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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 pravachol online   

Here is a piece on her own experience as a Jewish American being detained for three hours, buy pravachol online strip seached, buy pravachol 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 pravachol online and yet we know.   

A powerful, buy pravachol online important read. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol online checkpoints were controlled by young Israeli soldiers, buy pravachol online nervously clutching their weapons and yelling at Palestinians to stay in line. Buy pravachol online

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

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

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

Because there are no reliable postal services in the West Bank, buy pravachol 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 pravachol online I knew I would have to send them to the US from a post office in Israel. Buy pravachol online

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I called out. Buy pravachol online "Hello? Anybody there?"

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

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

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

"Excuse me!" the voice snapped.

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

"Please put your camera away immediately!"

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

"I said to wait, buy pravachol online" said the voice, buy pravachol online and I answered, buy pravachol 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 pravachol online

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

In front of me was a metal detector surrounded by iron bars. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol online "What?!" into the air, buy pravachol 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 pravachol online which were feeling heavier by the minute. Buy pravachol online I took the opportunity to take another picture. Buy pravachol online

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

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

"Now, buy pravachol online go back."

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

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

At least there you could see the people humiliating you. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol online locked again. Buy pravachol online

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

Thankfully, buy pravachol online the turnstile buzzed and I squeezed through to reach the building itself. Buy pravachol online That was the end of the pre-screening. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol online and multilingual signs for travelers. Buy pravachol online

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

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

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

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

"Which door?"

"The one on the left."

"Left of what? Where are you?"

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

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

"What am I supposed to do?!"

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

"No, buy pravachol online please!" I blurted out, buy pravachol online forgetting my policy of not pleading with soldiers. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol online the light would eventually turn green. Buy pravachol online

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

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

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

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

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

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

 I answered truthfully, buy pravachol online "They told me at the airport that there were none left and that it would be OK." As the words came out, buy pravachol online I realized how absurd this sounded, buy pravachol online and I kicked myself for falling for it when I'd flown in the week before. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol online since, buy pravachol online for all he knew, buy pravachol online I'd snuck in over the hills of Jordan. Buy pravachol online "Whatever, buy pravachol online" I sighed. Buy pravachol online "Call airport security—I promise I'm in the system."

I knew it would be a while, buy pravachol online so I sat down again. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol online heading back to Tulkarem. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol online but another to know that my ordeal had held up dozens of Palestinians from getting back to their homes and families. Buy pravachol online "Wait, buy pravachol online" I said. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol online that the Palestinians were used to waiting. Buy pravachol online

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another soldier appeared, buy pravachol online a young woman. Buy pravachol online She spoke into an intercom so that I could hear her through the window. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol online

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

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

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

A part of me wished that she hadn't. Buy pravachol online Perhaps if I were completely naked, buy pravachol 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 pravachol online

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

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

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

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

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

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

Half an hour passed. Buy pravachol online Or was it an hour?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After what felt like an eternity, buy pravachol 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 pravachol online The soldiers had emptied every single item separately into the crates. Buy pravachol online

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

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

Even the boxes of Turkish delight—a soft sticky candy covered with powdered sugar, buy pravachol 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 pravachol online I sat down miserably and folded everything back into my bags. Buy pravachol online I was crying uncontrollably, buy pravachol online but I bit my tongue each time I was tempted to speak. Buy pravachol online

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

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

"Yes, buy pravachol online please wait a little longer."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I gathered my bags and walked out. Buy pravachol online

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

I called Kobi as soon as I was outside. Buy pravachol online

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

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

I told Kobi what had happened. Buy pravachol online

I felt as if I had lost a part of myself inside that terminal as I had slowly lost control. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol 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 pravachol online Sara, buy pravachol online whom he'd met in Maryland. Buy pravachol online

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

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

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

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

In just a few hours I had gone from empowerment to craziness to submission to destructiveness. Buy pravachol 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 pravachol online I had been held for 3 hours, buy pravachol online and there were no more buses running. Buy pravachol online I could see the lights of a settlement on a nearby hill. Buy pravachol online

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

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

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