This is proper journalism. Unedited answers, just what do regular Palestinians living under the control of the Palestinian Authority think.
A couple of personal points.
I’d love to drive to Beirut. Or perhaps the skiing areas in the mountains of Lebanon. I can’t. It wouldn’t be safe to and guess what, there’s a dirty great international border in the way. Just like a checkpoint. There seems to be a lot of grievances about checkpoints that were dismantled five years ago. It’s like these people want the “right” to go travel, but they don’t actually do it that much.
Sure it sucks not to be able to drive right through downtown Jerusalem on your way somewhere, but guess what: last time I drove from Atlanta to New York I took a ring road around Washington DC. It was more than a 20 mile detour I reckon, but it’s better than going through the middle! There is a different reason here: Palestinians living under the PA generally can’t just walk into Jerusalem, but on this side we know why. If none of them were trying to kill us that would end!
I also pass through checkpoints into and out of Jerusalem on the 443 road too. Of course I’m at very low risk of being stopped, but they’re there for my protection so I tolerate them. More than that, I appreciate the soldiers who guard them. We also have (very few) flying checkpoints within Israel if they’re looking for someone specific.
As to the business man’s complaints: I could list similar problems. I know it is harder for them to import: but not a great deal harder than it is for me. I know this directly from the Arabs I do business with. There are many aspects of life that are easier (especially rampant tax avoidance) in their areas.
And when you scratch the surface you always find the same thing: occupation is all of Israel. From the river to the sea. Dismantling Efrat and Ariel and all the other towns sitting, surrounded by empty space, will solve nothing.
I wish there was a happier end to the story, but great work by Corey and his Ask Project:
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