Interview in a book!
A dear friend, Greg Wilkinson, interviewed me and wrote this script in his book “If you did not destroy my home…” which will be published soon.
Jenny is 24 years old, single and works as a translator in Bethlehem
Last year I worked in Jerusalem. I went through the checkpoint twice every day for four months. Every time I said to myself ‘Never again.’ Then I resigned from the job. I couldn’t stand it any more.
I left home at 6 am. Sometimes it took half an hour, sometimes an hour. Sometimes the soldiers were playing with us. They would close the door so we waited outside. One woman soldier just sat there watching us.
Mostly I stayed silent, but so nervous inside. Once they would not let my little cousin through. Her mother had a permit but not for the child. We argued, the soldier seemed a cute young man, but he didn’t let us through.
We can get permits sometimes, through the church, but I prefer to avoid the humiliation. Sometimes the soldiers stand above looking down at us, making remarks. One was taking pictures with his mobile phone. Palestinian men may laugh at us, but not in the same way. And they don’t have guns.
Our men feel the same as we do. I think the soldiers see them as lower than women. And sometimes I think the soldiers are more afraid of us than we are of them. They are hiding behind their guns.
When I quit the job in Jerusalem, I did not have another to go to. People said I was giving up a well-paid job, but I wanted my dignity. And my health and peace of mind. Now I have a great job.
Sometimes I do still want to go to Jerusalem. I have two aunts there. I get my permit to visit them and the holy places. We used to go to the sea … before the checkpoint. I try to prepare myself for anything. I shut myself off. It is not their business to see how I feel. I have an Israeli friend, we met in Germany, it was easier there.
When Gaza was attacked, we did a peaceful protest with the Scouts, asking everyone to bring clothes and blankets, whatever they could give. We made two lines with candles in Nativity Square …
Any occupied people, if your land is taken, you resist.