Paul Calvert talks to Daoud Nassar, from Tent of Nations, a farm located South West of Bethlehem, about non-violent and constructive resistance.
Paul: What is Tent of Nations?
Daoud: Tent of Nations is a farm located South West of Bethlehem.
The land there has been threatened to be confiscated since 1991. We started this project to preserve the land, but also to make the land a place for people to come and see, go and tell.
Paul: When and where were you started as an organisation?
Daoud: The idea is not an organisation, it's a family farm and the farm has been ours for 100 years. My grandfather bought it in 1916. He lived on the farm, registered the land and my father and uncle did the same until they passed away. Then we as children and grandchildren grew up with the same connection to the land.
In 1991 the Israeli authorities declared the farm as State land. Since then we have been, until today, in a legal battle with Israel authorities.
When people live under a difficult political situation, wherever they are, when they feel they have no hope for the future and they are pushed to the edge they usually react with three options. Whether to act in a violent way, or resign, or give up and leave. We said none of those options are good for us. We are against violence, we are against resignation, and against giving up and leaving.
We started to think outside the box and said there must be another way of resistance without violence, and therefore we started the fourth way.
We call it a non-violent, creative and constructive way. Our slogan is, 'We Refuse To Be Enemies'.
We set four things that became our principle: we refuse to be victims, we refuse to hate, we are acting because of our Christian faith and we are people who believe in justice.
We believe one day that the Son of justice will rise again.
Paul: What sort of projects are you doing?
Daoud: We were facing difficulties. We were not allowed to build anything here. We had 22 demolishing orders. We were not allowed to have running water, or electricity, so we started dealing with our problems in a creative way. We got a solar system and started collecting rain water. We developed the infrastructure.
Our idea was to bring people together. To send them back home with a message of hope in a hopeless situation.