Eliza Bates

Eliza Bates (Democracy and Workers' Rights Center - DWRC): Eliza graduated with honors and a BA in globalization and social movements from UC Berkeley. Eliza is committed to the right to free association and she worked on student-labor solidarity and anti-sweatshop campaigns while at university. Following graduation, Eliza worked in the labor movement in the United States for over five years as a researcher, organizer and lead union contract negotiator. Her interest in social justice and globalization inspired her to conduct an independent field research project in Mexico on the impacts of NAFTA on rural workers. She participated in several labor delegations to Latin America. At the time of her fellowship, Eliza was studying for a Master’s degree in international affairs with a concentration in human rights concentration at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

Welcome to Palestine

03 Jun

The day before I arrived in Ramallah there was an Israeli Military incursion in the city. Undercover Israeli soldiers shot and killed one person and injured seven others. A woman in my office witnessed the shooting, which took place in the city center. The soldiers chased a group of boys from a pizza shop. They shot one in the ankles and then handcuffed and beat him. Then they shot him in the head. Apparently, he wasn’t even the one they were looking for.

At the Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel-Aviv, I watched security officers pick all of the women with head scarfs out of the immigration line one by one and lead them away. I tried to keep my focus on the ground and think happy thoughts. When I got close to the front of the line they opened up the kiosks usually reserved for Israeli passport holders because their lines were empty. I walked up to a kiosk where the woman behind the glass looked like she was napping on the job. I asked her not to stamp my passport and told her I was here to visit family.

I’d gotten advice from everyone on what to say and what not to say at the airport. There was a clear consensus that if I mentioned my plans to go to Palestine, I would be interrogated, detained, searched and possibly turned away.

But with my list of names and addresses in Israel, I made it past security without incident.

I took a shuttle from Ben Gurion to Jerusalem but the driver refused to drop me at the check point because, as he said, “filthy Arabs are there.”

Posted By Eliza Bates

Posted Jun 3rd, 2007

1 Comment

  • Matteen

    June 10, 2007


    good luck with everything eliza! Luck forward to reading your blog!

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