Wednesday, February 22, 2006

"I've no particular biases towards or against Israelis"

For real.

I take serious issue with specific governmental policy within the State, general policy in the Occupied Territories and information policy internationally. But I have no particular bias against Israelis. And I told this to one of the security staff at the Jorden Valley border-crossing during my 6 hour detention - "I've no particular biases towards or against Israelis. But treatment like this is humiliating and insulting, and it steals me of my dignity."

I looked him in his eyes and spoke with unreserved sincerity. He stood for a couple of seconds, nodded, and stepped away. I think he saw what I saw.

In any event - in my show of not being against Israelis / not being an anti-semite, I've decided to post an anti-Semitic cartoon. Relax! These are taken from
boomka and come in response to an Iranian newspaper saying they will launch an anti-semitic cartoon contest after Danish papers posted about the prophet Mohammad (saw). Boomka has therefore launched a new anti-Semitic cartoons contest - this time drawn by Jews themselves! “We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!”

Sunday, February 19, 2006

They stole my dignity for 6 hours and criminalised all things Arab

I returned to Israel's Jordan Valley border crossing at 730am this morning. After 2 hours of detention/extensive searching/questioning (in addition to the same that I encountered yesterday for 4 hours), I was grudgingly let through.

Let through after being made to feel inhuman for having affiliations to 'enemy ethnicities/religious inclinations'. Not their words, mine. But if they were to word their discriminatory actions, I suppose it would probably sound like that.

I'm a Canadian; but because of my travel to the Gulf, my Arab background and my work in human rights, I was subjected to treatment I would wish on nobody. It was insulting and it stole my dignity. It made me strip my pants to my knees, walk around the building without shoes and jacket when external temperatures stood at 7 degrees, it went through personal messages and contacts on my cellphone unrelated to 'security', it refused to speak with Canadian Foreign Ministry Officials that I was in contact with, it made fun of Arabs, Muslims and the Middle East, and it made it a crime to speak Arabic.

Shu sawee?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Denied entry on ethnic grounds

I'm now in Irbid, Jordan because after a 4 hour detention the Israeli authorities decided they wouldn't let me in through the Jordan Valley Border crossing. So they've told me to sleep the night in Jordan and return to the border crossing tomorrow and try again.

Will try to keep the world updated on the blatant religious/ethnic discrimination by the Israeli state, which I have had the displeasure of experiencing for the 4th time in 5 months. This last time has definitely been the worst.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Dahab was, well, golden

Drove here

Slept here
I was in Dahab, Egypt's Sinai last week for 5 days.

It was a good break. And the Red Sea is really a sea like no other.

Swam here

The secret wish, in the not too distant future, is to be lost somewhere inbetween.