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Caravan blocked

Bil'in, 4 Nov 2005
Succoth 5766
Tel Aviv
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On July 20th we, all members of the (mostly European) Caravan for Palestine - Carawan for Rights have been expelled by order of Shin Beth from Israel at Allenby-Bridge.
We, almost 100 of 150 European peace movement, most French, some Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, one Peruan, one Mexicaine, 2
Canadians, have been expelled by violence from the entry hall at Allenby Bridge, after having been waiting for, some, more than 10 hours for our entry stamp on the passports.
Violence of special forces 'proved' waht is the "only democratic state of mid-east". We, peace-people had left banners, swiss army knifes, posters, stickers in Jordan, in order not to provocate any hatred. Our only aim was, and is, to call for international law, for right of return, strict application of all UN-Palestine-Resolutions and... to meet with Palestinians, in order to show them: they are not forgotten !

Expulsion from Israel. This contrasts with Syria which welcomed the whole group, which had driven by about 100 cars and one bus from the Strasbourg based EU-Parliamant thru Swizzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria and Jordan in a most friendly way, They, knowing what we were running for, granted us a guarantee of free return thru the country in spite of possible Israeli stamps in our passports. And there unfortunately were  Ugly: 'ENTRY DENIED' for 5 years !
The explication of the Syrian government, given to me thru the voice of the Syrian Ambassador, Dr. Omran in Berlin: this is our signal for Syrian willingness of peace, may the peoples understand this !

Syrians gave us most generous refuge after being expelled, granted us free and multiple contacts with any Palestinian refugee on its soil, with any present media, they gave us free access to the part of the Golan, having restituted by the force of UN in 1967. We 'visited' the destroyed old city Kuneitra, until the 1967 war the only real syrian city with urban structures. This city, after having 'freed" from Israel had been destroyed deliberately and without any need of combat (there was no!), house by house, catholic church, mosques, hospital (!!!), schools, not one building standing up, mined by anti person mines all over. Only reason: not to leave behind any witness of former syrian presence.
We saw the - much greater - part of the Syrian Golan, rich agricultural grounds, strategic mountains, now under israeli control, in their tecno-militaro language: annexed Israeli Land. Now their *state archeologists' are searching and digging every square meter to find any vase or cup proving this land has been 'old jewish land, some thousend years ago... until now, they didn't find anything... With these people it probably will be difficult to build peace!

These some 10.000 km of road were tiresome for all of us, though we are not frustrated on reason of the expelling from Palestine, because our hearts and brains arrived at those of Palestinians, in the refugee camps of Syria (welcomed which made not few of us cry) we arrived in the ears of Palestinians in the occupied territories because they got the news by their radio stations, mainly by Al Quds Radio, Al-Jazeera covered our stay from the Turkish border to Jordan, we gave dozens of TV- and Radio Interviews, gave a Press-Conference in the Yarmouth Camp, close to Damascus, with large attendance.

Now, at home, we are still with our hearts with the disherited who showed us unlimited friendship and hospitality We are, since, with them, close to them, and they know it. Our hearts are also with Syria, so badly misjudged by some dishonest western propaganda, a country which is calling instantly for peace, not domination, not agression.

So, dear Cecilie, now you can surely understand that some of us are not yet able to answer any other request, would it be a very honorable one.

I wished you would have been with us. You may forward this letter to your friends

In friendship
Guenter Schenk
Strasbourg, France

- Member of the 'Collectif Judeo-arab et citoyen pour la Paix'
- Member of the Caravane for Palestine, Caravane for Rights,
Strasbourg-Jerusalem 2005
- Member of the 'Coordination de l'Appel de Strasbourg pour
une paix juste au Proche Orient'

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