In May, Mondoweiss shared with you a report about the Palestinians who travel across multiple checkpoints every day. Most coverage of the checkpoints focuses on the main arteries separating Israel from the West Bank. Yet dotted across the West Bank, smaller internal roadblocks and checkpoints are a much more frequent obstacle for Palestinians — who may have to endure the humiliation and risk of crossing several throughout the course of a day.
Twenty-nine-year-old Mahmoud Ali, for instance, is a salesman who drives 200 kilometers a day. His day begins in Salfit in the north of the West Bank; his company is based in Ramallah, and his clients are in the south around Hebron and Bethlehem. “I drive through more than 15 checkpoints” each day, Ali told Mondoweiss. “That means they take away my freedom 15 times and give it back to me 15 times. My freedom is in their hands, not my hands.”
For me, this article is an example of the important, under-reported aspects of Palestinian life that Mondoweiss brings to you and other readers. We need your support to keep bringing you these kinds of stories — can you make a contribution today?
If you can help us finish raising $60,000 by the end of Thursday, we can unlock $20,000 pledged as a challenge fund. Can you contribute at one of the levels shown here? Hundreds of readers have already donated this month — all we need is a few dozen more.
If you’ve already contributed to the current campaign, we thank you! Your tax-deductible support will enable Mondoweiss to keep sharing the truth, one story at a time.
The Qalandia checkpoint affects only a fraction of the West Bank Palestinian population.These other, less publicized checkpoints are the challenge that confronts on a daily basis most of the 2.5 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank.
It’s simple: if you drive more than 20 minutes from your home, you hit a checkpoint.Sometimes there’s one at the front of your village, with one or two soldiers authorized to bully all who pass through. Sometimes only people who live in that village can come and go, no visitors.
When I lived and reported in the West Bank, I spoke to young mothers who desperately wanted their moms with them when they gave birth — but the checkpoints made it impossible. In Hebron in the Old City, women told me about how they weren’t getting married because their fiancés couldn’t get past the checkpoint to the place where they would sign the marriage license — or even to a place where the wedding could be held.
Mondoweiss reporting gives fuller, more accurate information about life in the West Bank. Mondoweiss reader, I hope you understand how important it is that you continue to support the work we do at Mondoweiss, so we can keep sharing these stories with the world.
In my early years as a reporter I took a bus from the Damascus Gate to interview a family in Sur Baher, a remote neighborhood in East Jerusalem. At the time I had been to most neighborhoods in Jerusalem and thought I understood the contours. I was wrong. I don’t think most outsiders realize how huge East Jerusalem is — I certainly didn’t before this. I was struck by the size of the properties. Sur Baher has a pastoral feeling. I saw houses with space for orchard terraces, in contrast to other Palestinian neighborhoods near the Old City that are more dense and urban. Sur Baher feels airy.
It made me realize: I had never seen any area in East Jerusalem where there were not settlers or soldiers in view. It made me think about how accustomed we are to seeing the Palestinians as a part of Israel’s story, instead of their own. And that’s what we aim to do at Mondoweiss — bring you this crucial context that is missing elsewhere.
Each of these small snapshots of humanity adds up to one great truth about what is happening in Israel and Palestine. Thanks to you, we have an amazing opportunity to make a difference in one of the great issues of our time. I ask you today to invest in Mondoweiss as a community and as a tool for change, because the stories we tell here can and do drive change.
I am privileged to be a part of the team at Mondoweiss, and grateful that your support makes our work possible. Please give today so that journalists in Palestine can inform the world — one story at a time.