I wore my NAKBA t-shirt and was greeted with a smile by my first inquisitor at Ben Gurion Airport, who inquired, "May I have your passport? Why did you come to Israel?"
I readily replied as I handed it to her along with my WeAreWideAwake.org business card, "I came to Israel in order to go to occupied Palestine to learn more about Al Nakba and report it all on my website."
"Yes, Al Nakba, which is Arabic for The Catastrophe, The Disaster; the other side of the story of what happened when Israel became a state, in 1948. No coincidence, I think that UN Resolution 194 affirms the Right of Return to Palestinian's who became refugees when Zionists grabbed even more land than 'civilized' white men partitioned to them."
"Oh, I see...Did anyone give you anything, anything at all? I must ask as even a harmless looking item can be made explosive."
"Nobody in occupied Palestine gave me anything except food, drink and good company. The only thing explosive about me are the words that I pound out on my computer, for I am a citizen journalist, not corporate controlled media."
"I see. Please wait here."
I did, and she went to converse with three colleagues a few yards from me. Within a minute, they were all looking at me. Ten minutes later, she returned with a smiling man who held my passport and business card and introduced himself as "Security."
I smiled and replied, "Happy to know you, I am Eileen."
"What was your reason to visit Israel?"
"Well, you can read all about it on my website, and I hope you will. I have been to Hebron, Erez Crossing and occupied east Jerusalem. I came to learn more and report the truth as I dissent from the way my American tax dollars are spent. Seven to ten million U.S.A. tax dollars every single day, go to support the military occupation of Palestine, and that ticks me off!"
He maintained his smile as he nodded to the woman who applied white stickers on my bags and onto the back of my passport. I was told to proceed to the first x-ray machine for Phase Two of Security:
A bank of x-ray machines in the center of a long rectangular counter.
I was waved over to the long side where four employees stood and not one smiled at me.
I was politely ordered to open up all my bags and with plastic gloves on their hands they emptied out all my neat packing and swabbed every surface and examined every item.