‘Get me to the checkpoint on time!’

on 36 Comments
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Palestinian groom Hazem Abu Hilal, Palestine March 9, 2013 (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestilles.org)
Bride, “Love in the Time of Apartheid” action (photo source: wattan.tv)

Yesterday as part of the “Love in the Time of Apartheid” campaign, Palestinian activists scheduled a wedding to expose and challenge “racist laws that prohibit the reunification of families.” The wedding was supposed to take place at the Hizma checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Over two hundred guests were in procession to arrive from either direction. The bride looked stunning, the groom excited, and then  Israeli forces crashed the event with teargas and stun guns.

Ma’an News: Israel breaks up checkpoint wedding to challenge citizenship laws

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Saturday broke up a wedding procession organized at a West Bank checkpoint to challenge Israeli laws preventing Palestinians in the West Bank from living with their spouses in Israel.

Two buses left from Jaffa and Ramallah to meet at opposite sides of Hizma checkpoint, northeast of Jerusalem, for the wedding of Hazim, from Abu Dis and his bride, who is from Nazareth.

Both buses were stopped by Israeli forces before reaching the checkpoint and Israeli forces fired sound bombs at guests who had begun singing and dancing on the West Bank side of Hizma, an organizer told Ma’an.

“While they were dancing and singing for the groom, Israeli occupation forces started throwing sound bombs and pushing people back. They then fired tear gas, forcing people to run away,” organizer Najwan Berekdar said.

Over 200 people participated in the wedding, including founder of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouthi and Palestinian author Rima Nazzal Kitana.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that “100 rioters at Hizma threw stones at security services, who used riot dispersal means, including tear gas, to disperse the riot.”

What stone throwers? This video contradicts the Israeli military spokesperson:

The Citizenship and Entry into Israel law prevents Palestinian citizens of Israel the right for their spouses to become citizens of the state or even obtain residency permits to live in East Jerusalem if they do not already have residency permits.  Organizer Najwan Berekdar said, “It divides Palestinians not only geographically but nationally, socially and culturally and has a severe economic and psychological effect on Palestinian families.”

Israel’s High Court endorsed the ban last January, which makes it even more difficult for Palestinian couples to marry whomever they want.


“This legislation deprives Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and those with Israeli citizenship the right to family reunion and rights to reside where they wish to, contrary to international law,” organisers said.

8541673925 6205e85dab zPalestinian activist march during an action against the separation policy between Palestinians living in the West Bank and Palestinians living in Jerusalem, Hizma checkpoint, West Bank, March 9, 2013 (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestilles.org)

Israeli soldiers broke up the event:

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Israeli soldiers push Palestinian activist during an action against the separation policy. Hizma checkpoint, West Bank, Palestine March 9, 2012. (Photo: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

The soldiers prevented the marriage from taking place. They prevented a bus of activists from reaching the checkpoint from the Ramallah side as well as preventing the bride and her entourage arriving from the Jerusalem side.

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A Palestinian activist with a sign during the Love in the Time of Apartheid action Hizma checkpoint, West Bank, Palestine March 9, 2013. (Photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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36 Responses

  1. just
    March 10, 2013, 1:47 pm

    Thanks for reporting this travesty. Another chapter in ‘The Zionist Guide to Apartheid’ and ‘The Zionist’s Book of Lies’ published by the current Israeli gov’t and sanctioned /blessed by the Ultra Orthodox rabbis.

    First, we hear of Mr & Mrs Shapiro’s plight while their baby is due soon, and now people cannot even be married. If this is not apartheid, ethnic cleansing, etc., I don’t know what it is. It has zero to do with safety or security. More provocation– the powers that be in Israel really want a violent response from the Palestinians– the rock throwing is just not cutting it for them– they and the IOF/Shin Bet are so frustrated that they are murdering and torturing “rock throwers”.

    Thank Heavens that more and more people are waking up.

  2. K Renner
    March 10, 2013, 2:14 pm

    I must say I am looking forward to the sort of “excuses” that the Israeli internet “warriors” will post here in order to justify such an ugly action.

  3. amigo
    March 10, 2013, 3:10 pm


    “Zionism isn’t a dirty word
    Even though the infamous “Zionism is racism” UN resolution was repealed in 1991, the word ‘Zionism’ is still widely abused as an ugly slur, as Turkey’s PM Erdogan demonstrated recently. In response, Jews and non-Jews should unapologetically express their Zionism with pride.”James Kirchick

    Gee, I wonder why people view Zionism as a dirty word .Events like the one reported here might help to explain.

