I Was Strangled By A Checkpoint But Not In The West Bank

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Diana Krall in Raanana
Diana Krall in Raanana

A post by Brian of London.

Have you ever heard this phrase?:

“a system of checkpoints that strangles economic and social life in the West Bank”

You may remember a few months ago that Elvis Costello, Lord of the Idiots and singer of such great lines as “London is full of Arabs” refused to come to Israel to sing. Well, in the words of the comic messiahs, “He has a wife you know!”

His wife, Diana Krall, a renown jazz singer, came to Israel and played a concert Wednesday 4th August. It was, technically, outside Tel Aviv, but she didn’t appear to know that. The concert was so-so. I’ve not seen her play anywhere else so I’m not sure if she always seems that disinterested. It was a hot, humid night but she didn’t play for very long (90 mins max), the tickets were damned expensive and worst of all, she didn’t play my wife’s favorite songs. Add to that the traffic to get there being a nightmare and, well, there was more than enough to kvetch about in the car on the way home once we’d sat in the car park for 20 mins waiting for the traffic to clear.

And then, almost at midnight, just as I’m 800m from my home and have to cross the boundary from Ramat HaSharon back to Tel Aviv, the traffic on my side of the 6 lane road grinds to a halt. Three lanes of seriously impolite Israelis then crawl, fight and push their way into one lane so we can all take turns to physically stop while a policeman shines a torch in our faces. The unlucky ones have to pull aside to have their papers checked.

How, exactly, is that different from what goes on in Judea and Samaria? I’ve no idea. Was I humiliated? Nope. Was I a little bit pissed off, yes. Am I trying to sue anyone? I wish, but no. Did that non West Bank checkpoint strangle my economic or social life? I think not.

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