Moments in Palestine

Israel/Palestine
on 122 Comments
The Wall

Qalandiya Check Point, Palestine (photo by Lena Ibrahim) Aug 2013

The Interrogation

I felt trapped in my own body. I had been waiting for 3 dreadful hours, I had taken 2 hot and suffocating bus rides from Jordan, and had been given 2 rounds of repetitive questioning by Israeli security. I waited and waited, I watched the others in the waiting room, seeing my own feelings of discomfort and paranoia in their weakening eyes. Some of them had told me they had been waiting in that room for more than 6 hours. The Israeli security kept calling me in and asking me the same questions, “Where are you from, what are you doing here, where were you born, where was your father born?” After the 3rd round of their “interrogation”, I felt myself becoming more and more sick. “I’m never coming back, I never want to do this again.” And as I heard my own thought echo in my mind, I felt even more disgusted, but now only with myself. I realized exactly what was happening. This is what they wanted. They wanted me to feel so sick I’d never want to come back and go through this again. And in that moment I knew I had won. I had beat them because I knew I would do this a million times, I would do this an infinite amount of times just to be home. And so I waited, I waited for Palestine.

The Check points

I stared at the Israeli check point in the distance and I told myself not to cry. I knew that if I began to cry for Palestine, I would never stop. Israel’s illegal apartheid wall was making my heart turn cold, as it stood in front of me so shamefully proud of its own injustice. The soldiers stand, as emotionless as the wall and fully armed at the first of hundreds of checkpoints. As I waited, I began to think about all the tourists I had seen earlier that day taking photos in Jerusalem. I wondered what they would be taking photos of if they were here next to me and if they too knew about the horrors behind this wall, would they be as excited to stand in apartheid Israel? And as the wall began to do its job and suffocate me, the soldiers began their questioning. Each soldier carrying two guns on the front of their body and a bat on their back. I wondered what it felt like to carry things that have no other purpose but to hurt another human, to scare and oppress them. I continued to zone out, thinking, “How did this wall get so big? How did the world allow for all of this?” And then the voice of a female soldier, angrier this time, brought me back to reality, “Where is your visa!?” I took a deep breath and just like the hundreds of others of Palestinians behind me, the women, the children, the elderly, I did as she asked.

The Cab in Tel Aviv

I looked outside the window of the car I was in, and I felt I was worlds away from the occupation, lost in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. We were a car full of Palestinians trying to find our way back to East Jerusalem and it was midnight. The streets of Tel Aviv were empty and I saw just what kind of different world Tel Aviv was from the Occupied Territories, just how much that wall could keep left forgotten. We saw a cab and could tell the driver was a Palestinian. We pulled down our window in hope of asking him for directions. My cousin shouted “Yetek Al Afya” an Arabic phrase to say God bless you. The cab driver looked at us. We wanted him to understand we were Palestinians, just like him. He heard our words, he understood them, and then he slowly and very carefully shook his head.  He signaled to the Israeli couple in the back seat. We understood. He was too scared to speak Arabic. I saw it in his eyes, as if he had never in his life wanted to speak more. Our windows slowly went up. I then realized we weren’t worlds away from the occupation, we were at the heart of it.

The “Arab Hospital”

We had just passed the last checkpoint out of the West Bank, it was around 2 am. My cousin sitting in the front began to tell us she was suffocating. She said that she felt herself having an asthma attack. She demanded we take her to the closest hospital. And that’s what we did. We arrived at the emergency counter of the first hospital we could find in Jerusalem. The Israeli women asked us for our passports. She took a brief look, read our last names out loud, looked up at us and then said “Arabs?” She then began to speak only in Hebrew, telling us that we should go to the “Arab” hospital. I stared at the lady barely understanding the Hebrew she was speaking while my cousin on the other side of me was quickly losing more breath. I was helpless because I was the wrong race.

The Worst Moment Of All

The hardest part of leaving is not the part where you are unsure when and if you will ever be able to return, but it is the part where you have no idea what and who will remain when you come back. I looked at Palestine one last time, the land underneath me, the people around me, and I knew the only thing left to do was pray. And so I prayed, like I have never prayed before, with every bit of energy and hope I could find. And as I left Palestine I prayed watching the wall start to disappear in the night, I prayed it would too disappear in the morning.

And A Moment Back from Palestine

It was the first time I had seen my dad since I arrived home from Palestine. My entire family picked me up from the airport and we were all now sitting in traffic as I began to talk about my trip. As I spoke I began to noticed my father. It was as if my words were music playing for his heart, like an old song he hadn’t heard since he was a young boy, a song he was desperately reminiscing. My dad looked excited in a way I had never seen before. Baba, who is 71 years old, began to look like a child. Like the child who was born in Palestine, the child forced out of Palestine, stolen of a childhood, made a refugee, never allowed to return home. “Lena, you went to Haifa? Lena, Lena, tell me about Haifa. Tell me about Haifa, how does it look now?” My father asked, he spoke fast and his tears began to form in the corner of his eyes, half of them joyous the other half in great despair. I could not respond. I could not think of anything worthy enough to respond, because words here would be inappropriate. My father deserved more than words. He deserved every moment I had in Palestine. I saw his childlike eyes glowing, I knew his memories of Palestine began to form as he waited anxiously for my response. I wanted to close my own eyes, to see Palestine, to grab all of Haifa with the hands of my memory and to give it to my refugee father, crying in front of me. And in that moment I wanted nothing more than to give Baba, a 1948 Palestinian refugee, his birthright, his never ending right to return home.

Ramallah Palestine August 2013

Ramallah, Palestine August 2013 (photo by Lena Ibrahim)

122 Responses

  1. Walid
    October 8, 2013, 10:12 am

    Very sad story. And they wonder why we hate them.

    • thetruthhurts
      October 8, 2013, 1:22 pm

      truly heart-rendering but walid “they” don’t wonder why we hate them, they couldn’t care less!

      • seafoid
        October 8, 2013, 4:11 pm

        They love being hated because it means Galut is antisemitic and they can accuse Iran of being genocidal. Zionism is such a pessimistic and miserable ideology.

      • Chu
        October 8, 2013, 5:40 pm

        They love being hating, until no one will do business with them anymore. And as you’ve said in the past – their existence is unsustainable.

  2. seafoid
    October 8, 2013, 11:37 am

    A beautiful piece. The part with her dad reminded me of this song.
    Ummi was written by Mahmoud Darwish.

    link to arabicmusictranslation.com

    “I long for my mother’s bread
    And my mother’s coffee
    And my mother’s touch…
    My childhood grows within me
    Day after day
    I love my life because
    If I died,
    I would be embarassed by my mother’s tears

    Take me, if i return one day
    As a scarf for your lashes
    And cover my bones with grass
    Baptized by the purity of your heel
    Tie me up
    With a lock of hair
    With a thread that points to the tail of your dress
    Perhaps I will become a god
    A god I would become
    If I felt the bottom of your heart
    Put me, if I return
    As fuel to light your fire
    And a washline on your house’s roof
    Because I’ve lost my strength to stand
    Without the prayer of your day
    I’ve grown old… return the stars of childhood
    So I can share with the sparrow chicks
    The way back
    To the nest of your waiting”

    Palestine is unforgettable. It is still there underneath all the concrete.

    • bintbiba
      October 8, 2013, 2:24 pm

      ‘….It is still there underneath all the concrete” . seafoid.
      My friend, you are a poet too. your sensitivity is so penetrating! Thank you.

      • seafoid
        October 8, 2013, 2:59 pm

        Bintbiba

        Is there a name in arabic for the smell of the trees in the west bank? Reet ishi…
        I get hit by it whenever I go there. Very special .

        I think the names of all the towns live on quietly beneath the hebrew. Bir Saba and Ramleh and of course Haifa which has a Palestinian resonance across the Middle East second only to Al Quds.

      • Walid
        October 8, 2013, 3:32 pm

        “Is there a name in arabic for the smell of the trees in the west bank?”

        For the smel of flowers (and probably for trees too), the word is “abir” , which means “fragrance”., unless of course there is a specific name for the smell of trees trees on the WB Abir is a common name for girls.

      • seafoid
        October 8, 2013, 5:57 pm

        Shukran ya Walid. And Rita is such an interesting piece.

      • bintbiba
        October 8, 2013, 9:56 pm

        ‘Abeer’ sounds about right, seafoid. I’ll try to find out by skyping my relative who is an Arabic scholar. She might have exactly the appropriate term for the ‘smell of the trees’ . Will get back to you eventually.

      • seafoid
        October 9, 2013, 10:33 am

        There is a festival in Cairo called reet el hawa which is the fragrance of the air I think

      • bintbiba
        October 9, 2013, 5:52 pm

        Seafoid, Walid got it right… ‘abeer’ is the closest to what would describe the ‘smell of the trees’ (though mostly it is used in context of flowers fragrance) .Maybe in the distant past there weren’t too many woods and forests in our part of the ME ,(for lack of water possibly) ; therefore there was no need for a special word to denote. ‘Reehit il hawa’ IS the smell of the air. Reeh also means wind. ‘Naseem’ is breeze.
        Regards.

    • Walid
      October 8, 2013, 3:18 pm

      Another great but sad poem by Mahmoud Darwish written for his first love, a Jewish girl named “Rita”.

