A year ago I did reserve duty once at Qalandiya. I ended up staying there two weeks, half a term.
What happened there?
What happened there? It was terrible.
Why was it terrible?
First, I should say that I was happy to see that the whole checkpoint process had improved, because at least they now have set procedures. Qalandiya was much better organized than what I remember . . . Now there are soldiers who are supposed to be there . . . soldiers from the military police who have the training to work at the checkpoints, with procedures and things. I got there, it was the first time they’d called me for reserve duty in three years. But it was still very frustrating, because now there are these procedures, but since I’m a civilian, I think about the procedures and I don’t like them, and I try to do something about it. There’s an order that trucks without a goods permit are forbidden to enter Ramallah. A guy comes with an empty truck, and he wants to go in.
But he doesn’t have a permit.
He doesn’t have a permit, and he doesn’t have any goods either, he has an empty truck. I say, “What do you want?” He says, “I want to go home to my wife and children.” “You can’t.” “What do you mean, I can’t?” I go, “You can’t enter with the truck. If you want, go park the truck somewhere, and take a cab.” He says, “Listen, it’s my truck, it costs a million and a half shekels, I’m not letting it out of my sight.” No, no way, you’re not letting him in. All kinds of situations like that, very frustrating. I’d thought when I came to reserve duty that maybe, you know, I could do something. There’s the thing, it can’t be that the only people in the field are the ones who want to be there. If left-wingers don’t do reserve duty, who’ll be left? It’ll be the ones who do all the terrible things. I said, no, I have to go to reserve duty. There really isn’t anything you can do unless you’re there.