Leading American writer Abulhawa is denied entry to Palestine

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Susan Abulhawa, the renowned Palestinian American novelist and political commentator, was denied entry to Palestine yesterday at the Allenby Bridge entry from Jordan. Her wrath is on full display:

Imagine being there, as Israeli peons denied this queen of Palestinian story her rightful entry to her homeland: 

Her: Why are you here?
Me: visiting family, friends and opening ceremonies for playgrounds.
Her: where is your family?
Me: Jerusalem
Her: what is the relation?
Me: cousin
Her: (clearly agitated with me) no aunts uncles?
Me: no
Her: where are you staying in Jerusalem?
Me: my cousin
Her: what is his name?
Me: (gave his name)
Her: other cousins.
Me: you want the names of all my cousins?
Her: yes
Me: there’s hundreds of them. It’s a big family. I don’t get what you’re asking.
Her:(slams her hand down on desk) who are you staying with?
Me: My cousin Adel, whose name and number I just gave you, along with every other official who asked.
Her: (now very angry) I am asking the questions.
Me: …
Her: (slams hand again on table) who else lives with your cousin?


So I just screamed at them. Thieves, occupiers I called them. You wish you had the same roots as I do, I screamed. You should be the one to leave, not me. I’m a daughter of this land. Then they took me to my luggage and sent me in the bus. I regret walking and not making them carry me.

And what were her plans in Palestine? To “build two more playgrounds, visit new sites, hang with family and friends.”

This is just a heads up. We’ve got to assume Abulhawa will write about it herself, if not in real time perhaps in a future novel. There’s more on her twitter feed. American citizenship is effectively worthless for Palestinians:

Abulhawa relates that the US Embassy in Amman is not doing anything for her, and she politely suggests that friends apply pressure.

US Embassy in Amman would not even let me in the door. Nor would they even take my name or allow me to lodge a complaint at reception. At a minimum these representatives of the US State Dept should be compiling statistics on the systematic humiliations and denial of entry to US citizens. Israel is the biggest recipient of US handouts in the world. I was told told that another person in front of me “a real American” according to the receptionist, who was denied entry at the Jisr [bridge], and as far as I can tell, they didn’t take his information either. If any of you are inclined, please write/call or tweet to the embassy.

What a disgrace!!!

Recently Abulhawa has been coursing through my bloodstream on a daily basis — because I’m smack dab in the middle of The Blue Between Sky and Water (and yes I will be reviewing it here). Anyone who’s ever come in contact with Susie knows what a passionate person she is, leaving no stone unturned, her lyrical incisiveness swoons and slays. Calculating, breathtaking in her depictions of violence and cruelty, her novels take a reader on a roller coaster of beauty and devastation. Not a person I’d want to piss off, that’s for sure.

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The US State Department and its embassies in Israel, and now Jordan, NEVER do anything to come to the aid of any US citizen that is victimized, terrorized, imprisoned, or denied free passage to their homeland or even to visit. It is a disgrace. They should shutter the embassies since it is clear that they only serve Israel. At the very least, fly the flag of Israel over them and be honest. Take the US… Read more »

“You wish you had the same roots as I do…” Brilliant insight and exactly right. Ethnic jealousy. Yes, the State Department should keep statistics on Americans who are denied entry to Israel and the Israeli-occupied areas. I didn’t realize they aren’t doing it. My Palestinian daughter has been able to get in twice, both times by being evasive, traveling with a group, choosing the entry point (place and time) carefully, and through other strategies. I’m… Read more »

Susan, Susan Susan. In so many ways your continuing story, your life and your words sum up all that is wrong with the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis. You are a threat on so many levels to things as they are in Jerusalem and the West Bank. You carry a chip that has been/is being hammered into you day after day, week after week and year after year as it is hammered into your people… Read more »

Thanks for All, Annie: Dizzyingly Foul. Susan Abulhawa is a giant Thinker, Artist, Historian—-though of course this injustice shouldn’t happen to Anyone. I’m off to write the Embassy and State Dept.

(And, Hi just: By “2 different women named Susan,” did you mean, “Susan Atiyeh”? That’s Susie Abylhawa’s Facebook page. Thanks for all you do,,,)

It seems Nutty Netty is pleased that Americans are drinking zio koolaid: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Americans are turning against President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran after learning its details. “This deal, the more you learn about it, the opposition to it increases,” he said during a conference with diplomatic correspondents in Jerusalem, according to Haaretz. “As people know more about it, they become more opposed to it. “This is also true about… Read more »