A Tree Grows in Palestine

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.
Image: David Kattenburg: Heading Down to see a big old tree. Used with permission.

Today's rabble doc is about a tree. A 5,000-year-old tree in the Israeli occupied West Bank. But what you'll hear isn't just about a tree. It's about a town, a community and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and features first hand account of lives under siege.

Tourists come to Al-Walaja from around the world, or from nearby Bethlehem, to enjoy the lovely surrounding landscape. A huge, gnarly olive tree, reputedly over 5,000 years old, is a big draw. For political tourists, Israel’s imposing and highly illegal security barrier, soon to enclose little Al-Walaja in a sort of a cage, is a must-see.

David toured Al-Walaja in the company of a congenial guy named Baha Hilo in June 2017. The history Baha shared is the story of the Palestinian people in microcosm.

David Kattenburg is one of this country's most prolific independent audio documentary producers. His online news magazine, The Green Planet Monitor, covers a wide range of social justice issues from around the world. Of all the stories Dave reports on, Palestine is one of his main areas of focus. He tries to do stories from there every year, most recently just a couple of months ago.

"A Tree Grows in Palestine" is from his most recent trip in June 2017.

David Kattenburg is the publisher of the online newsmagazine The Green Planet Monitor. You can read the print version of "A Tree Grows in Palestine" here.

Image: David Kattenburg: Heading Down to see a big old tree. Used with permission.

Like this podcast? rabble is reader/listener supported journalism.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.