Readers Respond


We welcome your responses to our articles. Send letters to the editor to Please remember, however, not to attribute to Tikkun views other than those expressed in our editorials. We email, post, and print many articles with which we have strong disagreements because that is what makes Tikkun a location for a true diversity of ideas. Tikkun reserves the right to edit your letters to fit available space in the magazine.

50th Anniversary of the Occupation
Fantastic issue, I read it cover to cover and passed it along to my
sister (to share with members of her congregation). So refreshing to
read progressive views. Thank you.

Cheryl J. Hall

Dear Editor,
I am sending this in response to your recent issue on the 50th anniversary of the occupation. Below, I describe my recent experience being tear-gassed by the Israeli military, along with a large group of Palestinians, while standing in line at the Qalandiya Checkpoint. Incidents like this are an everyday experience for Palestinians living under occupation. Sadly, the only reason this incident is receiving any attention at all, particularly in American Jewish circles, is because I - an American Jewish activist with a social media presence - happened to be there. Here is what I wrote on my social media as it was happening:

8 June 10:48pm

Tonight I was tear gassed *literally* for standing in line with a large group of Palestinians, including babies.

1. This afternoon I visited a dear friend in Ramallah. I hadn't seen him in four years. It was lovely.

2. My friend dropped me off at Qalandiya Checkpoint at around 7:30 in the evening so that I could head back to Jerusalem. As I waited in line, folks were beginning to break the Ramadan fast, nibbling on pita bread and smoking their first cigarettes of the day. Typically, I would take the bus through the checkpoint, but there were no buses at iftar (break-fast time). My friend said, "I better drop you off fast so they don't shoot at me." I laughed it off.

3. I couldn't figure out why there was such a hold up in the line. People were hungry, and it was hot, and the line wasn't moving. Rumors started circulating that the soldiers were not allowing Palestinian residents of the West Bank with Ramadan permits to enter after 8:00PM. Folks were confused by this and wanted to stay in line to see what was going on.

*Note: Every year, Israel gives thousands of Palestinian residents of the West Bank special permits to enter Jerusalem to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan. There are all kinds of age and gender restrictions, and of course everything is subject to last-minute changes, but it happens. And tomorrow is Friday, Islam's holy day, so folks were hoping to get into Jerusalem with their Ramadan permits to pray the Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa.

-Leanne Gale

The text above was just an excerpt. The web versions of our print articles are now hosted by Duke University Press, Tikkun’s publisher. Click here to read an HTML version of the article or to download the PDF version.

Tikkun 2017 Volume 32, Number 4:3-7


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