      Song by Marcel Khalife:
      Between Rita and my eyes
      There is a rifle
      And whoever knows Rita
      Kneels and plays
      To the divinity in those honey-colored eyes
      And I kissed Rita
      When she was young
      And I remember how she approached
      And how my arm covered the loveliest of braids
      And I remember Rita
      The way a sparrow remembers its stream
      Ah, Rita
      Between us there are a million sparrows and images
      And many a rendezvous
      Fired at by a rifle

      Rita’s name was a feast in my mouth
      Rita’s body was a wedding in my blood
      And I was lost in Rita for two years
      And for two years she slept on my arm
      And we made promises
      Over the most beautiful of cups
      And we burned in the wine of our lips
      And we were born again

      Ah, Rita!
      What before this rifle could have turned my eyes from yours
      Except a nap or two or honey-colored clouds?
      Once upon a time
      Oh, the silence of dusk
      In the morning my moon migrated to a far place
      Towards those honey-colored eyes
      And the city swept away all the singers
      And Rita

      Between Rita and my eyes—
      A rifle

      youtube with English subtitles:

      A few notes on Mahmoud Darwish by Karim Abuawad:

      Mahmoud Darwish (1942-2008): is a Palestinian poet born in the village of al-Birweh, in Galilee. A few months before the declaration of the State of Israel, Darwish’s family was expelled to Lebanon. Upon their “illegal” return to Galilee in 1949, the family found their village razed, their property appropriated by the state. Darwish went into exile in 1970, returning to live in Ramallah, Palestine after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.

      Many of his poems have become lasting, and quite recognizable, songs, the most famous of which is the poem he wrote for Rita, the Jewish girl who was Darwish’s first love. The first line of the poem, which reads “There’s a rifle between Rita and me,” encapsulates this romantic encounter between a Palestinian living in Israel without citizenship and his lover who enlists in the Israeli army.

    • ziusudra
      October 9, 2013, 2:07 am

      Greetings seafoid,
      Beautiful.
      Falesteena reminds me of the American Indian before diasappearing quipped,
      of America. This land is us, we will always be here!
      ziusudra.

      • Citizen
        October 9, 2013, 10:30 am

        @ ziusudra
        Yes, I just saw The New World on HBO. Did you see that film? Also, remember, Romeo & Juliet?

  3. Annie Robbins
    October 8, 2013, 12:01 pm

    Lena Ibrahim is an immense talent, we’re so lucky. thank you Lena.

    and of course, i cried.

    • just
      October 8, 2013, 6:16 pm

      I’m still crying. Her gift is indeed immense.

      I thank Lena and MW for telling the truth so beautifully & in such a way that it cannot be denied.

  4. eljay
    October 8, 2013, 12:08 pm

    >> And A Moment Back from Palestine

    This section moved me.

    >> And in that moment I wanted nothing more than to give Baba, a 1948 Palestinian refugee, his birthright, his never ending right to return home.

    A true birthright, not the fraudulent bullsh*t “birthright” supremacist Jews around the world greedily and immorally insist is theirs simply because they happen to be Jewish.

    F*cking Zio-supremacists… >:-(

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 8, 2013, 12:48 pm

      “This section moved me.”

      All of it moved me. And made me quite sad that the Palestinians are made to suffer the misfortune of these evil zionist people.

      “A true birthright, not the fraudulent bullsh*t “birthright” supremacist Jews around the world greedily and immorally insist is theirs simply because they happen to be Jewish.”

      Exactly.

  5. MahaneYehude1
    October 8, 2013, 12:13 pm

    Yaetik Al-Afye, Ya-Lena,

    Thank you very much for your story. I hope some day your Baba will return to the independent state of Palestine.

    I didn’t understand the story about the “Arab” hospital. Are you sure the soldier told you to go to “Arab” hospital? I am asking since I don’t know what is “Arab hospital” and I sure the soldier doesn’t too. But I know people from WB are treated in Israeli hospital with no problems. You will be surprised to know that also Arab countries residents are treated in our hospitals and I am not speaking on those Arab countries we have relations with them.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 8, 2013, 12:38 pm

      can you reread that paragraph again. i think you misinterpreted some of the sentences.

      have you heard of the al-Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem? maybe the receptionist meant that hospital.

      also have you read: link to haaretz.com

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 8, 2013, 12:42 pm

      “I hope some day your Baba will return to the independent state of Palestine. ”

      We know what you mean, zio. So you can go to hell. Her father wanted to hear of HAIFA. THAT is the part of Palestine he is from. THAT is what was stolen from him by you criminals.

    • seafoid
      October 8, 2013, 12:45 pm

      The independent state of post zionism. Where the fugees can buy houses in Haifa. And Judaism has had a colonic irrigation to flush all the zionist cruelty and nihilism out.

    • Walid
      October 8, 2013, 1:03 pm

      “You will be surprised to know that also Arab countries residents are treated in our hospitals and I am not speaking on those Arab countries we have relations with them.”

      You’re talking about those head-cutting heart-eating terrorists injured in Syria. Treating them is nothing to be proud of, especially in light of Israel (and Egypt) not allowing chronically sick Gazans access to outside medical help.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 8, 2013, 1:07 pm

        No, Walid, I mean residents from SA and Iraq. I also don’t support the “rebels” in Syria (Many not Syrians), but I think Israel treats any injured person including Syrian children.

      • eljay
        October 8, 2013, 1:34 pm

        >> … I think Israel treats any injured person including Syrian children.

        And Palestinian firefighters – despite decades of oppression, land theft and colonization by supremacist “Jewish State” – help Israel:
        Palestinian firefighters come to Israel’s aid

      • Walid
        October 9, 2013, 4:06 am

        Mahane, Israel treats Palestinians in its hospitals as part of its circus road show that travels from one disaster area (like in Haiti or Turkey) to another with sniffing dogs and all and that disappears from sight as soon as the TV cameras stop rolling. How can it be getting credit for hospitalizing children while at the same time it’s letting other chronically sick Palestinians die at checkpoints or from having medecines blockaded from them as with the siege of Gaza. Siege of Gaza sounds so much like something out of the Middle Ages, doesn’t it? That’s Israel for you.

      • Mayhem
        October 10, 2013, 8:09 am

        @Walid, the circus is this thing called the Arab Spring. Why is is too much to acknowledge what Israel actually does to help victims of conflict in neighboring Arab regimes? Why does the moderator repeatedly remove my words about this topic that is being discussed here – do they embarrass the Israel bashers and expose their prevarications? Do they lack the guts to let someone say it as it is?

        Take Syria for example and refer to link to fullcomment.nationalpost.com
        “Israel becomes a last hope when no Syrian help is available”
        “in Nahariya, near the Golan Heights, scores of patients have been covertly brought across the border from Syria to be treated by Israeli doctors”
        “Information about this work has to be pieced together from fragments of journalism, like a paragraph in an Israeli/Arabic paper: “The Arab countries offer condolences but the best role is provided by the Israelis because they are crossing the border to provide assistance to the refugees, risking their lives without a word of thank you.”
        And of course we shouldn’t forget the potential suicide bomber who showed contemptuous lack of gratitude for the medical aid she received in Israel:
        “On 20 June 2005, twenty-one-year-old Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Biss was detained at a crossing into Israel when something about her gait struck the guards on duty at that post as somewhat amiss. This Palestinian woman was arrested after a search revealed she had been carrying 22 lbs. of explosives strapped to her body. While al-Biss had ostensibly been attempting to enter Israel to attend a follow-up appointment at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva, questioning revealed that it had been her intent to detonate the payload she’d been carrying at that institution. The would-be bomber had been treated there five months previous for severe burns received after a gas canister exploded on a fire while she was cooking at her refugee camp home in the Gaza Strip.” Refer link to snopes.com

    • eljay
      October 8, 2013, 1:06 pm

      >> I didn’t understand the story about the “Arab” hospital. Are you sure the soldier told you to go to “Arab” hospital? I am asking since I don’t know what is “Arab hospital” and I sure the soldier doesn’t too.

      According to the story, “Arab hospital” is where the Israeli woman at the hospital in Jerusalem felt these particular non-Jews should go.

      Welcome to supremacist “Jewish State”.

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 8, 2013, 1:13 pm

      “But I know people from WB are treated in Israeli hospital with no problems.”

      Yeah, the Jews living in the settlements.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 8, 2013, 2:29 pm

        Woody:

        “Yeah, the Jews living in the settlements”

        Please, I don’t think that you right in this case and I sure you wrote your comment only to add one more argument against us. Thousands of Palestinians from the WB are treated routinely in Israeli Hospitals. If there are readers in this site living in WB, I appreciate if they reply on my argument.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 8, 2013, 4:25 pm

        “Please, I don’t think that you right in this case ”

        Because you are full of crap. You said that they are treated with “no problems.” The only ones who go from the West Bank to “israel” with no problem are the Jews in the settlement. Everyone else has problems. If they get through at all, they face delay and harassment by your uniformed idf terrorists at the checkpoints. Don’ t try to blow smoke up everyone’s a**, zio.

      • amigo
        October 9, 2013, 12:36 pm

        Which Mahane are you???.

        1, 2 or 3.

        Your English has retrogressed again.

