Transit to the West Bank - Franck Saurel

Article published on Sept. 8, 2007
community published
Article published on Sept. 8, 2007
Dear friends, First day in Palestine... sorry in the West Bank. I must pay attention to the "words" I use in this text. Meetings during this trip are surprising, sometimes depressing in commited injustice... And a situation which aggravates, but hope is here, "irreductible still and always resists" in the Israeli and Palestinian sides defending the international law and human rights.
They aren't so much, but there are more and more. "They" lied to me upon good and evil people, upon cow-boys and Indians, the axle of evil, islam and the Judeo-Christian society. I'm angry to have not open my eyes about those lies and consequences in this part of the world are a tragedy. Fear blinds me and ignorance imprisons me in a golden cage... in brief, it is hard.

An Israeli young woman made me sure that Palestine (try to find it in a map) was free... Fear and ignorance. I went from Jerusalem to Bethleem to go then to Jenin, located in the Northern West Bank. Several of us crossed a border that shouldn't exist to go in a country that doesn't exist and see a wall that shouldn't also be here. In France, this is incomprenhensible. Here, it is reality. Jenin is located at 100 kilometres from Bethleem, we took 5 hours to reach the destination... We could have arrived earlier but we had to take the road of Israelis settlers forbidden to most of the Palestinians. Those roads are straight, well-kept, barbed and electrified. Walls high of 10-15 meters surround settlements spreaded out, on dozens of kilometers for the biggest... Land is an essentiel question. Israelis armed camps are placed side by side to settlements to protect settlers who also have weapons. In "Palestinian" roads, Israeli army sets up "check-points" to control traffic with a way for Israelis and a way for Palestinians... How? Green registration plates on the one side (palestinian), yellow on the other side (israelis). All this is ILLEGAL AS REGARDS INTERNATIONAL LAW, and the argument which justifies this occupation is... ISRAEL' SAFETY. The UN knows all about what is happening. The taxi driver tells us anecdotes, we pass a traffic circle and shows us an olive tree aged of 200 years old. A fantastic tree with its forms, its colors and its symbols. He explains us that a wall will be built here to separate the settlement from the rest of the world. The road won't exist, people will do a longer roundabout way to go around the country. The olive tree will be uprooted and moved... to the future Israeli safe place.

I know, I politicize my speech but it is hard to attend this whereas I haven't met a Palestinian. How will they consider me? Those conditions are so stifling that I wonder about my commitment and their perception of the West... Fear and ignorance. Tomorrow, I will begin my classes of capoeira, I will meet the theater manager of Jenin, teenagers and children with who I will live some time... but maybe not, I will see. DON'T BE AFRAID, CURIOSITY IS A NASTY DEFAULT.

Kiss you.

Franck Saurel

Translated from French by: Hanan ben Rhouma