Loving Your Neighbour in the Middle East
Military checkpoints are a way of life for Palestinians in Palestine and Israel. Each day tens of thousands of Palestinians move patiently through turnstiles and narrow caged walkways to go to work, school or home. It is a humiliating experience.
For the Israelis, it could be said that the checkpoints are also indirectly a part of their daily life. It is their sons and daughters who watch as the Palestinians move through the checkpoints to go home, to work, school or worship.
Some of the checkpoints, like the barrier at Shuhada Street in Hebron, lead to an empty, abandoned street with shuttered shops and empty apartments above the street. Palestinians can go only a certain distance along the street before they are turned back.
The checkpoints also carry a metaphorical notion tearing at any sense of neighbourliness that might have been part of the familial and religious upbringing of those entering the turnstiles and those watching them. Read on…