Banned from Jerusalem (for trying to pay respects to my grandmother)

Activism
on 47 Comments

“You have to sign this paper agreeing that you are not allowed to come to the old city of Jerusalem for 15 days. Do you understand?,” said the Israeli police officer.

“Yes, I understand,” I replied.

The offense I had committed was trying to enter the Western Wall area in possession of materials supporting Palestinian rights.

A day before I had been in Tel Aviv for a protest of Trump and Netanyahu at the US embassy. Folded in half and tied with a string were the posters from the protest. They included a Youth Against Settlements Stop Friedman and Open Shuhada Street sign, a poster reading, From Tel Aviv, we say No Wall No Ban in Either Land, and a sign in Hebrew from Coalition of Women for Peace. Inside my suitcase was a folded-up CODEPINK Bibi-Trump Bad Romance banner, a Gaza Habibti t-shirt from Coalition of Women for Peace, a Palestinian flag, and flyers for Youth Against Settlement’s annual Open Shuhada Street campaign. At the entrance to the Western Wall is a basic x-ray belt for your bags and metal detector to walk through. The protest in Tel Aviv had been entirely legal and I had nothing to hide. As my bag and signs were cumbersome I asked if I could store them there while I went and paid respected to my grandmother who died in June and then come back for them.

Within moments I was escorted past the wall to the small police area. They took the posters, my bag, my phone, and even the CODEPINK Women for Peace pin attached to my purse. After about 40 minutes I was taken to the main police station at Jaffa gate.

I was given the right to speak to an attorney before being interrogated. I was told that I was being held under suspicion of intent to create a disturbance. The attorney advised me to cooperate for the investigation as I truly had no intentions to create a disturbance, had not hidden anything, and was simply there to pay respects to my grandmother. It bears saying that the previous year I unveiled a banner at the Western Wall in support of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions). However, I was not arrested or detained for that in any way and at no time during my interrogation did they ask me about that action.

After my name and other details, the Israeli officer began to go through each item I had with me. “Why do you want to Open Shuhada Street?,” she screamed at me. “Why do you want to Free Gaza?” “Why do you say no wall, no ban?” “Why do you have a Palestinian flag?” she screamed. She yelled at me that who my President appoints as ambassador to Israel is not my business. I had been trying to not talk politics with her, as the lawyer advised (I’d called an Israeli lawyer I had the contact for), but at this point I told her that actually as a US citizen, US government appointments are my business as they must be confirmed by Senators. I told her over and over that the protest in Tel Aviv had been totally legal, that I had not tried to hide my signs, and that I simply wanted to pay my respects to my grandmother. I told her that I still wanted the opportunity to pay respects to my grandmother.

After about six hours, they decided that they would not arrest me but that I would be given a ban from entering the old city, and Western Wall, for the remainder of my time in Palestine and Israel. They seemed to take pleasure in the fact that this meant I would not be able to say a prayer for my grandmother.

My grandmother passed away in June 2016 at the age of 96. Although she and I disagreed strongly on Zionism, I loved her with all my heart and wanted to pay tribute to her memory. Perhaps I will be able to do so when there is freedom, equality, and justice in Palestine/Israel.

About Ariel Gold

Ariel Gold is a staff member of CODEPINK. After co-leading CODEPINK’s 2015 delegation to Palestine, she spent three weeks staying in Hebron with Youth Against Settlements in Hebron.

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47 Responses

  1. oldgeezer
    February 18, 2017, 12:47 pm

    What level of sadistic pleasure did these minor functionaries gain for themselves. You were punished for a thought crime. For your beliefs.

    The security of the state and citizens were not at stake.

    So very sad. So very sick.

  2. Atlantaiconoclast
    February 18, 2017, 9:23 pm

    Where are all the so called progressives in that picture of the lone protestor, God bless her?

    • Mooser
      February 19, 2017, 12:38 pm

      “Where are all the so called progressives in that picture of the lone protestor, God bless her?”

      Probably home, very resentful they weren’t invited.

      • Atlantaiconoclast
        February 19, 2017, 10:12 pm

        I’m so sure. There are so many of them protesting Israel’s actual wall, its truly racist immigration policy. NOT!

  3. echinococcus
    February 18, 2017, 10:29 pm

    What is an American doing in the International zone of Jerusalem? Invited by Palestinians? No. Paying respects to some Zionist invader.

