"There must be something worth living for
There must be something worth trying for
Even some things worth dying for
And if one man can stand tall
There must be hope for us all
Somewhere, somewhere, in the spirit of man"
Never have I seen so many people excited by the “None”. Someone was running around, between all the people crowding before the demonstration asking “Have you seen it?”, “Have you seen it?”, but in fact she had been asking about the things we hadn't seen. We hadn't seen a yellow gate, we hadn't seen a watch tower, we hadn't seen soldiers, we hadn't seen a white skunk truck on the top of the hill, waiting to spray us with its foul smelling water. We hadn't seen a wall, in Bilin.
More than three and a half years after the supreme court's decision, over six years after the popular struggle in the village had started, we had climbed up the hill, and crossed the border line, marked with colour remnants, and skunk odors. We were not stopped by clouds of gas, but our eyes were tearful nonetheless. I walked back and forth, between the road, and the tree and the walkway, unable to grasp the fact that there was not a single soldier standing there blocking my way.
The Friday prayer took place outside, just like it did in the demonstration in which we had celebrated the supreme court's decision, three and a half years ago. Back then it took place by the fence, now it took place on its old route. I watched them kneeling on their prayer rags, and a feeling of clemency was carried by the soft summer breeze, and our hearts were bursting with happiness.
Someone walked around in a shirt that read “From Berlin to Bilin, The Wall Must Fall”. I stopped by him, and gestured towards the fenceless landscape lying ahead of us, and smiled, words were unnecessary. “You can't kill popular resistance”, “The wall must fall”, “Bilin, Bilin, don't despair”, and all those other slogans that we shout so regularly, were suddenly charged with meaning, and a new found hope.
The road leading to the new wall is long, and the singed fields leading towards it – a farewell gift from the settlers -serve to remind us that the struggle is far from being over, and a lot was lost along the way, but the olive-trees are standing, green and proud, and we can't wipe those smiles off our faces, and happiness sparkles in our eyes, as the foundations for the new neighbourhood are laid. And the music from the truck fills the air, and the dances wouldn't stop, and chocolates in golden wrappings that reflect the sun, are thrown into the air, caught by enthusiastic children and adults.
And the occupation is not over yet, and the oppression goes on and on, and the wall, in its new route still annexes thirty percents of the village lands, and the road is still long and winding, and the end is yet to be seen on the horizon, but we have torn down the wall in Bilin, and for several euphoric moments, nothing else mattered.