Wednesday, November 19, 2003

On my way to work
I travel to work at a ymca
When I get this from a friend who is doing the same it makes me want to be sick. Just a journey to work in the ymca to work with people and this happens.
Read it please.....................................................................
"I now live in Beit Sahour,a Palestinian city bordering Bethlehem to the east in the middle region of the country. It is southeast ofJerusalem(15 minutes drive).I hold a West Bank Identity Card (I.D.) which makes it so hard to get to work inJerusalem. I go through some tough experiences on the way to work and I would like to share with you some of my daily suffering living under Israeli occupation.
 This morning I followed some advice from a lady I work with and tried to come through the "Wadi el Hummus" bypass road in the south of Beit Sahour. This is a rocky road where the “green- and white-plated” Palestinian taxi will drop you off near a small hill of rubble. From there you have to climb the hill and then take a "yellow-plated" (Israeli-plated) cab to thevillageofSilwan, in the southeast of the Old City of Jerusalem and finally a bus toJerusalem.
I took a taxi to the hill and four Israeli soldiers were standing there. There were also many old Palestinian women with some vegetables and goodies to be sold inJerusalem. But the soldiers wouldn't let anyone accessJerusalem.
I decided to try talking to them. I showed my American I.D. and my work I.D., proving that I applied for a permit to enterJerusalema month ago. But nothing worked. They
asked me to go back. "GO HOME," they said in Arabic.
I decided to wait in the shade with some women hoping the soldiers would go, but they didn’t. Then one of the women told me, "let’s try to walk around the farm".
We walked on the field, stepped over a lot of trash and went under trees trying to hide. Then we came out in the back of a small store. We jumped and got inside the store. There were some "yellow-plated" taxis but no one wanted to take us since we had no permits to enterJerusalem. The taxi drivers could be fined over $1,200 if they got caught taking “illegal” passengers!!
They said we should wait until the road cleared.
After waiting for a while, an Israeli military jeep came with another five soldiers, including one female soldier. They stepped out and started yelling at the old women, demanding to see their I.D.s. The female soldier grabbed the old women, yelling loudly and forcing her hands into the openings in their dresses to pull out their I.Ds. When one of the old women, old enough to be her grandmother, resisted, she slammed her on her face… twice!
 My heart just broke at that moment; I wanted to go out and hit that heartless woman. But I was hiding so the soldiers wouldn't notice that I sneaked from the back through the farm. The soldiers started messing up the women's boxes, feeding the fresh spinach to the sheep and jumping over the grapes! It was a horrible scene.
All that time I was hiding inside the store. I was scared and angry for these women. I thought to myself: "What kind of threat does these poor old ladies and their fresh vegetables pose to the State ofIsrael??!!!"
I can't help but admire the strong will of the Palestinian women. Nothing can stand in their way. 
I finally made it to work at11:00 AM... and started one more day of work with an "unusual" but yet "very normal" start.
Please pray that God will get us through this tough time."
................ my friend is Judah.
He loves my games.
He is a big man.
He laughs with me.
He sends me emails like you........................