    • Avi_G.
      March 11, 2013, 1:02 am

      Even though the infamous “Zionism is racism” UN resolution was repealed in 1991.

      Ha’aretz, being an Israeli paper, despite all their coverage of Israeli violations, couldn’t be bothered to tell its readers under what circumstances the 1991 UN resolution was “repealed”.

      The newspaper would much rather leave the reader with the false impression that the UN somehow adjudicated the matter and decided after intensive deliberation to repeal the resolution.

      It’s as though We studied it, brought in experts, and ultimately decided it was no longer valid. So we ‘overturned’ a previous decision.

      Omitting information is still considered lying.


      For the United States, the heavy vote in favor of repeal was a demonstration of its diplomatic power. After President Bush called for the repeal in September in a speech to the General Assembly, United States embassies around the world were instructed to put maximum pressure to secure the repeal.

      • Avi_G.
        March 11, 2013, 1:13 am

        So Zionism was no longer considered racism — at least in the eyes of the UN — because the Israel Lobby in Washington said so.

        If the pope/king decrees it, it is so.

  4. Mayhem
    March 10, 2013, 5:43 pm

    This was no wedding – just another publicity stunt. Nobody seems to know the name of the ‘bride’.

    • amigo
      March 10, 2013, 6:33 pm

      “This was no wedding – just another publicity stunt.” mayhem

      The Zionist Entity is one big publicity stunt.

      But the Stunt man is going to get hurt–bad.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 10, 2013, 6:40 pm

      it would have been a wedding if the iof hadn’t prevented it! you’re such a party popper mayhem. next you’re going to be telling us publicity isn’t good for palestine. and non violent action to get the attention of the international community is soooo redundant! and then you’re going to say israel, with the little 100million a year hasbara budget could have pulled it off…better!

      what’s next?!?!!!

      • ToivoS
        March 10, 2013, 11:12 pm

        you’re such a party popper mayhem.

        Uggh. annie, I have had my share of poppers at parties but doing Mayhem is not what I would call a good time.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 11, 2013, 7:27 am

        whoops, i meant pooper toivo! ;)


        edit: speaking of party poopers, there are some amusing comments sitting in trash. a certain commenter is lecturing us to get our history straight by reading joan peters notorious historical fiction while simultaneously whining about not getting their comments cleared!

        i’d like to think we’ve advanced beyond debating this retro fable crap. after all, we have certain standards here mapped out in the comment policy, specifically #2! (hint hint, in case that certain someone is listening in)

    • tree
      March 10, 2013, 7:27 pm

      I hate to break this to you, Mayhem, but you know those Freedom Riders in the Jim Crow South? And all those blacks sitting in whites-only establishments? All publicity stunts! And all intended to bring publicity to racist laws that existed in the South. Just like this action was intended to bring publicity to racist Israeli laws.

      So where’s the real problem with a racist law? Having someone publicize the fact that it exists? Or having it exist in the first place?

    • Avi_G.
      March 11, 2013, 1:21 am

      Mayhem says:
      March 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      This was no wedding – just another publicity stunt. Nobody seems to know the name of the ‘bride’.

      There have been thousands of cases like the one depicted through what you call a publicity stunt. The only difference was that there was no one there to cover them.

      So there’s nothing wrong in bringing in the press to reenact real events.

      Perhaps if you had a molecule of moral and intellectual courage and integrity, you’d be contacting the Israeli embassy in whichever country you live and demanding an explanation for this racist law.

      But you’re sitting comfortably in a western democracy that treats you, a Jew, a minority, with equality, like everyone else. And it has yet to occur to you how corrupt you are by objecting to this act, one of peaceful resistance, to boot.

    • K Renner
      March 11, 2013, 7:33 am

      Ops, there we go!
      Our favourite apologist and hasbarist opens his mouth.

      So your false claim warrants the Israeli “army” to act like a pack of moronic thugs yet again?

  5. Kathleen
    March 10, 2013, 5:51 pm

    “The Citizenship and Entry into Israel law prevents Palestinian citizens of Israel the right for their spouses to become citizens of the state or even obtain residency permits to live in East Jerusalem if they do not already have residency permits.”

    One more example of apartheid.

    “sound bomb” not the tune that this couple wanted as the theme to their attempted marriage.

  6. justicewillprevail
    March 10, 2013, 6:22 pm

    Another new low for the morons in Israel. Get out of a country which is not yours, and where you don’t belong. Your neanderthal behaviour is an insult to the ancient culture which you are determined to destroy – maybe because it highlights the brutal callous ugliness of yours. Your actions certainly have nothing whatsoever to do with the religious traditions which were born here. Unlike you.