    • Abierno
      October 8, 2013, 2:51 pm

      If I read this correctly, her cousin presents to the emergency room of a major jewish hospital in the throes of a major respiratory episode, is asked for her passport (!) which identifies her as an arab, and told to find a hospital which treats her race. This is from not a soldier, but a triage nurse. I’m sure special cases get treatment in these hospitals but only with special arrangements. It’s consistent with the episode of the Palestinian construction worker who had a heart attack and was moved to the sidewalk to die. Or the persistent rumor that only jewish Israeli children are receiving polio vaccinations as a result of live virus being found in sewage. Hopefully UNICEF medics will be let in to vaccinate the children of the
      Druze, Beduoin, East Jerusalem and the West Bank – polio is wicked virulent and none of these areas have the medical resources to treat it.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 8, 2013, 3:29 pm

        @Abierno:

        1) I assume that the close Hospital Lena mentioned is Hadassah Mount Scopus. I repeat again and again: There is no chance a nurse, doctor clerk or even a soldier, refuse to treat a person with severe breath problems. This hospital treats thousands of WB’s residents routinely.

        2) the “persistent rumor” is no more than “persistent rumor”. Any Israeli citizen, Druze, Bedouin, Palestinian etc. can receive the anti-Polio vaccine if he wants (There is no panic and many citizens don’t want to get the vaccine). The Palestinian Authority is responsible to vaccinate the children in the WB. In the past, Israel supplied the PA anti-FMDV vaccine to vaccinate their cattle.

      • Abierno
        October 8, 2013, 10:15 pm

        You are implying that any Israeli, Jewish or not has equal access to health care – this is simply not true. For example Irin 10.9.2013. Bedouin Demand Access to Healthcare. In real terms, how do you store vaccines in clinics where the generators are turned off after business hôurs as is routine in the majority if Bedouin clinics. You simply do not offer vaccinations. Jewish settlements and villages in the same areas have in house medics and clinics.
        This is not possible for Bedouin because they are not allowed electricity or easy access to water. You might want to review some of the international public health studies on these issues to get a clear picture of access issues. They also cover the West Bank and Gaza where the situation is not only stark but ripe for an epidemic owing to the lack of water, sewage disposal (for settlements as well who dispose of their sewage in streams and on Palestine village land) and public health infrastructure.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 9, 2013, 11:31 am

        @Abierno:

        Yes, I want to review some of the international public health studies on these issues: The reviews declare that the life expectancy of the Israeli Palestinians is longer than in any other country in the ME. The reviews declare that any Israeli citizen receives the triple-vaccination at birth, caused Israel free of most of the Infectious Diseases like measles, Poliomyelitis, Diphtheria and many others. The reviews declare that Probability of dying under five is very low (4:1000).
        link to who.int

        please, send me any data from credible sources about the Bedouins that can’t be vaccinated in Israel.

      • Abierno
        October 9, 2013, 7:28 pm

        The who reviews do not – specifically address access. From a statistical point of view they sum jewish, arab etc. not breaking out the ethnic groups.
        So if Isreal is 76% jewish, if 92% of the samples are urban, there is a problem
        in using the numbers to paint a rosy picture of non jewish public health. Hebrew University is one of two collaborating centers – an email to them should yield an excellent bibliography on the topics of access, mortality,
        for non jewish Israelis. /also there was a conference on this topic at Oxford a few years ago and those papers should be available.

      • tree
        October 10, 2013, 5:38 am

        There is a several reports from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel that deal with the issue of limited or denied health care access for Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

        Here’s one: link to phr.org.il
        And if you go to this page:

        link to phr.org.il
        you can access a Word doc on “Arab-Palestinian Citizens of Israel:Discrimination in Access to Health”

      • tree
        October 10, 2013, 5:52 am

        And from a Haaretz report accessed from the PHR website, about infant mortality rates WITHIN Israel:

        The infant mortality rate in Muslim villages, including the Bedouin communities, is 11.2 per 1,000 births, compared to 2.7 per 1,000 births in Jewish communities.

        Some 7,000 families live in the Bedouin village of Wadi Naim, one of the largest unrecognized Bedouin villages in the country. The village borders on the Ramat Hovav industrial zone. Many families have more than 10 children. Some 30,000 Bedouin live in the entire area, and after legal aid group Adalah petitioned the High Court of Justice, the court ordered the Health Ministry to open a well-baby clinic in Wadi Naim five years ago. However, two and a half years ago, the clinic closed.

        The lack of proper access to prenatal care and preventive attention to infants among Negev Bedouin may partly explain the infant mortality rate in this sector, which is up to 5 times the national average and may be getting worse.

        Families now have to travel to Segev Shalom, another Bedouin village, 15 kilometers away, for follow-up and inoculations for their infants.

        Ataf Abu Rabia, Adalah’s coordinator for the south, says that as a result many children are not receiving the usual vaccinations.

        more at link link to phr.org.il

      • tree
        October 10, 2013, 6:01 am

        And here is an easier to access report from PHR:

        The report establishes a comparison between primarily health clinics in the unrecognized villages and those at 5 primarily health clinics in peripheral Jewish settlements in the Negev that are similar in geography and demography to the Bedouin villages. 34 unrecognized villages have no medical services whatsoever, including, for example, the village of Al-Fura’a with its 3885 residents.

        The report examines four characteristics: service availability, accessibility, compatibility and quality. The report reveals that health funds and the state have adopted a policy of discrimination in the existing 12 clinics and 8 mother and child health centers in the unrecognized villages in the Negev, and determines that in each of the above characteristics there is a big gap between services offered in the unrecognized villages compared with what is offered in nearby Jewish settlements. In clinics operated by health organizations in the unrecognized villages there are less doctor-office hours, less labs and less lab-office hours, (one hour vs. three hours per 1000 residents), there are no specialists other than family physicians, there are no pediatricians, gynecologists, pharmacologists or even one pharmacy in any of the villages. As for compatibility, there is a significant problem due to lack of infrastructure – lack of roads and public transportation and the fact that the majority of clinics are far from most of the villages while most of the residents don’t own a car.

        When it comes to nursing services, the gap is very significant: Ten nurses work in the unrecognized villages amounting to one per 3751 residents while the ratio in nearby Jewish settlements that we checked is 657. The report reveals that in the unrecognized villages in the Negev there is one doctor per 3116 residents compared to a ratio of one doctor per 892 residents in nearby Jewish villages. A particularly bad example is the village Tla’Rashid where the ratio is one doctor per 5110 residents. In addition, more than 50% of the medical staff does not speak Arabic and as a result, there is a language barrier between the medical staff and the patients, particularly when it concerns women and children. Further, some of the written information and brochures are published only in Hebrew.

        The majority of the clinics in the unrecognized villages are in caravans which are located, due to conditions imposed by planning authorities, at the edge of the village, a fact that makes it hard for women and children to visit the clinics. The clinics are not connected to the national electricity grid and as a result, it is impossible to refrigerate drugs beyond office hours. Bedouins cannot obtain treatment in nearby Jewish villages. In some locations such as Beer-Sheva, Yeroham and Dimona there are clinics for “minorities only” which are designed to service the population of the unrecognized villages.

        Problematic office hours: Even during office hours, Arab-Bedouins are discriminated. On average a physician has 13 weekly office hours per 1000 residents in the villages and 21 office hours in Jewish settlements.

        According to Clalit Health fund the clinics are open five days a week, 8 hours a day. However, one clinic physician testified that Clalit does not send a replacement physician when a physician is absent due to a disease or a vacation and thus, the clinic remains without a physician for one week or even longer. Due to the need to rely on organized bussing and lack alternative public transportation to the villages, the medical staff arrives late to the clinics and leaves early. There is no evening response service in the clinics except, once a week, at Leumit clinic at Al-Sayyid.

        Beside the eight mother and child health centers which located near the primarily health clinics, there is a mobile unit. The truck does not have the means to check the height of a baby or to take urine samples. The mother and child health centers suffers from a severe staff shortage and reduced operating hours and thus, most of the health centers are only open to the public once a week compared to twice a week in the past. As a result, many women end up not getting necessary medical tests or encounter long lines that force them to return home without getting treated.

        The discriminating policy and the lack of recognition by the state prevent the construction of additional clinics in the unrecognized villages and contribute to a failure to close existing gaps. Lack of extra investment in the villages where health statistics are among the worst in Israel, contributes instead to a gap increase. In addition, health organizations do not provide equal services in terms of availability, accessibility, compatibility and quality.

        link to phr.org.il

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 10, 2013, 10:40 am

        @tree:

        What do a resident of the Jewish village of Motza do when he wants to vaccinate his children? He has to travel more than 15 km away, like the distance a Bedouin travels to Segev-Shalom. Most of the Israeli-citizen have to travel distances for medical treatments, I sure like in USA.

        The reports you sent were published by anti-Israeli groups that will do all efforts to darken the face of the state of Israel. They publish facts, truth facts, but leave the explanation to the readers, like the following fact you mentioned:

        “…the court ordered the Health Ministry to open a well-baby clinic in Wadi Naim five years ago. However, two and a half years ago, the clinic closed”

        So, the Ministry of Health opened a clinic, why it was closed? Should I have to guess?

        Each person in Israel receives the triple-vaccination at birth. The parents responsible to continue vaccinate their child. It is the interest of the Ministry of Health that all citizens of Israel will be vaccinated, because it is worthless if part are exposed to diseases and distribute them. As you know, viruses and bacteria are not racist, and infect any person no matter his race. There is no enforcement system that forces the parents to vaccinate their children. Any person has access to clinic and hospital and can receives any medical treatment he needs. I sure the Bedouins know it very well.

