“I arrived at the bridge, went through the routinized luggage and security screenings and headed for the passport window. The woman in the occupying army at the window asked me questions when it was my turn. She asked me what I was planning to do in “Israel,” a word and question that makes my blood boil given that I was clearly trying to enter Palestine. Although I have spent extended periods of time living in Palestine since the summer of 2005, this is the first time I did not say that I was doing research as my reason for entering.
This question normally got all sorts of questions, too, but at least it did not implicate my friends, something I had been unwilling to do before now. When I first went to Palestine in 2005 I used names of colonists, because I would much rather to have them questioned, but since 2006 when I adopted a policy of anti-normalization I refuse to speak to or normalize with a single colonist other than the occupying soldiers I am forced to deal with at the border and at checkpoints.
I had arranged beforehand with my friend to say that I would be staying with him since he lives in Jerusalem and I wanted to make sure that I did not get one of those new stamps that said I can only enter the West Bank (my real plan was to stay in Doha, but I did not want to give additional names of friends). I was also asked how long I would be staying, and even though I had only planned to come for the weekend, I said I was not sure because I wanted to avoid getting one of the increasingly frequent stamps that is only for one week.
I was worried that it would have implications for longer visits in the future. In the past I have always been given the three-month visa at the bridge (I’ve never entered the airport in occupied Lydd). But there have been occasions in the past when I wanted to come just for a wedding, just for the weekend when I was still given a three-month visa.”

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