  7. bijou
    March 10, 2013, 7:46 pm

    brilliant headline!

  8. dbroncos
    March 10, 2013, 9:44 pm

    The determination of these Palestinians is inspiring. Obama should be treated to a wedding procession during his trip later this month. He might even witness the Israeli fascist response with the understanding that he is the IDF’s fincancier.

  9. sandhillexit
    March 10, 2013, 10:21 pm

    I think the “stone throwing” accusation is very important. It is an individual act and crosses the line into violence (hence “terrorist”) as someone mentioned elsewhere on MW. As such it justifies all of the overreaction of state-sanctioned violence. But it does more than that. It turns the Palestinians into “primitives” that is, people not like us. It is similar to the efforts to keep the Bedouin out front. “Palestinians live in caves, didn’tcha know? What can you expect? It’s the white man’s burden.” But even impoverished and disrespected, the Palestinians know their 2000 year history.

    I get the sense that there is a more and more desperate effort in recent weeks to provoke violence from Palestinians before BHO arrives, in order to justify the money America has spent helping to “pacifying the natives.” To spite this cynical campaign I hope that the Palestinians will demonstrate the forbearance for which they are famous.

    There is a great scene in Frayn’s play, “Democracy” where Willi Brandt is standing before a crowd of Berliners and calmly urging “patience, patience.” But his “patience” includes alertness, and the crowd is vibrating like a violin string. Sometimes that is all the force of history requires. The play shows the victory of the Cold War minus all the American self-admiration. Such alertness and determination are the Palestinians’ greatest weapons.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 10, 2013, 11:08 pm

      Such alertness and determination are the Palestinians’ greatest weapons.

      and truth, don’t forget the power of truth. they have truth on their side. determination is similar to sumud, but steadfast says it better. i had never thought about alert before, i guess that is an instinct that develops when one is the prey, hunted. and that they are.

    • sardelapasti
      March 11, 2013, 3:28 am

      sandhillext – Bullshit. You can count yourself happy those stones do not explode. Who the hell are we to tell the Palestinian people, who have the imprescriptible right to resist illegal occupation and invasion by all means judged necessary, I’ll trouble you to try to remember.

      Stone throwing is seen as “violence” against the world’s fourth most potent army, which is not really the 4th but part, in reality, of the US army? Gimme a break. Who is the stupid who sees it like that? Cheney? Obama? The Zionits do, of course, but who the hell counts them as a public? The other Zionits who have a Shibboleth-checkpoint? Who gives a damn? People in general only need average intelligence to see what it means.

      • sandhillexit
        March 11, 2013, 6:52 pm

        A multicultural and truly democratic I/P on the territory under contention would be a force for good in a “region” that stretches from the Ukraine to Somalia and Sicily to Persia. The truth is that even if Israelis “win” in Hebron or Gaza the truth of their behavior shames them. It certainly shames Americans. It is our Holy Land too. My sense of the Palestinians is that they have what the Japanese call “gaman.”

        There is no wisdom in extending the violence and subsequent need for forgiveness among neighbors beyond what is already demanded. Palestinians might remember what a nasty time 1946-1950 was in all of Europe. Ungvar and Nagyvarad no longer exist, nobody speaks Hungarian in Ughhorod or Oradea, and similarly across Poland, Slovakia and on and on.

        I think that the crazy ideas expressed by the racist settler on the video linked here a few days ago create legitimate fears in the Palestinians. There is a sense that “they want us to be their servants, their slaves.” It would be easy enough to put such fears to rest. If the French and Germans can do it, these guys can do it.

        The Ottoman Sultan was shocked to discover that the King of Spain would send him such industrious new citizens in 1492. Similarly, the Israelis should be happy to have such good people as neighbors. truly.

        More publicity stunts, yes indeed.

      • sardelapasti
        March 12, 2013, 1:29 pm

        Not an answer

      • sandhillexit
        March 12, 2013, 5:25 pm

        I think you misunderstand me. I certainly don’t think stone-throwing by Palestinians justifies state-sponsored violence that ranges from the disappearance of teen-agers to the torturing to death of a family man. I have started to be concerned that Americans are no longer safe from this terrible behavior. The Israeli Border Police -often the worst – are now training the sheriffs in Oakland and Berkeley. disregard for civilians was a feature of the war in Eastern Europe (which did not end until 1989). Initially I was surprised that the IDF would be so unembarrassed at rolling out their fancy military equipment to terrorize civilians and use stone-throwing as sufficient justification. But now I think that it is part of a story that tries to tie Palestinians to the American frontier experience. It adds to the portrait of dangerous savages, and from there to the shared “white man’s burden.” Mr. Romney’s ridiculous sneer about Palestinians lack of economic skills was part of this too, I think. The gap between this portrait and the reality is ridiculously wide. With all of the U.S. media in tow behind BHO, the Palestinians should not make it easy to play this useful fiction.

