How To See Palestine: An ABC of Occupation

C is for Cherry Orchard

The header image above is a cherry orchard, planted and cultivated by Palestinians but confiscated by the Israelis. To protect it, they have both fenced it in with razor wire and covered the trees with brown fabric. Presumably the fabric protects the fruit against stones that might be thrown from outside and lets enough light in for the trees to survive. The trees are hard to see--look carefully.

In Anton Chekov's 1904 play The Cherry Orchard, the aristocrats' attachment to their orchard is a counterpoint to their bankruptcy. Their futile hope to preserve the cherry trees and salvage their finances but instead lose everything. Stanislavksi directed the play as a tragedy, in which the neither the leisure class or the materialism of the bourgeois Lopakhin have anything to offer. Chekov's play was seen as prophetic of the 1917 revolution. 

The cherry orchard in Palestine is a tragedy for our times. What future does it predict?

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