This text came on Christmas Day, from David, who has been writing his experiences to his friends and family and, lately, to me, too. This page talks about himself and his own deportation: /

The letter from David speaks about Andrew. Andrew was in Palestine a few years ago. I’ve heard quite a bit about him but when I really knew his story was when I read a letter that some friends from ISM wrote to the newspaper that had published a very misleading article in order to contest it – I do not know if this newspaper will have published that letter.

Andrew’s last action in that first visit was to chain himself to a house that was going to be demolished. Israeli forces demolish houses of terrorists to punish their entire families. There is no legal process against the family, no need to prove that they are guilty of nothing more than being the family of someone who committed suicide killing civilians. This is collective punishment and is condemned by the UN, and goes against the Geneva Convention.

But there is no international force in Israel with the mission to make these international treaties valid, so Andrew used his body to try to prevent a war crime being committed. The newspaper described this as “[he] was staying in the house of a terrorist.”

The response of the Israeli forces at that time was to deport him – for trying to avoid a collective punishment, which is a war crime. But he returned.

In this second time, while waiting for his appointment to renew his visa, he was arrested while walking down the street in Hebron, and would have been deported immediately if he had not opposed. As a result, he was kept in prison until he would “change his mind” and accept his deportation.

So this is what David wrote to us, thinking about what life in prison is like at Christmas:

“It’s Christmas in Tzohar Detention Center where my friend Andrew is still imprisoned pending deportation from Israel – a country that never intended to visit. “We got two eggs this morning; I do not know if this was intended to be some sort of festive treatment,” he told me on the phone this afternoon. Apart from this it is like any other day in prison for Andrew and the many ‘guest workers’ who are imprisoned with him, “You would not notice it is Hannukah,” he said.

“These fellow prisoners of Andrew are here mostly because they lost their jobs; Israel grants work visas that are conditional to have a job – you can live in Israel as long as you’re employed; lose your job and you’re under arrest. Many of these guest workers will choose to remain in jail rather than being deported, hoping that an employer will come to offer them work.” Andrew thus described the situation to me two weeks ago:

“The boss came in and chose several detainees who were then free to leave, with their new work visas, valid for the duration of ther work contract.”

“Andrew has now been one month in prison, having spent a week incommunicado (in solitary confinement) before his consulate found out and got him out of there. I spoke with his parents last week by phone, they sounded worried about his son, but they support their actions – they asked me to make sure that someone would visit him at Christmas. Today is Christmas, but the prison does not allow visits on Sundays, so Andrew will receive a visit tomorrow.

“Andrew he came to Palestine several months ago with the intention of working in Tel Rumeida, Hebron, and he did so until the Israeli armed forces arrested him and took him to Israel, where he is now awaiting deportation, saying it was in Israel illegally.

“Here is an excellent letter from the parents of Andrew’s:

“On this day of celebration – food and conversation, friends and family – please remember all those who are imprisoned. – In Israel, in Palestine, in Iraq and throughout the world”