A Checkpoint Story
Laila (pseudonym) is an old friend of ours, she is a 45-year old woman from Hebron. Palestinians living in Hebron are cursed from every directions – by the settlers and by the authorities. Both are violent, hard to say who is worse.
Back to our friend Laila. After many years, a suitable marriage partner has finally been found for this remarkable woman. Women who are both educated and assertive in any society, but especially in Palestine, have a hard time finding a partner who will leave them ample room for personal growth. Laila is an observant Muslim and looks forward to raising a traditional family. Her partner who loves her and everything she stands for lives in the US. He is not Palestinian, he was born in the US and has no immediate family in Palestine. All this, of course, does not concern the Civil Administration. For them he is Palestinian, that’s how the Occupation works.
Laila and her fiancé wish to live in the US, this in itself a difficult journey in the Muslim hating and Palestinian reviling Trump era. In order to get a visa for the US Laila must report to the US consul in Jerusalem and state her case. For that she needs a permit from the Civil Administration to enter Jerusalem, but – you guessed it – she is prevented from entering Jerusalem. Why? There are several reasonable excuses. Perhaps a relative of hers, even a distant one, identifies with Hamas. It could happen, “it’s a reasonable possibility,” as the soldiers tell us. Besides, instead of getting married in the US she might actually open a BDS branch there, or collect donations for terrorist organizations, and who knows what else among the thousands of security violations which the State of Israel attributes to the innocent.
And now, another problem – the holidays. Everything is postponed until after the Jewish holidays, and in the meantime there are closures and Laila is summoned to report to the American consulate in Jerusalem during these closure days. Laila continues in the runaround trying to resolve this complex situation.
Hanna B, September 16, 2018