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May 23, 2010

Ilana Hammerman, Between Heaven and 'Land of Judea'

Ilana Hammerman.jpg
Palestinians Aya and Yasmin in Tel Aviv (photo by Ilana Hammerman)

Ilana Hammerman, writing in Ha'aretz, describes her illegal escapades with three young Palestinian woman from the West Bank whom she smuggles into Israel for a day of fun.

Hammerman portrays herself as especially knowledgeable about checkpoints and restrictions on movement for Palestinians in the West Bank. She describes her deliberations as to how best evade authorities and sneak the women in -- "I checked the map and mentally reviewed the conditions at the checkpoints that I know in the Land of Judea." She rules out the Tarqumiya and Bethlehem checkpoints, and eventually settles on Al Khader.

Yet her depiction of an exchange between the girls and a cop in Jaffa exposes a serious gap in her self-declared knowledge concerning freedom of movement issues. Consider the following:

The man heard the girls speaking Arabic and asked where they were from. I couldn't say that they were from Jaffa, because when I tried to win his sympathy beforehand, I told him that I just wanted them to see and feel the sea for the first time in their lives. They're from East Jerusalem and Israeli residents, I said. He showed his official police ID to me patiently and demanded that we show him our IDs and the girls' entry permits. At that moment, Lin's cell phone rang again: It was her fiance, calling for the umpteenth time to check in on her. I heard her mumble something and she hurriedly hung up. I picked up the word mashakil ("problems" ) despite all the stress - the Arabic word that I'm most familiar with.

Anyway, I somehow managed to get the policeman to let us go with a warning and admonition that this was "the last time" he would do so, as if we'd met this way many times before. (Emphasis added)

This account is distorted (at best) or fictitious (at worst). Either way, it's highly implausible. Why? Because Arabs from eastern Jerusalem, residents of Israel, can travel freely throughout the state of Israel, including to the Jaffa port. They don't need a permit.

Posted by TS at May 23, 2010 08:02 AM


why isn't Hammerman arrested instead of published?

isn't treason a crime in Israel? smuggling illegals?

Posted by: Isaiah62 at May 24, 2010 08:49 PM

" We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material."

you're kidding right? CAMERA is full of lies, distortion, racism and hate. Consider your clipped quote. You don't mention the "cop" is a security guard for a private beach. Lies? an olympic sized pool in Gaza and CAMERA purports it as the truth.

Posted by: gerry hawke at June 26, 2010 03:15 PM

Gerry, *you're* kidding, right? You didn't even read our excerpt, nevermind the whole Hammerman article. You accuse CAMERA of falsely claiming that "the 'cop' is a security guard for a private beach." In fact, the setting, as described in the Ha'aretz article, is the Jaffa port, not a beach, and the author, Ilana Hammerman, herself writes: "He showed his official police ID to me patiently."

As for the Olympic sized swimming pool in Gaza, you don't have to take CAMERA's word for it (or the word of any Zionist for that matter) -- check out the Palestinian Maan News Agency, the source that we had originally provided (but which somehow eluded you the first time around):

Posted by: TS at June 27, 2010 08:46 AM

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This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

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