Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mohammed from Gaza

Well, there is always someone worse off than you when you think of it, and even though that doesn't mean that you can flagellate yourself for being weak, or deny yourself to feel sad or bad or what have you, it is still good to remember that there are many many people who do not have a 'way out' like you do. I have access to doctors, counselors, can roam free if I wanted to, can speak my mind if I want to.
This morning, I received this email from my Gaza blogger friend Mohammed;

Dear Ingrid,
I hope you are fine? Things are of course quite awful here in Gaza. I'm having lots and lots of troubles. I'm also feeling very sad and quite stressed and angry. The US Consulate in Jerusalem have got a letter from the Israeli Occupation Forces saying that they will not give me permit to go for visa interview appointment at the US Consulate. I have got security clearance from USA, which means they are waiting for my finger prints and they will give me the visa in 30 minutes. But Israel denied my entry to go and get the visa and finger prints in Jerusalem and they said that "I'm a security risk". I was quite shocked and sad to know about it!
Thank you and best wishes!

Mohammed has been the main photographer of the website Rafah's website where he has documented accounts and photos of his town Rafah, Gaza. Their home demolitions, their lives, the attacks, the wounded and the dead, in short, all the tragedies that the people there are dealing with on a daily bases. So tell me, why do you think he's considered a 'threat'? Probably in the same way as Robert Fisk was considered a 'threat' when his visa was denied when he was invited to speak here in the US recently. Mohammed must be 20 right now. I remember being 20 and that was the year I emigrated to Canada, hopeful for a 'new' life, an exciting life of possibilities. Instead of asking 'why' the Israelis (the gov't that is) is denying him travel permission, perhaps I can ask my Israeli blogger friends; who can we email/write to in order to try to change their position?


Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

I suspect your friends story is not unusual for a Palestinian. Occupation is about humiliation. This occupation must end if there is to be any hope of peace in the Middle East. In the meantime, another generation of Palestinians grow up as refugees on their own land. What a shame for the whole world that we allow this to happen.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Lirun said...

occupation is not about humiliation.. its about many other things but not about humiliation..

there may be many reasons.. the validity of which i cannot guess..

i am happy to refer this post to israel's channel 10 tv station for them to consider.. but they have never responded to my inquiries and story suggestions before and i have no details of mohammad..

they may find it more compelling if done directly..

they have successfully impacted on policy issues before..

i suggest the morning show..

1:03 AM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Thanks for posting this Ingrid. It helps get an idea of the difficulty of life under occupation. Using military checkpoints and 'crossings', the number of which has increased significantly since last year, Israel has in effect divided the West Bank into 200 or so separate cantons. Travel between them is difficult, and relies completely on the arbitrary decision of the IOF about whether or not you present a 'security threat'.
Lirun, it absolutely is about humiliation. Israel needs to keep control of the Palestinians, and its ultimate goal is to gradually drive them out. Humiliation is an important method of control, and if Palestinian lives get miserable enough, perhaps gradually they will start to leave.

Mash is right - the occupation must end now. Although it isn't reported in the news much, every day there are peaceful protests by Palestinians and Israelis by the separation wall. This kind of thing has to continue and to grow.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Lirun, welcome to my blog. Thanks for your referral, I'll see if I can write to them. Mash and Heathlander, I am getting to the point that of suspecting that Israel is actually used (?) by the US from waay back in order to be just one peg that keeps the Middle East as a whole in place. A place for easy access to the oil resources and it looks as if Israel is going to be at one point in time, a proxy military for the US' interests. The exchange being living and being subsidized to live in the Holy land and allowing them to expand as needed. I do not believe (and lirun,correct me if I'm wrong, or Yohay or Rogel if you're reading this) that Israel has changed their immigration laws and any Jewish person can immigrate their if they so wish. That means, they will need more land. It is in keeping also with the actions and policies I believe.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

lirun, I just googled and I don't think it was the one you meant, (I wrote to them anyway you never know), were you referring to an American tv station or Israeli?
just wondering

11:26 AM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

It's an Israeli TV station. The address is this:

although its in Hebrew. It has an English 'About Us' page, but that doesn't include any contact details.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

well, that Ohio tv station is probably wondering why the heck they'd want to do a story on that on their morning show!lol
thanks Jamie, if you can read Hebrew and can tell me which is the 'contact us' button, I'll still write them (I once guessed it correctly on a blog which one was the 'comment' link but hey, it was a blog, it was pretty easy)

8:37 PM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Unfortunately, I can't read Hebrew (although next year I'm going to learn!). Maybe one of your Israeli blogger friends could do it.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Jamie, learning Hebrew wow. Can you read/write Arabic? I tried years ago and was totally thrown off by the script. My brain was so used to learning all those languages while growing up in Holland in our script (whatever it's called) that I just could not wrap my brain around the Arabic. I'd love to try again that plus Hebrew because that would be complimentary. It definitely requires a shift in your learning reference that's for sure,

1:33 PM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Nah, I'm a mono-lingual person at the moment. I've tried learning Hebrew before, but my brain isn't built for languages, and the fact that they have two separate words for male/female doesn't help. But I want, in the future, to be an Israel/Palestine correspondent for a newspaper, so I'm gonna have to learn some Hebrew. :)

7:46 PM  
Blogger Lirun said...

im so sorry i didnt read this..

i would have translated the message or posted it for you..

2:55 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Thanks for the thought lirun. Perhaps next time I should ask you. These situations unfortunately are the 'to be continued' type,

4:42 PM  

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