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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. Order cheap l carnitine online   

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

A powerful, order cheap l carnitine online important read. Order cheap l carnitine 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, order cheap l carnitine online checkpoints were controlled by young Israeli soldiers, order cheap l carnitine online nervously clutching their weapons and yelling at Palestinians to stay in line. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

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

Because there are no reliable postal services in the West Bank, order cheap l carnitine 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, order cheap l carnitine online I knew I would have to send them to the US from a post office in Israel. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

When I arrived at Einab junction, order cheap l carnitine online I found a large new building, order cheap l carnitine online fortified by several layers of metal fences, order cheap l carnitine online walls, order cheap l carnitine online and gates. Order cheap l carnitine 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. Order cheap l carnitine online

The gate was open but nobody was on the other side. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

Frustrated, order cheap l carnitine online I put down my six bags to rest for a moment. Order cheap l carnitine online

Maybe someone would come back? I waited, order cheap l carnitine online but still there was nobody. Order cheap l carnitine online

I called out. Order cheap l carnitine online "Hello? Anybody there?"

"Please wait a moment, order cheap l carnitine online" a staticky voice above me blared. Order cheap l carnitine online I looked up to find a speaker attached to the turnstile. Order cheap l carnitine online

I didn't have much choice but to wait. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

"Excuse me!" the voice snapped.

"Yes, order cheap l carnitine online" I answered as I took my first photo. Order cheap l carnitine online

"Please put your camera away immediately!"

"Please let me in immediately, order cheap l carnitine online" I answered. Order cheap l carnitine online

"I said to wait, order cheap l carnitine online" said the voice, order cheap l carnitine online and I answered, order cheap l carnitine 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. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

I continued through the metal detector and groaned, order cheap l carnitine online "What?!" into the air, order cheap l carnitine 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, order cheap l carnitine online which were feeling heavier by the minute. Order cheap l carnitine online I took the opportunity to take another picture. Order cheap l carnitine online

The soldier didn't bother protesting this time, order cheap l carnitine online but ordered me to walk through the metal detector again. Order cheap l carnitine online

I tried to pick up my bags again but he ordered, order cheap l carnitine online "No, order cheap l carnitine online without your bags." I walked through. Order cheap l carnitine online Nothing happened. Order cheap l carnitine online

"Now, order cheap l carnitine online go back."

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

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

At least there you could see the people humiliating you. Order cheap l carnitine 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, order cheap l carnitine online locked again. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

Thankfully, order cheap l carnitine online the turnstile buzzed and I squeezed through to reach the building itself. Order cheap l carnitine online That was the end of the pre-screening. Order cheap l carnitine 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, order cheap l carnitine online and multilingual signs for travelers. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

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

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

"Which door?"

"The one on the left."

"Left of what? Where are you?"

"I can see you, order cheap l carnitine online" the voice said. Order cheap l carnitine online "Walk backwards and go left."

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

"What am I supposed to do?!"

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

"No, order cheap l carnitine online please!" I blurted out, order cheap l carnitine online forgetting my policy of not pleading with soldiers. Order cheap l carnitine 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, order cheap l carnitine online the light would eventually turn green. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

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

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

He must not have heard me because he let me through to the next tiny windowless room. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

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

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

This made me even more upset. Order cheap l carnitine online I insisted that I would rather wait longer myself, order cheap l carnitine online and eventually he beckoned the group forward. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

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

Expecting the guard to follow me in, order cheap l carnitine online I turned and instead found him placing my bags into the crates. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

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

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

I snapped at the soldier, order cheap l carnitine online and he walked out of view. Order cheap l carnitine online

Another soldier appeared, order cheap l carnitine online a young woman. Order cheap l carnitine online She spoke into an intercom so that I could hear her through the window. Order cheap l carnitine 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. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

Several times she looked away. Order cheap l carnitine online When I was down to my underwear, order cheap l carnitine online the soldier stopped me; she said that was enough. Order cheap l carnitine online

A part of me wished that she hadn't. Order cheap l carnitine online Perhaps if I were completely naked, order cheap l carnitine 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. Order cheap l carnitine online

My other belongings were long since gone, order cheap l carnitine online and I could hear soldiers in the next room going through them. Order cheap l carnitine online

When I got back to the room, order cheap l carnitine online the soldier in the window was gone. Order cheap l carnitine online I sat down on the chair and waited. Order cheap l carnitine online

The soldiers next door were chatting and laughing. Order cheap l carnitine online I imagined them examining my personal photographs and letters. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

If I was unpredictable, order cheap l carnitine online then they had lost the power to control me. Order cheap l carnitine online

Half an hour passed. Order cheap l carnitine online Or was it an hour?

My energy had worn off and I sat down miserably on the chair. Order cheap l carnitine online I was tired. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

I cried for what felt like a long time. Order cheap l carnitine online

Eventually, order cheap l carnitine online the female soldier appeared in the window. Order cheap l carnitine online I could tell she felt bad for me. Order cheap l carnitine online I looked away. Order cheap l carnitine online

The door buzzed and she instructed me to open it. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

After what felt like an eternity, order cheap l carnitine 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. Order cheap l carnitine online The soldiers had emptied every single item separately into the crates. Order cheap l carnitine online

The papers from my notebook were strewn about loosely. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

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

When I was dressed and ready, order cheap l carnitine online I stood up, order cheap l carnitine online collected myself, order cheap l carnitine online and tried to open the door. Order cheap l carnitine online It was locked. Order cheap l carnitine online

"The door's still locked, order cheap l carnitine online" I informed the soldier watching through the window.

"Yes, order cheap l carnitine online please wait a little longer."

"Why?" I asked. Order cheap l carnitine online "You saw everything I have. Order cheap l carnitine online You know I'm not a security threat, order cheap l carnitine online and surely you know by now that I have a visa."

"I'm sorry but you're going to have to wait, order cheap l carnitine online" she said. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

"What are you doing?" asked the soldier, order cheap l carnitine online disturbed.

"You don't respect my stuff, order cheap l carnitine online I don't respect yours, order cheap l carnitine online" I answered.

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

"OK, order cheap l carnitine online OK, order cheap l carnitine online" said the soldier's voice over the intercom. Order cheap l carnitine online "You can go now." The door buzzed. Order cheap l carnitine online

I gathered my bags and walked out. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

I called Kobi as soon as I was outside. Order cheap l carnitine online

He said it was the US Consulate that had helped get me released. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

I told Kobi what had happened. Order cheap l carnitine online

I felt as if I had lost a part of myself inside that terminal as I had slowly lost control. Order cheap l carnitine 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. Order cheap l carnitine 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, order cheap l carnitine online Sara, order cheap l carnitine online whom he'd met in Maryland. Order cheap l carnitine online

Sara would frequently travel back and forth between her home in Palestine and the United States, order cheap l carnitine online where she was studying. Order cheap l carnitine online

Each time she returned to Palestine, order cheap l carnitine online she was able to walk right through the checkpoints. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

And each time, order cheap l carnitine online after a few months in Palestine, order cheap l carnitine online she would lose that ability. Order cheap l carnitine online

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

I began walking in what seemed like the direction of Tel Aviv. Order cheap l carnitine online

I stuck my thumb out to the occasional passing car, order cheap l carnitine online and eventually a settler stopped. Order cheap l carnitine online

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