'Atara, Qalandiya, Sun 2.8.09, Afternoon

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Rony H., and Tamar F. (reporting and taking photos)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Qalandiya checkpoint:
New on the Wall: Hope Builds Bridges Fear Builds Walls

A woman was being transferred from an ambulance that arrived from the occupied territories to a Red Crescent ambulance from East Jerusalem. This patient wasn't apparently a menace to the Israel's security, and the fractures in her ribs were in fact fracture. The proof: The whole process was preformed quickly. The two ambulances met and transferred the "merchandise" from on to the other, and them both of them turned around. 

The four machines that inspect those heading from Israel back to the Occupied Territories were very efficient: a human voice instructed those using it in Arabic and at the end it used the traditional Arabic greeting to say goodbye.

  • - To all those who believe that the occupation can and indeed should be run in a different way: here is a different and improved way of running it.

But the occupier is still an occupier, the repression of the other grows stronger even if "it is more comfortable" (to paraphrase on Hanoh Levin's song), it's still is oppression.

The checkpoints must be removed and not improved, and the occupation must be stopped and not made more comfortable.

Because, even if the soldiers were to smile from the other side of the dark and bullet proof glass, and say "please" instead of "get lost", the only ones to feel better would be the lords of this occupation, and not its victims.

While we stood amazed from the politeness of those machines and try helping a man who had lost his papers, a voice came through from the heavens: "Hi Tamar, welcome to Atarot Passage!" When we raised our eyes were saw only the bare ceiling of the checkpoint, spirits or angelic wings.

Was it the Big Brother? - And I don't even have an older brother. A bored soldier sitting in front of the plasma screen probably did it for the laughs.


Bir Zeit/ Atara checkpoint

"Rabbi Yehuda would assign them mnemonics..." - From the Passover Hagada.

The assignment of the mnemonics makes it easier to remember the ten plagues.

We should also assign mnemonics as to mark the location of a checkpoint. For as we had already read from the armies publications: "the Palestinians' situation had been relieved", among these relieves was the removal of this checkpoint.

But all signs show that the army was lying.

A list of some of the signs: the light was on, the generators rattled, the spike chain was ready to be placed, the trash that was consisted from remains of the soldiers food from which we could learn about the IDF's menu, the ashes of a bonfire and beside it were potatoes that hadn't been cocked, a memorial candle that had faded out, an old cartridge of a smoke grenade, a loaf of bread that was only half eaten and a wide verity of empty cigarette boxes- apart of all of this, we couldn't help but notice that during the whole time there were soldiers hiding in the pillbox. Every couple of minutes one to two heads popped up and could be seen from the window of the high tower, but they got camerainfo-icon shy and immediately vanished.   

Even if the camouflage dressing on the house near by was taken off, as long as the mnemonics are there, a checkpoint is a checkpoint.