Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar travels regularly to exhibit and discuss his art. This time, the Israeli army simply said no, you can't go. Khaled Jarrar, a prominent Palestinian artist based in Ramallah, was supposed to be in New York by now for an exhibit at the New Museum, a Manhattan hotspot for contemporary art. Except Israel isn’t letting him go. Jarrar arrived at the Allenby border crossing at 3:00 p.m. yesterday. Rather than cross into Jordan, as he has done many times over the last few years, he was told he could not exit due to “an intelligence order.” After 10 hours spent waiting,…Read More... | 10 Comments
A fleeting moment of romance in grueling border terminal that devours you alive -- and yet you don't die. A day at the Allenby border crossing. (Read part one of this series here.) By Bassam Almohor “Saqallah ala ayyam zaman (I long for the old times) when we used to travel all over el blad (the country),” my father uttered with tears in his eyes; he longed for the old days. Are they really that old? Until the late eighties, I was able to go to Gaza in a single bus ride, no transfers, straight from Jenin to Gaza. And…Read More... | 35 Comments
Five hundred words and three photos from one place. This time: a church in the middle of a minefield, water you can walk on, an international border with no soldiers and a legal limbo that wouldn't make sense anywhere else. What is the strangest place in the world? Depends how you define "strange." In English, one must differentiate between strange, weird, bizarre and my personal favorite: eerie. If there ever was an "eerie" place in this delusional country between the river and the sea, it can be found close to the Jordan River. In the following photo one can see tourists…Read More... | 1 Comment
On February 4, 2013, a Palestinian resident of the West Bank received this entry permit when he crossed the Allenby Bridge from Jordan. The big blue letters at the top inform the holder that the State of Israel's Border Patrol has granted him entry, making it look as though the territory he was entering -- Palestine -- was actually Israel. Under the blue letters at the top, next to the words "Entry Permit," the Hebrew words say, "Owner of Palestinian ID card." But at the lower right, where it says in Hebrew "le'um," or nationality, the border control typed ISR, for…Read More... | 4 Comments
In a 2009 cable, American diplomats complain that Israel is not issuing work visas for Palestinian companies' foreign employees While most people who follow the news from Israel and the Palestinian territories know well enough that Israel blocks travel to and from Gaza, it is always surprising how few are aware that all exists and entries to the West Bank are also controlled by Israel. In fact, while Gaza has a land border with Egypt, which allows a certain flow of people and goods, the Israeli blocked on the West Bank is absolute. Palestinians who wish to travel outside the…Read More...
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