'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Sun 28.10.07, Afternoon

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Observers: Alix W., Susan L. (reporting)Guests: Mildred H., Martin H.





What is reality, in the practical, not the philosophical, sense? For

those of us who travel, week in, week out, into the Occupied

Palestinian Territories, it's the state of things as they actually

exist, where we pay attention to what is really going on. Our

problem, in these days of "reality" television, itself a misnomer, is

that our government and popular media are constantly reducing,

restricting and contriving reality – manipulating the actual,

controlling how people perceive reality, or how they will react --

which is easier than controlling reality. So our task is to enlarge

everyone's reality to go and take a look around to see what is out

there. Which is why it's so important to take visitors with us on

our shifts?


13:50 – we take a quick glance at Shaarei Efraim, quiet at this hour,

since it's too early for workers to be returning home, the gun toting

civilian guard giving us a look over as do the blue police at the

entrance to Jubara.


13:55 Gate 753


The formerly named "Children's Gate" sports a large, comfortable

looking coach standing on the east side: the children are returning

from school, but the two soldiers on duty there have to question the

driver (who's probably already done this run with the same kids

earlier in the day), and we're told, in the famous sign language, to

wait our turn to cross. Three children wend their way along the

security barrier road, as they live, literally, on the seam line.


14:00 A-Ras


Quiet at this hour, only three or four vehicles in line down the

hill, but the soldiers on duty check everything, every truck

thoroughly before letting it go southwards. As usual no checking

towards Tulkarm. The sergeant commander asks our visitors why they

would come to visit such a site! He gets an answer, as well as an

education, returns silently to the checking post….


14:20 Jubara


Here, as at Qalqiliya, the Palestinian Israeli cars are checked

thoroughly -- racial profiling. The apartheid road is newly decorated

with large banners, tied to the wire fences lining both sides of the

road, proclaiming that youth have come to take over Samaria. Indeed!


14:30 Anabta


Traffic towards Tulkarm moves at a rapid pace, so that in three

minutes there is no line at all, the single soldier at the checkpoint

more intent on telling his commander of our arrival than on dealing

with passing vehicles. On the other hand, the line from Tulkarm

already has 15 vehicles, and the soldiers seem in no hurry to beckon

the first one forward.


14:35 -- a few minutes later, the lack of consistency manifested in

this occupation is again made evident, as cars or trucks are randomly

searched, the idea being, no doubt to "keep them off balance," (the

psychological effects, intended or accidental, are often so much

greater than the gun toting military). An ambulance is stopped, it's

carefully gone over, peered into, and the same treatment is accorded

a (Palestinian) Israeli truck.


Qalqiliya 17: 15 

There is no line, swiftly moving traffic, including horse and donkey carts, as well as pedestrians, pass the pumpkin seed eating soldiers who chat but let people return from work without harassment. One Palestinian Israeli truck is turned back. These soldiers (Border Police) could educate the lot we witnessed today at Beit Iba!