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Anna Baltzer is a fellow Californian and a dedicated activist who spends her time trying to awaken others to what is happening to the Palestinians who are trapped inside Gaza and walled in like prisoners. Buy cheap aceon online   

Here is a piece on her own experience as a Jewish American being detained for three hours, buy cheap aceon online strip seached, buy cheap aceon online and humiliated at what was at the time one of Israel's new Orwellian "terminals".   

One can only imagine how the Palestinians are treated, buy cheap aceon online and yet we know.   

A powerful, buy cheap aceon online important read. Buy cheap aceon online http://www.jewcy.com/files/images/wall1.img_assist_custom.jpg Held Inside Israel's New Terminals
by Anna Baltzer


When I first the West Bank in 2003, buy cheap aceon online checkpoints were controlled by young Israeli soldiers, buy cheap aceon online nervously clutching their weapons and yelling at Palestinians to stay in line. Buy cheap aceon online

When I returned in 2005, buy cheap aceon online I found many checkpoints replaced by metal turnstiles into which Palestinians were herded to wait for soldiers to push a button, buy cheap aceon online letting them through one by one or sometimes not at all. Buy cheap aceon online

Each year I return, buy cheap aceon online the method of control over Palestinian movement is further institutionalized, buy cheap aceon online most recently Israeli terminal-style buildings, buy cheap aceon online entirely separating soldiers from the Palestinians whose movement they are controlling. Buy cheap aceon online

I first encountered one of these terminals after visiting a women's cooperative in Tulkarem to purchase embroidery to send home. Buy cheap aceon online

Because there are no reliable postal services in the West Bank, buy cheap aceon online and because I did not want to risk the products being damaged or confiscated by Israeli airport security if I transported them in my luggage, buy cheap aceon online I knew I would have to send them to the US from a post office in Israel. Buy cheap aceon online

I had traveled from Tulkarem to Tel Aviv once in the past by taking a shared
taxi to the nearby Einab junction, buy cheap aceon online where I had walked from the Palestinian road to the Israeli one and caught transport into Israel. Buy cheap aceon online

This second time, buy cheap aceon online I was traveling with my backpack and six plastic bags full of embroidery, buy cheap aceon online and I assumed the trip would be as straightforward as it had been in the past. Buy cheap aceon online

When I arrived at Einab junction, buy cheap aceon online I found a large new building, buy cheap aceon online fortified by several layers of metal fences, buy cheap aceon online walls, buy cheap aceon online and gates. Buy cheap aceon online

The first layer reminded me of rural parts of the Wall—wire fence reinforced with electric sensory wire and razor wire with a heavy iron gate. Buy cheap aceon online

The gate was open but nobody was on the other side. Buy cheap aceon online

I walked through and came to two large iron turnstiles surrounded by a wall of iron bars. Buy cheap aceon online The turnstiles were locked.

Frustrated, buy cheap aceon online I put down my six bags to rest for a moment. Buy cheap aceon online

Maybe someone would come back? I waited, buy cheap aceon online but still there was nobody. Buy cheap aceon online

I called out. Buy cheap aceon online "Hello? Anybody there?"

"Please wait a moment, buy cheap aceon online" a staticky voice above me blared. Buy cheap aceon online I looked up to find a speaker attached to the turnstile. Buy cheap aceon online

I didn't have much choice but to wait. Buy cheap aceon online

Whoever was operating the turnstiles didn't seem to be in much of a hurry, buy cheap aceon online so I took out my camera.

"Excuse me!" the voice snapped.

"Yes, buy cheap aceon online" I answered as I took my first photo. Buy cheap aceon online

"Please put your camera away immediately!"

"Please let me in immediately, buy cheap aceon online" I answered. Buy cheap aceon online

"I said to wait, buy cheap aceon online" said the voice, buy cheap aceon online and I answered, buy cheap aceon online "And I am waiting."

The light above the turnstile turned from red to green and I put away my camera and picked up my bags to walk through. Buy cheap aceon online

It was difficult squeezing into the tight rotating cage with all my bags, buy cheap aceon online and by the time I'd made it to the other side, buy cheap aceon online I was hot and cranky.

In front of me was a metal detector surrounded by iron bars. Buy cheap aceon online I began to walk through but the voice called out from another speaker above: "Stop!"

I continued through the metal detector and groaned, buy cheap aceon online "What?!" into the air, buy cheap aceon online wondering where he was watching me from.

"Go back and put down your bags."

