While I was detained
Alison Weir
May 9, 2002

This is a piece I wrote while I was detained -- I had forgotten about it, and then found it in a note book...
From an Israeli Detention Cell in Ben Gurion Airport…

            Why did I attempt to go to Palestine?

            I went in the American tradition of “freedom riders” – to stand with those whose rights as human beings to live with dignity and autonomy are being crushed.

            I went to join in peaceful, nonviolent opposition to the use of force to enlarge an ethnically discriminatory system.

            I went to join those attempting to protect the enormously powerless from those whose power is almost without limit.

            I went to shed light on shameful actions, and therefore, I hoped, to stop them.

            I went to intercede in a vastly unequal conflict; in which one side delivers its murderous and maiming missiles by F-16s, helicopter gunships and tanks, while the other side delivers its by hand.

            I went to save lives on all sides of this tragic carnage – Palestinian lives, Israeli lives, American lives; to attempt, through my presence, to reduce the death. I hoped that through my actions people would be living next month who now, I fear, will be lost and whose absence will produce unending sorrow.

            I went because, with the knowledge I had gained, it would have been intolerably wrong to sit home while my tax money continued to pay for such devastation.

            I went because I had no choice.

            I am immeasurably saddened that I failed.

            And so my obligation to act remains. Now it is to tell Americans the facts of which they are largely uninformed; the horrors that they, unknowingly, are empowering.

            I feel certain that when Americans – regardless of their religion or ethnicity –  learn the truth, they will finally work toward justice, and therefore peace, for this once holy land.

            And the killing will stop.