There is nothing new under the sun in Bethlehem even when it is cloudy and cold. People as always on the pavements and in the fields. Exhausted even before the day has become.
The taxi driver who arrived was not my usual guy because of a mix-up for once not of my doing. When we got to Tanturטנטור is turned out he did not have paper to give me a receipt and offered not to take the money. He had already been upset when he arrived as three Israeli hooligans had jumped from his taxi without paying him the 100 shekel. I told him to forget it and paid it and hope I left a better taste in his mouth. It is do upsetting.
The dirt as someone one said about the poor and with no intention of doing anything about either……the dirt is always with us. This is Israel. This is part of a municipality but Barkat and his municipality never come here and evidently it does not bother them that the way to the holy grave of Rachel, which has become from a gentle memory to a monstrosity, is paved with filth. Added to which there are no toilets now that Ramadan is done. We are a shame to ourselves.
The checkpoint is quiet with no shouting from the other side.
The women come out and ask me repeatedly if nothing can be done to open a special gate for them. How often can one apologise? And I am always surprised that all the same they will go past and greet me and smile even say thank you for what you are doing even if I am doing blow all. When my partner phoned that she was ill and therefore I did not go to Qalandiya I debated whether it was worthwhile to go to Bethlehem where we never seem able to do anything. But just for that on a note of egoism it is worth it. And I ask myself again and again at Bethlehem where I am so passive….am I doing this to quiet my own conscience.
In what nice café do you sit to drink your morning coffee. This is Bethlehem and I am sure that the coffee tastes better here when you have been up since three or four in the morning and waited for hours to get through the checkpoint and know that I will get to work and get a minimum pay for a day of work for which the Israeli gets much more and sits in much happier surroundings
A joyous group of women and children through on a pleasure trip. Only one mother stood anxiously. Her daughter standing on the other side with her baby had a permit but had forgotten her ID. I phoned Hanna Barag. But after yesterday when there was a terrorist attack there was nothing to be done. A very pleasant army policewomen also phoned to try and solve the problem but said she could not help. Orders she said and I could see that had she been able to she would have left the young women pass. Maybe just as well. Without an ID in Jerusalem she could have been arrested. But very sad having seen with what joy everyone else came out.
When I saw there was nothing more to be done I left. And I admit……to my much easier life. Interesting one day to find out how ones conscience continues to work when you are comfortable in body…and something is niggling at your back.