Over one hundred delegates from North America and Europe will travel to Palestine on Sunday as part of the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ campaign to raise awareness about Israel’s border policies.
International activists and Palestinian rights groups are planning another round of sojourn-activism as they plan to visit Palestine via the land border with Jordan on Sunday. Following the second “flytilla“ in April of this year, in which hundreds of people from all over the world flew into Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign hopes to keep the momentum going by addressing the border with Jordan.The upcoming campaign is part of a larger attempt to raise awareness about Israel’s policies regarding control of entry into the occupied territories. Unlike the “flytillas,” however, the activists will not enter any territory inside of Israel, but will cross through the Allenby/King Hussein entry point directly into the West Bank. The border crossing is still controlled by Israel, however, along with the entire Jordan Valley.
Activists are responding to an invitation from the Governor of Bethlehem and several civil society organizations. They will be traveling with over a ton of stationary that will be delivered to Palestinian children getting ready to go back to school after the summer, according to a press release.
Traveling to Palestine can be a humiliating experience for people as they are subjected to aggressive Israeli questioning and security, even when they are entering their own country.
The Welcome to Palestine campaign highlights one of the great shortfalls of the Oslo Accords, which gave Israel ultimate control over Palestinian borders (along with sea and airspace), and thus, control over who could enter and exit from occupied territory. This has had the effect of isolating the Palestinians from their large diaspora community outside the occupied territories, as well as anyone Israel is not interested in letting through.