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The Occupation Will Not Be Sugar-Coated

At the entrance to Qalandia checkpoint there is a sign with a big flower on it that says “the hope of us all.” The insanity of this cheerful phrase in front of an illegal checkpoint was not lost to an Israeli Jewish activist friend of mine. It reminded her of the Nazi slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei,” meaning “work will set you free” which was posted at the entrace to concentration camps in Poland. She thought it would be a great action if we spray painted “Arbeit Macht Frei” on the Qalandia sign; so I made a stencil of it and bought a can of spray paint as soon as I could. I met her at Qalandia today and by chance ran into another American Jewish activist friend of mine. We were a little bit afraid we would get arrested but there were no soldiers in sight and I was feeling a little bit giddy like a kid who knows she’s about to do something bad like eating a whole tub of ice cream before breakfast. We quickly painted it and handed out flyers in Arabic and English to onlookers explaining what we were doing. Then we left without so much as a single IOF gun pointed in our faces.