    What is a celebration in occupied Palestine of the imperialist warmongers’ US color revolution, if not US-internal, Zionist-internal nonsense? Does it justify the serious violation of Palestinian sovereignty that is every tourist entry to Palestine? Is that how you support a worldwide boycott –by increasing Zio-tourism?

    • oldgeezer
      February 19, 2017, 12:10 am

      How to win friends and influence people. I used to see you as a don quixote character but quite frankly I think you are merely the opposite side of a zionist coin.

      You will take that whatever way you wish but I could never support you ech. Never will.

      Not sure why i am posting this other than i finally feel the need to totally disassociate myself from your views.

      • echinococcus
        February 19, 2017, 3:55 pm

        Old Geezer,

        You’re absolutely right. I have no idea about winning friends and influencing people. On the other hand, it is factually right that each entry into Palestine (all of it) is in theory illegal as occurring against the express will of the owners of the country.

        It is also a fact that the intestine US fight for starting WWIII is being supported by all Democrats, whose uniform this person is wearing, and that it is spilling over to the Zionist occupier population in Palestine.

        It’s only natural for people who are more considerate of people in general to avoid being associated with the likes of me. No problem with that.

      • jd65
        February 19, 2017, 4:30 pm

        I’m not quite sure what to make of echinococcus’s post either, geezer (Butler?!). If memory serves me, I’ve had a couple exchanges w/ him/her here and, again, if memeory serves me correctly, we had some similar views on Palestine. But this post feels pretty shallowly mean-spirited. That is, if my interpretation of the gobbledygook that is the post is close to its intended meaning.

        Then again, maybe he/she knows something we don’t about this Ariel Gold? I dunno…

      • Boris
        February 19, 2017, 5:46 pm

        At least s/he, unlike you, is honest.

      • oldgeezer
        February 20, 2017, 1:02 am

        @ech

        At your first paragraph i could have had then we need to agree to disagree

        At your second paragraph i cued the music for the twolight zone.

        Good luck. My money is on don quixote to win.

      • oldgeezer
        February 20, 2017, 1:03 am

        @boris

        Remind me why I give a remote f%€’@ why a racist supremacist like you thinks.

      • oldgeezer
        February 20, 2017, 9:07 am

        @jd65

        Lol no…. not Butler. As it happens there is a butler branch of the family tree.

      • echinococcus
        February 20, 2017, 9:59 am

        Old Geezer,

        Of course. We have a basic incompatibility (quoting you “I wish the the state of Israel well”); more specifically, you are ready to consider all accounts closed once and if there is equality, democracy and those nice things.

      • oldgeezer
        February 20, 2017, 2:29 pm

        @ech

        Well you didn’t actually quote me. You only took part of a sentence. And you omitted the context of my overall comment.

        But yeah very fundamental difference in our views. That’s life.

      • oldgeezer
        February 20, 2017, 2:31 pm

        Minor correction with substantive outcome. My money is not on don quixote to win.

      • echinococcus
        February 20, 2017, 2:56 pm

        JD,

        It looks as if MW won’t allow any reasoned (if not thoughtful) answer to your post. Pity, it looked worth discussing to me. All I can offer without offending the owners of the site is greetings.

      • echinococcus
        February 20, 2017, 2:58 pm

        Old Geezer,

        The Don never wins –by Cervantes’ very definition.

      • jd65
        February 20, 2017, 4:50 pm

        @ echinococcus – Well that’s possibly intriguing. If you’ve saved your post/comment, feel free to post it at my website/blog somewhere. I know it can be frustrating having to rewrite a post if you’ve spent time on it and then lose it somehow, but…

        I’ve never had to disallow a post or comment to my site/blog yet. But maybe that’s because nobody has ever visited there :) And don’t worry about offending me. I’m a big boy. But more importantly, my blog is me, and only me. Whatever you write would have to be a crazy, over-the-top, totally & undebatably offensive, wildly & incitefully offensive, intentionally hate-filled freak show for me to take it off my blog. My guess is you didn’t write anything like that. But I guess you never know.

        The address is in my profile here here @ MW…

      • jd65
        February 23, 2017, 12:23 pm

        Oh well. I was kinda looking forward to checking it out…

    • Misterioso
      February 20, 2017, 11:25 am

      ???

