'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Sun 10.8.08, Afternoon
Open Sesame! The phrase comes from the magical formula, "Open Sesame,"
used by Ali Baba in the Arabian Nights to open the door of the
robbers' cave. Basically, it's a simple, trusty means of attaining a
goal, be that goal to open a gate at a checkpoint that's been closed
for years (Shavei Shomron), a closed suitcase or the trunk of a car to
see what's inside (Beit Iba, Qalqiliya, A-Ras), emptying the boxes on
a donkey cart, (Beit Iba), taking a blindfold off a detainee (Beit
Iba) or masked men (the IDF) breaking into the Huwwash Brothers' home
at 2:00 a.m. in Nablus. It's all so simple: "open Sesame!" Anything
goes in an Occupation where any result, however small or inane,
however humiliating or harassing, is deemed successful.
No police checking on entering the checkpoint, easy access to and from
the gate: friendly soldiers.
The generator is working at full speed, so the lights are on in the
bright white heat of summer. The soldiers are good humored but do
little when a large truck loses its load of folded cardboard boxes
after being checked. The driver heaps them back, as the rest of the
traffic has to circumnavigate around the big truck, fall into the
inevitable ditch on the side of the road and/or wait for traffic to
pass in the other direction.
Ten vehicles waiting to get into Tulkarm, no checking, explained by
the Druze commander, who comes over and talks to us. He admits that
he's stricter earlier in his eight hour shift. Agrees that there's
little to do here, but that this is his life, so what can he do!
On the way to Qalqiliya
At the settlement outpost of Shvut Ami, we note that the barbed wire
stretched across the gravel path leading up to the pink house has been
moved to the side. The settler youth continue to dwell `neath their
awning on the opposite hill.
Much the same as at Anabta. No checking, freely flowing traffic in
Several horse or donkey carts and a number of people, including some
old women inside the Catholic Relief shelter, already waiting for
"Open Sesame!" at 18:00 when the occupier will deign to open up so that
people can make their way home.