Poor little Israel, now they’re coming in the window!
Our friend is off to Tel Aviv. He writes:
For years I’ve felt ashamed at the way my Palestinian friends, and their Western wellwishers, have been humiliated, intimidated and dehumanised when trying to enter the West Bank through Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv. The Israelis have destroyed Palestinian airports near Ramallah and Gaza City, so it is now impossible to reach the West Bank except through Israeli Security.
On Friday 8th July hundreds of people from all over the world, who feel like me, will be flying into Ben Gurion airport, with written invitations to visit a Bethlehem refugee camp in the West Bank. Normally the Israeli authorities would deport us, unless we go through the tiresome ritual of persuading them that we are innocent pilgrims or tourists. This time we are going to tell the truth. And we will refuse to be deported. The Israelis must either imprison us, or let us proceed. In either case, an important point will have been made.
So this note is to let you all know why I’ll be away between 8th and 16th July. I’m not expecting a smooth passage, though many of you will know that I’d love to spend a day or two with old friends in Hebron. I have chosen this step without bitterness or antagonism. I wish for the Israelis what I wish for my own children – a life free from fear and hatred.
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