Tel Aviv

Leaving Las Vegas, or getting out of Gaza

This is the second trip I have made to the Gaza Strip since 2003. I third time, in 2005, I was not permitted to enter. Back in 1985, it was easy to travel from Gaza to Jerusalem and back. In those days, I went back and forth many times. The entrance to Gaza, where a huge grotesque monstrosity of a checkpoint terminal now stands, was then only a few concrete barrels. Palestinian group taxis would weave through the concrete-filled barrels that marked the border and one could easily pass inside or outside, on your way to Gaza City or on your way back to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. 

An anxious arrival in Tel Aviv

My main reason for being here in Israel-Palestine again for the fourth time is to do free lance photojournalism and further document widespread human rights abuses that Israel commits every day against Palestinian Arab people in the West Bank and Gaza; the Israeli government is trying to slowly suffocate them and steal their land, making life so miserable that they will leave. I can’t tell the Israeli security officer about my real reasons for coming here, for if I do, I will be detained. My passport will be stamped “Entry Denied,” and I will be placed on the very next flight back to Amsterdam. 

WaSPR Delegation Diary 8: Israelis Who Want Peace: Gush Shalom and Physicians for Human Rights

Adam Keller explains, “Once you have decided not to be intimidated, you are not.” He went on a hunger strike. He was finally discharged from the Army for psychiatric reasons. “If you become a trouble maker and are in prison multiple times, then they look for a reason to finally throw you out for psychiatric reasons.” He was advised by friends, “Look, if they send you to the psychiatrist, just try and play along and you will get a discharge. If you apply for Consensus Objector status, you will be in and out of prison for the rest of your life.” 

From Hebron to Tel Aviv

CPTers have grown accustomed to just breezing through the Beit Romano Checkpoint in the Old City where we live. We pass through it regularly and usually without question. Some Palestinians who live in the area also have this privilege once the soldiers recognize them, however they are sometimes subject to detention and harassment. When the solider took my passport and ordered me to sit on the curb, I thought of the dozens of Palestinians I see detained here daily, and I sat down without argument. 

'I punched an Arab in the face'

Liran Ron Furer, a sensitive and creative young man, says he became a sadist in the course of his military service at checkpoints. Four years later, he has written a confessional book about his experience, which he says transforms every soldier into a beast. Written in the blunt and coarse language of soldiers, he reconstructs scenes from the years in which he served in Gaza, between 1996 and 1999, years that, one must remember, were relatively quiet. Ha’aretz’s Gideon Levy looks at the content and issues surrounding the publication of Furer’s diary. 

Court martial of five occupation refuseniks

Today, the cross-examination of Shimri Tzameret, Adam Maor, and Noam Bahat was scheduled, the other two - Chaggai Matar and Matan Kaminer had theirs already in September. The prosecutor, Captain Yaron Costelitz, had managed to prepare himself by obtaining a considerable number of leaflets and press releases by the various refuser movements, as well as the full text of Shimri’s “prison blog”.