Will Palestinian woman’s humiliation by border guard warrant condemnation by NYT or Tablet?

  • Stampa


December 5, 2011

hass1 Amira Hass

How many of us, when we learned about Lynsey Addario's humiliation--which was rightly condemned by the New York Times, Time magazine, and Tablet-- thought of Palestinian women and wondered how many countless others had been similarly violated? Excuse the repetition, but it's worth quoting Dahlia Scheindlin: The fact is this happens all the time... with no editor to write the IDF and stand up for them.

Well, less than a week later, another, more chilling report has surfaced. Amira Hass reports on a Palestinian-Israeli citizen, a mother and housekeeper crossing thru the West Bank checkpoint of Sha'ar Eliyahu on November 6 with her four daughters, returning home after visiting her husband and the children's father in the West Bank. In detail the article chronicles this unidentified woman's hideous journey culminating in her contacting the Israeli women's organization Machsom Watch whose intern contacted a journalist. But no one was interested--before the Addario case.

"Look, it's the metal in the bra," she explained to the examiner, but still the security guard demanded that she remove it. "Is there a problem? Tell me," she said in her fluent Hebrew. But the examiner replied, "I'm not allowed to talk" - and demanded that she remove her underpants and head covering as well. And then?

"Then the examiner did what you do in a gynecological examination," said Nabila, choked up. "In the hospital they ask for permission. I felt like an animal."

Nabila was shocked at the undressing and at what followed. On the way out, and afterward for an hour and a half, she couldn't stop crying.

On November 12 Hedva of Machsom Watch wrote to the ground crossing authority, a unit in the Defense Ministry. The reply to her on November 21 stated in no uncertain terms that "the passenger was not stripped naked at any stage of the examination. Nor was there any vaginal examination."

The fear of that kind of invasion, just the thought of it is mindnumbing. Will the case be picked up by the western press?