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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 oral health dogs   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 oral health dogs

The gate was open but nobody was on the other side. Order cheap oral health dogs

I walked through and came to two large iron turnstiles surrounded by a wall of iron bars. Order cheap oral health dogs The turnstiles were locked.

Frustrated, order cheap oral health dogs I put down my six bags to rest for a moment. Order cheap oral health dogs

Maybe someone would come back? I waited, order cheap oral health dogs but still there was nobody. Order cheap oral health dogs

I called out. Order cheap oral health dogs "Hello? Anybody there?"

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

I didn't have much choice but to wait. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

"Excuse me!" the voice snapped.

"Yes, order cheap oral health dogs" I answered as I took my first photo. Order cheap oral health dogs

"Please put your camera away immediately!"

"Please let me in immediately, order cheap oral health dogs" I answered. Order cheap oral health dogs

"I said to wait, order cheap oral health dogs" said the voice, order cheap oral health dogs and I answered, order cheap oral health dogs "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 oral health dogs

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

In front of me was a metal detector surrounded by iron bars. Order cheap oral health dogs 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 oral health dogs "What?!" into the air, order cheap oral health dogs 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 oral health dogs which were feeling heavier by the minute. Order cheap oral health dogs I took the opportunity to take another picture. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

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

"Now, order cheap oral health dogs go back."

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

Somehow this seemed so much worse than the turnstiles and metal detectors I had seen at Huwwara checkpoint. Order cheap oral health dogs

At least there you could see the people humiliating you. Order cheap oral health dogs 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 oral health dogs locked again. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

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

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

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

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

Eventually a second staticky voice came through from a speaker on the wall. Order cheap oral health dogs "Please proceed to the door."

"Which door?"

"The one on the left."

"Left of what? Where are you?"

"I can see you, order cheap oral health dogs" the voice said. Order cheap oral health dogs "Walk backwards and go left."

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

"What am I supposed to do?!"

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

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

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

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

The next room had three walls and a double-paned window with a soldier on the other side. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

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

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

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

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 oral health dogs since, order cheap oral health dogs for all he knew, order cheap oral health dogs I'd snuck in over the hills of Jordan. Order cheap oral health dogs "Whatever, order cheap oral health dogs" I sighed. Order cheap oral health dogs "Call airport security—I promise I'm in the system."

I knew it would be a while, order cheap oral health dogs so I sat down again. Order cheap oral health dogs

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 oral health dogs heading back to Tulkarem. Order cheap oral health dogs 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 oral health dogs but another to know that my ordeal had held up dozens of Palestinians from getting back to their homes and families. Order cheap oral health dogs "Wait, order cheap oral health dogs" I said. Order cheap oral health dogs "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 oral health dogs that the Palestinians were used to waiting. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

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

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

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

Expecting the guard to follow me in, order cheap oral health dogs I turned and instead found him placing my bags into the crates. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

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

I looked around the room. Order cheap oral health dogs It was empty except for a chair and an empty crate on the floor. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

I snapped at the soldier, order cheap oral health dogs and he walked out of view. Order cheap oral health dogs

Another soldier appeared, order cheap oral health dogs a young woman. Order cheap oral health dogs She spoke into an intercom so that I could hear her through the window. Order cheap oral health dogs "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 oral health dogs

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

I watched her with a look of hurt. Order cheap oral health dogs I wanted her to see that she was not just searching me—she was humiliating me. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

A part of me wished that she hadn't. Order cheap oral health dogs Perhaps if I were completely naked, order cheap oral health dogs 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 oral health dogs

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

When I got back to the room, order cheap oral health dogs the soldier in the window was gone. Order cheap oral health dogs I sat down on the chair and waited. Order cheap oral health dogs

The soldiers next door were chatting and laughing. Order cheap oral health dogs I imagined them examining my personal photographs and letters. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

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

If I was unpredictable, order cheap oral health dogs then they had lost the power to control me. Order cheap oral health dogs

Half an hour passed. Order cheap oral health dogs Or was it an hour?

My energy had worn off and I sat down miserably on the chair. Order cheap oral health dogs I was tired. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

I cried for what felt like a long time. Order cheap oral health dogs

Eventually, order cheap oral health dogs the female soldier appeared in the window. Order cheap oral health dogs I could tell she felt bad for me. Order cheap oral health dogs I looked away. Order cheap oral health dogs

The door buzzed and she instructed me to open it. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

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

After what felt like an eternity, order cheap oral health dogs 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 oral health dogs The soldiers had emptied every single item separately into the crates. Order cheap oral health dogs

The papers from my notebook were strewn about loosely. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

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

When I was dressed and ready, order cheap oral health dogs I stood up, order cheap oral health dogs collected myself, order cheap oral health dogs and tried to open the door. Order cheap oral health dogs It was locked. Order cheap oral health dogs

"The door's still locked, order cheap oral health dogs" I informed the soldier watching through the window.

"Yes, order cheap oral health dogs please wait a little longer."

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

"I'm sorry but you're going to have to wait, order cheap oral health dogs" she said. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

"What are you doing?" asked the soldier, order cheap oral health dogs disturbed.

"You don't respect my stuff, order cheap oral health dogs I don't respect yours, order cheap oral health dogs" I answered.

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

"OK, order cheap oral health dogs OK, order cheap oral health dogs" said the soldier's voice over the intercom. Order cheap oral health dogs "You can go now." The door buzzed. Order cheap oral health dogs

I gathered my bags and walked out. Order cheap oral health dogs

A soldier was waiting for me on the other side. Order cheap oral health dogs He gave me my passport and said I was free to leave. Order cheap oral health dogs

I called Kobi as soon as I was outside. Order cheap oral health dogs

He said it was the US Consulate that had helped get me released. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

I told Kobi what had happened. Order cheap oral health dogs

I felt as if I had lost a part of myself inside that terminal as I had slowly lost control. Order cheap oral health dogs

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 oral health dogs 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 oral health dogs Sara, order cheap oral health dogs whom he'd met in Maryland. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

Each time she returned to Palestine, order cheap oral health dogs she was able to walk right through the checkpoints. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

And each time, order cheap oral health dogs after a few months in Palestine, order cheap oral health dogs she would lose that ability. Order cheap oral health dogs

In just a few hours I had gone from empowerment to craziness to submission to destructiveness. Order cheap oral health dogs

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 oral health dogs I had been held for 3 hours, order cheap oral health dogs and there were no more buses running. Order cheap oral health dogs I could see the lights of a settlement on a nearby hill. Order cheap oral health dogs

I began walking in what seemed like the direction of Tel Aviv. Order cheap oral health dogs

I stuck my thumb out to the occasional passing car, order cheap oral health dogs and eventually a settler stopped. Order cheap oral health dogs

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

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/