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UPDATE: ‘Welcome to Palestine’ campaign planned via Jordan

Nearly one hundred delegates from North America and Europe were refused entry into Palestine on Sunday as part of the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ campaign to raise awareness about Israel’s border policies.

International activists from the United States and Europe were denied entry into the West Bank on Sunday by Israeli border control after successfully crossing in from Jordan. Around 80 people were planning on visiting Bethlehem as part of the Welcome to Palestine campaign, which organized two previous events where activists attempted to visit Palestine through Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv (Palestine’s airports have been closed by Israel since the Second Intifada). Following the second “flytilla” in April of this year, in which hundreds of people from all over the world participated, the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign was hoping to keep the momentum going by addressing the border with Jordan.

The campaign is part of a larger attempt to raise awareness about Israel’s policies regarding control of entry into the occupied territories. Unlike the “flytillas,” however, the activists were not entering any territory inside of Israel, but attempted to cross through the Allenby/King Hussein entry point directly into the West Bank. The border crossing is still controlled by Israel, however, along with the entire Jordan Valley.

Activists were responding to an invitation from the Governor of Bethlehem and several civil society organizations. They were traveling with over a ton of stationary that will be delivered to Palestinian children getting ready to go back to school after the summer, according to a press release.

Traveling to Palestine can be a humiliating experience for people as they are subjected to aggressive Israeli questioning and security, even when they are entering their own country.

The Welcome to Palestine campaign highlights one of the great shortfalls of the Oslo Accords, which gave Israel ultimate control over Palestinian borders (along with sea and airspace), and thus, control over who could enter and exit from occupied territory. This has had the effect of isolating the Palestinians from their large diaspora community outside the occupied territories, as well as anyone Israel is not interested in letting through.

Activists reach Israel in new ‘flytilla’ bid; dozens refused entry
Reframing non-violent resistance: An act of moral piracy
IDF, police remove Palestinian “Freedom riders” from Israeli bus
“Air Flotilla” successful in exposing Israeli blockade of West Bank
Greek Coast Guard stop US boat from setting sail for Gaza


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    1. Blake

      Families have been split for generations. The nakba goes on.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Jehudah Ben-Israel

      “Palestine”, of course, is the name of a territory, never a nationality or a state. Back in 1921 77% of “Palestine” was handed over to the Arabs. Located east of the Jordan River, the Arabs, subsequently renamed their part Jordan since “Palestine” is not an Arab term.

      The following year, 1922, the League of Nations accepted the partition of “Palestine” of the previous year and reiterated that the rest of “Palestine”, the remaining 23% of it, located between the Jordan River and the Med. Sea, be turned into the nation-state of the Jewish people. The Jews, subsequently, established their nation-state in that part and called it Israel, since this has been the name of the country since time immemorial.

      This act by the League of Nations of 1922 was then adopted by the UN and etched into its Charter, Article 80, of 1945, as an irrevocable act.

      “Palestine”, from that moment on, was, de jure, partitioned between Arabs and Jews; and the implementation of it took place in 1948 and 1967.

      It is high time we all learned to live by law, international law in this case, respect it and accept the partition of the territory of “Palestine” that is no more.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Piotr Berman

      This is what New Yorkers were thinking about Palestine ca. 1920:


      Words and music by Con Conrad and J. Russell Robinson

      ©1920, renewed 1947, Shapiro Bernstein

      In the Bronx of New York City Lives a girl, she’s not so pretty,

      Lena is her name;

      Such a clever girl is Lena, How she plays a concertina,

      Really it’s a shame;

      She’s such a good musician She got a swell position

      To go across the sea to entertain,

      And so they shipped poor Lena Way out to Palesteena,

      But now I hear that she don’t look the same:

      They say that


      Lena is the Queen O’ Palesteena, Just because they like her concertina,

      She plays it day and night, She plays with all her might,

      She never gets it right, But how they love it, want more of it;

      I heard her play, once or twice, Oh! murder! still it was nice;

      She was fat but she got leaner Pushing on her concertina,

      Down old Palesteena Way.

      Lena’s girl friend Arabella Let her meet an Arab fella,

      She thought he was grand,

      On a camel’s back a-swayin’ You could hear Miss Lena playin’

      O’er the desert sand;

      She didn’t play such new ones, For all she knew were blue ones,

      Still Yousoff sat and listened by his tent,

      And as he tried to kiss her She heard that Arab whisper,

      “Oh! Lena, how I love your instrument.”

      They say that


      Lena is the Queen O’ Palesteena, Just because they like her concertina,

      Each movement of her wrist,

      Just makes them shake and twist,

      They simply can’t resist, Her music funny gets the money;

      There’s nottin’ sounds like it should, So rotten it’s really good;

      All the girls there dress like Lena, Some wear oatmeal, some farina,

      Down old Palesteena Way.

      Reply to Comment
      • Piotr Berman

        To summarize the song, “Palesteena” is an Arab country where Jews can go when they cannot make it in NYC.

        On the other hand, WHEN did Jews call their country “Israel”? As opposed to times when Jews were living in a country that was called Judah/Judea, or in a province of satrapy of an empire?

        Reply to Comment
    4. Kolumn9

      Oh, come on. You are deliberately not posting some pertinent details. Who stopped them from entering the West Bank? You purposefully didn’t blame the Israelis because it wasn’t them. The Jordanians prevented the entry of the buses into the West Bank. I am sure that little detail was not included for good reasons?

      Reply to Comment
      • the other joe

        You know that how? Have you crossed at the Allenby Bridge crossing? One leaves the Jordanian side and has to navigate the Israeli side before being allowed to cross into the West Bank. Hence it is entirely possible to have cleared Jordan and be refused entry into the West Bank.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Nope, I was wrong. It was the Israelis that stopped the first bus and denied entry. The second bus was stopped by the Jordanians at Israel’s request. The article I saw was Iranian propaganda. http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/51368

          Reply to Comment
      • the other joe

        Haaretz says it was an Israeli bar. So, please, supply me with a reference that shows they are wrong.

        Reply to Comment