        There are also a lot of “facts” in your reports that aimed to Discredit us, like: “some of the written information and brochures are published only in Hebrew” while Arabic and Hebrew are the official languages in Israel and all brochures and documents are published in both languages. Other “fact” is “In some locations such as Beer-Sheva, Yeroham and Dimona there are clinics for “minorities only” “. This “fact” is a serious accusation against us: Any person has go to the clinic he is belongs to. If their are clinics that close to the Bedouin villages and served mainly this population it doesn’t mean that they are “minorities only” as well as a clinic in Nethanya that served Jews mainly (because the high percentage of Jews in Nethanya) or a clinic in Sachnin that served Arabs only (because only Arabs live in Sachnin) are not “Jews only” or “Arabs only”. But to show that we are apartheid state, it is nice to describe those clinics in such names.

      • tree
        October 11, 2013, 11:44 pm

        The reports you sent were published by anti-Israeli groups that will do all efforts to darken the face of the state of Israel.

        The reports I linked to and quoted from were published by an Israeli organization, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel. Its mission is stated here:

        Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that strives to promote a more fair and inclusive society in which the right to health is applied equally for all. It is PHR-Israel’s view that Israel’s prolonged occupation over Palestinian territory is the basis of human rights violations. For this reason we oppose the occupation and endeavor to put an end to it. PHR-Israel stands at the forefront of the struggle for human rights – the right to health particularly – in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

        PHR-Israel’s activity focuses on the right to health in its broadest sense, encompassing conditions that are prerequisites for health, such as freedom of movement, access to essential medical services, clean water, modern sanitary conditions, proper nutrition, adequate housing, education and employment opportunities, and non-violence. This perception of the right to health is expressed in General Comment 14 on the Right to Health by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

        In this spirit, PHR-Israel endeavors to promote a society that is based on the values of human rights, solidarity, social justice, equality and mutual assistance for all populations under Israel’s responsibility:

        Bedouins of the unrecognized villages in the Negev
        Prisoners and detainees jailed in Israel
        Migrant workers and refugees in Israel
        Residents of the Occupied Territories
        Residents of Israel

        PHR-Israel believes in the power of the Israeli medical community to struggle against human rights violations, torture in particular, and support policies which ensure the active implementation of the right to health, in accordance with international human rights treaties, the principle of medical ethics (for more information see The Right to Health). More than half of PHR-Israel’s 1500 members are medical professionals.

        link to phr.org.il

        If you want to call that organization, with its human health rights mission, “anti-Israel”, then you are condemning Israel in my eyes more than you are condemning PHR-I. Are you seriously saying that promoting and encouraging ” a more fair and inclusive society in which the right to health is applied equally for all” is anti-Israel? Do you think that Israel is incapable of becoming a more fair and inclusive society, or that it should not become one?

        You have no “facts” to back up your claims. You are simply dismissing facts because they disagree with your beliefs and myths about Israel. Beer-Sheva is not a Bedouin-only town, and yet it has a “minorities only” clinic. The report clearly states that the Bedouins can not seek health care in the Jewish villages. And that their access to clinics and to health care is vastly inferior to the access available in the Jewish villages, and the only basis for the difference is an ethnic/religious one, created by the Israeli government. That is the essence of apartheid, regardless of your constant need to close your eyes to reality.

  6. MahaneYehude1
    October 8, 2013, 12:51 pm

    @Annie: Yes I read it again and I think I understand it without any problems. When a person crosses a checkpoint, the soldier can’t order him which hospital to go and the soldier has no control on the person when he entered Israel.

    the link from Haaretz is not relevant to the post.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 8, 2013, 1:08 pm

      there were no soldiers mentioned in that paragraph. they were at the reception area of the hospital.

      also, you said I don’t know what is “Arab hospital” . i presume the hospital receptionist meant a hospital like Almakassed Islamic Charitable Hospital founded in East Jerusalem in 1968 reference by link to jpost.com as “Ailing Palestinian hospital” link to almakassed.org

      perhaps there are some things about israel/palestine that you do not know about. like what it is like to walk into some (the wrong) hospitals in jerusalem as a palestinian.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 8, 2013, 1:21 pm

        @Annie: No way an Israeli in any reception tells people they can’t be treated!!! Any person, no matter his nationality, when arrives to an Hospital receives medical treatment. I don’t care if Lena send me the name of the hospital and any details she has and I ready to check the story personally. If the ill person was not treated, especially in danger situation like Lena’s cousin with asthma – it is a criminal act in Israel.

        “perhaps there are some things about israel/palestine that you do not know about. like what it is like to walk into some (the wrong) hospitals in jerusalem as a palestinian”

        I know all the hospitals in Jerusalem, also the small hospitals in East Jerusalem, like the Al-makassed and the French hospital opposite the New Gate. You don’t have to bother to send me links. I meant that I don’t understand what is “go to Arab hospital”. No one ask people to go to “Arab hospital” when they arrive to any hospital in Israel, even to “Jewish Hospital”.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 8, 2013, 1:46 pm

        you simply cannot speak for eveyone’s experience throughout the country mahane. it wasn’t long ago we had some posters telling us there were no graveyard of numbers either. but it landed in the news. i understand what it is supposed to be like there, and then there’s reality.

      • eljay
        October 8, 2013, 1:58 pm

        >> No way an Israeli in any reception tells people they can’t be treated!!!

        I suppose there’s also no way an Israeli tells a Palestinian he can’t have his his home and land back.

      • yrn
        October 8, 2013, 2:10 pm

        @Annie I am with MahaneYehude1 on this issue, so please see if you can provide more information regarding this case, as if this it is the case I would file a criminal Complaint and update you.
        So please ask Lena if she wants to have justice with her cousin, that’s the way to do it.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 8, 2013, 2:14 pm

        @annie: Look, I admitted many times on this site that the Palestinians suffer as a consequence of the conflict and I don’t paint the reality in pink colors. I hope we will see the end of it soon.

        I didn’t intend to response on Lena’s story until I read the paragraph about the hospital (which made me nervous). I know that even criminal that kills policemen and injured and even a terrorist (from any nationality) that kills people and injured receive the best medical treatment in Israeli Hospital. A man with severe breath problems that arrives to emergency, must be treated first without questions. I repeat and I am serious: I appreciate if Lena contacts me , gives me all details and I ready to check the event. Thanks.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 8, 2013, 2:21 pm

        i’m sure lena will be reading these comments. i do not know anything about lena’s cousin or what her circumstances are yrn. but this is not the US where you can just file a claim and not expect to get your kids or husband hauled off on some trumped up charges or no charges at all like administrative detention.

        are you under some illusion palestinians living under occupation can just file a claim every time they are discriminated against?

        and what about lena, do you really think the state of israel would allow her to go back and visit her country anytime after filing a criminal complaint against a hospital staff? and where’s the proof? who knows if the employee would even admit to what happened.

        and, she didn’t finish this part of the story even. so we do not know what even happened then. this is lena’s story she is sharing. and it was real for her:

        I was helpless because I was the wrong race.

        that happens every moment in palestine. it’s an occupation. again, if people filed criminal complaints every time they were discriminated against, the courts would be backed up for centuries.

      • seafoid
        October 8, 2013, 3:02 pm

        All ethnic states are run on sectarian lines. Israel is particularly sectarian but there is no nice or honest way to protect such vast differences in standards of living in favour of Jews.

      • Walid
        October 8, 2013, 4:10 pm

        Mahane, from EI 2008 but surely still practiced today in Israel:

        The central part of the report describes the policy employed over the past year by the GSS, whereby patients are detained for interrogation at Erez Crossing, and requested either to provide information or to act as collaborators on a regular basis as a condition for permission to exit Gaza for medical treatment. Over the past year, more than 30 testimonies have been received by PHR-Israel, demonstrating this procedure. The methods of coercion employed by the GSS are examined in detail and a description of the growing formalization of the interrogation process is provided, including an attempt by the GSS to coerce PHR-Israel into cooperation with the mechanism described.

        The legal implications of the policy and practice of the GSS at Erez Crossing are next explored, employing the definitions of coercion and extortion, the provisions of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, and obligations pertaining to the right to health.

        link to electronicintifada.net

        And more recently in 2011 from the Guardian:

        Palestinians hoping to leave Gaza Strip asked to collaborate with Israel

        Patients in need of treatment across border among those targeted by Israeli intelligence agency, says human rights group
        … Kfah Abd El Halim, who runs PHR in the West Bank and Gaza, counters that the manipulation of medical patients violates a basic right to healthcare: “It puts the lives of patients in danger while forcing them to choose one of two impossible options – risk their chances for getting medical care or risk their lives for getting suspected of collaborating with the Israeli security forces.”

        link to theguardian.com

      • Cliff
        October 8, 2013, 4:34 pm

        how is it a potato salesman like you, Kahane, has so much time to comment on MW?

        those potatoes arent going to sell themselves!

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 8, 2013, 4:35 pm

        “No way an Israeli in any reception tells people they can’t be treated!!! ”

        LMAO. Yeah, because the country whose citizens regularly scream “Death to Arabs” and who boo their own football team because they signed to Chechen Muslim players are whose official ideology is racist is so free of racist taint.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 8, 2013, 4:39 pm

        @Walid: I didn’t read the link you provided in 2008 from electronicintifada (I read it now) but I remember the story from other sources, even B’tzelem and, if I don’t mistake, in Israeli channel 2. The story deals with the Israeli security services in Gaza strip. Even if I take the word of the author of this article, be sure that in the HOSPITAL, the patient received the best medical treatment, and this is my point. There is no discriminatory policy in the Israeli medical services (like not in other services).