I went back through the metal detector and set down my six bags, buy cheap aceon online which were feeling heavier by the minute. Buy cheap aceon online I took the opportunity to take another picture. Buy cheap aceon online

The soldier didn't bother protesting this time, buy cheap aceon online but ordered me to walk through the metal detector again. Buy cheap aceon online

I tried to pick up my bags again but he ordered, buy cheap aceon online "No, buy cheap aceon online without your bags." I walked through. Buy cheap aceon online Nothing happened. Buy cheap aceon online

"Now, buy cheap aceon online go back."

I closed my eyes with a sigh, buy cheap aceon online walked back, buy cheap aceon online picked up my six bags, buy cheap aceon online and walked through again before he could give me the order to do so. Buy cheap aceon online

Somehow this seemed so much worse than the turnstiles and metal detectors I had seen at Huwwara checkpoint. Buy cheap aceon online

At least there you could see the people humiliating you. Buy cheap aceon online Or maybe it was more upsetting because I wasn't used to being the one humiliated.

Beyond the metal detector was another set of turnstiles, buy cheap aceon online locked again. Buy cheap aceon online

I took a deep breath and stared at the red light, buy cheap aceon online hoping to see it turn green rather than let the guard hear my voice crack if I spoke.

Thankfully, buy cheap aceon online the turnstile buzzed and I squeezed through to reach the building itself. Buy cheap aceon online That was the end of the pre-screening. Buy cheap aceon online Now it was time for the real screening.

The inside of the building reminded me of an airport terminal—high ceilings and multiple floors, buy cheap aceon online and multilingual signs for travelers. Buy cheap aceon online

The ones here read, buy cheap aceon online "Prepare documents for inspection" in Hebrew, buy cheap aceon online Arabic, buy cheap aceon online and English. Buy cheap aceon online The signs didn't clarify where one was supposed to go, buy cheap aceon online however. Buy cheap aceon online

There were a series of five doors with red lights on top, buy cheap aceon online and I called out, buy cheap aceon online "OK, buy cheap aceon online my documents are ready... Buy cheap aceon online Now what?" I had yet to see a human face.

This time nobody answered, buy cheap aceon online so I asked again. Buy cheap aceon online Again, buy cheap aceon online nothing. Buy cheap aceon online I set my bags down, buy cheap aceon online annoyed. Buy cheap aceon online My back was hurting, buy cheap aceon online I was sweating, buy cheap aceon online and I didn't know where I was or what was going to happen to me. Buy cheap aceon online I yelled, buy cheap aceon online "Is anybody there?! Hellooooooo!"

Eventually a second staticky voice came through from a speaker on the wall. Buy cheap aceon online "Please proceed to the door."

"Which door?"

"The one on the left."

"Left of what? Where are you?"

"I can see you, buy cheap aceon online" the voice said. Buy cheap aceon online "Walk backwards and go left."

I saw a door behind me on the left and carried my bags over to it. Buy cheap aceon online Above the door was a red light, buy cheap aceon online which I stared at. Buy cheap aceon online Nothing happened. Buy cheap aceon online I was ready to cry. Buy cheap aceon online "Now what?" I yelled. Buy cheap aceon online Silence. Buy cheap aceon online I yelled again, buy cheap aceon online even louder.

"What am I supposed to do?!"

"Calm down!" yelled a cheerful soldier walking by on an upper level above me. Buy cheap aceon online He was finishing a conversation on his walkie-talkie, buy cheap aceon online and put up his hand for me to wait. Buy cheap aceon online I glared at him. Buy cheap aceon online "Go there, buy cheap aceon online" he pointed to another door near the one I was standing at, buy cheap aceon online and began to walk away.

"No, buy cheap aceon online please!" I blurted out, buy cheap aceon online forgetting my policy of not pleading with soldiers. Buy cheap aceon online "You're the first human face I've seen and I'm starting to lose it."

He motioned towards the door and promised that if I stood there, buy cheap aceon online the light would eventually turn green. Buy cheap aceon online

I picked up my bags, buy cheap aceon online approached the door, buy cheap aceon online set them down, buy cheap aceon online and waited. Buy cheap aceon online Eventually, buy cheap aceon online the light turned green, buy cheap aceon online this time accompanied by a little buzz that unlatched the full iron door. Buy cheap aceon online

I expected to find a soldier on the other side, buy cheap aceon online but as the heavy door slammed behind me I found myself in a tiny room with white
walls, buy cheap aceon online no windows, buy cheap aceon online and a second iron door. Buy cheap aceon online That door eventually buzzed as well, buy cheap aceon online and I struggled to open it as I held my bags, buy cheap aceon online settling to kick one in front of me instead. Buy cheap aceon online

The next room had three walls and a double-paned window with a soldier on the other side. Buy cheap aceon online

The soldier asked for my ID and I slipped it under the glass. Buy cheap aceon online He tried to make small talk and asked me what part of the United States I was from. Buy cheap aceon online I told him flatly, buy cheap aceon online "For the first time in my life, buy cheap aceon online I want to blow something up."

