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A dozen Palestinian children ‘on big adventure of their lives’ are balked when teacher is stopped from traveling

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The following statement by the Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association, which sisters a neighborhood in London and another near Jerusalem, was passed along to us by a friend and contributor, Tom Suarez. –Ed.

June 24, 2013

A Palestinian head teacher leading 12 children on their way to London for a Camden Abu Dis youth exchange funded by Youth in Action was prevented by Israeli guards from crossing the border between the West Bank and Jordan yesterday, Sunday 23rd June. The group of 16 were travelling to join a UK group of the same size for a drama-based exchange during which they would be five days in Devon followed by  six days in London.
Held as he turned up at the ‘Israeli bridge’ with the children, Mazen Salahuddin had his passport removed and was not allowed to travel in any direction until the end of the day. Then he was returned his passport but not allowed to cross the border, with no reason given. The accompanying adults and the children (boys and girls, aged between 13 and 15) waited until they feared to miss their flight to London, then rushed to Amman airport  but missed the flight by minutes.
“It’s hard to describe the level of our disappointment,” said Nandita Dowson, Director of CADFA in London. “We had a wonderful few days planned for them in Devon.  This will now not be possible. We can’t find a way to get the group here till next Sunday, so we are going to have to miss out the days in the countryside and by the sea.
“The London children are so disappointed not to go, so imagine the feelings of the children from Palestine, for whom this is the big adventure of their lives.  But we will do our best to get them all here for an excellent few days in London.”
The Camden charity were planning an education conference at Acland Burghley School next Saturday, 29th June to help forward the twinning links between schools in Camden and Abu Dis that have been developing over the past few years. Mazen Salahuddin’s school, Abu Dis Boys’ School, has had a twinning link with Hampstead School  in Cricklewood since 2007 and the plan was that he would be one of the speakers.  Another planned speaker was the other leader of Sairat Sandouqa, Head of the UNRWA School Abu Dis, who is now waiting with the other children in Amman.
The education conference has now had to be cancelled along with many of the initial activities of the youth exchange. However the plan is still to bring the children and some of the public activities will be rearranged – see
“We are shocked and appalled” said Nandita Dowson.  “Mr Salahuddin has the right to travel from his country and to return to it safely. And he was the leader of a group of young children.  No reason has been given. We will be writing to the Israeli Embassy and taking this up with our representatives to try to ensure that the can travel to the airport, meet up with the group and visit London with them so that this amazing project can go ahead.”
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Tom Suarez

Tom Suarez is the author, most recently, of State of Terror, how terrorism created modern Israel.

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15 Responses

  1. amigo on June 25, 2013, 10:52 am

    Israel making friends and influencing people.


    Keep up the good work oh Israel.You will self destruct yet.I just want to be around to see the fireworks.

    • Jan on June 25, 2013, 2:15 pm

      “Keep up the good work oh Israel.You will self destruct yet.I just want to be around to see the fireworks.”

      The sooner the better although I hope that there won’t be fireworks. I want them to go out with a whimper not a bang.

      • amigo on June 26, 2013, 6:41 am

        “The sooner the better although I hope that there won’t be fireworks. I want them to go out with a whimper not a bang.”Jan

        I meant the celebratory fireworks going off all over the civilized world.

  2. Woody Tanaka on June 25, 2013, 10:52 am

    I’m not surprised. The israeli people take glee in smashing the joy from Palestinian children’s lives, in ways large and small. Wretches examples of “humanity.”

  3. seafoid on June 25, 2013, 11:06 am

    The usual bot behaviour. We have complete control over you and we will make sure you have zero joy in your miserable life.

  4. annie on June 25, 2013, 11:46 am

    israel simply will not allow palestinians, children or adults, to be part of the globalcommunityif they can help it! this is no different than the video about the girl’s soccer team (sorry to lazy to link).no cross cultural stuff, always in a jail. this is disgusting.

    • seafoid on June 25, 2013, 12:18 pm

      They seem to breed the meanness as standard. It’s disgusting.

      Reminds me of what they did to Maysoon Zayid.

  5. Kate on June 25, 2013, 11:57 am

    Again this action looks like one of pure spite from seriously disturbed people.

  6. justicewillprevail on June 25, 2013, 12:03 pm

    It takes a particularly sour, low-life small-minded despot to deliberately deny children some pleasure and excitement in their lives. Only a sadistic bureaucracy like Israel can achieve such heights of vindictive cruelty, and this is no exception, merely routine. This is a ‘border’ where Israel has no right to be, or right to control anybody who crosses it. No doubt some whining bot will tell us what an existential threat a children’s visit to the UK represented to them. The day after Mohammed Assaf proved to the world the potential of Palestinian youth. It would be more than likely that the professional sadists at Israeli border control saw a chance to take out their spite on some innocent children. Such is their demented mindset, determined to punish every Palestinian who comes their way. Who are the cretinous zombies here?

    • ritzl on June 25, 2013, 2:45 pm

      What you said, jwp, and I would add meticulous in its sadism.

  7. mikeo on June 25, 2013, 12:08 pm

    I know Nandita, she is extremely dedicated to this cause, she’ll be gutted and really upset by this. This will have cost them a lot of money which will have taken a lot of hard work for her small organisation to raise. So frustrating for her and the children.

    Petty, vindictive and inhuman.

    Zionism in action.

  8. Hester on June 25, 2013, 12:48 pm

    This is truly sickening. Petty displays of power.

  9. American on June 25, 2013, 2:00 pm

    We’ve seen this in relation to Palestine children hundreds of times.
    A ‘Zionist State’ has no more right to ‘exist’ than a cancerous tumor popping up in your body has a right to ‘exist’ there.

  10. DissedStance on June 25, 2013, 4:34 pm

    Absolutely heartbreaking. Sociopathy as a systemic disorder…. That’s the tragedy:
    there is no conscience whatsoever involved in these acts.
    Zionism’s dead soul, indeed; I weep for these children.

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