        In addition, if you cite from the article, please allow me to cite too:

        “Israel insists rigorous security checks have been proved essential. The Shabak website provides eight examples of medical patients from the Gaza Strip who attempted suicide attacks once inside Israel. All of these attempts were made before 2007, when Israel sealed its borders with the Gaza Strip”

      • seafoid
        October 8, 2013, 4:56 pm

        .Their policy of recruiting collaborators, either by blackmail (videos of palestinian women sleeping with who they thought were decent but actually agents) or at times of deep personal crisis (family member seriously ill) show how pitiless they are. The Jewish state can’t be run decently. Not in the middle east. It really makes the mitzvot pointless. If the only way you could get closer to God was to live in a county where the public services were funded by an illegal prostitution ring would you bother praying?

      • Walid
        October 9, 2013, 4:25 am

        “@Annie I am with MahaneYehude1 on this issue…”

        You have to be, yrn; you are drinking from the same stolen water and eating of the same forbidden Galilee and West Bank fruit.

      • amigo
        October 9, 2013, 9:01 am

        “Three days ago, January 4, Haim Schwarczenberg took this photograph. He writes: “Skunk trunk spraying putrid liquid all over residential homes in the village of Nabi Saleh.”MW

        link to mondoweiss.net

        Or,
        Jews spitting on Christians.Maybe one of these racist pigs was at the reception in that hospital.

        link to youtube.com

        Mahane, a Nation which can drop White Phosphorous on innocent children
        Is capable of producing citizens quite capable od carrying out racist and inhuman actions such as we are discussing.

        You are suffering from self inflicted naiveté.Your beloved Israel is a den of racist,bigoted,greedy land thieves and murderers.It is all around you each and every day.

        Open your eyes and please stop trying to justify it.

        You cannot.

      • amigo
        October 9, 2013, 9:59 am

        “how is it a potato salesman like you, Kahane, has so much time to comment on MW?” Cliff.

        Didn,t you know Cliff. Mehane is a “Golden Wonder”.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 9, 2013, 11:50 am

        Just today was a story on the wire about the Jewish colonists coming from the West Bank into al Quds and desecrating old Christian graves. I wonder if there’s been any official condemnation by Netanyahoo, with pledges to get the criminals who did it. I doubt it.

      • yrn
        October 11, 2013, 1:19 pm

        No Walid

        We are both Human and if something was wrong here we try to claim about it.
        What’s wrong about it Walid ?
        That’s the deference between you and us.
        You just see the negative part as usual, nothing positive in your world, I am not surprised.

    • eljay
      October 8, 2013, 1:09 pm

      >> Yes I read it again and I think I understand it without any problems. When a person crosses a checkpoint, the soldier can’t order him which hospital to go and the soldier has no control on the person when he entered Israel.

      Your reading skills and/or your comprehension skills are sub-par today. Where, in this relevant paragraph from the story, do you see “checkpoint” or “soldier”?

      We arrived at the emergency counter of the first hospital we could find in Jerusalem. The Israeli women asked us for our passports. She took a brief look, read our last names out loud, looked up at us and then said “Arabs?” She then began to speak only in Hebrew, telling us that we should go to the “Arab” hospital. I stared at the lady barely understanding the Hebrew she was speaking …

      • jon s
        October 10, 2013, 7:45 am

        There are no “Arab hospitals ” or “Jewish hospitals ” in Israel. Patients are treated equally regardless of nationality or ethnicity or religion. The staffs, too, include Jews and non-Jews.
        What is restricted is entry into Israel from Gaza and the WB. Entry for medical treatment has to be coordinated, to prevent incidents like this:
        link to youtube.com

        Also see this film:

      • Annie Robbins
        October 10, 2013, 2:06 pm

        Patients are treated equally regardless of nationality or ethnicity or religion.

        are you claiming the author is fabricating the event she experienced?

      • jon s
        October 10, 2013, 2:32 pm

        These are her words:

        ” She then began to speak only in Hebrew, telling us that we should go to the “Arab” hospital. I stared at the lady barely understanding the Hebrew she was speaking …”

        “Speaking in Hebrew…barely understanding..” -says it all.

        Obviously, assuming the description is accurate, it was wrong of the nurse or receptionist to not find an Arabic or English speaker to translate.
        A rude reception at a hospital is unforgivable.

        However, I stand by the point I made, that hospitals in Israel are not segregated, it’s not like we have apartheid. Walk into any hospital and see for yourself.

      • tree
        October 10, 2013, 3:28 pm

        There are no “Arab hospitals ” or “Jewish hospitals ” in Israel. Patients are treated equally regardless of nationality or ethnicity or religion.

        You are wrong. Please read my post above, quoting from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        The majority of the clinics in the unrecognized villages are in caravans which are located, due to conditions imposed by planning authorities, at the edge of the village, a fact that makes it hard for women and children to visit the clinics. The clinics are not connected to the national electricity grid and as a result, it is impossible to refrigerate drugs beyond office hours. Bedouins cannot obtain treatment in nearby Jewish villages. In some locations such as Beer-Sheva, Yeroham and Dimona there are clinics for “minorities only” which are designed to service the population of the unrecognized villages.

        This is your neighborhood, and these are Israeli citizens that have to suffer through inadequate health care in Israel due to their ethnicity. These are also the citizens who have their health negatively impacted by Israel’s refusal to connect their villages to the electric grid and provide adequate water and sanitation facilities for over 65 years! Meanwhile any little Jewish outpost outside of the disappearing green line is immediately connected to the grid. This is not a “security issue”. This is blatant discrimination based on the fact that these citizens of Israel are not Jewish. You can deny it all you want, but it is a fact and your denial only shows your lack of concern about what your state is doing to people based solely on their ethnicity.

      • jon s
        October 10, 2013, 3:58 pm

        Tree, read what I wrote: that there are no separate, segregated, hospitals.
        You’re writing about local clinics. Local clinics, in small villages, naturally treat the local residents.
        I’m not making excuses: the Beduin population suffers from poverty and inequality, and in many places the situation is disgraceful. Some of us would like nothing better than to rectify the situation. But “inequality” is not the same as “segregation” or “apartheid”.
        I would point though, that in Israel every citizen , every man woman and child, has health insurance, by law. Compare that to the mess President Obama is trying to address in the USA.

      • jon s
        October 11, 2013, 12:48 pm

        please moderate my comment. thanks

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 11, 2013, 1:27 pm

        “‘Speaking in Hebrew…barely understanding..’ -says it all.”

        Nope. It just means that you’re looking for any excuse so that you don’t have to face the vile racism that commonly exists among your countrymen. Here, you even blame the victim, because since you assume, a priori, that the receptionist isn’t a racist acting in a racist manner, that the fault MUST be with the Arab, right??

        I’m sure in your little fantasy world the receptionist was really saying, “Here at this Zionist Hospital we LOVE the Arabs and we want you to go to the other side of the city so we can give you a present. There will also be donuts” and she was just misunderstood.

      • jon s
        October 11, 2013, 4:40 pm

        Woody, I wrote : “A rude reception at a hospital is unforgivable”. How is that making an excuse?

      • tree
        October 11, 2013, 10:45 pm

        Tree, read what I wrote: that there are no separate, segregated, hospitals.
        You’re writing about local clinics. Local clinics, in small villages, naturally treat the local residents.

        I specifically highlighted this segment of the PHR report in my comment above. Here it is again if you missed it:

        Bedouins cannot obtain treatment in nearby Jewish villages. In some locations such as Beer-Sheva, Yeroham and Dimona there are clinics for “minorities only” which are designed to service the population of the unrecognized villages.

        This clinic mentioned is in Beer-Sheva, not in a “local village”, which if I recall correctly is where you live. It is a “minorities only” clinic. And the report explicitly states that the Bedouins cannot seek treatment in the segregated Jewish only villages in the area. This is in fact segregation and apartheid, and the fact that the government, after 65 years, has not connected the Arab villages here to the national electrical grid, or provided for a planning program for the villages so that their residents can then get building permits, is a blatant example of Israeli apartheid, since small and more recent Jewish villages are connected, and all have government instigated planning programs. You are in deep denial if you think this inequality and segregation is not a conscious program of the Israeli government, which is what makes it an apartheid government, with different rules for its citizens and inhabitants based solely on ethnicity/religion.

        Some of us would like nothing better than to rectify the situation.

        Are you actually doing something to rectify it? Or are you just posting here to justify it?

      • tree
        October 11, 2013, 10:52 pm

        I would point though, that in Israel every citizen , every man woman and child, has health insurance, by law.

        Which means little if a citizen has little or no access to health care, which is the problem facing the Bedouin citizens of Israel; a problem created by the Israeli government.

      • jon s
        October 12, 2013, 5:42 am

        Tree,
        What can I say, except invite you to walk into the clinic here in Beer Sheva, the one that serves me and my family when the need arises, and see for yourself. See the “segregation ” and “apartheid”. (Also at the hospital, university, post office, supermarket, shopping mall, etc.)

        The fact that there are clinics established to answer the specific needs of the residents in the “unrecognized” villages can be seen positively.
        Small village-sized clinics can’t be expected to treat patients from elsewhere, unless it’s an emergency.

