Two members or the Michigan Peace Team arrived in Huwarra on Thursday, Oct. 8. Entering an area of struggle such a Israel/Palestine is a truly unique experience. We thought you might be interested in the greetings we received.
One member entered with no difficulty. The other was pulled aside at the airport, made to wait, then interrogated (“Why so long? Why Turkish Air? Are you a journalist? Are you familiar with ISM? Who do you know in the West Bank? Do you intend to do any violence against Israel? ….and so on), made to wait again, and then abruptly told, “You must sign this document or you will not be allowed to enter Israel.” The form was mostly in Hebrew but did say in English, “…agree not to enter PLO controlled areas.” Such was one member’s “welcome” to Israel.
A few days later in Huwarra we began visiting around town and handing out cards (in Arabic) explaining our work. A man approached one of us asking “You need help?” He read our card and then said, “Welcome Welcome Welcome.” We stopped at the small grocery store down the hill from our home to pick up a few things for our home. We gave the clerk one of our cards; he refused payment saying, “You come to help us; first time you pay nothing.” Our first taxi driver quoted a low price, he dropped us at our junction saying “you pick olives, thank you” – he then refused to take any money. Such was our welcome to Palestine.