Marie’s Palestine Journal – Jan 11th

Jayyous, January 11

Today is Saturday and I am trying to get a statement ready to send to Women’s Groups in Israel to encourage them to help us protest the “detainment”, which means snatching by soldiers and carrying off who knows where, of a 22-year-old mother from our village, the morning before last. Soldiers had invaded her home in the night, herded the extended family into one room and questioned the two men separately. This ordeal went on for 7 hours. Then they took the men away, and later in the day returned and roughly handled the woman as they took her away too. She was released after about 8 hours, but in that time, nobody knew where she was, and her breast-fed baby was left behind in the care of the grandmother, who also lived in the home. This happened while we were right there in the village and nobody knew about it going on till morning. So much for our watching eyes.

Anyway, this campaign to publicize soldiers’ harassment of Palestinian women offers me something concrete to do as I leave the country. We are especially appealing to the women members of the Knesset, one of whom is known to us as a feminist, to go to the military leaders with the concern.

I am arranging an Israeli-plated car to drive me to Jerusalem tomorrow as local cars and Palestinians can’t use the main roads, even in Palestine, except when they are chauffering an Israeli or international, like me. I’ll take a taxi back to Romallah for my Monday meeting with Dr. Rita Giocamen atBirzeit University. Then on Tuesday, I have a “tour guide” available to show me around Jerusalem, and I’ll try to see the feminists that we are going to work with on the above-mentioned campaign.

I am wondering if I should try to see Jaggi in prison. [Jaggi was already back in Toronto when Marie wrote this] I have some experience of Israeli detention centres, military courts, etc., so perhaps I’ll give it a try. I also have met his lawyer, Shami Leibowitz, so maybe I’ll call him first.

I am packaging up my books, papers, CDs of photos, etc. to mail from Jerusalem. To avoid trouble at the airport. I don’t foresee any trouble, actually. I have mixed feelings about home … on the one hand, I’ve been counting the days since I came here, owing to the pervasive anxietyabout what is happening here; on the other, I’ve had a great time, and there remains much to be done. That’s an understatement, if I ever made one.


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