Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Freedom Rides

+972 Blog-Israeli Reactions to Freedom Riders

One of the Israeli passengers on the bus:
"If we go into Ramallah, they’ll kill us."

My first thought wasn't "what a racist." It was..."how sad that she's so afraid."

It reminded me of the GVS meeting when some of the Israelis expressed their dismay at seeing all the concrete walls surrounding Bethlehem: "It didn't used to be like this fifteen years ago. We would travel back and forth and there would be so much interaction. Now the wall is more than physical, it's inside of us."

When I heard about the rides, I contacted The Jewish Fast for Gaza to see if I could contact the organizers and participate in some way, but I didn't hear back. I wondered where the action was going to be. I saw from the pictures that Mazin Qumsiyeh was there, and my friend Haitham was filming. The checkpoint the riders were arrested at was Hizma Checkpoint, outside the village of Hizma, where I went last weekend and ate mansaf with Sulaimon and hung out with his cousins. They showed me their English books, the new ones, and little Mohammad (Mido) danced dabke for us.

It was also the checkpoint my bus was re-routed to a few weeks ago when I was on my way to Jaffa. For some reason, Qalandia checkpoint was a no-go...

ANYWAYS, here's Haitham's footage!