He must not have heard me because he let me through to the next tiny windowless room. Buy cheap aceon online

The next buzzing heavy door led out into the other open-spaced side of the terminal, buy cheap aceon online where I picked up the pace, buy cheap aceon online hoping to get out finally, buy cheap aceon online an hour after I'd arrived. Buy cheap aceon online No such luck.

One more soldier behind a window beckoned for my passport again. Buy cheap aceon online "Where's your visa?" he asked, buy cheap aceon online not finding the stamped slip of paper issued by Israel when the passport itself is not stamped.

 I answered truthfully, buy cheap aceon online "They told me at the airport that there were none left and that it would be OK." As the words came out, buy cheap aceon online I realized how absurd this sounded, buy cheap aceon online and I kicked myself for falling for it when I'd flown in the week before. Buy cheap aceon online

How could the airport run out of visa sheets? Wasn't it more likely that they were deliberately trying to inhibit my travel in the Occupied Territories?

It was hard to blame the soldier, buy cheap aceon online since, buy cheap aceon online for all he knew, buy cheap aceon online I'd snuck in over the hills of Jordan. Buy cheap aceon online "Whatever, buy cheap aceon online" I sighed. Buy cheap aceon online "Call airport security—I promise I'm in the system."

I knew it would be a while, buy cheap aceon online so I sat down again. Buy cheap aceon online

I thought I was past the point of anger until I noticed a line of 25 or so Palestinians waiting outside to come in from the other direction, buy cheap aceon online heading back to Tulkarem. Buy cheap aceon online Had they been waiting there all this time? Why weren't they being processed?

I asked the guard holding my passport and he said he'd tend to them after I left.

It was one thing to feel frustrated and humiliated, buy cheap aceon online but another to know that my ordeal had held up dozens of Palestinians from getting back to their homes and families. Buy cheap aceon online "Wait, buy cheap aceon online" I said. Buy cheap aceon online "Are you telling me that in your fancy new facility you can't process people coming in two directions?

Don't let the problem with me delay these people any longer."

He told me not to worry, buy cheap aceon online that the Palestinians were used to waiting. Buy cheap aceon online

This made me even more upset. Buy cheap aceon online I insisted that I would rather wait longer myself, buy cheap aceon online and eventually he beckoned the group forward. Buy cheap aceon online

I marveled as they waited patiently and yet somehow not submissively, buy cheap aceon online beacons of dignity next to my defeated and angry presence. Buy cheap aceon online I took out my camera and took a few photos. Buy cheap aceon online

Within seconds, buy cheap aceon online a guard appeared next to me—in person, buy cheap aceon online nothing but air between us!—and said sternly, buy cheap aceon online "Come with me."

I followed the guard back towards the section of the terminal from which I had just come. Buy cheap aceon online We passed through the windowless rooms and into a new room with crates on the floor. Buy cheap aceon online From there, buy cheap aceon online the guard opened another, buy cheap aceon online even heavier iron door, buy cheap aceon online and motioned for me to pass ahead of him. Buy cheap aceon online

Expecting the guard to follow me in, buy cheap aceon online I turned and instead found him placing my bags into the crates. Buy cheap aceon online

Realizing that soldiers were going to go through my bags, buy cheap aceon online I demanded to be present during the search to ensure that nothing would be damaged or stolen. Buy cheap aceon online "That's not possible, buy cheap aceon online" the guard said flatly, buy cheap aceon online and the door slammed shut between me and my belongings. Buy cheap aceon online

I kicked the door with frustration, buy cheap aceon online realizing that all my contact information for Palestinian organizers and friends was still on my computer. Buy cheap aceon online I realized that I still had my phone in my pocket and quickly called my friend Kobi, buy cheap aceon online an Israeli activist. Buy cheap aceon online I told him where I was and asked if he might make some calls on my behalf. Buy cheap aceon online He said he'd do what he could and we hung up. Buy cheap aceon online

I looked around the room. Buy cheap aceon online It was empty except for a chair and an empty crate on the floor. Buy cheap aceon online

There were no other doors, buy cheap aceon online but there was a two-paned window with a soldier watching me from the other side of it. Buy cheap aceon online "What are you looking at?"

