Sunday, 17 July 2011

July 9th - Givon Jail

My tour of Israel starts at Ben Gurion Airport and ends at Givon jail. The introduction to my 'hotel' is simply the razor wire glimpsed throught the tiny wire mesh window of the tin can which until now has been my temporary prison.

I am escorted to a rough room where at last I can see some of the rest of our party. Joyce looks OK, but like so many of us is pickled in bruises. A doctor inspects my handcuff wounds and someone takes pictures of my bruises as they begin to appear. Many more such marks appear over the next few hours. I ask to make a phone call to my son. Refused. I ask to contact the British Embassy. Refused. They go once more through the mess which once was my neatly packed clothing and confiscate assorted articles - my belt, phone charger, money, umbrella,credit card etc. The whole thing is arbitary and riduculous and I am seething. A guard tries to put me in a solitary cell. My quiet anger has not abated and I refuse. They say they will use force, and I still refuse. The Director of the jail comes and talk to me all sweetly, promising me my phone calls in the morning - which never materialize. Not ever.

A guard starts shouting at me, really shouting ' We don't want you here in Israel legally or illegally. We don't care if you are legal or illegal. We don't want you here.' He is puffing and blowing like a lunatic and I stand passively refusing to move, deciding they are all mad.

It is worth remembering that my passport is stamped and I am legally in Israel, but the truth, as usual in these parts, is a poor weapon. After much remonstrating, and indeed pleading by the Director, I finally go to cell #2 with 5 other women, none of whom I know. Most of whom do not speak English. All of whom are bewildered and silent.

There is nothing for it but to decorate the cell. Scarves, and the one flag I brought - the Peace flag. It is 2.00 am.

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