Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills, Mon 4.6.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Meitar crossing is open again, with no accompanying stench. It’s not clear how that happened; they’re taking care of it but we weren’t able to get any answers.
Southern Hebron Hills
Highway 60 is quiet, no army traffic, no flying checkpoints anywhere.
A new pillbox has been erected on the hill overlooking the road to Negohot, after many months of work.
The guard at the entrance to Kiryat Arba tells us the road is closed because of construction.
It’s possible to enter the city, and continue to Hebron, only through the southern entrance – which is usually closed and guarded – through the industrial zone.
We decided not to enter Hebron today.
We drove to Beit Anun. The roadblocks at the exit from the village to Highway 60 were removed three weeks ago. We’ll wait and see when they’ll open the road to Hebron on the other side of the highway.
Since we haven’t “enjoyed” the Tarqumiyya checkpoint for a while, we decided to take Highway 35 and go through. And in fact the workers at the checkpoint, managed by Zion, continue to be unpleasant to everyone who isn’t Jewish or who belongs to Machsom Watch.
M., our driver and friend, told us to be prepared for a search by a dog, a scanner and other such “pleasures.”
M. isn’t Motkeh from the Palmach or from the reconnaissance unit, or even Miki from Kiryat Gat, so he’s often experienced racist behavior at first-hand. And this time also.
The guards didn’t content themselves with asking unnecessary questions, like where’d you come from, etc., or with checking our ID’s. The woman at the gate began a series of phone calls to “big brother” (Quote: “The Israel-haters are here”), and we were then invited to the area where additional inspections are conducted. Why? Because.
“Do settlers crossing here also have to be inspected?”, we ask. “I’m the last, tiny link in the chain, I just follow orders, I don’t know, ask my superiors.”
“Zion?”, we ask. “Yes,” I see you know.
“We get it; Zion decided to treat us the same way he treats everyone who isn’t Jewish, even if they’re loyal, law-abiding Israeli citizens.”
We joined the line M. was asked to use. We’re like him. So, the first thing they did was to empty the car, items the driver always takes with him.
Today, dear God, we also had vegetables we’d bought on the way. All of us went with our belongings to the scanner.
Hostile elements like us must be inspected again and again.
“Check the watermelon also,” one of our stalwarts says to his colleague, in all seriousness.
“Watermelon?” I ask. What crime did the watermelon commit? The energetic employees look at us silently. They’re earning their salary today, no question about it.
All the vegetables were scanned and approved to cross. Meanwhile, the guy with the dog keeps going over the car.
The dog looks as if it wants to leave right away; he’s smarter than the human watchdog. He quickly understood that there’s no treat in it for him today. But the guy makes him continue sniffing. Finally he had to agree with the dog. Both left.
I’m sure the dog was aware of all I thought about him, but he didn’t look at me.
The inspections ended – wait – something about the vehicle’s documents. M. is getting annoyed, he begins telling them what he thinks about them and their behavior. We know that if things get out of hand he’ll pay the price – who does he think he is, after all?
So we calmed both sides down. “Tell the truth,” we ask the “last link in the chain” – which is how the one following orders had described himself earlier – “if we’d come through here with our families, you wouldn’t treat us like this, right?” The last link in the chain is silent, looks down and smiles.
Silence as an admission of guilt. Of course not.
Thanks, Zion. Once again you gave us the opportunity to experience a tiny bit of what everyone you identify as … whatever you decide…gets to experience.