Qalandiya - the checkpoint is empty due to the Purim Holiday
I meant to write about the Purim closure that prevents passage from the West Bank into Israel, about the few who are allowed through and the many who are not, about the children who, in spite of the sparse public and the excessive cold, continue as they must to chase drivers and offer their measly wares, to write about the fact that this closure ‘celebrates’ Purim which is not really a holiday but a day of joy about hanging ten children. I also meant to write about the desolation of the checkpoint on a day of closure.
But after I wrote all of the above, I decided to turn everything topsy-turvy and quote a few lines by Albert Memmi:
“The country conducts itself at the pace of the (occupier’s) traditional holidays, even the religious ones, and not according to the indigenous ones; the weekly day of rest is that of the ‘mother’ (occupying)-country, while his flag waves above the memorials, and his own ‘mother tongue’ is the one that enables social comings and goings, as his dress, accent, customs are destined to be dictated by the occupier’s imitation of the occupied. The occupier does take part in the upper world, and cannot automatically harvest its fruits.”
Portrait of the Occupier, Hebrew translation: Avner Lahav
The other thing that stood out there on this cold winter day was the gap between people. Ones who by chance became permanent residents of Jerusalem when Occupation took hold, and are therefore entitled to be vaccinated against the pandemic and receive a green passport, and their relatives and neighbors who hold green IDs (Palestinians of the West Bank), not entitled to all these favors that the regime showers upon its citizens and residents, so that not only are they crushed by apartheid laws – they are literally made prey of the pandemic.