Welcome to Filastin

gennaio 7, 2014 in Palestina, Traduzioni da Anna Zorzi

Written by Sonia Trovato, translated by Anna Zorzi   Bandierina-Italiana

You are heading for the passport control office and you feel shy and reluctant in playing the role of the pious pilgrim on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Your inner thoughts are for him, for that brave and passionate young man who ran the Israeli blockade and entered Gaza. But you are not so brave, so the only way for you to get to Palestine is going  on a package tour. Palestine? Technically speaking you are at the Tel Aviv airport, which is named after Ben Gurion,  the same Ben Gurion who set Galilee free from its Arab people through murder, threat, land confiscation and suppression of any social service; the same Ben Gurion who founded  what is considered as the only democracy in Middle East through 60 years of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and occupation.

You try to go on playing the role of the religious tourist and to pretend to ignore the existence of a land called Palestine – even your Touring guide calls it “Palestinian Territories” and describes it as an appendage of Israel – but you feel ill at ease and inadequate and, once again, you think about  that dark haired and deep eyed Italian boy who never gave up struggling for human rights despite his being imprisoned and tortured.

You observe the clerks at the passport control, they look your age, and you wonder how come they have deliberately chosen that occupation  which is like a verbal torture or which can issue a “denied admittance” document  because of a wrong word  or of a whim. You almost feel like testing them and shouting: ”my country has been doing a lot for yours, so we expect to be welcomed pompously and not  treated as if we were terrorists!” .  You feel that lying and taking part to this barbarous damanatio memoriae or silently accepting “Palestine” as an unutterable word is unbearable and shameful.


But the cute office worker, in his broken Italian, informs you that you are allowed to enter his country and wishes  you  a happy new year. And now you are inside and if this is the only way to bring solidarity to tormented people you can’t but resign yourself.

Mike is there, waiting for you outside the airport. He’s only a name and a kind face for now, you don’t know yet he will be one of the reasons why this journey will become unforgettable. You are now on the minibus and while listening to Nina Simone’s Here comes the sun you see the separation wall for the first time. It is imposing, threatening, disturbing. You wonder how the sun can rise over these 700 km of reinforced concrete and barbed wire: it is a symbol of segregation and annulment of the Other , which the international community has supported through its deafening silent – as that courageous young man, who made Gaza his own home, said – cancelling hypocritical, limited clamours of isolated angry voices.

You look at your travelling companions, you wonder why they are here and you realize that for some of them it is an alternative way to celebrate the New Year’s Eve, but for  the others it is like for you, it is a dream which comes true, it is a love you have been cultivating for long, it is a young passion that must become a concrete reality. The minibus  driver brakes. You are in Jerusalem. You are in Palestine.

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