        The Palestinians are educated Europeans. Many are Christian. Americans do not know that. I am glad the bride wore a white gown.

  10. BrianEsker
    March 11, 2013, 2:30 am

    Just another publicity stunt. And not even a very good one. Jews are forbidden to enter most Arab countries on pain of death. Obviously there were too many instances of “Palestinians” abusing family reunification in the past to cause security problems… so that’s that. Their spousal unit can always leave Israel and go to live in the West Bank or Gaza with their beloved.

    • MLE
      March 11, 2013, 10:23 am

      That is such bull. I’m Jewish and I entered plenty of Arab countries and lived in several under no threat whatsoever. My name is Jewish enough that it wasnt a secret of what my religion was and nobody bothered me about it. I was welcome and free to move about as I saw fit.

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 11, 2013, 10:50 am

      “Just another publicity stunt. And not even a very good one.”

      Actually it’s a very good one. It demonstrates that the “Jews” who control and occupy Palestine are scum who wouldn’t even hesitate to sink to this level.

      ” Jews are forbidden to enter most Arab countries on pain of death. ”

      Lie. But who expects truth from the likes of you.

      “Obviously there were too many instances of “Palestinians” abusing family reunification in the past to cause security problems”

      Wrong. It is pure racism on behalf of the “Jews” who are occupying Palestine.

    • MarkF
      March 11, 2013, 12:29 pm

      “Jews are forbidden to enter most Arab countries on pain of death.”

      Wow, that sucks. Maybe Jewish “Israelis” should get the hell outta there and come to America so they can marry their Arab bride/groom since they can’t marry him/her in “most” arab countries. Here in the U.S., a real democracy, we can marry whoever we want. Come home and you can do the same!

    • Inanna
      March 12, 2013, 12:22 am

      Obviously there were too many instances of “Palestinians” abusing family reunification in the past to cause security problems

      I’m wondering why the Palestinians didn’t use this as a reason for not letting Jews enter Palestine before 1948.

    • talknic
      March 13, 2013, 5:16 pm

      BrianEsker ” Jews are forbidden to enter most Arab countries on pain of death”

      Name ’em….

      Israeli’s are prohibited by Israeli emergency law (1948 – present) from entering the territory of any hostile state. Israel prevented Jews from worshiping in the West Bank 1948 -1967.

  11. amigo
    March 11, 2013, 9:42 am

    Meanwhile ,back in Zioville.


    electioneering or just plain Greater Israel norm.

    An afterthought?.

    Is this a message to Obama before he goes to Israel.His speech writers are sure kept busy on Edits.

  12. gamal
    March 11, 2013, 10:53 am

    “Jews are forbidden to enter most Arab countries on pain of death.” now that had me roaring with laughter, who are these “Jews” languishing on death row for entering an Arab country, are there any actual cases, and what specific laws require Jews to be executed for entering the country, i have met Jews, local and foreign all over the Arab world, someone should tell them the jeopardy they are in.

    and what has it to do with Palestinians?

  13. winifred
    March 11, 2013, 12:18 pm

    The bride’s name is Palestine. As in the cable from two Zionist delegates in l897 who were sent to explore settlement and cabled back to Vienna, “The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man.”

    The Iron Wall, Avi Shlaim, p 3 pb

  14. IL1948
    March 11, 2013, 2:29 pm

    Sadly, it comes as no surprise that this staged photo op is provided coverage here but there is no mention whatsoever of the recent UN report that the killed baby who was the poster child of victims of “Israeli Aggression” last year was actually killed by a Palestinian rocket.


    I’m sure the scores of you who expressed their outrage at the time at this example of the ongoing wholesale slaughter of helpless palestinians by the Zio-thugs will offer a swift retraction?

    I wont hold my breath. After all, these types of news stories don’t help the agenda and should be ignored…

    • talknic
      March 13, 2013, 5:21 pm


      Problem … There’s no conclusive evidence in the UN report that it was a Palestinian rocket.

  15. W.Jones
    March 12, 2013, 2:54 pm

    Beautiful action. Overcoming Walls with Love.

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