Learning about the annexation: A meeting with Jordan Valley residents

A group of 70 members of WWP visited the Jordan Valley a few days ago. We wanted to get a better understanding of the place by listening to the residents. We met with different residents – younger and older, Israeli and Palestinian.
We heard this from all of them : “No one cares about us! No one talks with us. We hear about the annexation, like you, through the media. The maps of the “Trump Plan” are not applicable nor suitable .”
The Jewish population came to the Jordan Valley out of Zionist motives, many as young idealists, all with the support of Israeli governments. What concerns these residents today are problems of livelihood and water. The Palestinians spoke about problems of education and accessibility of medical care. Neither group feels they are part of the discussion about annexation.
We heard from both sides about the good relations between the Jewish and Palestinian residents, even though mostly it’s employer-employee. Even so, when needed, both sides offer support to each other. It was important for both sides to stress that all the terrorist attacks in the Jordan Valley were committed by terrorists from outside the region.
We asked : “Will the annexation change your lives?” The answer was clear: “NO!” But there are concerns about security issues.
We came to listen and learn and discovered that those who live in the Jordan Valley see and feel things differently from those in leadership positions and the academic world .
The visit made it clear that no steps should be taken without first speaking to the Jewish and Palestinian residents; in addition, even if not everyone believes in the possibility of reaching an agreement, it is crucial to work towards this goal and certainly avoid any unilateral moves.