Ordinary Madness

Thursday, December 29, 2011 |  Aviel Schneider

I often use Route 375 travelling east toward Bethlehem, and then pick up the Tunnel Road heading south into Jerusalem. From the moshav (rural community) where I live, it’s a distance of 10 miles (16 kilometers). But there is a shortcut of just 6 miles (10 km) if you travel south through the so-called “West Bank.” That route includes two Israeli army checkpoints, the first one into the “occupied territories” and then the second one out.

One day, about half a mile before the first checkpoint, a white Toyota did a sudden U-turn and we almost crashed. This guy is crazy I thought. Then I saw eight or nine people crammed into that four door sedan, three in the front and five or six in the back. Suddenly, 100 yards in front of me, about 10 Palestinians jump out from behind the trees, climb over the roadside barrier, and squash into another blue Toyota. Both vehicles speed away in a scene reminiscent of a Hollywood car chase. It’s the Wild West Bank!

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