  4. Talkback
    February 19, 2017, 3:27 am

    IDF Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad: “We don’t do Gandhi very well.”

    • Maghlawatan
      February 19, 2017, 12:33 pm

      Israel.had a soldier/politician called Gandhi. He was a Settler and killed by Palestinians. The Israeli Gandhi was a bastard. Rehavam Ze’evi is prolly rotting in hell with Sharon and Begin.

  5. Boris
    February 19, 2017, 5:47 pm

    If she has a poster “No Wall”, why does she wants to go to a wall?

    • eljay
      February 19, 2017, 6:30 pm

      || Boris: If she has a poster “No Wall”, why does she wants to go to a wall? ||

      Since Israel says it’s a “moral beacon”, why does it insist on behaving so immorally?

    • amigo
      February 20, 2017, 12:49 pm

      “Sometimes I feel an urge to defend Israel against baseless attacks so common on liberal sites like mondoweiss. However, I am not against listening to the other side, however stupid their arguments are. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/boris/#sthash.R67EN9Jr.dpuf” Boris

      I took a cursory glance at your archives and found no evidence of you listening to anyone who disagrees with you. I did however find ample evidence of your treating stupidity as a virtue . Is it intentional.

      Btw , I agree with Oldgeezer , who gives a rats posterior , what a zionist apologist for war crimes, land theft , extra judicial killings , collective punishment , spraying of skunk juice on civilian homes, buses for Jews only , housing for Jews only , parking spaces for Jews only , Jews only roads , total disregard for the crimes of illegal squatters , destruction of Hospitals
      UN safe places, etc etc etc etc etc etc.

      Give it a rest Boris , and go elsewhere if you do not like this liberal site.You will not be missed .

  6. aloeste
    February 19, 2017, 6:24 pm

    No reason for israel to admit enemies. Let us pray that your last ever visit to the area has occured…

    • oldgeezer
      February 19, 2017, 8:21 pm

      @aloeste

      Great argument for making Jerusalem an international city as was originally intended. No way should a rogue state be in control of it.

    • echinococcus
      February 20, 2017, 1:22 am

      You’re way too Oriental, Al oeste.

      First you say that Zionism is the national thing of all Jews, that “Israel” is the country of all Jews and that it’s democratic among all Jews, then you arrogate yourself the judgeship and declare a commitedly Jewish person an enemy of “Israel”?

      Smells of deep psychopathology.

    • eljay
      February 20, 2017, 7:19 am

      || aloeste: No reason for israel to admit enemies. … ||

      And yet Israel did admit this “enemy”. Go figure.

      Anyway, Jerusalem is a Free City under military occupation and colonization by the rogue “Jewish State” of Israel. Jerusalem does not belong to Israel. It should not be Israel’s business who can and cannot enter Jerusalem.

    • diasp0ra
      February 21, 2017, 7:43 am

      @aloeste

      Your “enemies” seem to be increasing by the day, Aloeste. Even Jewish American fundraisers are treated with contempt for their nerve to support 2 states.

      It’s okay, the South Africans also had a similar position before their whole regime toppled on their heads.

  7. Mahmoud El-Yousseph
    February 20, 2017, 9:07 am

    @ Boris, no country around the world recognizes Israel sovereignty over Jerusalem. Not even the USA, Canada or any of the European nations. In other word, Israel should never have jurisdiction over Jerusalem. If a young Jewish American is treated that way, imagine what is like for a Palestinians who hold duel-nationality. Israel is acting as the bully of the Middle East.

  8. Vera Gottlieb
    February 20, 2017, 11:38 am

    I have said it more than once: I am ashamed of my Jewish background and want absolutely NOTHING to do with this lot. And when the day comes that justice is finally served, don’t come whining to the world.

    • Mooser
      February 20, 2017, 2:07 pm

      “And when the day comes that justice is finally served, don’t come whining to the world”

      No, first they will come whining to us.

    • Maghlawatan
      February 20, 2017, 3:29 pm

      Great sentiment, Vera.
      Israel moves ever further rightward . The country is very unwell.
      Reminds me of Basil Fawlty in the “Germans” episode after he is released from hospital

      Starts about 21.30

  9. catalan
    February 20, 2017, 12:31 pm

    “And when the day comes that justice is finally served, don’t come whining to the world. – ”
    I do agree that whining never works. As Will Durant says, the clever and the strong will always dominate the simple and the weak. The world is full with happy sociopathic billionaires and sweet homeless guys. If the day comes that the Arab strength – military, economic – can inflict the necessary damage to Israel, then Israel will seize to exist and no amount of whining will help. That said, the destructive power of Israel is enormous and the Palestinians are effectively hostages – any harm on Israel will be multiplied tenfold on them.