I snapped at the soldier, buy cheap aceon online and he walked out of view. Buy cheap aceon online

Another soldier appeared, buy cheap aceon online a young woman. Buy cheap aceon online She spoke into an intercom so that I could hear her through the window. Buy cheap aceon online "Please take off your clothes and put them in the container on the floor."

It took a moment for the words to sink in. Buy cheap aceon online

Once they had, buy cheap aceon online I looked the soldier straight in the eyes, buy cheap aceon online and I began to undress. Buy cheap aceon online I removed each piece of clothing slowly, buy cheap aceon online not once taking my eyes off hers. Buy cheap aceon online

I watched her with a look of hurt. Buy cheap aceon online I wanted her to see that she was not just searching me—she was humiliating me. Buy cheap aceon online

Several times she looked away. Buy cheap aceon online When I was down to my underwear, buy cheap aceon online the soldier stopped me; she said that was enough. Buy cheap aceon online

A part of me wished that she hadn't. Buy cheap aceon online Perhaps if I were completely naked, buy cheap aceon online she would more likely recognize the extent of my humiliation and her role in it.

The iron door behind me buzzed and the soldier told me to place the crate containing my clothes and phone into the room where I had last seen the guard. Buy cheap aceon online

My other belongings were long since gone, buy cheap aceon online and I could hear soldiers in the next room going through them. Buy cheap aceon online

When I got back to the room, buy cheap aceon online the soldier in the window was gone. Buy cheap aceon online I sat down on the chair and waited. Buy cheap aceon online

The soldiers next door were chatting and laughing. Buy cheap aceon online I imagined them examining my personal photographs and letters. Buy cheap aceon online

I was too upset to sit still. Buy cheap aceon online I stood up and started pacing back and forth in the small room. Buy cheap aceon online I had to do something—anything—to express my emotions. Buy cheap aceon online If I could hear them, buy cheap aceon online then they could hear me. Buy cheap aceon online I began to sing.

I sang an old song that I'd learned at summer camp as a child. Buy cheap aceon online Its words were meaningless, buy cheap aceon online but I sang it at the top of my lungs. Buy cheap aceon online Within seconds, buy cheap aceon online the female soldier was at the window, buy cheap aceon online looking alarmed. Buy cheap aceon online I waved. Buy cheap aceon online I sang that stupid song until my voice hurt. Buy cheap aceon online It felt good to sing—I felt empowered. Buy cheap aceon online It was easier to act like a crazy person than a prisoner. Buy cheap aceon online

If I was unpredictable, buy cheap aceon online then they had lost the power to control me. Buy cheap aceon online

Half an hour passed. Buy cheap aceon online Or was it an hour?

My energy had worn off and I sat down miserably on the chair. Buy cheap aceon online I was tired. Buy cheap aceon online

The soldiers were gone from the next room now. Buy cheap aceon online What was taking them so long? It was cold in the room, buy cheap aceon online and I had nothing to cover myself with. Buy cheap aceon online I began to shiver and rock back and forth on the chair. Buy cheap aceon online I had no more energy to yell. Buy cheap aceon online I began to cry. Buy cheap aceon online

I cried for what felt like a long time. Buy cheap aceon online

Eventually, buy cheap aceon online the female soldier appeared in the window. Buy cheap aceon online I could tell she felt bad for me. Buy cheap aceon online I looked away. Buy cheap aceon online

The door buzzed and she instructed me to open it. Buy cheap aceon online

On the other side was a jacket and a cup of water. Buy cheap aceon online I put on the jacket and drank the water to soothe my throat, buy cheap aceon online but I was unimpressed. Buy cheap aceon online I didn't want a jacket or water. Buy cheap aceon online I wanted my freedom to leave. Buy cheap aceon online I wanted my dignity back. Buy cheap aceon online

Time passed. Buy cheap aceon online I stopped looking at the soldiers and talking to them. Buy cheap aceon online I stopped thinking of ways to pass the time or express myself. Buy cheap aceon online I didn't even feel like myself anymore. Buy cheap aceon online I felt empty, buy cheap aceon online defeated. Buy cheap aceon online I just sat and waited, buy cheap aceon online with a feeling of profound loneliness. Buy cheap aceon online

After what felt like an eternity, buy cheap aceon online the iron door buzzed and I opened it to find all my clothes and bags in a large pile brimming over the tops of the containers. Buy cheap aceon online The soldiers had emptied every single item separately into the crates. Buy cheap aceon online

The papers from my notebook were strewn about loosely. Buy cheap aceon online

Each piece of embroidery had been removed from its protective wrapper and crumpled into a pile. Buy cheap aceon online A can of tuna had been opened and left amidst the hand-sewn garments. Buy cheap aceon online

Even the boxes of Turkish delight—a soft sticky candy covered with powdered sugar, buy cheap aceon online which I'd brought for some friends—had been opened and rummaged through.

