oliverevolt – Kuds day in Kalandiya Checkpoint- in pictures

This is the first time I visited Ramallah.
The first time I saw its flamboyant houses, shops, and mall,
so much of it glamoring with the shining light of something brand new that is growing.
Some of the building were not yet finished, still under construction,
but I couldn't date back when they were started.
Some of the stone-built houses reminded me of the place where I grew up in, Jerusalem.
Sure they did: many of the houses in my neighborhood were built by Palestinians who fled during the war and were reoccupied by Israeli residents.
This was a chance to get to know their origins.
This was a hot day of Ramadan,
but I saw that the grocery shops were open.
Smell of burning rubbish filled the air.
We were just passing by on the way to Kalandiya Checkpoint,
where the planned protest was about to take place.
Many times in my life I was proud to call myself a daredevil, a fearless tough girl.

I did not feel like one today.

Fear inhabited, I've learnt
a little about what it means to be in a struggle:
rules can and will be broken, soldiers might go berserk, and of curse.

I might get hurt.
And when I say getting hurt, I mean I get hurt when I am arrested.
I was afraid that they will stop us from getting to the protest location.
This adds to the awkward feeling of arriving a new place,

a place that might not welcome me as I am used to be welcomed in the villages.

This brings me to appreciate and even admire the brave hearts of the young protesters :

one might never know what is coming.

The soldiers might use live ammunition, it did happen before.

We were in away prepared to be in a middle of a bloodbath.

As we approached Kalandiya,
the refugee camp I could sense a change in view : the street seemed packed with buses and people, and some of the houses did reproduce the image I had of what a refugee camp is supposed to look like ; those houses and shops were simply poor looking.
The crowd gathered around the checkpoint, holding Palestinian flags and signs written in English. The crowd   contained Palestinians coming from Bili'in and Nabi Saleh, as well as some international activists and a group of us, Israeli protesters.

There were also many cameramen, reporters and journalists.

The media becomes a weapon in this scenario;
the soldiers may avoid using full brutal force in dispersing the protests, knowing that they are being taped.

PressTV (Iranian official TV station) was also present.
Taking a closer look at him, he seemed like a big bully I did not want to be in cahoots with.
At first there was a prayer,
led by megaphones, seperated for men and women ,
symbolic in a away : It meant, we only bow to God, he is the only law we are bound to.


Protesters were holding Palestinian flags and signs written in English. I was  given a sign that said:"From Palestine to Baharain, Lybia, Tunis, Egypt with FREEDOM"..The Checkpoint stands by the graffiti covered concrete wall, and there is a huge watch tower in it : during the protest I could see the soldier that deployed it briefly gazing at me. There were also small merchants' stands bazza'are style, of people selling cool drinks and cheap toys.
A  few men beside me gathered some small stones and hurled them toward the shielded windows.

The crowd began chanting in Arabic,
I understood every other word: WE ARE NOT AFRAID, WE ARE NOT AFRAID,
Out, out, Zionist Thieves
Thawera (uprising), To Jerusalem we are heading,
Martyrs by the milions,
as well as the defamed Haibar Haibar ya Yahud – Jaish Muhammad
Sa'ufa Ya'ud
(referring to the Koran story about the killing of Haibar Jews).
The women went a head, chanting fiercely at the soldiers.
PressTV (Iranian official TV station) was also present.
Taking a closer look at their enterpertuar
, he seemed like a big bully
I did not want to be in cahoots with.

Luckily enough, this ended with no bloodbath
I saw some other people from my group that withdrew to the back.
Some of them I knew as very courageous people,
but this time there was some extra tension in the air.
I took a seat on displayed sofa at a furniture store, and became a subject of interest to the local boys. They didn't reacted badly when I said that I am from "Tel Aviv" ( some kind of code name to Jews that live in Israel but do not serve in the army and don't define themselves as Zionists).
Like fear, the colonialist patronizing feelings do overcome me: I wanted badly to be seen as a friendly face, I wanted badly to feel that I may help to  decrease the level of the not-unjustified hatred within the hearts of the people we occupied their lands. In my heart I feel that hatred is corruptive by nature and corrupts he hater as well as its subject. I wanted to share the suffering and fear that they endured, to carry some of that burden with me, I wanted to share the risk they are taking by going out on a protest but instead, this time I was behind, looking at the people running, trying to escape the tear gas. I saw ambulances rushing people that were hurt by inhaling it, anxiously honking.I've heard about two Palestinians who were arrested: one from Hebron, the other is Ashraf Abu Rahma, brother of martyred Bassem and Jawahar Abu Rahma, who himself was shot in the leg while being blindofolded and cuffed in Nialin.

I have this image in my mind of a war bound to international laws, to Geneva accord, a war that  one can gain honor and glory, a fight of equal titans.
Obviously this is not the war I'm in, between Zionists and Palestinians, that are no match by means of ammunition and resources, but what they do have is the morale support of the Arab world and their own courage.
I wish there was more I can do to even this equation,
We, the Israelis, already lost so much even if we think we won.
We already lost our dignity, our pride, our values.
I dare not speak about the Palestinian loss : they do it better than me.
The world should listen and know by now.

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