report from Palestine, June 10, 2003

Steve writes today:

East Jerusalem, Thursday afternoon, July 10, 2003

We're off to the West Bank tomorrow morning for our
two-day training. We're still working on where we'll
go and what project(s) we'll work on. Our affinity
group includes one activist with dual American and
Israeli citizenship and an obviously Israeli name. It
will be difficult for her to pass through Israeli army
checkpoints because Israeli law forbids Israeli
citizens from entering Palestinian areas (and vice
versa--for me, a strong reminder of South Africa's
apartheid Pass Laws of years gone by).

In addition to the checkpoint problem, there are some
West Bank regions where we can't work, because the
local people are just too suspicious of Israelis. For
instance, a woman who said she was an Israeli reporter
recently went to Tulkarm Refugee Camp to interview men
wanted by the Israeli army. She returned a week later
in uniform with an army unit that then arrested the
men she had interviewed. After experiences like this,
people in Tulkarm are not ready to accept an Israeli
who presents herself as a peace activist, even though
it's true.

Fortunately, there are other areas who are willing to
accept Israeli allies and eager to work with them.
Our affinity group will go to one of those areas,
provided we can get through (around?) the relevant

Below, I've copied action alerts about the Jenin
arrestees, and today's detentions in Nablus. If
you're one of the people on this list who has
political reasons for receiving my reports, rather
than only personal reasons, read on, please make the
suggested phone calls and send the suggested emails,
and forward the reports widely.


I did not include the alerts and contact information here, but I will forward that material to anyone who emails me a request.

Otherwise, for more information, and for pictures, see the ISM site and the Electronic Intifada site.

These heroes are so tough it's scary!