Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya

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Tamar Fleishman, Nir Nadar (guest); Translator: Charles K.


Ibrahim, who’s 15, has been jailed in the Moskovia for the past two months.



Ibrahim is one of some 400 Palestinian minors arrested during the past two months.

The number is just a statistical fact, but it’s wrong to say of a child, any child, that he’s just a fraction of a larger number.

Every child has a home and parents and a face and a name and a smile.  So does Ibrahim – at least, in January, 2015, when I photographed him, Ibrahim had a smile.



It’s not good for a Jew with a Jewish first name and an Arabic last name to reach the inspection booth at Qalandiya checkpoint.  That’s what Nir Nadar learned when he presented his ID and thereby crossed the suspicion threshold of the female soldiers behind the bulletproof glass.  The revolving gatesinfo-icon froze, we were stuck between them, the lane for Palestinians shut down, a policeman who’d been called came with an armed guard to where we stood, the policeman took Nir’s ID, felt it, turned it over, held it up, inspected it against the light, left, returned, and without a word waved his arm toward the exit, which everyone knows means: go.


A group of soldiers at Jaba checkpoint who’d finished painting a broad white line on the road and “Stop” beside it in Arabic sat on the concrete barriers by the roadside opposite the stinking corpse of a cat that had been run over three days earlier.


What can we do?


Get rid of the corpse.


Us?  What are you talking about, the Arab will get rid of it.




The Arab who picks up the garbage.


Who painted the Arabic word on the road?


Me, the Druze, one of them thumped himself on the chest.


So that’s how things work here?  The Druze writes and the Arab gets rid of the corpse?