        All citizens have health insurance, and access to health care. As I said , there is inequality , as in most societies I know of. I repeat once again : contrary to the impression arising from Lena’s account, there are no “Jwish hospitals” or “Arab hospitals ” in Israel. Hospitals are not segregated.

        As to your personal question: I try to do my small part through support for various organizations. Let’s leave it at that.

        Here’s a glimpse of the recent polio vaccination campaign in a Bedouin town :

  7. Pamela Olson
    October 8, 2013, 12:56 pm

    Stunning and heartbreaking. Speechless. So much said in so few words…

  8. seafoid
    October 8, 2013, 12:57 pm

    I am reading something on Northern Ireland and working class protestants. Huge changes following the breakout of peace. “Before cross community negotiation comes self understanding and acquiring the confidence that stems from a secure identity vested in historical narratives firmly in place.”

    Lena and her Baba have their identity but what will Israeli Jews have when their system collapses as that of Ulster’s protestants did and they realise that their Zionist history is a fraud? Who will they find out they are?

  9. Woody Tanaka
    October 8, 2013, 1:01 pm

    “…what will Israeli Jews have when their system collapses as that of Ulster’s protestants did and they realise that their Zionist history is a fraud?”

    Can I tell you I don’t a rat’s ass anymore. They’ve acted like such barbarians for so long that they deserve no such consideration from me. They deserve the human and political rights that everyone deserves (and that they’ve been denying from their victims) but they can all go pound sand for all I care.

    • amigo
      October 9, 2013, 8:12 am

      “…what will Israeli Jews have when their system collapses as that of Ulster’s protestants did and they realise that their Zionist history is a fraud?”Woody

      Let,s hope they will say, “Never again”and this time mean it and become law abiding citizens of which ever nation they are citizens of.

      Lets hope they will stop interfering in the internal business of sovereign nations and put that money to something positive for mankind versus detrimental.

      If they lose Israel, I like you Woody won.t lose one nights sleep.

      As you sow so shall you reap.Time to put an end to this zionist scourge and consign it to the pages of time.

  10. xanadou
    October 8, 2013, 3:06 pm

    This reminiscence would have been an interesting read at any time, but the stunning quality of the poetic prose gave the story an unexpected, much appreciated and deeply resonating, beauty.

    Like, Annie, I cried, too. And I’m sick of having to cry: for the ongoing Palestinian Holocaust and the daily desecration of the memory of those whose corpses-as-fodder are more important to the ziosupremacists, than honoring the stolen lives.

    Oh, and, Mondoweiss? As a long time and frequent visitor let me congratulate you on your site. It was very good from day one, but it has improved exponentially in the last months. Well done to all at MW.

    • just
      October 8, 2013, 6:22 pm

      Huge ditto on all of your comment, xanadou.

      Extremely moving and beautiful writing by Lena– I felt as though I was right there beside Lena and her father………..feeling their pain, their hope, and their resilience.

      • Citizen
        October 9, 2013, 10:40 am

        @ just
        Ditto here. Lena’s a great writer.

  11. Chu
    October 8, 2013, 6:00 pm

    Is Israeli conscription an important stage in how Israel foments and fosters racism?

    Seems like it after watching the Gatekeepers. All the Shin Bet leaders looked backed and realized they made many mistakes and would do things very different now that they were retired (i.e. the night raids on families, etc).

    I’m assuming a lot of these soldiers are young, because any IDF recruit can perform this low-level interrogation duty that in large part serves to anger and dehumanize the subjects, while dehumanizing the military personnel.

    No wonder the entire society is filled with racism. It starts at military service. Israel needs a young leader who will start an effective movement against military service. They need any inside force that will cause their wheels to spin in the opposite direction.

    • Walid
      October 9, 2013, 12:33 am

      “No wonder the entire society is filled with racism. It starts at military service.”

      Wrong, Chu, it starts much much earlier; in fact, the inculcation of fear, hate and overall paranoia of Arabs in general and of Palestinians in particular starts very early with 9 and 10-year olds in schools and continues throughout the students’ academic journey with the use of retired military officers as teachers in schools and colleges and continued exposure of military life, weaponry and school visits to military bases. The brainwashing on hate and paranoia is also present in religious schools with military people also teaching there.

      You may remember the reportage during the 2006 onslaught on Lebanon that showed 10 or 12 year old girls on a school outing to an army base in the Galilee autographing shells about to be fired into Lebanon with the notation “to Lebanon’s children from the children of Israel”. I saw another documentary in Hebrew taken from Israeli TV of another military camp of little children being shown and explained the various equipment used by the IDF and ecouraging the kids’ talking about growing up and killing Arabs. The mentality of hating Arabs is inculcated into the minds of young Israelis at a very early age. Israel is the only country in the world whose ministries of education and of war work hand-in-hand at developing the minds of their student populations.

      Half of the following 2 part video from Mayadeen is in Hebrew. If you translate the page, it will show you the links to the 2 videos titled “Schools of Violence”. It’s very spooky stuff that I hope Mahane that’ s in the process of learning the truth about his inglorious state gets to see it:

      link to almayadeen.net

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 9, 2013, 1:06 am

        @Walid: “It’s very spooky stuff that I hope Mahane that’s in the process of learning the truth about his inglorious state gets to see it”.

        I can copy your comment, replace the word “Israelis” with “Arabs” or “Palestinians” and vice versa, and I can send it without any changes. Don’t tell me that your are not familiar with the Palestinian education system. I sure you saw all the videos from Palestinians schools and “summer camps”. You continue to ignore the large portion of the Israeli society that supports the Palestinians and independent state and many Israelis that spend their free time to help Palestinians, in voluntary associations or in private initiatives.

      • Walid
        October 9, 2013, 4:20 am

        Mahane, you evidently couldn’t be bothered to watch the videos of Zionists brainwashing innocent kids to turn them into killing machines. I guess you probably wouldn’t understand anyway since you must have been yourself exposed to the brainwashing techniques used in Israeli schools. This is a good example of what someone like you is on ziocaine, as Mooser would say.

        I’m not into zionist tit-for-tat scorekeeping as you are doing here. If you want to discuss Palestinian brainwashing of kids, I’d discuss with you but you shouldn’t use it to refuse to watch the Hebrew videos on how Israeli children are being weaned on violence by the Israeli educational system jointly with the military establishment. Those critical videos were not produced by Palestinian media but by an Israeli TV station. Mooser never told us of an antidote for ziocaine or of how to de-program a wrongly-set mind.

      • Cliff
        October 9, 2013, 6:17 am

        Israeli textbooks are more racist:
        link to haaretz.com

        Israelis are the ones colonizing and occupying. Palestinians aren’t doing that to Israelis.

        Israel kills more civilians and children.

        Israel claims to be a democracy and it is not – it is an ethnocracy.

        Israel gets tons of money from the US and from US taxpayers (without their consent).

        This is not a symmetrical conflict. You are the villains of this story.

      • Walid
        October 9, 2013, 7:15 am

        Cliff, the Yale professor faults both Palestinians and Israelis not for any ecouragement towards violence in their school textbooks, but simply for distorting history. In their habitual manner, Israelis flatly refused the professor’s findings. What I’m trying to get across to the potato salesman is that the Israeli school system in full coordination with Israel’s military is actually brainwashing the students of all ages from primary grades through high school and throughout college years to be actually violent towards Arabs and Palestinians.

        I wish Shmuel would drop in on this and say a word or two about this ongoing brainwashing or if it’s flatly untrue.

        No one said it any clearer than the respected Israeli academic, Nurit Peled-Elhanan that summed it up; from Wiki:

        In “Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education”, which was released in the UK in April 2012, Nurit Peled-Elhanan describes the depiction of Arabs in Israeli schoolbooks as racist. She states that their only representation is as “refugees, primitive farmers and terrorists,” claiming that in “hundreds and hundreds” of books, not one photograph depicted an Arab as a “normal person

      • Chu
        October 9, 2013, 9:42 am

        ‘This is not a symmetrical conflict. You are the villains of this story.’

        It’s not a symmetrical conflict. We all see it.
        The only ones that don’t see it are supporters of Jewish exceptionalism. What a rotten concept, and almost parallel to Aryanism, but with quasi-religious overtones and a sense of victimhood that enables war crimes to continue.

        I would argue that Palestinians would definitely have more hatred toward a people that ruined their existence in their native lands. Imagine that someone came to your house, killed your neighbors, imprisoned your father and put your entire village in makeshift refugee camps for 6 decades, while complaining to big brother USA they are they victim in this conflict. I’d be steaming with anger.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 9, 2013, 11:51 am

        @Walid: Your comment is one more example of the demonization of my people. I wonder how realistic man like you can write such comment. The video you sent as a link is no more than a collection of sporadic photos gathered as an (bad) answer to the hundreds of videos the Palestinian schools and summer camps produce each year. Fortunately, your video is “delicate” in compare to others. Here is your video again:
        link to almayadeen.net

        Look, Walid, I am a father of two children. Both studied in Israeli high school and I am sorry to disappoint you, but we raise at home two human being, not Killing machines. Human being that live in dignity and learned to respect the other mainly due to the education the got in their school. Human being like you and not killing machines…

      • Walid
        October 9, 2013, 4:29 pm

        “Look, Walid, I am a father of two children. Both studied in Israeli high school and I am sorry to disappoint you, but we raise at home two human being, not Killing machines. ”

        Your children must be exceptional. but then again your children are not really your children; in Isreal, by exception they belong to the state; which is what I’m trying to exlain to you. Gibran Khalil Gibran in The Prophet expresses it much better than me: too bad Israel doesn’t get it either:

        On Children
        Kahlil Gibran

        Your children are not your children.
        They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
        They come through you but not from you,
        And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

        You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
        For they have their own thoughts.
        You may house their bodies but not their souls,
        For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
        which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
        You may strive to be like them,
        but seek not to make them like you.
        For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

        You are the bows from which your children
        as living arrows are sent forth.
        The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
        and He bends you with His might
        that His arrows may go swift and far.
        Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
        For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
        so He loves also the bow that is stable.

