Qalandiya - a mother and her invalid daughter don't pass. Only the mother has a permit. Come back tomorrow.
“Next week you have elections”, a young Palestinian said to me. “Bibi will be elected once more, and will continue to f--k you.”
For many months they have been destroying and building, and destroying and building and disrupting life and everything is full of dust that makes breathing nearly impossible, the car park has been sequestered and ruined and is being re-tarred to serve not for parking vehicles, a tower is growing – some way it will be for a bridge, others say that here, not like in places for Jews, only when they’re done do we know what it will be. No one knows, either, why heavy equipment has been destroying the public transportation lane, which causes buses to crowd into the private vehicles lane.
After I was released from a mere-10-minute detention and my ID was returned to me, and I was already on the other side of the checkpoint, I saw them – the mother and her disabled daughter in a wheelchair, nearing the inspection posts, so I stopped. I thought the soldiers would immediately come to them and open the way for a disabled person. I was wrong.
A slight story of procedures ensued. A story, not of evil, nor of meanness.
A story about two women, a policeman, two security guards, three soldiers, and I – on the sidelines.
The mother showed the two green IDs, her own and that of her 27-year old disabled daughter, as well as a transit permit.
“This is your permit, you may pass, but she (the daughter) has no permit. She does not cross”, so they said.
It never occurred to the mother who came ahead of time to the offices that her daughter needs a permit too, a daughter who can neither get up nor walk and has uncontrolled seizures every few minutes. Only here, where what does or does not occur to a person, has no value whatsoever, here only official procedures count.
Whoever has a permit, passes. Whoever does not – does not.
“Get her back home and then you can cross”, the mother was told. But the disabled daughter needs constant care and there is no one to do it except her mother.
The woman tried to persuade them, so did I – in vain.
It’s not that they’re heartless, it’s what they do have that counts.
What they do have is procedures and offices, but the offices were already closed.
- “Come tomorrow.”
- She’ll come. Sure she’ll come.