The only thing stronger than my anger was my desire to leave. Buy cheap aceon online I sat down miserably and folded everything back into my bags. Buy cheap aceon online I was crying uncontrollably, buy cheap aceon online but I bit my tongue each time I was tempted to speak. Buy cheap aceon online

When I was dressed and ready, buy cheap aceon online I stood up, buy cheap aceon online collected myself, buy cheap aceon online and tried to open the door. Buy cheap aceon online It was locked. Buy cheap aceon online

"The door's still locked, buy cheap aceon online" I informed the soldier watching through the window.

"Yes, buy cheap aceon online please wait a little longer."

"Why?" I asked. Buy cheap aceon online "You saw everything I have. Buy cheap aceon online You know I'm not a security threat, buy cheap aceon online and surely you know by now that I have a visa."

"I'm sorry but you're going to have to wait, buy cheap aceon online" she said. Buy cheap aceon online

I couldn't hold myself back any longer. Buy cheap aceon online I lost it. Buy cheap aceon online I opened up my bags and took out what was left of my canned tuna. Buy cheap aceon online With my fingers, buy cheap aceon online I began to spread the oily fish all over the window. Buy cheap aceon online

"What are you doing?" asked the soldier, buy cheap aceon online disturbed.

"You don't respect my stuff, buy cheap aceon online I don't respect yours, buy cheap aceon online" I answered.

Next, buy cheap aceon online I opened a box of Turkish delight. Buy cheap aceon online "I'm not going to stop until you let me out, buy cheap aceon online" I announced as I began mashing the gummy cubes into the hinges of the iron door.

"OK, buy cheap aceon online OK, buy cheap aceon online" said the soldier's voice over the intercom. Buy cheap aceon online "You can go now." The door buzzed. Buy cheap aceon online

I gathered my bags and walked out. Buy cheap aceon online

A soldier was waiting for me on the other side. Buy cheap aceon online He gave me my passport and said I was free to leave. Buy cheap aceon online

I called Kobi as soon as I was outside. Buy cheap aceon online

He said it was the US Consulate that had helped get me released. Buy cheap aceon online

The army claimed they were holding me because of the photographs I had taken inside the terminal. Buy cheap aceon online Interestingly, buy cheap aceon online they hadn't bothered to delete the images from my camera when they searched my bags.

I told Kobi what had happened. Buy cheap aceon online

I felt as if I had lost a part of myself inside that terminal as I had slowly lost control. Buy cheap aceon online

Kobi reminded me that even the option of losing control was a sign of privilege—Palestinians who behaved as I had would not likely have been freed. Buy cheap aceon online I tried to imagine what it would be like to endure such an invasive screening every day of my life.

Kobi told me a story about his Palestinian friend, buy cheap aceon online Sara, buy cheap aceon online whom he'd met in Maryland. Buy cheap aceon online

Sara would frequently travel back and forth between her home in Palestine and the United States, buy cheap aceon online where she was studying. Buy cheap aceon online

Each time she returned to Palestine, buy cheap aceon online she was able to walk right through the checkpoints. Buy cheap aceon online

She had enough confidence to just assert her will and go through, buy cheap aceon online simply by the fact that she was used to being treated like a person. Buy cheap aceon online

And each time, buy cheap aceon online after a few months in Palestine, buy cheap aceon online she would lose that ability. Buy cheap aceon online

In just a few hours I had gone from empowerment to craziness to submission to destructiveness. Buy cheap aceon online

What would I become after months of such treatment?

What about a lifetime of the even worse treatment that Palestinians experience?

It was dark outside the terminal as I hung up the phone. Buy cheap aceon online I had been held for 3 hours, buy cheap aceon online and there were no more buses running. Buy cheap aceon online I could see the lights of a settlement on a nearby hill. Buy cheap aceon online

I began walking in what seemed like the direction of Tel Aviv. Buy cheap aceon online

I stuck my thumb out to the occasional passing car, buy cheap aceon online and eventually a settler stopped. Buy cheap aceon online

He moved his gun out of the front seat so that I could get in. Buy cheap aceon online Feeling lousy about it, buy cheap aceon online I accepted a ride to the nearest bus stop from where buses were still running to Tel Aviv. Buy cheap aceon online

I boarded the first bus out and cried the whole way back to the city.
The original piece is found at Anna's site: http://www.annainthemiddleeast.com/