'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Sun 1.2.09, Afternoon

Observers: 
Alix W., Susan L. (reporting)
Feb-1-2009
|
Afternoon

Summary

"I couldn't care less" was a
phrase we heard a number of times today.
Something in the air? A Palestinian
carpenter who just wants to get on
with his craft "couldn't care less about
elections." The response of a
reservist soldier to the Australian Open Final
result evoked a
similar, more understandable, response. On the other hand,
another
reservist, insisting on engaging in a discussion about Gaza
showed
just how much he cared, and just how much hw valued the life of
one
(Israeli) compared to the lives of many (children) – who happened
to
be Palestinian. Of course, at one level, this caring or not caring
has
to do with concern or interest in anything or anybody other than
the
self, showing a complete indifference to what's going on in the
world,
or any kind of ability to share in the suffering of others. At
the
same time, there's a feeling that certain vague but
unpleasant
emotions, manifested by moodiness, not being fond of anything
much,
are based on a fear or anxiety, experienced in anticipation of
some
kind of ill-defined misfortune. And this is shared by both
occupied
and occupier.

13:15 Qalqiliya

As last week, there are
two yellow diggers working clearing the land
on a hilltop near the settlement
of Zufin, just above the separation
barrier. We drive down to the checkpoint
and see that vehicles, going
both in and out, are thoroughly checked, so go
back to our posting at
the Qalqiliya checkpoint. No traffic problems in
either direction.
Immediately, the commander tells us we are in his way, that
we are
bothering him that he "can't survey all the area that I need to
see"
if we stand in our usual place. (Note: nothing about dangers that
are
likely if we stay where we are: that's another story, another
time,
another soldier).

15:45 Anabta

No lines to Tulkarm and
from the city, a long, long line. Reservists
who seem loose about their task
are yet thorough in stopping each
vehicle, asking whence they're headed and
why if Israeli (yellow)
plates. The line from Tulkarm remains as long as ever
during the time
we're stationed here.

16:00 Jubara

Practically
no line to leave the OPT. This time we're subjected to a
thorough search of
our car, the back passenger seat, as well as the
trunk and our IDs examined
(same soldier as last week) plus a youngish
volunteer who seems to be in the
OPT merely, so he says, so he
doesn't need to live with his parents!

By the checking station, MW's lawyers seem, yet again, not to
have
succeeded with the Legal Consultant to Judea and Samaria: a
small
green homemade card, with flags, extolling "our" soldiers. This
time,
the soldier opens the gate quickly, but insists that on our
return
from A-Ras, we call him, and "I will come when I hear you." Or,
he
suggests, we call the DCL office! What does he care!

Returning from
A-Ras some time later: we again wait a long time, hoot
and holler and are
made to wait, less than the ten minutes of last
week, but certainly five, at
least.

16:10 A-Ras

Four relaxed seeming reservists, none at the
southern end of the
checkpoint where the huge pothole is now filled with
brownish water,
and it's deep! Thorough checking of private vehicles and
taxis from
Tulkarm, the soldiers rummaging through the trunks.

Also
at A-Ras, a broken down blue pick up truck, no wheels, no window,
nothing:
the kind one sees dumped and abandoned on some city streets -
sometimes.
What's the story? (and story it is): "It was used to
transport those trying
to cross into Israel." We listen, silently, in
amazement. No way on earth
could anyone have driven that piece of
junk, but what do the soldiers care?
It's yet another story. They've
heard it, and they repeat it, questioning
nothing.