Etzion DCL, Sun 26.12.10, Afternoon
Etzion DCL, 15:15 PM: it's enough to make one desperate. The usual sights: a parking lot full of cars, a waiting room full of people, the turnstiles densely packed with men on top of each other. No movement, no response from the soldier manning the window, no people being let in, no people emerging (though there are apparently a couple of dozen already inside, some there since 1:00 pm), no feedback as to whether they'll all get in today, or who and how many will, no use in all the phone calls we make and all the empty promises we hear.
Nothing, nothing, just apathy. "It's because it is Sunday" (so what?); "It's because the printers broke down" (what else is new?); "It's because there is such a crowd" (of course, if you deal with one every 15 minutes); Most people want a magnetic card. Since at this point, Israel wants them to have one for its own interests, why does it have to be such a via dolorosa, who can't it be as easy as for us to get a passport, surely no less an important document? Only one wants just to pick up a permit that she left the documents for earlier. She is allowed to jump the queue, because she needs no servicing – but there is no way for her to let the soldier know that this is all she wants, because he doesn't listen, because there's no special queue, because her fellow Palestinians won't make room for her, because she isn't aware that she doesn't need to stand in the queue. Because nobody explains anything to anyone. One woman is there with 2 small children. She is married to an Israeli Palestinian from Nazareth and wants to visit him. One man is married to a Jaffa woman, he wants to visit his wife, too. But he is young, and has a GSS restriction, and he knows it's hopeless, and yet hopes, and they think that they can get from US what they can't get from the Israeli authorities, especially if they don't tell us the exact truth, because we look like we can't tell if they're being accurate (and we indeed can't), so maybe WE will allow them to join their spouses across the checkpoints. Yeah, right. This hopeless hope, this apathetic waiting in a humiliating line for hours, this being turned away for arbitrary reasons, for no reasons, for stupid reasons, is enough to break one's heart, or madden one. Why don't they arrange a sit-down: Every one who has been waiting since morning, or noon, or a few hours, sit down and refuse to budge until serviced. Who do they just walk away dejected, with no explanation, no apology, no promises, to try again, and again, and again. It's enough to drive one to despair.