an ancient Roman port that’s now a high-income suburb, is known for its golf greens. But caddies aren’t the Prime Minister’s only neighbors.

The day before the exchange at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, Khalid Jurban is dripping as he steps out of the ocean. He shakes the worn plastic crate and ten skinny fish slip around the bottom.

Khalid Jurban’s catch.

“Look,” he says, his dreadlock-framed face showing exasperation. Today’s catch is too small to sell. Khalid dumps the fish from the crate, rinses them and sets them on the barbecue.

Before going off to shower, he turns.

“Have you seen Netanyahu’s house?” he asks, jokingly. “See? Here there are Palestinians and Israelis living right beside.”


Read the rest of the story here:  mondoweiss.net/2016/09/palestinian-fishermen-netanyahus/


Khalil Jurban in his home on the beach of Jisr al-Zarqa.
Khalil Jurban in his home on the beach of Jisr al-Zarqa.

 

 

 

Khalid Jurban weaves 500 meters of rope through the edge of a fishing net in Jisr al-Zarqa.

 

 

 

Khalid Jurban works with a fishing net by a window that faces the sea in Jisr al-Zarqa.
Khalid Jurban works with a fishing net, by a window that faces the sea in Jisr al-Zarqa.

 

 

 

Moral Amash, Mayor of Jisr al-Zarqa
Morad Amash, Mayor of Jisr al-Zarqa

 

 

 

Musa Jurban, a fishermen in Jisr al-Zarqa, on his day off.
Musa Jurban, a fishermen in Jisr al-Zarqa, on his day off.

 

 

 

Musa Jurban's boat in Jisr al-Zarqa.
Musa Jurban’s boat in Jisr al-Zarqa.
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2 Comments

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  1. Wow, what a story. The issues and the details of how they play out in people’s lives are important for us to be aware of. And the photos are very impactful. Thanks for such a compelling and well-written story.

  2. Sky, this is tremendous writing — I enjoyed it so much (though “enjoyed” is a bit weird for such heart-wrenching content). And as usual, I’m struck by the fortitude of the people you write about. I’m not sure where that comes from, exactly, in the piece — probably multiple aspects of it — but that’s been a consistent takeaway for me from your blog posts and your articles. maybe because you’re describing people living in harsh conditions, poverty, war, oppression and so on, yet you convey their vitality and the strength of their spirit. Sounds cliche the way I put it, but not at all in your writing — never a wisp of cliche in any of your writing!

    in admiration, mom

    >

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