Olive Grove

Taqou, Palestine

Bulldozed 2019

The Disappointed Tourist: Taqou Olive Grove, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Of the many tragedies of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, the one that is often forgotten are the trees. When the Israeli government takes Palestinian olive groves to make illegal settlements or re-draw the map, swallowing up more and more territory, they often just draw a line through a random farmland and take whatever they can. I have seen families separated on sides of the occupation wall, and ancient trees ploughed down. Often in politics, we forget the micro-dynamics behind the larger picture – this is someone’s land, their tree, their farm. Their livelihood, their history, their roots. Their now forgotten history. Janine D.

In 2019, Israeli occupation authorities approved the destruction of thousands of olive trees between the western entrance of the town of Taqou and the entrance of the village of al-Minya, southeast of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank. The painting is based on an uncredited photograph.