Wednesday, January 24, 2007
By Amira Hass
"Anyone who wants to become acquainted with Israeli society should go to the checkpoints. Not for a quarter of an hour, under the guidance of commanders who will glory in the pavilion they built for the people waiting in line and will explain that the upgrading and the expansion of the checkpoint are intended to benefit the locals. Those who really want to know the checkpoints should rather dwell here for hours, during several days. When you observe the soldiers, you will discover many Israeli characteristics among them, characteristics in which we have always taken pride.......
Each of the many dozens of checkpoints has developed its own methods of harassment over the years. They derive from the implicit order behind the existence of every checkpoint: Prevent Palestinian freedom of movement for the sake of the welfare of the Jewish settlements; that is to say - Israel. One gets sick of reading about the checkpoints. One gets even sicker of writing about them. And the most sickening thing of all is to pass through them. But because the Palestinians have no alternative but to continue to pass through them, these checkpoints will continue to be the representatives of Israeli society. "