        The Prophet
        link to www-personal.umich.edu

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 9, 2013, 5:16 pm

        Sorry, Walid, my children are not exceptional and stop with your continual demonization. My children, like most Israeli children and youth, learn in democratic atmosphere in which they acquire pluralistic values. Such values are the roots of many Israeli human rights activist groups that I sure a man like you know better than me. My children and the Israeli children not belong to the state, they are independent free people that express themselves in the way they choose without any involvement of the state. Please, stop with your theories and start sees us as human being exactly like you and not as killing machines. Inserting a song of the great poet Khalil Gibran to your racist comment is no more than disgrace.

      • tree
        October 9, 2013, 5:34 pm

        The Israeli feminist organization, New Profile, has many resources on the militarization of Israeli schools and Israeli society. The indoctrination starts in kindergarten.

      • bintbiba
        October 9, 2013, 6:04 pm

        Thank you, Walid, for this lovely reminder from the great Khalil Gibran.
        Since the passing of the hippie era, we don’t hear much mention of him, except for the infamous hooha over the Khalil Gibran School in New York and the outrageous treatment of Debbie Al Montasser, the founder of the school.

      • miriam6
        October 9, 2013, 8:46 pm

        Your children must be exceptional. but then again your children are not really your children; in Isreal, by exception they belong to the state; which is what I’m trying to exlain to you.

        Utter BS!
        Patronising much Walid?
        Yeah right- thank Walid for his patronising attitude towards MY1.
        For arrogantly suggesting that the parenting of MY1′s kids best be left up to a POEM rather than the father himself..
        Apparently all Israelis are alike according to Mondoweissers.
        Who make no attempt to distinguish between bigots like the departed Ovadia Yossef or Netanyahu and an ordinary Israeli family man likeMY1 and others like him..
        Every Israeli regardless of their actions – is labelled intrinsically evil according to sanctimonious commenters on MW.. and apparently incapable of bringing up their children without having to endure unsolicited , unwanted ‘advice’ from patronising busy bodies like Walid..Tree..Chu..etc..

      • miriam6
        October 9, 2013, 8:58 pm

        The Israeli feminist organization, New Profile, has many resources on the militarization of Israeli schools and Israeli society. The indoctrination starts in kindergarten.

        All with a view to indoctrinating kids with feminist ideologies instead – one assumes..

        So – on the one hand Zionism- on the other – equally dodgy ‘leftie’ liberal ( Donald’s fave word..) separatist ideologies like feminism..

        Yuck!

        Israeli kids won’t stand a chance!

        God forbid these kids be allowed to think for themselves ever!

      • Annie Robbins
        October 10, 2013, 12:04 am

        hi walid, i have been meaning to tell you for some time now…i keep fixing your blockquotes. in the future, you only need one “blockquote” tag on the end of the quote, not 2. the one with the forward slash “/” in it. there is no need to duplicate and opening tag at the end also. thanks!

      • miriam6
        October 10, 2013, 12:21 am

        MY1 said: “Look, Walid, I am a father of two children. Both studied in Israeli high school and I am sorry to disappoint you, but we raise at home two human being, not Killing machines. ”

        Walid replied: Your children must be exceptional. but then again your children are not really your children; in Isreal, by exception they belong to the state; which is what I’m trying to exlain to you.

        How interesting..
        Walid wants to deliver an insulting arrogant lecture to MY1 on how he should parent his children.. according to Walid and unbeknownst to poor ‘dumbo’ MY1 – MY1′s parenting skills have not been enough to prevent MY1′s kids in avoiding becoming just another two Israeli ‘killing machines’..

        Walid fancied he knew better than MY1 the father of two Israeli kids..

        Meanwhile – Walid cannot even manage blockquoting his own comments..

        Oh the delicious irony!

      • Annie Robbins
        October 10, 2013, 12:27 am

        My children and the Israeli children not belong to the state, they are independent free people that express themselves in the way they choose without any involvement of the state.

        yes, and over half of all jewish israeli highs school students do no think ‘arab’-israelis should have the right to vote. so while they may be ‘free’, their minds are not. or i suppose one could posit their free minds choose apartheid.

      • Walid
        October 10, 2013, 1:00 am

        Thanks, tree, for introducing me to New Profile, a great organization working at de-militarizing Israeli society, a militarization that starts in kindergarten as you said. Here is a sampling taken from a New Profile exhibition that can be viewed at

        link to newprofile.org

        On militaristic surroundings: Canon relics are an integral part of many children’s playgrounds. The idea here is that is normal, even valuable for kids to be around war memorabilia.

        On militarized education: hundreds of soldiers stationed in schools, are serving as teachers and youth guides. They are sent there to assist the teachers and also to directly promote military service among the students.

        All schools promote military service as an idel form of service to the country.

        A paramilitary ceremony in a renowned Haifa high school was held jointly by the school and the military academy. Cadets and students marched together on the playing field.

        The curriculum is full of naturalizing or positive references to wars and the military, reaffirming the bond between Israelis and their army. In kindergarten children are given worksheets asking them to draw a line between state images, peace symbols, tanks, fighter planes and the IDF symbol and the corresponding number.

        A six year old starting 1st grade is quoted saying: An Israeli is someone like me who starts 1st grade, and waits to go to the army to protect the land of Israel.

      • Walid
        October 10, 2013, 1:08 am

        Hi Annie, thanks for cleaning up my stuff. Will try to do it right. I sometime see the doubling appearing when I ‘m editing a post and keep wondering where it came from.

      • Walid
        October 10, 2013, 3:06 am

        The irony, Miriam, is that while I don’t know how to blocknote, I brought up my children to be kind to others and against violence, contrary to how most Israelis are bringing up their children. Sorry that’s all I gave you to dig your claws into.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 10, 2013, 11:20 am

        “40% of Arabs in Israel are proud to be Israelis”
        “27% of Arabs in Israel feel part of the state of Israel and its problems”
        “11% of Arabs in Israel think that only Jews have to approve peace agreement and Israeli withdrawal”

        No, Annie, these are not provocative titles. Several days ago, the “Israel Democracy Institute” published his 2013 poll (that I didn’t intend to publish it in MW). The above titles are part of the findings of this poll. In others 2013 poll’s findings you can learn that many Jews don’t want Arabs as neighbors but also that many Arabs don’t want Jews as neighbors (48% and 42%, respectively). My point is that you can find in poll all you want, you only have to choose and I sure that the fact you had written (“over half of all Jewish Israeli highs school…) is also part of poll that you can bring other facts. So, please, let’s not start “polls wars” since poll is only poll and depends in many parameters that can be changed from time to time. In general I can tell you that the Israeli children and youth are free, democratic, tolerant and have a variety of opinions and attitudes, fruits of the democratic education system, like in all other countries in the world. When I say “variety” I mean all the range, from bad to good. Several of those Israelis you actually meet every days when you send me articles, polls, reports and videos about our “racist state”, published by Israelis that know that they are living in free democratic society and can publish any thing they want without fear, like in any other democratic society.
        link to idi.org.il

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 10, 2013, 11:22 am

        @Walid: OK, I understand, you all raise anti-violence kind children and we raise killing machines. Racist!!!

      • Annie Robbins
        October 10, 2013, 1:44 pm

        well now you know walid, it’s that 2nd to last “blockquote” at the end where 2 are lined up. eliminate it altogether. there should be one at the beginning of the paragraph and one at the end, the last one WITH the slash in it. good luck!

      • miriam6
        October 10, 2013, 1:58 pm

        Walid@;

        Stop being disingenuous Walid.
        Your inability to blockquote was a side issue to my comment and you know that perfectly well.

        I brought up my children to be kind to others and against violence, contrary to how most Israelis are bringing up their children.

        And MY1 didn’t – couldn’t possibly have brought up his kids the same way as you?

        He ( being an uncivilised Israeli of course- as according to Walid) brought up his kids to be brutes unlike your saintly offspring?

        With your cited comment here you are making a sweeping – racist , bigoted generalisation about Israelis.
        What is more you directed your racist judgements at one particular commenter here.

        MY1 said to you;
        Look, Walid, I am a father of two children. Both studied in Israeli high school and I am sorry to disappoint you, but we raise at home two human being, not Killing machines. Human being that live in dignity and learned to respect the other mainly due to the education the got in their school. Human being like you and not killing machines…

        Despite that you went on to insist that MY1′s kids would turn out to become ‘killing machines’ no matter what.
        Just another sweeping racist generalisation from you.
        Perhaps you really think Israelis are genetically disposed towards violence – certainly that would seem to be the bigoted assumption beneath your comments..

        After all you made it quote clear at the top of this thread that you hate Israelis..

