on my birthday today (28 June)
three stories of artists (on the behalf of many others) who are denied access to OPT by Israelian authorities
Norma Marcos Howard
I am a French citizen of Palestinian origins and have been since 1989
coming back through Ben Gurion airport with no problem. In 2005 the
Israeli Authorities decided that I cannot do so any more. I have
been fighting this injustice through the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are applying pressure without success, and tell me that it is not easy to deal with the Israeli Authorities because of many things the diplomats will never say clearly: the Israeli lobby, the holocaust, the Israeli obsession with security.
My mother is 87 years old and has had four strokes. I have not seen her for the last three years. My father died without my seeing him. I have a nightmare that my mother will also die without my seeing her. I have a feature film to make in Jerusalem. I have applied for a grant from an Israeli organisation to compete in a competition this coming March-April to make a film on Jerusalem. If I win the competition, I shall need to come soon, but my passport still says "Denial of entry”.
I have done everything I can to fight against this illogical decision by the Israeli authorities to prevent people like me to coming home even for a visit, which is my case.
Bonne journée and thanks if you can help Norma Marcos
On April, 24, 2008, Italian citizen Anita Mosca (not of Palestinian descent), was denied entry at the Allenby Bridge. Mosca, an actress, directress and playwright, was to meet with a delegation from Italy headed by the regional Minister for Culture. She writes: I spent days of despair and demoralisation in Amman after 24 April, due to my refusal of entry. Up till now, I am still trying to work out how to be able to return to Palestine. Before the first refusal I had worked with actors Palestinians three times. Intense relationships of friendship and work relations were born. I cannot understand what is my fault. Even though I am not Palestinian, I am living the drama of a forced exile. Please help me, I have called the Italian embassies in Amman and Tel Aviv, but they cannot tell me the reason, just that I must wait for the Israeli authorities.
I know I am asking a lot. but in the times in which we live, this attitude is too much. We cannot wait indefinitely without doing anything. I ask only to go into the occupied Palestinian territories to promote cultural activities in schools and theatres.
Less than a week later, on April 30, Palestinian-American film maker, Annemarie Jacir, travelling to the West Bank for the world premiere of her feature film 'Salt of this Sea', was also denied entry at the Allenby Bridge. Jacir's film, is slated as an Official Selection for the Cannes Film Festival this year and the film was to be screened in the al-Ama'ri refugee camp at the invitation of the French Consulate in Jerusalem, which supported production of the film, and the International Art Academy in Ramallah, which was co-sponsoring the screening. Jacir has been barred from entering the West Bank for the past nine months and as a result, shooting for one of the main scenes of the film has had to be relocated to Marseilles. Jacir was held at he Allenby Bridge for six hours and repeatedly interrogated before being escorted out of the terminal by two agents and put on a bus back to Jordan. Jacir was informed that Israeli Interior Ministry officials had denied her entry because, as they said, "you spend too much time here."