by Sara Traub
As a child growing up, I went to Hebrew school every day for two hours after my regular school. There was this blue and white box that sat at the teacher’s desk and we were told that any amount of money would be welcomed because it was to plant trees in Israel. I almost always brought nickels, dimes and quarters and proudly submitted my money in that little blue and white box thinking I was helping to beautify my extended country and it was good for the planet. In May of 2011 I went on a fact finding mission with an Interfaith group out of Washington D.C. It was a tremendously eye-opening journey. One of my betrayals was standing in a forest where my trees were planted. This forest was there for a very particular reason. It was meant to hide any evidence that there had existed a Palestinian village. We could with guidance see the truth of what was trying to be concealed. I travelled to a number of these hidden villages where the same tactic was used. Hide the evidence by planting trees. That feeling of betrayal has never left me.