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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. Find proventil online   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The gate was open but nobody was on the other side. Find proventil online

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

Frustrated, find proventil online I put down my six bags to rest for a moment. Find proventil online

Maybe someone would come back? I waited, find proventil online but still there was nobody. Find proventil online

I called out. Find proventil online "Hello? Anybody there?"

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

I didn't have much choice but to wait. Find proventil online

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

"Excuse me!" the voice snapped.

"Yes, find proventil online" I answered as I took my first photo. Find proventil online

"Please put your camera away immediately!"

"Please let me in immediately, find proventil online" I answered. Find proventil online

"I said to wait, find proventil online" said the voice, find proventil online and I answered, find proventil 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. Find proventil online

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

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

I continued through the metal detector and groaned, find proventil online "What?!" into the air, find proventil 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, find proventil online which were feeling heavier by the minute. Find proventil online I took the opportunity to take another picture. Find proventil online

The soldier didn't bother protesting this time, find proventil online but ordered me to walk through the metal detector again. Find proventil online

I tried to pick up my bags again but he ordered, find proventil online "No, find proventil online without your bags." I walked through. Find proventil online Nothing happened. Find proventil online

"Now, find proventil online go back."

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

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

At least there you could see the people humiliating you. Find proventil 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, find proventil online locked again. Find proventil online

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Which door?"

"The one on the left."

"Left of what? Where are you?"

"I can see you, find proventil online" the voice said. Find proventil online "Walk backwards and go left."

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

"What am I supposed to do?!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

He must not have heard me because he let me through to the next tiny windowless room. Find proventil online

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Expecting the guard to follow me in, find proventil online I turned and instead found him placing my bags into the crates. Find proventil online

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

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

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

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

I snapped at the soldier, find proventil online and he walked out of view. Find proventil online

Another soldier appeared, find proventil online a young woman. Find proventil online She spoke into an intercom so that I could hear her through the window. Find proventil 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. Find proventil online

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

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

Several times she looked away. Find proventil online When I was down to my underwear, find proventil online the soldier stopped me; she said that was enough. Find proventil online

A part of me wished that she hadn't. Find proventil online Perhaps if I were completely naked, find proventil 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. Find proventil online

My other belongings were long since gone, find proventil online and I could hear soldiers in the next room going through them. Find proventil online

When I got back to the room, find proventil online the soldier in the window was gone. Find proventil online I sat down on the chair and waited. Find proventil online

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

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

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

If I was unpredictable, find proventil online then they had lost the power to control me. Find proventil online

Half an hour passed. Find proventil online Or was it an hour?

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

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

I cried for what felt like a long time. Find proventil online

Eventually, find proventil online the female soldier appeared in the window. Find proventil online I could tell she felt bad for me. Find proventil online I looked away. Find proventil online

The door buzzed and she instructed me to open it. Find proventil online

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

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

After what felt like an eternity, find proventil 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. Find proventil online The soldiers had emptied every single item separately into the crates. Find proventil online

The papers from my notebook were strewn about loosely. Find proventil online

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

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

When I was dressed and ready, find proventil online I stood up, find proventil online collected myself, find proventil online and tried to open the door. Find proventil online It was locked. Find proventil online

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

"Yes, find proventil online please wait a little longer."

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

"I'm sorry but you're going to have to wait, find proventil online" she said. Find proventil online

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

"What are you doing?" asked the soldier, find proventil online disturbed.

"You don't respect my stuff, find proventil online I don't respect yours, find proventil online" I answered.

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

"OK, find proventil online OK, find proventil online" said the soldier's voice over the intercom. Find proventil online "You can go now." The door buzzed. Find proventil online

I gathered my bags and walked out. Find proventil online

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

I called Kobi as soon as I was outside. Find proventil online

He said it was the US Consulate that had helped get me released. Find proventil online

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

I told Kobi what had happened. Find proventil online

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

Sara would frequently travel back and forth between her home in Palestine and the United States, find proventil online where she was studying. Find proventil online

Each time she returned to Palestine, find proventil online she was able to walk right through the checkpoints. Find proventil online

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

And each time, find proventil online after a few months in Palestine, find proventil online she would lose that ability. Find proventil online

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

I began walking in what seemed like the direction of Tel Aviv. Find proventil online

I stuck my thumb out to the occasional passing car, find proventil online and eventually a settler stopped. Find proventil online

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