      • Walid
        October 10, 2013, 2:17 pm

        Mahane, please don’t give me all the credit for this information. The part about the Israeli children autographing Lebanon-bound missiles was all over the Israeli press; if you can’t find it, I’ll get it for you. The part about the militarization of Israeli children in the school system was taken from a Mayadeen documentary, half of which was taken from Israeli documentaries in Hebrew shown on Israeli TV channel 2 or 10. The third instalment came with help from tree here that referred me to an Israeli NGO, New Profile, that’s affiliated with JVP in campaigning against the militarization of Israeli children.

        So all of what I posted is sourced in Israel. You shouldn’t be disappointed with me but with the Zionist cult that’s programming so many innocent children into becoming vicious. You surely remember that other picture of the 10-year old boy with the yarmulke kicking an elderly Palestinian lady for no apparaent reason while his parents simply look on.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 10, 2013, 4:06 pm

        @Walid: “So all of what I posted is sourced in Israel” – Exactly as I said: people that live in open, free democratic society that have the courage to publish any opinion, fact or criticism without fear to be arrested some day and be forgotten in the jail like in other countries in our planet that I sure you know better than me.

      • Walid
        October 12, 2013, 12:58 am

        Not being anything, Miriam, and I didn’t address anything towards the children of one of the Mahane brothers’ children since I didn’t know he hadn’t any. I was talking about most Israelis because it’s evident that most have had to go through the militarization process lasting throughout their academic journey starting in kindergarten. The ones critical of this aberration aren’t Arabs in neighbouring countries since in most part they don’t follow what’s happening inside Israel as much as I do, but Israelis themselves. The Mahane tandem team is either playing dumb in failing to understanding my simple message or it’s really handicapped.

        BTW, you missed that I did not refute the violence being inculcated in Palestinian children and that I was open to discussing it. It’s there alright but most of the violence that the children are growing up with is not coming from a systematic inculcation program instituded by governmental ministries as in Israel, but by the actual violence they have been made to live under by the Zionist ideology, by the arrests, , imprisonments, the beatings and the torture of children, by children witnessing the humiliation of their parents by the soldiers, by the horrible wall and the horrible checkpoints that are put up to oppress the people and the evidently dead-end lives they are growing up into. That’s where the violence in Palestinian kids is mostly coming from. Yanking 10 and 12-yer olds from their beds to drag them to jail will never turn these kids into non-violent people. I guess you can assume that the Palestinian children are also being inculcated but in most part, it’s also being done by the Israeli authorities.

        And my fully-grown children although not violent, they are far from being angels.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 12, 2013, 1:08 am

        @Walid:

        “The Mahane tandem team is either playing dumb in failing to understanding my simple message or it’s really handicapped” – again, a racist claim.

        “most of the violence that the children are growing up with is not coming from…” – and our children growing in a sterile bubble, don’t experience violence and, actually, living in paradise in which there are no terror, missile attacks, wars, daily fear and nothing but roses and cherries.

      • Walid
        October 12, 2013, 1:09 am

        “@Walid: “So all of what I posted is sourced in Israel” – Exactly as I said: people that live in open, free democratic society that have the courage to publish any opinion, fact or criticism without fear to be arrested some day and be forgotten in the jail like in other countries in our planet that I sure you know better than me.”

        Mahane 2, can I then assume that you have finally accepted my message about the militarization of children and now you have moved to open another issue about Israel and the apparent freedom of expression that is found there, or are you politely trying to change the subject? I wish some of your politeness would rub off Mahane 1.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 12, 2013, 2:53 am

        @Walid: No, you can’t assume. I don’t change any subject, we remain in the same subject. I wrote my messages very clear about the education of our children and the fruits of this education – open, free, democratic, tolerant society. We are in the same subject, Walid, the same subject which is the democratic educational system in Israel and not militarize system as you want to show.

        But you always trying to change subject by applying personal attacks like “Mahane 1 or 2″. Do you really believe in those nonsense? I don’t believe that a person like you think that there are two Mahane’s. I sure you know very well who am I, but always refer to fringe subjects only to decrease my credibility and to show others that my messages are false. But nothing won’t help you: the many replies I receive are the only proof that people don’t get the wrong impression about me that you spread many times in your comments.

        I will be glad to return to our subject if you want although I personally don’t think I have more to add in addition to my above arguments – free, open, tolerant, democratic educational system that I hope other systems in our planet will learn from it.

        Allah Ma’ak!!!

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 12, 2013, 4:01 am

        @Walid: Although I don’t need videos to support my claims, here several about the Israeli educational system (out of thousands, just ask) In addition to your video, that I would like to add:

        “Yad Be-Yad” (Hand in hand) Jewish-Arabic school in Jerusalem:

        Jewish students from “Yad Be-Yad” (Hand in hand) Jewish-Arabic school in Jerusalem visiting the OT:

        “Ya-Salam” program in Jewish schools:

        Arab teachers in Jewish schools:

        Sudbury Democratic school in Jerusalem:

        Arab students in Sachnin meet the poet Araydi:

        “Jews and Arabs together” theater in Leo Beck high school and Ein’Mahel high school:

        Jewish students visit to Kfar Kamma:

        “Ahmad Taha Aghbaria” educational prize:

        “Art and sciences” project in Haifa:

        “Meeting for Peace” – Talitha Kummi Jew and Arab students visit the OT:

        Well, Walid, this is only a small sample (out of thousands!!! check me). Yes, you can also find racist declarations of students, racist attacks of extremists on churches and mosque, racist remarks of football fans etc. but all depends what you choose to show to the readers: The whole view about our educational system and our society or the marginal part of the system which is not official and we, most Israeli, condemn, throw out and, if necessary, put in jail.

        Again, Allah Ma’ak!!

      • Chu
        October 9, 2013, 9:30 am

        Walid,
        I agree with the other components of early racism you mention.

        I think that the military compulsory service maybe the final hardening if the eggshell for them. Before it was only talk about hating Arabs, while in the military the pent-up racism that they have inside of them is finally put into action. They have to prove their meddle by showing who is a strong Israeli by humiliating and demeaning the Palestinian people.

        Can these soldiers time be put to better use than interrogating a Palestinians for hours on end? It indicates the inefficient use of military is in Israel. It’s more of a psychological punishment agency, that reinforces the racist mentality of a broken state. God help them.

      • Walid
        October 9, 2013, 4:42 pm

        Chu, collective paranoia is the glue that keeps Israel together. it has to be nurtured by a never-ending hate for the Palestinians.

  12. Chu
    October 8, 2013, 6:01 pm

    Given that the state of Israel is so small and minuscule they are probably suffering from the condition of cabin fever and/or bunker mentality. They really want to leave their boring posts and lame interrogations, but they are stuck trying to decimate another racial group while expanding their tiny borderline. It must suck to be an Israeli soldier.

  13. Hostage
    October 9, 2013, 6:13 am

    This is a great article. We need more like this.

  14. kayq
    October 9, 2013, 6:24 am

    Allah ya3teeke alf 3afya ya Lena, and inshaAllah your baba will no longer have to bear the pain of exile, nor will you.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    • Walid
      October 9, 2013, 4:56 pm

      Sadly, kayk, the youngest Lena’s baba could be is 65 but if he still has memories of his home that was stolen by the Zionist, he would be much older. Israel has been capitalizing on letting the passing of time erase the ever present cloud of RoR that haunts it but instead of the 700,000 from the days of her baba’s expulsion, now there is a younger crop of several millions of other babas that will never forget their right of return. Israel has a huge problem.

      • kayq
        October 9, 2013, 11:13 pm

        you’re absolutely right, Walid. I want to quote Leila Khaled on this but I’m not sure if she said it or if it was someone else, but I don’t have to worry because I’m sure many of the refugees have said this and probably continue to say this, even those younger babas you mentioned. “If I cannot return, then my children will.” Israel definitely has a huge problem.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 10, 2013, 12:07 am

        they’re multiplying w/massive will kayq. it’s so perfect, magical, radical. i have a theory….i have spoken it but never written about it. but i am usually right about these kinds of things. sprouting like dandelions across american lawns, bright dazzling, luminating. palestinian american youth, in the lead. it’s exciting.

        walid, lena writes above her baba. he is 71.

        Baba, who is 71 years old, began to look like a child. Like the child who was born in Palestine, the child forced out of Palestine, stolen of a childhood, made a refugee, never allowed to return home. “Lena, you went to Haifa? Lena, Lena, tell me about Haifa. Tell me about Haifa, how does it look now?”

      • Walid
        October 10, 2013, 1:34 am

        Thanks Annie, had missed that part about his age. I guess the only reason Lena made to Haifa was because of her American passport and that in itself is amazing since Israel usually makes it hard for Americans of Palestinian descent to enter Israel. But in the eyes and the twisted thinking of Israelis, this American passport somehow disqualifies her from an future claims under RoR. Does it and in the same way that Oriental Jews gave up their rights to any claims against their former countries when they accepted the Israeli citizenship? Israel would like to think so and use these to offset all claims by Palestinians but it does not make it true. The American Congress seems to think that the overall RoR of Palestinians is no longer an issue so when the term “compensation” is being bandied about, I’m sure people in Lena’s situation don’t figure in any of those plans but rather they are limited to the 65 and over refugees that today number in the few tens of thousands stateless ones living in camps. It’s a tough and disappointing one.

      • kayq
        October 10, 2013, 3:01 am

        Magical indeed, Annie! Not only Palestinian American youth, but Palestinian youth everywhere including in our very own Palestine.

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