Monday, 28 June 2010

If there is a heaven - Ilana Hammerman - Deconstruct

Ilana Hammerman, an Israeli do-gooder, took three Palestinian girls through the West Bank checkpoint and then right on to Tel Aviv. Her story is here:

Now, an hour's drive to the sea is not very far (except for the checkpoints), and Tel Aviv is like Benidorm but a lot less sophisticated.

Ilana (poor self-deluded do-gooder) took these poor girls to "the museum, the mall and the market, dipped in the sea, ate ice cream on a bench in the boulevard and when the evening came they crossed the checkpoint again to return to their homes".

Except she didn't. She took them to:
- the campus - Tel Aviv University, which these girls can never hope to even attend
- the museum - the Eretz Israel Museum
- the shopping mall - Dizengoff Center, where they couldn't afford to buy anything.
- the picturesque Neve Tzedek quarter - "the first official Jewish neighborhood built outside the Jaffa walls in 1887."
- Jaffa port "I was the only one who took a walk on the pier, because the girls sat down right at the beginning of it, took off their sandals, rolled up their pants and waded in the dark waters, refusing to budge".
- the flea market in Jaffa (much like a weekly market anywhere in the world)

Then - "They didn't want to stop for even a minute at the restaurant there to have a bite to eat or something to drink, or even to just relax a bit. Instead they immediately removed their sandals again, rolled up their pants and ran into the water. And ran and ran, back and forth, in zig-zags, along the huge beach, ponytails flying in the wind. From time to time, they knelt down in the sand or crowded together in the shallow water to have their picture taken. The final photo shows two of them standing in the water, arms around each others' waists, their backs to the camera.

This strikes me as the salient, innocent point in the whole episode. These girls, living just an hour's drive away (excluding checkpoints) from Tel Aviv, Jaffa, and the sea, are entranced by their first experience of something they've never encountered before, and may never have another chance to see and feel again.

And here's the reaction:

Police investigating Ha`aretz reporter

Jerusalem Post, 18/06/2010
See also: If there is a heaven by Ilana Hammerman
Hammerman described illegaly helping Palestinian teens into Israel.

Israel Police is investigating Ha`aretz reporter Ilana Hammerman for helping three Palestinian girls illegally enter Israel and disturbing a police officer, The Jerusalem Post learned on Friday.
Hammerman wrote an article entitled `If there is a heaven` in which she described how she brought 18-year-old Palestinian girl Aya and her two cousins into Israel without permits, for `a day of fun` in Tel Aviv, during which she lied to an undercover police officer.
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, which describes itself as `preserving the national integrity of the State of Israel and the Jewish people,` sent a letter of complaint to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein. Shimrit Alkalai, the Forum`s lawyer, said that Hammerman`s actions were against the Entrance to Israel Law. The Attorney General`s office responded that the case has been sent to the police for further investigation.
In the May 13 article `If there is a heaven,`

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