    • amigo
      February 20, 2017, 1:00 pm

      “then Israel will seize to exist ” catalan

      It already “exists to seize” and that will ensure it will cease to exist .

      • Mooser
        February 20, 2017, 2:41 pm

        “then Israel will seize to exist ” catalan

        Oh no, “catalan” is quoting Charles Manson lyrics at us.

      • jd65
        February 21, 2017, 12:22 am

        “then Israel will seize to exist ” catalan

        It already “exists to seize” and that will ensure it will cease to exist .

        And the congressional medal of badassery goes to… amigo! That post is sweet :)

      • amigo
        February 21, 2017, 2:26 pm

        “And the congressional medal of badassery goes to… amigo! “jd65

        Thanks jd65 but it was a team effort.

    • Mooser
      February 20, 2017, 2:12 pm

      “. That said, the destructive power of Israel is enormous and the Palestinians are effectively hostages”

      ROTFLMSJAO!!! “catalan” you friggin idiot, it is us, you and me, the Jews of the world who are the hostages for Israel. And especially to IOsrael’s illegal nuclear weapons. Or are you such a “clever and the strong” Jew, who can “always dominate the simple and the weak” and avoid any consequences? Please, tell us, so we know.

      And Israel doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, so I doubt Israel worries too much about us.

  10. Maghlawatan
    February 20, 2017, 3:07 pm

    Zionism is an ideology. It’s psychological rather than real. So when someone with an alternative Weltanschauung rolls up, Zionism must shut that person down. This is why Zionism is doomed. Reality doesn’t work like that.

  11. catalan
    February 20, 2017, 4:47 pm

    Or are you such a “clever and the strong” Jew, who can “always dominate the simple and the weak”.
    Mooser,
    I am not that clever and I am most certainly not strong. I mean, I am a chicken if there ever was one. The phrase I quoted is general…However, I am more worried about dying during my daily commute or from cancer than I am from anti-Semitic incidents. Not because of our strength or numbers but because there are so many more important hatreds here. There can be a general outbreak of violence but then Jews and Christians and Hindus and all the others are screwed.

    • Mooser
      February 20, 2017, 7:31 pm

      “However, I am more worried about dying during my daily commute or from cancer than I am from anti-Semitic incidents. Not because of our strength or numbers but because there are so many more important hatreds here”

      Oh, that makes lots of sense “catalan”! So the smartest thing for us Jews to do is stoke those “more important hatreds” to keep the heat off of us!

      • catalan
        February 21, 2017, 2:11 pm

        So the smartest thing for us Jews to do is stoke those “more important hatreds” to keep the heat off of us! – mooser
        I think that it is beneficial for minority groups to have heterogeneity and balancing tensions in the society. Jews fared well in the empires – Ottoman, Austria Hungary, Prussia, Russia, the United States. We don’t have to stoke anything, these tensions exist.
        Also, if there is any danger to Jews it is probably from nationalists. These people are not fans of Palestinians or Arabs. It something bad happened to Jews it will have nothing to do with the Middle East, just like it has been for millennia.
        But I hear so much optimism about the inevitable one state solution why even worry. Everyone here says that the conflict is over, Israel lost. I figure I will just enjoy the upcoming period of global peace and prosperity.

      • eljay
        February 21, 2017, 3:21 pm

        || catalan: … But I hear so much optimism about the inevitable one state solution why even worry. Everyone here says that the conflict is over, Israel lost. I figure I will just enjoy the upcoming period of global peace and prosperity. ||

        Bringing justice, accountability and equality (JAE) to I-P isn’t about magically generating “global peace and prosperity” – it’s about upholding and defending international laws and human rights and the protections they are meant to afford to all people.

        Unfortunately this conflicts with the Zionist belief that “Murderers exist, so it’s OK to rape.”

  12. rosross
    February 20, 2017, 6:29 pm

    Fanatics live in deep fear because human is so stupid they believe the lies they tell themselves, completely.

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