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A few weeks ago I attended an event commemorating Palestinian Prisoner's Day at Al Far'a Refugee Camp in the Tubas area. To enter the theatrical and cultural spectacle we had to pass through a makeshift checkpoint with soldiers pointing their guns in our faces and screaming in Hebrew for us to get back. Although I knew these were Palestinian actors role-playing the harassment they experience daily, it was very frightening to have men with guns yell at me in a foreign language and stick killing machines in my face. I realized immediately that although I witness harassment at checkpoints constantly, as a white Jewish American woman of extreme privilege I can never really know what it feels like to go through one as a Palestinian. I suspected the actors had been instructed to especially focus on Western attendees to illustrate some of the abusive behavior we remain so shielded from. It was very effective.

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Fri May 25, 2007 at 08:02 AM PDT

Dear Daily Kos administrators

by annainpalestine

My name is Anna Baltzer and I would like to discuss my post
http://www.dailykos.com/... from last week,
because as proud as I am of my work as a whole, I do regret certain
aspects of the post and it's repercussions, which I'd like to have the
chance to clarify.

Before I do so, I'd like to clear something up: I was not recruited by
shergald to publish on Daily Kos. Someone named shergald did write to
me ages ago recommending that I post on Kos, but I was too busy doing
field work to follow the advice. It wasn't until an old friend
reintroduced the idea that I decided to go through with it. I
didn't—and still don't—understand all the politics of I/P Kos
discussions and participants when I joined, and was unaware of the
extent of the meta-debate prior to being banned on May 15th.

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For this report with photographs, see publication on Electronic Intifada: click here.]

No matter how bad things get in the North West Bank, it's never as bad as in Hebron. I'm back in the ancient city exactly two years after my last visit (see my previous reports for an overall description of the situation and my first impressions:
annainpalestine.blogspot.com/2005/03/from-jericho-to-hebron.html, annainpalestine.blogspot.com/2005/03/conversation-with-hamas-supporters.html), to participate in several solidarity actions, among them school patrol in Tel Rumeida. This small Palestinian neighborhood of Hebron is home to some of the most violent ideological settlers in the West Bank, who have moved into local homes by force and parade the streets with guns, terrorizing local residents including children on their way to and from school.

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The decisions and opinions of this writer do not necessarily reflect those of the International Women's Peace Service.

[For my eyewitness photos from the invasion, click here.]

[For this report with photographs, see publication on Electronic Intifada: click here.]

What most struck me about the Nablus invasion wasn't the killing of unarmed civilians. It wasn't the obstructions of medical workers and ambulances, or the indiscriminate detention of males, or the occupied houses and curfews. What I will remember for the rest of my life is the steadfast resistance of the people of Nablus.

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[For my eyewitness photos from the invasion, click here.]

[For this report with photographs, see publication on Electronic Intifada: click here.]

Most of the jeeps pulled out late Monday night, but we all knew they would be back. Israeli officials announced that the operation was not over, as they had not yet achieved their objectives. Typically the Army will withdraw for a several hours or a whole day, hoping the wanted men will move around and be spotted by a collaborator working with Israel, and then the Army can pounce. Soldiers also remained in occupied houses, where they typically set up hidden sniper nests.

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[For my eyewitness photos from the invasion, click here.]

[For this report with photographs, see publication on Electronic Intifada: click here.]

Dear friends,

I don't know where to begin. It would make sense to start at the beginning, but the beginning was ages ago, long before I arrived. Nor is there any end in sight. I was plopped into life in Nablus for one short week and I'm not sure if I'll ever recover. And as I write from a place of safety, the people of Nablus continue to struggle, not just with the nightly incursions, bombings, and assassinations, but also simply to remember their own humanity in spite of the most inhumane treatment. I'm trying to rediscover my own, to revive the parts of me now polluted with anger, or worse—shut off, as if a part of me is dead. And I was there for just one week.

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