Food not Bombs is a banner for grassroots food re-distribution; groups all over the world are collecting food that would otherwise go to waste, cooking it up and serving it for free or cheap to friends, comrades and people on the street. There is now also a Food not Bombs chapter in Be’er Sheva in the South of Israel and here is their story.
‘For a long time now I’ve been wanting to do FNB in Be’er Sheva. Beer-Sheva is mainly working class, with many Jews originating from Eastern countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Yemen etc. For those of you who have not heard of this before, there is a lot of racism going on inside of Israel between people who originate from Europe (Askenazim) and people who originate from Eastern countries (Mizrahim). In addition to that there are a lot of discrimination issues towards the south of Israel. Since Beer-Sheva is a southern town with a large Mizrahi population, many occupants in Beer-Sheva feel strongly about injustices being done to them.
So during the war when the local politicians were cynically using the bombarding of the South as an excuse to attack Palestine (the South has been bombarded for 7 years now and it never raised any echo), a couple of us decided that the perfect reaction would be to do a FNB event (the first of many) in Be’er Sheva.
We wrote flyers, very different from those readily available regarding anarchism, the war and what FNB is all about that would reflect our views and how we feel we want to communicate better. Many of the flyers already available are not communicative and do well in preaching but not in opening space for communication.
On the morning of the event we gathered and cooked food collected from the market’s dumpster a day before. There was a ton of Guacamole, and a two big pots of potato stew.
Our main worries were first that people will attack us and would literally turn the pots over our heads, secondly that people would not relate to anything and would not interact with us. Happily our fears were proved to be false. People were extremely happy to get free food and to talk and discuss things. Even when a policeman wanted to come and give us a report because we didn’t have permission for the stall, the people just kicked him off. It was awesome! Some people spoke to us about our flyers, some just asked some questions and ate food, and some just ate. It felt good.’